Mesopotamia

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One of the major inventions of the Sumerian Mesopotamians was the invention of writing. The oldest known wheel ever found by archaeologists is Mesopotamian, and they also made advancements in mathematics and astronomy.

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  • What did Mesopotamians wear?

    Q: What did Mesopotamians wear?

    A: Early Mesopotamians wore primarily wool and goat hair cloth that was either felted or woven into a coarse cloth, with linen cloth for finer garments. Women initially wore long wrapped shawls and later sewn dresses or robes, while men wore some variation of loincloths or pleated wrapped skirts.
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  • Who was Nebuchadnezzar and what did he do?

    Q: Who was Nebuchadnezzar and what did he do?

    A: King Nebuchadnezzar II took the throne in 604 B.C., and he is credited with destroying the Jewish temple built by King Solomon. Legend states that he built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, but scholars debate whether he directed the construction.
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  • What kinds of sports did people play in ancient Mesopotamia?

    Q: What kinds of sports did people play in ancient Mesopotamia?

    A: Common sports people played in ancient Mesopotamia include hunting, boxing, wrestling and polo. Games and sports were held on holidays and festival days to entertain the masses. Backgammon, the most popular board game, was played on the ground with rocks and pebbles.
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  • What are some of the ancient Mesopotamians' achievements?

    Q: What are some of the ancient Mesopotamians' achievements?

    A: One of the major inventions of the Sumerian Mesopotamians was the invention of writing. The oldest known wheel ever found by archaeologists is Mesopotamian, and they also made advancements in mathematics and astronomy.
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  • Who is Hammurabi?

    Q: Who is Hammurabi?

    A: Hammurabi was an ancient king of Babylon who promulgated one of the first written code of laws in history. The sixth king in the Amorite Dynasty, Hammurabi reigned from around 1792 B.C. until his death in 1750 B.C.
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  • Who are the Gentiles?

    Q: Who are the Gentiles?

    A: The term "gentile" refers to someone who is not Jewish. Traditionally, this term only referred to Christians. Non-Christians from non-Western cultures were not typically labelled with this term. The Church of Latter-Day Saints, commonly known as the Mormon church, adopted this term to refer to non-Mormon people.
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  • Which technological advances were credited to the Assyrians?

    Q: Which technological advances were credited to the Assyrians?

    A: The technological advances that were credited to the Assyrians include extended irrigation systems, improvements to bronze casting, better equipment for fetching water from wells, improvements in military technology and street restorations. Many of these innovations were brought about during the rule of Sennacherib.
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  • Q: What are some key facts about the Neo-Babylonian Empire?

    A: The Neo-Babylonian Empire occupied territory that spanned the area between Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, often referred to as Mesopotamia. Following a period of Assyrian rule, the dynasty of the Neo-Babylonian period came to power when a once-Assyrian soldier, Nabopolassar, became king in the year 626 B.C. Named the Neo-Babylonian Empire because it follows two previous periods of Babylonian rulership, the empire emerged in the 7th century B.C.
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  • Q: Is there any surviving pictorial evidence of the Babylon King Nebuchadnezzar?

    A: There is no surviving pictorial evidence of the Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar II from the period of his lifetime. However, his likeness has appeared in a number of paintings and depictions since his death. William Blake's famous 1795 painting of the king depicts him as part man and part animal.
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  • Q: What were some of the public works of Mesopotamia?

    A: Some Mesopotamian public works included sewer drainage systems, public baths, private baths and wells. Other public works included city walls, royal palaces and stepped temples called ziggurats.
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  • Q: What are some of the advancements that the Babylonians made in mathematics?

    A: The Babylonians used a sexagesimal, or base 60, system for counting, in contrast to the base 10 system we use today. This system became the basis for the way we measure time, with 60 seconds in a minute and 60 minutes in an hour. Babylonian mathematicians understood algebraic concepts, including square roots, cube roots and logarithmic functions, and - unlike the Greeks, Romans and Egyptians - they had a symbol for zero.
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  • Q: What was the Mesopotamian social structure like?

    A: Mesopotamia's social structure included a king and the nobility, priests and priestesses, the upper and lower classes and slaves. The social structure in Mesopotamia was hierarchical.
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  • What are some facts about ancient Mesopotamia?

    Q: What are some facts about ancient Mesopotamia?

    A: Some interesting facts about Mesopotamia include the meaning of the word Mesopotamia, the numerous countries that made up Mesopotamia and the region's use of money. "Mesopotamia" literally means "the land between two rivers." The modern names for the rivers that bounded Mesopotamia are the Tigris and Euphrates.
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  • Q: Who won the Battle of Marathon?

    A: The Athenian army won the Battle of Marathon, defeating a the larger army of Persian invaders. Fought in 490 B.C., this battle marked the end of the first Persian attempt to conquer Greece.
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  • Q: How did Darius improve the Persian government?

    A: Darius I improved the Persian government by dividing the Persian Empire into provinces and implementing numerous construction projects. Theses projects included the construction of a new capital at Persepolis and roads throughout the empire.
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  • Q: What are the characteristics of Mesopotamian civilization?

    A: The characteristics of Mesopotamian civilization included the city-state, irrigation, polytheistic religion, three distinct social classes and the development of the solar calendar. Mesopotamian civilization is thought to have been the first human civilization center of the world.
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  • Q: What was the economy of ancient Mesopotamia?

    A: The economy of ancient Mesopotamia mainly depended on agriculture and trade. Mesopotamia is regarded as the cradle of civilization because it saw the beginning of human settlement in an organized society.
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  • Q: Why were priests powerful in Mesopotamian society?

    A: Priests held powerful positions in ancient Mesopotamian society because people thought the priests possessed a direct connection to the local gods. Religion played a significant role in Mesopotamian culture, government and the daily lives of all. More than 1,000 deities existed in the pantheon of the Mesopotamian gods, with each city overseen by its own local god.
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  • Q: What continent is Mesopotamia located in?

    A: Bronze Age Mesopotamia was located in the southwest part of Asia in what is now Iraq, Kuwait, Iran and Syria. Mesopotamia means “between two rivers,” referring to its location between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
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  • Q: How did Mesopotamia become a center of trade?

    A: Mesopotamia became a center of trade early in human history because its farmers mastered irrigation early, providing more crops than they needed to support the population. This allowed Mesopotamia to trade the surplus with neighbors. Its position between Europe and Asia also made it a prime trading hub.
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  • Q: What are some facts about the life of King Nebuchadnezzar II?

    A: King Nebuchadnezzar II ruled Babylonia from 605 BC to his death in Babylon in 561 BC. He defeated the Egyptians and Assyrians at Carchemish and gave his father control over Syria. He took over Jerusalem and Judah and built up the city of Babylon. He married Amytis of Media, forming an alliance with the Medes, and it is said he built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon to remind her of Persia.
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