Super Friday Villains and Heroes

This week I am supposed to be discussing Assyrians or shepherding 3000 years ago.

However, I am going to do early Mesopotamia and Hammurabi instead. I think that will be an interesting study. I need to find out some weird facts about Hammurabi.

Right now the older class is going to be:

reading a one page intro to Mesopotamian culture

writing a “postcard” about it

creating a ziggurat out of legos

The younger class is going to be:

coloring Mesopotamian puppets

making a pop-up ziggurat card

creating ziggurats out of legos

I don’t really have much to say ready for the discussion however. I need to work on that.

Mesopotamia: The land now known as Iraq.

Sumerians (3000-2340 BC)


spoke a Semitic language related to Hebrew

first known users of the wheel

had a number system based on 60-

This system is where we get minutes (60 in an hour) and seconds (60 in a minute.)

discovered the moon months and a yearly cycle

cuneiform- writing system, adapted by other languages

Note: Hebrew and Arabic can be read by each other, even though they don’t understand the spoken language because they use a similar script.

wrote on clay tablets with a wedge shaped stylus- later similar to Roman writing utensil

built canals, dams, and dikes for irrigation

built ziggurats (?)

Sumerian rule at Ur ended around 1900 BC when Amorites and Elamites invaded.

Babylonians ( maybe 2000-1200 BC)

Babylon in decline in 12th century BC

Babylon, the city, sacked by Assyrians 689 BC

Regrouped 620s BC

Nebuchadnezzar conquered Israel in 586 BC

Persian armies of Cyrus defeated BAbylon (538 BC)

During the time that Babylon was an empire, however, had some wild stuff.

Hammurabi (sometime between 1800 and 1700 BC)

in 31 years united all of Mesopotamia

created a bureaucracy to help him rule

wrote neighboring kings and told them how much he liked them-

then attacked

constructed highways

created a postal service

improved canal system

created written laws

wanted people to know the laws, so he had them carved in stone

placed stone in public place

“Ignorance of the law is no excuse.”

in 1901 archaeologists found the stone with his laws carved into it

Update: We actually did Sargon the Great and the early period. I think it is interesting that Sargon was found floating down the river in a basket. Either women were dumping children in baskets a lot, doubtful, or Jochabed had heard of Sargon and thought it might save Moses.

This next week we will do Hammurabi. And probably work on Nebuchanezzar and Darius, even though that will take us out of time order.