The Topic:
Mesopotamia

Easier - Mesopotamia is the Greek word meaning "land between the rivers." Ancient civilization developed in this area because of the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers. The land was fertile, the nearby rivers provided water, and settled farming was practiced. These early farming communities grew to became independent city states. In addition to developing the first plows and irrigation canals, Mesopotamia developed the first form of writing, mathematics, astronomy, and complex architecture. Mesopotamians were probably the first peoples to use the wheel.
 
Harder - Mesopotamia, called the "cradle of civilization", was the site of early river valley settlement. Conditions in the area led to people constructing permanent communities, practicing sustained farming methods, and evolving from a hunter-gatherer society into agriculture communities. Housing evolved into walled cities. Similar river valley civilizations soon followed in the Indus and Nile River regions. Today Mesopotamia is part of Iraq. This river-valley region was the site of a series of city-state kingdoms including Sumer, Babylon, and Assyria, that thrived from about 5,000 B.C. to 500 B.C.
 
Fertile Crescent from Mr. Dowling
http://www.mrdowling.com/603mesopotamia.html
As early civilization began to develop, people began to settle in areas of abundant physical resources. Such a location was in the Middle East.
Related Websites:
2) Ancient Mesopotamia by M. Snyder
http://www.ed.psu.edu/k-12/edpgs/su96/meso/mesopotamia.html#home
3) Ancient Mesopotamia http://www2.hawaii.edu/~edaniel/outlines/mesopot.htm
4) Explore the Land of Ur from Maricopa College, Arizona
http://www2.mc.maricopa.edu/anthro/lost_tribes/ur/mesopo_explor.html
5) Mesopotamia (Links-site) by N.B. Mautz http://history.evansville.net/meso.html
7) Mesopotamia A Place to Start
http://ragz-international.com/mesopotamia_a_place_to_start.htm
8) Mesopotamian History http://home.swipnet.se/~w-63448/mesopotam.htl
9) Sumeria and Mesopotamia http://members.tripod.com/~mr_sedivy/pho_mes.html
 
Hammurabi's Code of Laws translated by L. W. King
http://eawc.evansville.edu/anthology/hammurabi.htm
Although Hammurabi was a successful military leader and administrator, he is primarily remembered for his codification of the laws governing Babylonian life
Similar Websites:
2) Code of Hammurabi, c.1780 BCE from Ancient History Sourcebook
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/hamcode.html
3) Code of Hammurabi from Avalon Project, Yale Law School
http://www.yale.edu/lawweb/avalon/medieval/hammenu.htm
4) Hammurabi and His Code http://www3.sympatico.ca/aal/private/hamurab.html
5) Hammurabi's Code of Laws http://www.duhaime.org/hamm1.htm
 
Mesopotamia by R. Dawson
http://www.becunited.co.uk/mesopotamia/
The purpose of the site, published for the British History National Curriculum, is to be a resource for primary school teachers choosing to teach a unit on ancient Mesopotamia.
 
Near East from Michael C. Carlos Museum, Emory University
http://carlos.emory.edu/ODYSSEY/NEAREAST/homepg.html
Have you ever heard the ancient Near East called "The Cradle of Civilization?" What does that mean?
Other Online Museum Sites for Mesopotamia:
2) Ancient Mesopotamia: Royal Tombs of Ur from University of Pennsylvania Museum
of Archaeology and Anthropology
http://www.upenn.edu/museum/Collections/mesopotamia.html
3) Fertile Cresent from Mankoto E-Museum, Minnesota State University
http://emuseum.mankato.msus.edu/prehistory/middle_east/index.shtml
4) Highlights of the Collections by Region from Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://asmar.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/HIGH/OI_Museum_Mesopotamia.html
5) Mesopotamia from Detroit Institute of Arts
http://www.dia.org/collections/ancient/mesopotamia/mesopotamia.html
6) Mesopotamia from The British Museum http://www.mesopotamia.co.uk/menu.html
7) Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur from McClung Museum
http://mcclungmuseum.utk.edu/specex/ur/ur.htm
 
After visiting several of the websites related to Mesopotamia, complete one or more of the following projects:
 
Write in Cuneiform Pictographs. Use the Ugaritic Cuneiform Translator (Requires Java Applet Download) and Write Like a Babylonian to transform your name or a message into Cuneiform symbols. Afterwards, you may also want to use the Cuneiform Calculator to complete mathematical processes.
 
Complete A Mesopotamia WebQuest. Follow or adapt the procedures found at one of the following webQuest sites:
1) Exploring Mesopotamia by J. Weinshel http://cte.jhu.edu/techacademy/fellows/Weinshel/webquest/jrwindex.htm
2) Mesopotamia Or Bust!! (Grade 7) by. A. Mosdell
http://www.sd68.bc.ca/ed611/mosdell/MesoBoring.htm
 
Make A Poster that Illustrates the Inventions/Innovations in Mesopotamia. After exploring the resources on Mesopotamia found at the websites and the library media center, decide what major contributions were made by ancient civilizations in Mesopotamia. Create an original poster that shows those innovations and improvements. Another good activity is to create a model that illustrates a specific technological achievement. Display your project.
 
Create An Ancient Mesopotamia Journal. Pretend that you are living in ancient Mesopotamia. Imagine what your daily life would have been. Describe your 'pretend' life in a series of journal entries. Decide if you want to cover all the days in a week or less frequent stories over a longer time frame.
 
Was there a Hanging Gardens of Babylon? Use the online resources and your library to investigate what is known and believed about this 'wonder of the ancient world.' Then decide if you think the gardens did exist. What evidence has been found? Could this have been a myth or story that was told and repeated until it was believed to be real? You decide, then present your ideas in a position paper, debate presentation, or multimedia presentation. Explain your views and back them up with as much evidence that you find. Explain where the facts end and conjecture begin. What do you believe?
 
Illustrate the Causes and Effects of Cultural and Technological Changes in Mesopotamia. To get the idea for this project, first visit a 'beginning' concept map at Innerconnections Illustrating the the Nature of Sumer. Expand this idea to encompass other changes and innovations and their causes and effects. The example at the website was created using the Inspiration software package.
 
Identify the Positive and Negative Aspects of Mesopotamian Civilization. The 'cradle of civilization' was not necessarily all 'sunshine and roses.' Identify the major components of their civilization. Then identify both the positive and negative aspects of those developments.
 
Websites By Kids For Kids
Ancient Mesopotamia (Grade 6) William Penn Charter School, Philadelphia, PA
http://www.penncharter.com/Student/meso/index.html
This project on Mesopotamia includes gods and writing in Mesopotamia, clothing and pottery, geography of the region, government and law, inventions, and social organization.
 
Ancient Mesopotamia (Grade 4) Spring Street School, Shrewsbury, Massachusetts
http://www.ci.shrewsbury.ma.us/Sps/Schools/Central/Curriculum/ELEMENTARY/SOCI
ALSTUDIES/Mesopotamia%20html/ancient_mesopotamia.htm
This is another student project site on Mesopotamia.
 
Ancient Sumer History
http://www.vnc.qld.edu.au/et8se01.htm
This website contains historical information, an online quiz, links, and more.
 
Light of People Cultures: Mesopotamia (2001 ThinkQuest Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/C0119205/main.htm
This informative site contains information, activities, links and more on Mesopotamia.
 
Mesopotamia from Urbana Middle School, an Illinois Museum In the Classroom Project
http://www.cmi.k12.il.us/Urbana/projects/AncientCiv/Meso/meso.html
This site shows several student projects related to the study of the the daily life and inventions of ancient Mesopotamia.
 
Mesopotamians (A section of Time and Time Again, a 2000 ThinkQuest Junior Project)
http://library.thinkquest.org/J002807/Time%20and%20Time%20Again/Time%20and%20
Time%20Again/mesopotamians.html
The site shows the growth of civilizations in Mesopotamia.
 
More Websites on Mesopotamia
About Cuneiform Writing. . . from University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and
Anthropology
http://www.upenn.edu/museum/Games/cuneiform.html
Sumerians created cuneiform script over 5000 years ago. It was the world's first written language.
Related Websites:
2) Cuneiform http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/GLOSSARY/CUNEI.HTM
3) Cuneiform Numbers http://it.stlawu.edu/~dmelvill/mesomath/Numbers.html
4) Cuneiform Tablet
http://www.usc.edu/dept/LAS/wsrp/educational_site/ancient_texts/Cuneiform.shtml
5) Cuneiform Writing http://ragz-international.com/cuneiform_writing.htm
6) Dubsar, the Cuneiform Scribe Welcomes You to Ancient Nippur
http://www.fortunecity.com/victorian/stone/319/
7) First Known Writer of World Literature http://www.angelfire.com/mi/enheduanna/
 
Accessing Women's Lives in Mesopotamia from Women In World History Curriculum
http://www.womeninworldhistory.com/lesson2.html
This site provides excerpts gleaned from Mesopotamian cuneiform tablets and artifacts that explore these aspects of women's lives.
 
Akkadians
http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/MESO/AKKAD.HTM
Learn about early Akkadian history and culture from 2340 to 2125 BC.
Related Websites:
2) Akkadians http://ragz-international.com/akkadians.htm
3) Curse of Akkad http://www.personal.eunet.fi/pp/tilmari/tilmari2.htm#akkad
4) Legend of Sargon of Akkadê, c. 2300 BCE
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/2300sargon1.html
5) Sargon of Akkad http://www.freehomepages.com/zhason/school/sargon.html
6) Sargon's Eighth Campaign by A. Garia http://www.nineveh.com/sargon.htm
 
Babylonia from the Catholic Encyclopedia
http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02179b.htm
This site provides a detailed account of Babylonia including the early history and first and second empires plus Babylonian religion, civilization, and literature.
Related Websites:
2) Babylon from DiscoverySchool
http://school.discovery.com/homeworkhelp/worldbook/atozhistory/b/040960.html
3) Babylon http://www.wwco.com/religion/believe/babylon.html
4) Babylon http://emuseum.mnsu.edu/archaeology/sites/middle_east/babylon.html
5) Babylonia http://ragz-international.com/babylonia.htm
6) Writing on the Wall: The Fall of Babylon
http://coco.essortment.com/writingwallfal_rghs.htm
 
Brief History of Assyrians by P. BetBasoo
http://www.aina.org/aol/peter/brief.htm
Here you can read a summary of the Assyrian culture.
Related Websites:
2) Assyra from About.com http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/weekly/aa032100a.htm
3) Assyria from the Catholic Encyclopedia http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/02007c.htm
4) Assyria from DiscoverySchool
http://school.discovery.com/homeworkhelp/worldbook/atozhistory/a/034460.html
5) Assyrian Treasures from the City of Kalhu (Nimrud)
http://www.aina.org/aol/nimrud/
6) Assyrians http://www.wsu.edu/~dee/MESO/ASSYRIA.HTM
7) Assyrians http://ragz-international.com/assyrians.htm
8) End of Assyrian Empire http://members.tripod.com/historel/orient/06mesop.htm
 
Chaldeans
http://ragz-international.com/chaldeans.htm
After the fall of Assyrian power in Mesopotamia, the last great group of Semitic peoples dominated the area.
Related Websites:
2) Chaldean Empire http://members.aol.com/chaldeans7/history/chaldean_empire.html
3) Chaldeans http://www.us-israel.org/jsource/History/Chaldeans.html
4) Chaldeans http://www.wsu.edu/%7Edee/MESO/CHALDEAN.HTM
5) Introduction (to Chaldeans)
http://www-personal.umd.umich.edu/%7Esdkjr/casa/intro.html
 
Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fall from Annenberg/CPB
http://www2.learner.org/exhibits/collapse/mesopotamia.html
Here you find supporting materials to a televised series which tries to explain the sudden decline of at least one major ancient Mesopotamian city.
 
Collection of Contracts from Mesopotamia, c. 2300 - 428 BCE
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/mesopotamia-contracts.html
Here are a number of contracts from: G.A. Barton, "Contracts" in Assyrian and Babylonian Literature: Selected Transactions, Harper (New York: D. Appleton & Company, 1904).
Related Websites:
2) Code of the Assura, c. 1075 BCE
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/1075assyriancode.html
3) Ethics of Sumer, Babylon, and Hittites by S. Beck
http://www.san.beck.org/EC3-Sumer.html
4) Laws of Ancient Society http://bwscampus.com/school/Hist/WKSHP/kusspaper.html
 
Copper in Ancient Times: The Sumerians and Chaldeans
http://60centuries.copper.org/ancient1_a.htm
Copper probably first came into use as the earliest non-precious metal employed by the Sumerians and Chaldeans of Mesopotamia, after they had established their thriving cities of Sumer and Accad, Ur, al'Ubaid and others, somewhere between 5,000 and 6,000 years ago.
 
Early Civilizations and the Emergence of Pastoral Peoples, 4000-1000 BCE
http://w3.iac.net/~pfilio/era2.htm
This website summarizes the importance of Mesopotamian civilization in the history of our world.
Related Articles:
2) Ancient Civilizations http://ragz-international.com/ancient_civilization.htm
3) Rise of Civilizations and Empires in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus Valley
http://ragz-international.com/rise_of_civilizations.htm
 
Fertile Crescent and the Eastern Aegean by B. Clardy
http://www.jlc.net/~brian/art/fertile_crescent.html
Thousands upon thousands of artifacts have been found. However in relative terms, very little is known about the art from this primitive bronze age civilization.
 
Hanging Gardens of Babylon from Museum of Unnatural Mystery
http://www.unmuseum.org/hangg.htm
Some stories indicate the Hanging Gardens towered hundreds of feet into the air, but archaeological explorations indicate a more modest, but still impressive, height.
Related Websites:
2) Hanging Gardens of Babylon
http://www.cleveleys.co.uk/wonders/gardensofbabylon.htm
3) Hanging Gardens of Babylon http://www.sd83.bc.ca/stu/9711/jlk2w2.htm
4) Hanging Gardens of Babylon
http://www.wonderclub.com/WorldWonders/GardenHistory.html
  
History of Plumbing - Babylonia
http://www.theplumber.com/history.html
Learn about the location where water management evolved into irrigation dams, drains and basins, and personal bathrooms for their era's rich and famous.
 
Map of Mesopotamia from Oriental Institute, University of Chicago
http://www-oi.uchicago.edu/OI/PROJ/NIP/PUB93/NSC/NSCFIG1.html
Here you find a map of ancient Mesopotamia.
Another Map Site:
2) Map of Sumer and The Akkadian Empire
http://www.hyperhistory.com/online_n2/maptext_n2/sumer.html
 
Medicine in Ancient Mesopotamia by N. Demand, Indiana University Bloomington
http://www.indiana.edu/~ancmed/meso.HTM
A few of the cuneiform tablets that have survived from ancient Mesopotamia provide an understanding of their medical knowledge.
 
Mesopotamia from the Encyclopaedia of the Orient
http://lexicorient.com/cgi-bin/eo-direct-frame.pl?http://i-cias.com/e.o/mesopotamia.htm
This article and timeline summarizes the main civilizations of Mesopotamia. There are also links to several other related articles.
 
Mesopotamia
http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/MESO/MESO.HTM
Tour the mysteries of this foundational civilization: it's life, it's words, it's gods, and it's writing; browse through the dust and heat of one of first cultures to inscribe for the future the story of its existence. This website was designed as resource for a college-level course.
Other College Websites:
2) Ancient Western Asia and the Civilization of Mesopotamia (Lecture Summary) by S.
Kreis http://www.historyguide.org/ancient/lecture2b.html
2) Mespopotamia (Lecture Summary)
http://www.ualberta.ca/~csmackay/CLASS_110/Sumer.html
 
Mesopotamia 9000 - 500 B.C
http://www.usfca.edu/westciv/Mesochro.html
Here is a timeline of Mesopotamian history.
Similar Website:
2) Mesopotamian Timeline http://www.wsu.edu/%7Edee/MESO/TIMELINE.HTM
 
Mesopotamiam Landscapes
http://www.umma.lsa.umich.edu/Oldworld/Deh_Luran/II/Landscapes.html
This brief page contains photos and description of Mesopotamia today.
 
Mesopotamian Mathematics
http://it.stlawu.edu/~dmelvill/mesomath/index.html
The purpose of this page is to provide a source of information on all aspects of Mesopotamian mathematics.
Related Websites:
2) Babylonian Mathematics
http://www-groups.dcs.st-and.ac.uk/~history/Indexes/Babylonians.html
3) Babylonian Months http://ancienthistory.about.com/library/bl/bl_babylonian_months.htm
4) Counting in Babylon by M. Fowler, University of Virginia
http://www.phys.virginia.edu/classes/109N/lectures/babylon.html
5) First Mathematicians http://members.aol.com/bbyars1/first.html
6) Sumerian Metrological Numeration Systems
http://it.stlawu.edu/%7Edmelvill/mesomath/sumerian.html
 
Royal Game of Ur by C. Soubeyrand from The Game Cabinet
http://www.gamecabinet.com/history/Ur.html
Learn about the most ancient board game known. It was very popular among the Sumerian rulers and spread from Sumer to sites throughout the ancient world from India to the Mediterranean.
 
Spiritual Systems of Mesopotamia
http://www.hist.unt.edu/ane-07.htm
Much of the information for this site is based in an old Babylonian document called "Enuma Elish," or "The Babylonian Genesis."
Related Websites:
2) Assyro-Babylonian Mythology FAQ by C. Siren
http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze33gpz/assyrbabyl-faq.html
3) Sumerian Gods and Goddesses
http://www.usfca.edu/westciv/Sumerian.html
4) Sumerian Mythology FAQ by C. Siren
http://members.bellatlantic.net/~vze33gpz/sumer-faq.html
 
Storytelling, the Meaning of Life, and The Epic of Gilgamesh by A.A. Brown
http://eawc.evansville.edu/essays/brown.htm
Gilgamesh is one of the oldest recorded stories in the world. It's about an ancient King of Uruk who may have actually existed and whose name - Gilgamesh - is on the Sumerian King List.
Related Websites:
2) Epic of Gilgamesh: An Outline with Bibliography and Links
http://www.hist.unt.edu/ane-09.htm
3) Gilgamesh http://ragz-international.com/gilgamesh.htm
4) Gilgamesh Summary http://www.wsu.edu:8080/~dee/MESO/GILG.HTM
5) Gilgamesh Study Guide by D. Thompson
http://novaonline.nv.cc.va.us/eli/eng251/gilgameshstudy.htm
6) Proverbs from Ki-en-gir (Sumer), c. 2000 BCE
http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/ancient/2000sumer-proverbs.html
 
Sumer from DiscoverySchool
http://school.discovery.com/homeworkhelp/worldbook/atozhistory/s/539160.html
This article summarizes the world's first civilization that began about 3500 B.C. and flourished until about 2000 B.C.
Related websites:
2) History of Ancient Sumeria http://ragz-international.com/sumeria.htm
3) History of Sumer http://www.theology.edu/sumer.htm
4) Sumeria: The History http://www.wiu.edu/users/muems6/the_history.html
5) Sumerian http://www.crystalinks.com/sumer.html
6) Sumerians http://www.wsu.edu/%7Edee/MESO/SUMER.HTM
 
Ziggurats
http://www-lib.haifa.ac.il/www/art/list_Ziggurat.html
This site helps you understand what these ancient buildings looked like and how they were constructed.
Related Website:
2) Ziggurat http://www.crystalinks.com/ziggurat.html
 
Websites For Teachers
Ancient Mesopotamia by D. Donn (Grade 6)
http://members.aol.com/MrDonnUnits/Mesopotamia.html
Here is a unit plan for studying the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.
Related Webpage by D. Donn:
2) Ancient Mesopotamia (Activities) http://members.aol.com/Donnpages/Ideas.html#MESO
 
Ancient Mesopotamia from P. Brians
http://www.wsu.edu/~wldciv/brians_syllabus/maps/maplabels1.html
Here is a map that can printed out for classroom use.
 
Celebrations from Social Studies School Service
http://socialstudies.com/c/%40SjU2Y1iQG7t2Y/Pages/article.html?article@FG211B+af
@donn
This activity has students planning a celebration that honors the marriage of a Sumerian king.
Other Lesson Plans from the Social Studies School Service:
2) Akbar's Dilemma http://socialstudies.com/c/%40_q6P1BMuSIDlc/Pages/article.html?article@TCM251A+a
f@donn
 
Close-up Look at Mesopotamian and Sumerian Inventions by E. Stone
http://tlc.ousd.k12.ca.us/cv/projects/sumeria/sumeria.html
As a final project, the students researched Mesopotamian inventions on the Internet, and wrote scripts advertising these inventions.
 
Gilgamesh the Hero
http://www.wsu.edu:8000/%7Edee/110/3.HTM
In this writing assignment, the student examines a summary of Gilgamesh. Their job is to come up with a Mesopotamian definition of a hero--and by extension a human being--using both aspects of the concept.
 
You Be the Judge of Hammurabi's Code (Grades 4-8) by P. Martin from © Ed's Oasis
http://www.classroom.com/edsoasis/TGuild/Lessons/Hammurabi.html
Students decide upon the same situations faced by Hammurabi of ancient Mesopotamia when he established his laws. Then, they write a letter to the editor of the Babylonian Times newspaper stating their opinion of his decrees.
Related Lesson Plans:
2) Hammurabi and His Law Code (Mini-play) from the Social Studies School Service
http://socialstudies.com/c/%405nR.ui9.NU3JM/Pages/article.html?article@JWW951A+af
@donn
3) Understanding Primary Sources: Hammurabi's Code of Laws from Houghton Mifflin
http://www.eduplace.com/ss/hmss/6/unit/act3.1.html
 
Mesopotamia
Tigris River
fertile
natural resources
walled city
Sumerians
calendar
agriculture
astronomy
pictograph
ziggurat
Ancient Africa
Assyrians
cuneiform
culture
copper
hunter gatherer
Code of Hammurabi
clay tablet
stone carving
Hanging Gardens
city state
nomad
civilization
Gilgamesh
mythology
scribe
priest-king
Ancient China
flood
gods & goddesses
clay token
temple
barter system
Sumer
desert
canal system
plain
Seven Wonders of Ancient World
mathematics
slavery
wheel
archaeology
cylinder seal
Babylon
Bronze Age
steppes
Ancient Rome
Cradle of Civilization
'Land of Ur'
irrigation
Iraq
Euphrates River
'Fertile Cresent'
 
  
 
Created by Annette Lamb and Larry Johnson, 11/01