World History Notes On Ancient Sumerian City States,Religion,Law,Math& Writing::Downfall of Sumerians::Ancient Middle Eastern Civilizations(other than Sumer)

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*Ancient Middle East* (3570 b.c-331 b.c)

-Sumerians are the first known civilization in the Middle East.

-Sumerians settled in Mesopotamia, which is present-day Iraq

-Mesopotamia means "lands between two rivers" (Tigris & Euphrates)

-Mesopotamia lies in the East End of "Fertile Crescent"(rich fertile land extending from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea.

-It was a hot and dry climate between the rivers, but it had fertile land.

- The lands of the middle east were more easily conquered than Egypt; Egypt had natural barriers (deserts), unlike the middle east, which did not.

-Egypt wasn't under constant attack, so it left plenty of time for advancements in technology.

*Sumerian City-states*

-Mesopotamia was split into 12 city-states

-Each city-state had their own government and supervised their own canals and dikes.

-City-states constructed city walls, and storage areas for food in case of attack.

-As city-states grew, they began to fight and have wars with each other.

-War became more important and war-time leaders began to control and people began to care less about the priests.

-Rich soil was abundant; stone and timber were not abundant

-All City-states had a ziggurat: Large, brick temple; home for Gods; largest building in town; center of all social life.

*Transportation & Trade

-Sometime between 3200 b.c. & 1600 b.c, the sail and wheel were revolutionized.

-Sumerians were the first known to use the wheel (invented or borrowed?)

-Sumerians used bronze(silver and copper alloy) tools and weapons

-Period in Sumer around 2800 b.c. was the Bronze Age.

-Any time earlier than the Bronze Age was the Stone Age.

*Sumerian Writing*

-Sumerians learned to have written record using tools to carve on wet clay (Cuneiform)

-Cuneiform(wedge-shaped writing) started as picto-graphs

-Later, cuneiform was simplified into using symbols as sounds.

-Writing spread across the fertile crescent...