Chapter 3 Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in Chapter 3 Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent Deck (26):

What made civilization possible in Mesopotamia?

Over time people learned how to plant crops to grow their own food. The yearly floods on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers brought silt to the land, which made the land ideal for farming. Plentiful food led to population growth and the formation of villages. These villages developed into the world's first civilization.


Why did the Mesopotamians create irrigation systems?

Mesopotamians used irrigation to control the distribution of water resources. The area had little rainfall, but was prone to flooding when it did rain. The people dug large storage basins to collect rainfall and dug canals to connect these basins to a series of ditches that brought water to the fields.


Where was Mesopotamia?

Mesopotamia is the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Southwest Asia.


How did the Fertile Crescent get its name?

The Fertile Crescent is a large arc of rich, fertile farmland.


What was the most important factor in making Mesopotamia's farmland fertile?

The floods on the Tigris and Euphrates deposited fertile silt in the area.


Why did farmers need to develop a system to control their water supply?

The region had little rainfall, but when it did rain the area had floods which destroyed crops and killed livestock.


In what ways did a division of labor contribute to the growth of Mesopotamian civilization?

Because irrigation made farmers more productive, fewer people needed to farm. Some people became free to do other jobs. For the first time people became crafters, religious leaders, and government workers.


How might running large projects prepare people for running a government?

Large projects required specialized workers, managers, and organization. To complete the projects, Mesopotamians needed structure and rules, which could be provided by laws and government.


How did Sargon build an empire?

Sargon was the first ruler to have a permanent army, which he used to launch wars against neighboring kingdoms. He defeated all the city-states of Sumer and also northern Mesopotamia, forming an empire by bringing these territories under his rule.


How did trade affect Sumerian society?

Traders traveled to faraway places to exchange grain for gold, silver, copper, lumber, and precious stones. A social hierarchy was formed with priests just below kings. Below priests were skilled craftspeople, merchants, and traders. The next level was made up of farmers and laborers followed by slaves at the bottom.


What was the basic political unit of Sumer?

The basic political unit of Sumer was called a city-state, which consisted of a city and all the countryside around it.


What steps did city-states take to protect themselves from their rivals?

City-states built up strong armies and sometimes even protective walls around their territories for protection.


How do you think Sargon's creation of an empire changed the history of Mesopotamia?

The empire was tempting for outsiders to invade. In fact Akkad was raided and captured by hostile tribes from the east only a century after Sargon's death.


What is polytheism?

the worship of many gods


Why do you think priests were so influential in ancient Sumerian society?

People relied on priests to help them gain the god's favor.


Why would rulers benefit if they claimed to be chosen by the gods?

Sumerians believed their gods had great powers which could bring a great harvest or a disastrous flood. They would not want to anger the gods by disagreeing with rulers they believed were chosen by the gods.


How was cuneiform first used in Sumer?

Cuneiform was first used to keep track of items people traded.


What areas of life were improved by Sumerian inventions?

The invention of the wheel allowed people to build carts and wagons to carry things. The plow was invented to make preparing soil for planting easier. Sewers under the streets carried away waste. Sumerians also made advances in math and medicine.


Why do you think writing is one of history's most important cultural advances?

Writing improved communication and allowed people to keep records of trade and also to record history, write laws, develop grammar and math.


What was the basic Sumerian building material?

bricks made of mud


What was Hammurabi's most important accomplishment?

Hammurabi developed a code of 282 laws on everything from trade, loans, theft, marriage, and murder. The code contains some ideas which are still found in laws today.


List in order the peoples who ruled Mesopotamia



What were the main achievements of the Phoenicians?

Phoenicians built one of the world's finest harbors and became expert sailors. They founded several new colonies. They made purple dye from shellfish. Most important was the development of one of the world's first alphabets.


Where was Babylon located?

on the Euphrates River near what is today Baghdad, Iraq


What two advantages did Hittite soldiers have over their opponents?

The Hittites were the first people to master ironworking, allowing them to make stronger weapons. They also skillfully used chariots in battle.


For what trade goods were the Phoenicians known?

lumber, silverwork, ivory carvings, slaves, purple dyed fabric, glass