Ancient Mesopotamia Glossary and Terms

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Akkadian – The majority of Mesopotamia spoke the language of Akkadian. It took the place of Sumerian as the dominant tongue.

Akkadian Empire – The Akkadian Empire was the first empire ever to exist. It was established after Sargon the Great united the various Sumerian city-states he had conquered under his rule.

Aqueduct – Aqueducts are man-made conduits used to transport water between two points.

Ashur or Assur – The Assyrian Empire’s first capital, Ashur or Assur, was Assur. In the Assyrian faith, it was also the name of the supreme deity.

Assyrian Empire – The Assyrian Empire ruled over a large portion of Mesopotamia and the Middle East and was renowned for its formidable warriors.

Babylonian Empire – The Babylonian Empire was based in the city of Babylon and governed a large portion of Mesopotamia. Throughout ancient history, the empire saw ups and downs.

Chariot – A horse-drawn two-wheeled vehicle, a chariot was used in ancient times. It was one of the Assyrian army’s strengths and was frequently employed in combat.

City-state – A city-state is an area that is autonomously administered and is built around a single, influential city. The Sumerian civilization was ruled by numerous separate city-states.

Civilization – A civilization is an evolved social stage of humanity. A civilization is typically distinguished by advanced forms of governing, agriculture, science, and culture.

Code of Hammurabi – Written legislation dating back to 1772 BC, the Code of Hammurabi. King Hammurabi of Babylon established it. It is among the earliest thorough documentations of a system of law in human history.

Cuneiform – One of the earliest types of writing developed by the Sumerians is cuneiform. On clay tablets, it creates pictorial symbols using wedge-shaped markings.

Cylinder seal –  A clay tablet’s signature or seal is made using a cylinder seal, an engraved stone cylinder.

Dynasty – The length of time during which a single family holds the throne and passes it on to the following generation.

Empire – A vast collection of states or areas under the control of a single monarch, the emperor or empress.

Fertile Crescent – The Fertile Crescent is a sizable region of territory in the Middle East that appears on maps like a crescent. It extends from the Persian Gulf down Egypt’s Nile River Valley and over the Euphrates and Tigris rivers to the Mediterranean Sea.

Gilgamesh – Gilgamesh was the Sumerian ruler of the Uruk city-state. Later, he rose to fame as a mythical demigod with extraordinary strength.

Irrigation – Watering crops through artificial means, such as ditches and canals, is known as irrigation.

Lyre – A stringed instrument with a harp-like form is called a lyre.

Marduk – The main deity of the Babylonians was Marduk.

Mesopotamia – The region between and close to the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers is known as Mesopotamia. The majority of it is found in modern-day Syria and Iraq.

Mina – Approximately 1.25 pounds are equal to 60 shekels, or one mina.

Nebuchadnezzar, a well-known king of Babylon, was responsible for most of the city’s reconstruction, including the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

The Persian Empire, the final significant empire of ancient Mesopotamia, ruled over a large portion of the Middle East.

Scribe – A person skilled at writing in cuneiform script is a scribe. They had a good reputation in Mesopotamian culture.

Shekel – A weight measurement unit that was first used in Mesopotamia.

Siege weapons – Weapons used during a siege are used to overthrow fortifications and capture cities. When it came to using siege weaponry like battering rams and siege towers, the Assyrians were masters.

Stylus – Scribes used a stylus, a writing implement made from reed, to create wedge-shaped symbols on clay tablets.

The Sumer, the first human civilization in recorded history, started establishing towns in the year 5000 BC.

Ziggurats – Huge temples that were often built in the middle of a Mesopotamian city. Ziggurats had a flat top and resembled pyramids.

Zoroastrianism – The primary religion of the Persian Empire, Zoroastrianism, was based on Zoroaster’s teachings.

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