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Dawn of Civilization

Center of spiritual and city life
Made to honor the citys deity and

Worshippers had to go around as
many corners as possible before
reaching the cella where sacrifices
were made

The Hanging Gardens of

Babylon, also known as the
Hanging Gardens of
Semiramis, near present-day
Al Hillah, Babil in Iraq, is
considered one of the original
Seven Wonders of the World.

The etymology of the name Babel in the Bible

means "confused" (Gen 11:9) and throughout the
Bible, Babylon was a symbol of the confusion
caused by godlessness.

The name Babylon is the

Greek form of the Hebrew
name Babel.

Ishtar is a goddess of fertility,

love, war,
and sex. In the Babylonian
pantheon, she "was the divine
personification of the planet

Winged humanheaded bull

colossus from
Sculptures of
this type were
set up in
doorways to


Sumer is the region

where the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers

Writing first began in Sumerian cities.

The first schools were set up in Sumer
over 4,000 years ago.
Sumerian schools taught boys the new
invention of writing.
Those who graduated became professional
writers called scribes.
Scribes were the only people who could
keep records for the kings and priests.
Boys that wanted to be scribes had to
attend school from the age of 8 to the age
of 20.

Sumerian Writing
Scribes used a sharp point called a stylus to etch words
into clay tablets. These tablets have been discovered by
archaeologists and looked at by historians.

Cuneiform Writing
Done on clay tablets
Recorded earliest known
epic story, Gilgamesh

The Epic of Gilgamesh

Search for immortality by semihistorical King Gilgamesh of
Uruk (~2700 BCE) after death
of his friend Enkidu.
Realizes that only gods enjoy
immortality; humans must
content themselves with fame
derived from performing
mighty deeds
Story of a devastating flood in
later version

Sumerian Inventions
Wagon wheel
Potters wheel that let carts transport goods to
markets, and to carry officials in ceremonial
Number system using base 60 time and
12 month calendar
Metal plow
Some of the 1st known maps
New architecture: Bricks
Arch and ramp

The Ancient
Amorites (2000-1600 BC)
Conquered many parts of old Sumeria
(including Babylon)
Hammurabi - created a law code with
harsh punishments
Borrowed heavily from Sumerian culture
After Hammurabis death Babylon declined

Hammurabis Code (~1700 BCE)

Hammurabi was the king who
united most of Mesopotamia
and conquered the Sumerians.
He developed a code of
laws. The laws were
numbered from 1 to 282. Law
number 196 states: If a man
put out the eye of another
man, his eye shall be put out.
Some people summarize
Hammurabis code by saying
an eye for an eye.

Law number 195 states: If a

son strike his father, his
hands shall be hewn off.
There are many, many more
laws like this in
Hammurabis Code.

A statue of

On the left is a stela, which has all 282 of

Hammurabis laws engraved on it. This stela is
located in the Louvre Museum in Paris, France.
Stelas containing Hammurabis Law Code were
erected throughout the Mesopotamia River Valley.
The Hammurabi stela was discovered in 1909, in
Susa, Elam, which is now Khuzestan. Khuzestan is a
province of southern Iran.