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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Q: What was a city-state in Mesopotamia?

    A: The city-states of ancient Mesopotamia were independent cities constructed around temples and entirely self-contained within mighty perimeter walls. City-states were unified with each other only by their shared use of the Sumerian language. They spent most of their time engaged in conflict over resources.
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  • Q: What were some laws in the Code of Hammurabi?

    A: One law in the Code of Hammurabi states that a person who accuses another of a capital offense should be put to death if he cannot prove the accusation. Another law excuses a debtor from paying rent or paying back a loan in a year in which his grain harvest fails or is destroyed by drought or storm. One law states that a son who strikes his father should have his hands cut off.
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  • Q: How were the social classes of Sumer organized?

    A: The social classes of ancient Sumer were organized into four main levels: the king and priests, the wealthy upper class, freemen and slaves. Class in Sumer was generally determined by a person's wealth and occupation.
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  • Q: How does the current map of Mesopotamia compare to its ancient form?

    A: A 21st-century map of what was Mesopotamia shows the area divided into separate countries, including Kuwait, Iraq, Arabia, Iran, Syria and Turkey. Iraq has the largest chunk of Mesopotamia and the most land fronting the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers, which flow into the Persian Gulf. Both rivers also go through Syria and Turkey. The earliest map of Mesopotamia, dated 3500 B.C., shows the area as just one political area with various settlements named.
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  • Q: What kind of clothes did people wear in ancient Mesopotamia?

    A: People in ancient Mesopotamia (3,500 BC - 539 BC) wore clothes made with animal skins and wool, originally a skirt, and later a tunic with a shawl over it. Embroidery and fringes decorated the garments. Women of high status wore veils.
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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 is the Mesopotamian alphabet?

    A: There is no such thing as the Mesopotamian alphabet; instead, the Mesopotamians used around 400 to 1,000 symbols to write with. At first, they used symbols representing different trading goods. These symbols evolved over time, and more were added until the writing system, called cuneiform, became a complete writing system.
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  • What was the role of kings in ancient Mesopotamia?

    Q: What was the role of kings in ancient Mesopotamia?

    A: The king's role in ancient Mesopotamia was to keep order in a world of many threats and in the context of an extremely pessimistic worldview. With constant dangers of floods and drought, kings had to protect the people in the realm, gather all the resources they could muster and honor the local gods whom the populace believed had the power to protect or destroy them.
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  • What was the population of Mesopotamia?

    Q: What was the population of Mesopotamia?

    A: Mesopotamia spanned over 5,000 years with the first recorded settlement made up of about 150 people. Using the city of Uruk in 4000 BCE as an estimate, Sumer's population would have been about 0.8 to 1.5 million out of the world population of 27 million.
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  • What facilitated Mesopotamia's economy?

    Q: What facilitated Mesopotamia's economy?

    A: The economy of ancient Mesopotamia, which was scarce in local natural resources, relied heavily on trade with neighboring regions. Goods such as textiles, grain and oils were exchanged for hardwood, precious stones and wine, according to The British Museum.
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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: What were the duties of the Sumerian rulers?

    A: The main responsibilities of Sumerian kings during the ancient Mesopotamian civilization include religious rituals, domestic affairs of state, military affairs, law creation, administrative leadership and execution of justice. Mesopotamian society considered the king as the representative of the gods on Earth with a divinely granted right to rule.
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  • Q: How would a Mesopotamian pottery maker make pottery?

    A: During the Ancient Mesopotamian period, the manufacture of pottery evolved from crude, handmade objects to commercial pieces produced by the thousands on the first potter's wheel.
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  • Q: Was the government effective in Mesopotamia?

    A: Mesopotamian governments were very effective at their intended purpose, as they organized and kept control of their populations more than most other governments in recorded history. They also created the first written laws.
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