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...for the Week of September 13, 1999

Monday

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TEST - Egypt and the Fertile Crescent
Tuesday WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Debrief Test - Start India and China

...for the Week of September 6, 1999

Monday

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No School - Labor Day
Tuesday WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Debrief Epic of Gilgamesh - Begin Code of Hammurabi
Wednesday WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Finish Code - Begin Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent - Read Chapter 3
Thursday WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Presentations - Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent - Complete Chart
Friday WB00684_.gif (1100 bytes) Presentations - Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent - Complete Chart

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    Like the Egyptians, the peoples of the Fertile Crescent were a product of the geography that surrounded them.  But unlike the land and water to the southwest, the Fertile Crescent was an unforgiving part of the world, a place where three continents came together, two rivers flooded inconsistently and one fate marked their lot: death.  Both drought and flood were common, as was defeat and destruction at the hands of one of the hundreds of nomadic tribes that roamed the middle east in search of their own survival.  Most never found it.  Each civilization built their foundation on the blood of the one before it.  But this survival-of-the-fittest climate led several cultures to triumph.  The constant interaction of different people led to the first uses of new military technologies, coined money, the phonetic alphabet and a revolutionary monotheistic religious belief that would grow to influence the western world like nothing else.

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The Epic of Gilgamesh - The tragic world of a Sumerian god-king

The Code of Hammurabi - Justice in a harsh ancient world

Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent Presentations

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cuneiform.gif (12136 bytes) rt_arrow.jpg (780 bytes) Early crescent settlers relied on cuneiform to communicate.  The small, wedged shaped characters were the first step towards an alphabet, which differed greatly from the pictograms used by other ancient civilizations.  The tablet at left is made of clay, less stable than the Egyptian limestone.

rt_arrow.jpg (780 bytes) Almost all ancient cultures have myths or epics that they use to understand the world around them.  The Epic of Gilgamesh, the story of a hapless god-king, portrays the chaotic world of the Fertile Crescent.  The tablet at right is a portions of the epic.

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Hammurabi receives code.jpg (11774 bytes) rt_arrow.jpg (780 bytes) In a world with little order, harsh laws became necessary to establish any sense of stability.  The Babylonian king Hammurabi used the judicial principle of "an eye for an eye" to govern.  The Code of Hammurabi formed the foundation for principles of justice that are still in use today. At left, Hammurabi receives the code from a god.

rt_arrow.jpg (780 bytes) Because geography did not protect the peoples of the Fertile Crescent, many had to fight to survive.  The more ruthless you were, the better chances you had.  Assyrian warriors were intolerant of their conquered enemies. They built complex road systems and constantly innovated new weapons.

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alphabet.gif (1787 bytes) rt_arrow.jpg (780 bytes) Situated between the Mediterranean Sea and a rich cedar forest, the Phoenician  were prosperous traders.  Communication was essential.  At left, Phoenician writing - The letters A, B, C, D, and E

rt_arrow.jpg (780 bytes) Merchants were constantly dependent on others to not only get goods out of  their hands, but to acquire goods they wanted. An agreed-upon medium of exchange - money - simplified the process and accelerated the prosperity of the Fertile Crescent civilizations.  At right, early Lydian coins.

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Sections 2.2 and Chapter 3
rt_arrow.jpg (780 bytes) See Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent Presentations

 

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