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Mesopotamian Civilization Essay

1351 words - 6 pages

Mesopotamian Civilization
Wedged between the Tigris and Euphrates River, the first civilization and founder of the many methods and ideas we hold today, now lay in ruins under the desert sands of present day Iraq. Mesopotamia is home to the invention of writing, our twelve month lunar based calendar, the wheel, the division of minutes to seconds, and the opening of the first routes to import and export trade. The Sumerians of Mesopotamia were enveloped by environmental conditions that constantly tested their skills and intellect for survival. This need for survival served as the basis that called forth the invention of methods and ideas that overtime increased and spiraled into the creation ...view middle of the document...

In the second millennium both regions together are called Babylonia, a mostly flat country. The territory in the north, between the rivers Tigris and the Great Zab, is called Assyria, with the city Assur as center. It borders to the mountains.
Northern Mesopotamia is made up of hills and plains. The land is quite fertile due to seasonal rains, and the rivers and streams flowing from the mountains. Early settlers farmed the land and used timber, metals and stone from the mountains nearby. Southern Mesopotamia is made up of marshy areas and wide, flat, barren plains. Cities developed along the rivers which flow through the region. Early settlers had to irrigate the land along the banks of the rivers in order for their crops to grow. Unlike the Nile River in Egypt, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers brought no trouble to the people of Mesopotamia with their flooding. The Nile unpredictably flooded Since they did not have many natural resources, contact with neighboring lands was important. They needed other imported goods such as rice, silk, spices, gold, wood, etc. because Mesopotamia was an arid, barren region with few natural resources.
Thousands of clay tablets, written in a cuneiform writing system, are buried deep under the ruins of ancient cities, when they were sacked and set to fire. Cuneiform writing system was proximately originated around 2800 BC in Sumer. The system of written had been developed from pictogram to ideogram to hieroglyphs and to the one we use today, none of these wouldn’t happen without civilization.
Success flourished and in 3000 B.C. Sumerians began building city-states in Mesopotamia, each governing over their certain areas. Beneath the dominate rule, the large city-states thrived of diverse cultures, languages, and religions. There were constant battles and wars between these cities-state over boundaries, the show of power, and resources. The weak fell and the dominant survived. The Sumerians not only fought amongst themselves but were on attack by outside peoples like the Akkadians. Even though the Sumerians were sometimes overcome, those who were victorious still adopted their lifestyle and systems.
It is here that the monarchy system was developed which was commanded by a priest-king, who ruled through bureaucrats. It was through this system that larger areas were able to be governed and duties such as judging disputes, organizing military, administrating crops, protecting the people, and administrating trade was possible. This was mostly put in the responsibility of the priest who overlooked the state and status of the people.
The main cities of the Sumerian civilization were Nippur, Uruk, Girsu, and Ur. The ancient homes mainly consisted of either mud and brick huts or reeds that were interwoven for strength and stability. The daily life was centered around each city’s main temple where offerings and prayers were brought to the gods. The Sumerian religion was polytheistic, with human-like gods who carried...

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