Unit 1 Paper: Impact of Fertile Crescent Cultures

Sumer and Babylon ;
Alyssa Hart

Sumer was located along the Persian Gulf, and was organized into city-states. The Sumerian civilization centered on religion, they practiced polytheism and made ziggurats to be closer to their gods. Sumerian civilization is still impacting us today, they made a written language that is known as cuneiform, made a time system that has 60 minutes and they invented the wheel. Somethings that are really important that the Sumerians did, was make writing tablets. They made these by writing on wet clay with a reed stylus and baked them in the sun. once they were dried, they were almost indestructible, and are important artifacts for us, because they help know more about the Sumerian civilization. Sumer began to prosper around 3000 BC, and people had positions that were scribes, artisans, merchants, farmers, and religious leaders. Once trade grew bigger, it led to a hierarchical structure which had slaves at the bottom, and then artisans, farmers, and general laborers, and then merchants and landowners. And at the very top, was kings and priests.
Babylon was located on the Euphrates River, and was ruled by King Hammurabi from 1792-1750 BC and he united all of Mesopotamia under his rule. Hammurabi had his own code of rules, that were consisted of 282 laws that were inscribed on a stele. These are now located in a museum in France. The Babylonians traded their surplus foods for materials such as copper, wood, and gold and they used it to make weapons, jewelry and household objects that they also traded. Babylon?s king had the overall power. Babylon was destroyed and rebuilt multiple times, and buildings and walls were made of mud bricks, that were first sun-baked and then baked with fire. Babylon of the New Empire period was one of the wealthiest cities in the world.
The Sumerians occupied Mesopotamia first, and then the Babylonians adopted and refined the Sumerian religion. Their beliefs were actually very similar, but the gods and goddesses of Babylon had Babylonian names. Babylonia also retained the Sumerian language for their religious use.

Sources ;
Advanced Academics text,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Babylonia
http://www.angelfire.com/empire2/unkemptgoose/Babylonian.html