Chapter 1 - Ancient Mesopotamian Civilization

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Published on 19 Jan 2012
School
UTM
Department
Religion
Course
RLG202H5
January 5th, 2012
Lecture #1 – Introduction
Part 1: History
Chapter 1: Ancient Mesopotamian Civilization (Pages 3-8)
Important Dates:
c.3100 BCE
Invention of cuneiform writing by the Sumerians in Mesopotamia
c. 2615-2175 BCE
Old Kingdom period of Egyptian history
c. 2360 – 2180 BC
First large-scale territorial empire of Mesopotamian history
21st - 19th centuries BCE
Movement of Amorites and other peoples into Mesopotamia and Canaan
21st - 15th century BCE
Middle Bronze Age in Canaan
2060-1950 BCE
Third Dynasty of Ur
7000 BCE
Ancient people engaged in:
agriculture
domesticate animals
establish urban communities
At end of fourth millennium, Sumerians created city states in southern Mesopotamia
Sumerians produced the first written script
Cuneiform system of wedge-shaped signs
Each city had its local god
Each god had a family and servants who were also worshipped at other shrines
Sumerian legends contain accounts of creation
Sumerian epics
Enlil (lord of the atmosphere)
Separated heaven from earth
Enki (ruler of fresh water beneath the earth)
Created human beings to grow food for himself and the gods
Third Millennium
Akkadians
Semitic people
settled amidst the Sumerians and adopted their writing and culture
2300 BCE
King Sargon of Akkad established the first Akkadian empire
Akkadians dominated Mesopotamia
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Document Summary

Invention of cuneiform writing by the sumerians in mesopotamia. First large-scale territorial empire of mesopotamian history. Movement of amorites and other peoples into mesopotamia and canaan. At end of fourth millennium, sumerians created city states in southern mesopotamia. Each god had a family and servants who were also worshipped at other shrines. Enki (ruler of fresh water beneath the earth) Created human beings to grow food for himself and the gods. Settled amidst the sumerians and adopted their writing and culture. King sargon of akkad established the first akkadian empire. King gilgamesh ruled in uruk in 2700 bce. He met old man (ut-napishtim) who told gilgamesh how he became immortal. The gods created man but were disturbed with noise. They sent a flood to destroy men. They told ut-napishtim to build a boat. After flood, boat was grounded on a mountain. Ut-napishtim told gilgamesh to find a plant that will make him young.

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