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Mesopotamia Study Guide
1. What were the two rivers surrounding Mesopotamia? Tigris and Euphrates
2. Why was this land called the Fertile Crescent? It was a large arc of rich, fertile, farmland; ideal for growing crops
3. How did Mesopotamians solve the problem of watering crops? Describe. Irrigation; To irrigate the land, Mesopotamians dug large storage basins to hold their water supplies. Then they dug canals that connected these basins to a network of ditches. These ditches distributed water to the fields.
4. Besides watering crops, what was another way the system in number 3 was helpful? Since farmers built up the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, this helped protect the fields from flooding
5. What current day country is Mesopotamia located in? Iraq
6. What two inventions did the Mesopotamians create to help move things? Why were these inventions important and how do they impact our lives today?
a) wheel and plow
b) The wheel allowed them to be the first to build wheeled vehicles, including carts and wagons. Using the wheel, they were also able to develop the potter’s wheel that craftspeople could use to spin clay to create bowls. The plow was important, because they could use it to help prepare for planting crops. This helped to increase farm production.
c). Answers will vary. Must connect how they impact our lives today.
7. What is a ziggurat? What was the purpose of a ziggurat? A pyramid shaped temple tower; purpose- place of worship
8. What is a city-state? A city-state consisted of a city, a wall surrounding the city for potection, and all the countryside around it.
9. What does the word surplus mean? More than needed. Mesopotamians had a food surplus, which means they had more food than needed.
10. How did food surplus cause division of labor? Fewer people were needed to farm; therefore, new occupations developed and some people were able to do other jobs.
11. What was the name of the Mesopotamian's writing system? Cuneiform
12. Who did the writing? Scribes
13. Name two tools used to create the writing?
b) clay tablet
14. Describe the divisions in society (social classes). 1. Kings; 2. Priests; 3. Craftspeople, merchants, and traders; 4. Farmers and laborers; 5. Slaves
15. Who was in charge of a city-state? The king
16. Hammurabi was the monarch/king of what city-state? The king of Babylon (He was a brilliant war leader who fought many battles to expand his power. He oversaw many building and irrigation projects and improved Babylon’s tax system to help pay for these projects. He also created a code of laws).
17. What was the Code of Hammurabi? Set of 282 laws that dealt with almost every part of everyday life
18. Why did Hammurabi develop the system of taxation? to help pay for building and irrigation projects
19. How might our understanding of the Sumerians be different if they had never developed writing? We wouldn’t know as much about the Sumerians if writing wasn’t developed
20. Describe the difference between a rural area and an urban area. rural-country side; urban- city area
21. Who was Sargon? Why was he important? Akkadian Emperor ; first ruler to have a permanent army; Sargon also established the world’s first empire
22. Who was Gilgamesh? Gilgamesh was the king of Uruk. He and his friend Enkidu went on a journey to the cedar forest to bring back wood and defeat the monster Humbaba.
23. The Mesopotamians were polytheistic. What does polytheistic mean? They believed in many gods
24. What is silt and why was it so important to the Mesopotamians? A mixture of rich soil and tiny rocks; important for growing crops
25. How did the Fertile Crescent get its name? It was an arc-shaped area of rich, fertile farmland that was ideal for growing crops.
26. Describe the different roles men and women had in Sumer. Who had it better, men or woman? Why? Men- held political power, made laws and were educated
Women- took care of home and children
27. What gender was allowed to be educated? Why? Men since they held the most power
Some upper class women were educated as well.
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