Lecture 2 Notes and Test Questions Detailed Lecture notes and Test questions !
Course CodeHUMA 1710
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L2: Getting to know the time Period and Region
September 20, 2010
1. (10 Marks) What are the problems associated with learning about the ancient past
(history, literature, artifacts, ideas?) ?
2. (5 Marks) What can be done to overcome these problems?
Bronze Age (from about 4000- 1200 BCE)
Metal - replaces stone and bone (Bronze is made from tin and copper)
Writing- is invented evolved from counting
Pictographs ( LOOKS like what it means)
Ideogram (i.e symbol for mouth and food = eat)
Phonograms (symbol for SOUND)
Sumerians of Ancient Sumer
Mesopotamia means between rivers: irrigation requires communal effort,
Sumerians enter area where people likely already had writing, copper, gold
and silver smelting.
Sumerian invention of wheel, brickmold, pickaxe, sailing ship, standards in
weights and measures wine and beer, solar calendar, math(60 units from
which we get our 60 seconds, minutes)
Construction of roads, temples, military defense
Specialization of labor and development of social classes (priests, soldiers,
Temples (ziggurats) ; votive (devotional) offerings (see sculpture to right)
Sumerian culture influences Mesopotamian culture for centuries to come.
UR is where Abraham is from
Literature from Sumerian Sources
Creation stories; myths of gods and goddesses
Epic of Gilgamesh: fifth king of Urnk Spums the affections of goddess Ishtar
bull of Heaven is sent to kill him and others in revenge. His best friend Enkidu
kills bull but dies from wounds. Gilgamesh in sorrow searches for wisdom,
secret to immortality. Utriapishtim shows him plant. Gilgamesh finds plant
but while sleeping, a serpent steals it.
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