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History — Chapter 2

Mesopotamian Civilisation

Class 6 - Effective History & Civics Solutions


Name the following

Question 1

Two rivers between which Mesopotamia lies

Answer

(a) Tigris
(b) Euphrates

Question 2

Two Gods worshipped by Mesopotamians

Answer

(a) An
(b) Enlil

Question 3

Two city-states

Answer

(a) Sumer
(b) Akkad

Question 4

Two measures of weight

Answer

(a) Mina
(b) Shakels

Match the following

Question 1

Column AColumn B
1. Ur(a) Mud-brick temple
2. Sargon(b) Patron God of Ur
3. Code of Law(c) Sumerian city
4. Ziggurat(d) Ruler of Akkad
5. Nannar(e) Hammurabi

Answer

Column Acolumn b
1. Ur(c) Sumerian city
2. Sargon(d) Ruler of Akkad
3. Code of law(e) Hammurabi
4. Ziggurat(a) Mud-brick temple
5. Nannar(b) Patron God of Ur

Answer the following questions

Question 1

State the location of the Mesopotamian Civilization.

Answer

The Mesopotamian Civilization emerged in the fertile land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.

Question 2

Explain the role of city-states in Mesopotamia.

Answer

City-States were independent states and each state consisted of a city and the area around it. There were a dozen city states in Mesopotamia. The sumerians are regarded as the first society to construct the city itself as a built form. The cities seemed to be well organized and based on a uniform pattern. The city states had a typical organization. Each city was divided into three zones.

  1. The Sacred Zone, where the most notable architectural feature was the temple complex called the Ziggurat. It was dedicated to the patron God of the city.
  2. The Walled City, where the bulk of the population lived.
  3. The Outer Town, where the farmers and artisans lived.

Each city state had its own patron God on whose name a temple was built. Cities were the centers of administration where a number of offices and stores existed. Further, the cities developed as centers of commerce and industry.

Question 3

State the class divisions present in the Mesopotamian society.

Answer

The Mesopotamian society was divided into the following three classes :

  1. The Upper Class consisted of the royal family, the priests and high officials. The king was regarded as the God's representative on Earth. It is believed that the priests were the rulers of the cities before the kings came to power. This class led a luxurious life.
  2. The Middle Class consisted of farmers, merchants, traders, and craftsmen. The life of the middle class was quite comfortable.
  3. The Lower Class consisted of slaves, most of whom were prisoners of war.

Question 4

What was the position of women in the Mesopotamian society?

Answer

In mesopotamian society, initially women enjoyed nearly equal rights and could own property, run their own businesses and make contracts in trade. The early brewers of beer and wine, as well as the healers in the community were also women. Gradually these trades were taken over by men. Girls had to stay at home with their mothers to learn housekeeping and cooking, and to look after the young children.

Question 5

What were the main occupations of the people of Mesopotamia?

Answer

The main occupation of the people of Mesopotamia was Agriculture. Wheat, barley vegetables and fruits were grown by the Mesopotamians. Other occupations followed by the Mesopotamians included those of priests, scribes, healers, artisans, weavers, potters, fishermen and shoemakers.

Question 6

How can you say that the Mesopotamians were great builders?

Answer

The following points illustrate that Mesopotamians were great builders:

  1. Mesopotamia gave birth to the world's first cities which were largely built of sun-dried brick.
  2. The Mesopotamians created the world's first columns, arches and roofed structures.
  3. Simple homes were constructed from bundles of reeds tied together and inserted in the ground, while more complex homes were built of sun dried clay bricks.
  4. Cities and temple complexes with their famous ziggurats were all built using oven-baked bricks of clay which were then painted.
  5. Another important feature of the Mesopotamian architecture was the large gateway of a city. The most famous of these gateways is the Ishtar Gateway from Babylon.
  6. The Hanging Gardens of Babylon are described as a remarkable achievement of Engineering.

Question 7

How did religion influence the life of Mesopotamians?

Answer

Religion played an important role in the life of the Mesopotamians. They worshipped many gods and each city had a patron of god of its own. For example, Nannar, the Moon God was the patron god of Ur. The four most important Gods worshipped by the Sumerians were An, Enlil, Enki, and Ninhursag. These four regarded as the creator deities, who created all other Gods. One of the duties of a Mesopotamian King was to take care of Gods and build their temples. Such temples were called the "Ziggurats". Ziggurat means the "Hill of Heaven" and were mud brick temples built on artificial mounds in every city.

Question 8

Explain briefly the Mesopotamian script.

Answer

The Mesopotamians developed a script of their own called "cuneiform" as the symbols used were wedge shaped ['cuneus' in Latin means wedge]. They used to write from right to left. But at that time, they had neither the paper nor the pen or pencil to write. So they used to write on wet clay tablets with a stylus made of reeds or bones. To preserve the written text, they used to bake these tablets in fire so that each tablets served as a page of a book. Several such clay tablets made a complete book.

Question 9

Who was Hammurabi? What was his Code of Law?

Answer

Hammurabi was a Mesopotamian ruler who was famous for his concern about the welfare of his people. He wanted to be a just ruler and therefore, made a Code of Law, dealing with every aspect of human life. The Code, consisting of 282 of his legal decisions, is engraved on a stone slab.
The code says that the Gods had given the royal power to Hammurabi to protect the weak from the strong. It has laws dealing with marriage, family, trade, treatment of workers, prosperity, theft, etc. Besides these, the code contains punishments and penalties based on the principle of an 'eye-for-an-eye' and 'tooth-for-a-tooth'.

Picture study

Question 1

Study the picture and answer the following questions:

Study the picture and answer the questions. Identify the structure given in the picture. Give meaning of the term used for this structure. Mention the importance of this structure in the life of Mesopotamians. Mesopotamian Civilisation, Effective History and Civics Solutions ICSE Class 6.

(a) Identify the structure given in the picture.

(b) Give meaning of the term used for this structure.

(c) Mention the importance of this structure in the life of Mesopotamians.

Answer

(a) The structure given in the picture is The Ziggurat.

(b) Ziggurat means the 'Hill of Heaven'.

(c) The importance of Ziggurat in the life of Mesopotamians was as follows:

  1. Temples served as the centres of education.
  2. They were used as observatories by the astrologers to study the stars and planets.
  3. Sometimes they served as the centres of trade.
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