Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Mapping the Middle East: Ancient and Modern

In class we started mapping the Middle East and Mediterranean regions, where the ancient civilizations we study were located. On the "Units of Study" section of my website, check out the Mesopotamia vocab, packet, and the ancient map of the Middle East for more information.

Our focus of study for the Mesopotamia unit is really the entire Fertile Crescent: An area that stretches from the Nile Valley of Egypt in the west, northward to Palestine, westward across the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, and southward to the Persian Gulf. Surrounded by inhospitable deserts, the Fertile Crescent is an area that has good soil for farming, rivers for water, and is in a strategic location for trade.

Mesopotamia itself comes from the Greek meaning "the Land Between the Rivers" because it is in the area between the southern parts of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. There the Sumerians built the very first true civilization and invented farming, the wheel, writing, and the first organized governments.

For more information about this region, check out a really cool website about Mesopotamia from the British Museum, or this one from the University of Chicago.

Want to see a wicked cheezy "school video" on ancient Mesopotamia? I mean it's interesting and all, but there is a very serious "cheez" factor. Enjoy:

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