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Mesopotamia Case Study

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1. In the Neolithic era, about 8000 B.C., a new civilization and culture developed. The reason for this development was the change to hunting and gathering to cultivation of agriculture that permitted man to settle down permanently ending nomadic existence.

2. The Sumerians invented the first written language called Cuneiform.

3. Polytheistic Religion is the belief in many Gods.

4. Epic of Gilgamesh was the first literary story with a protagonist with a name and personality, and earliest written record of the discovery of death

5. One of the first established codes of law was the Hammurabi.

6. Why was the Hammurabi’s Code of law so significant? Explain in your own words. It gave society rules that they needed to follow. I think Hammurabi’s Code of law taught people that everyone is and should be treated equal.

7. According to the cultural epoch theory Mesopotamian civilizations were characterized by period of adaptions and adjustments.

8. In your opinion write a paragraph explaining how you see the application of the cultural Epoch Theory as an explanation of the Mesopotamian civilizations. Cultural Epoch Theory is based on three stages, chaos, adjustment, and balance. There three stages must happen in order for civilization to survive. The Cultural Epoch Theory should continue to occur in order to keep the proper balance amongst society. I believe this theory is a great way to identify Mesopotamian Civilization.

9. The Persian culture produced a monotheistic or dualistic religion known as Zoroastrianism

Chapter 2: Ancient Egypt
1. When political and religious authorities are the same, the government is a Homogenous.

2. The Maat is the Egyptian code of ethics.

3. Compared to Mesopotamia, ancient Egypt’s culture according to the cultural epoch theory is characterized by Theocracy.

4. Ancient Egyptians developed written language, made up of pictographic symbols for words called Hieroglyphics.

5. Egyptians used heavy stone columns and horizontal slabs to build their structures using the post and lintel construction technique.

6. Art styles in ancient Egypt remained constant for over 2,000 years!

7. Write why you think ancient Egypt was “the gift of the Nile River” and why you think ancient Egypt had very little contact with surrounding civilization for many centuries. I believe ancient Egypt was “the gift of the Nile River” because of its location in the Sahara desert, and because of its dry location. The river provided water and soil which irrigated the Nile Delta. All farmers knew when it would flood, and prepare their fields. Ancient Egypt had very little contact with surrounding civilization for many centuries because of isolation. This kept foreign ideas and influences from disrupting their cultural balance and they were free of foreign invasion through most of their history.

8. Write a paragraph explaining how the cultural epoch theory explains the stability of Egyptian culture for over 2,000 years. What differences do you notice (in your opinion) between Egypt and the Mesopotamian civilizations of Chapter 1? Stability for the Egyptians was well kept for over 2,000 years due to the fact of how it was founded. It made societies life enjoyable, and worth living. Cultural Epoch Theory in Egypt was homogenous, which was great for all. In my opinion, the difference between Egypt and Mesopotamian civilization is that they were completely opposite. Mesopotamian’s society was not enjoyable, it was a hard life they lived, and was not welcoming. They went through six cycles of changes while Egyptians were homogenous. Egyptians were thinking of an afterlife, while Mesopotamians were not.

Epic of Gilgamesh
1. What are the themes of this epic and which do you think is the major theme? The themes of this epic are love, seduction, and death; in which death being the major theme.

2. Who civilized Enkidu, and what does it mean to be uncivilized and civilized to these Sumerians? A temple prostitute civilized Enkidu. Being civilized to the Sumerians means being accepted to society, well educated, and has changed for the better. The Sumerians consider to term uncivilized to mean without morals and not knowing about how society works.

3. What kind of personalities do the gods have and what role do they play in men’s lives? The best way to define the personalities of God’s is that they are dangerous for mortals, they are out for themselves, and cannot “act” like adults. They play a big role in men’s lives because man is fearful of them. Men are intimidated by the God’s.

4. What have you learned about the kind of people the Mesopotamians were or their culture from the reading? The Mesopotamian culture had many God’s not just one. They had a god for love, a sky god, and a god of fresh water. Society was all over the place, there was no uniformity, and many clashed against each other.

5. How does the Epic of Gilgamesh speak to you or how do you relate to the story? The Epic of Gilgamesh speaks to me by the whole concept of how life was a very long time ago. How society has took a 180, and changed. I found it weird how a prostitute civilized Enkidu, in which nowadays being a prostitute is illegal. It opened my eyes to realize how much things have changed for the better. Although people do crazy things for love, this epic goes to that extreme. How people would do anything for love, and affection.

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