Today, I want you to learn more about the ancient land of Mesopotamia. Located in the same region as modern-day Iraq, Mesopotamia was crucial to Western development. Nothing indicates this more than its nickname: the cradle of civilization. Its key city, Babylon, was the epicentre of western civilization for over a thousand years.
Your goal is to apply 2 elements of SPEAR to this ancient civilization. You have several options for finding out more about Mesopotamia:
- read about the Cradle of Civilization and the Myth of Gilgamesh in your text
- watch the opening 15 minutes of a video found at http://www.learn360.com/ShowVideo.aspx?SearchText=Mesopotamia&ID=235858
- If you’d like some additional visuals, visit the galleries at BBC history: http://www.bbc.co.uk/history/ancient/cultures/mesopotamia_gallery.shtml
After we have examined some basics about Mesopotamia, we will talk about the Code of Hammurabi, the world’s first great legal code (written, as you might have guessed, by a ruler named Hammurabi). Remember that you don’t have to start at the beginning, or read every bit of the code. Instead, look for codes/laws that give you some insight into life in Mesopotamia: