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Babylonian math problem – West Asian science

By |2018-04-15T00:37:52+00:00September 16th, 2017|Science, West Asia|

A real Babylonian math problem on a clay tablet This is a real math problem assigned to Babylonian kids in Iraq about 1900 BC. See if you can do it! Here's the problem: Suppose you have two equilateral triangles, one inside the other. Can you figure out the area of the space between the two triangles? [...]

What’s the Enuma Elish? West Asian religion

By |2018-04-16T08:50:23+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Clay tablets with cuneiform writing of the Enuma Elish Story of Creation By about the time of Hammurabi, about 1700 BC, people in the Babylonian Empire were beginning to write down this story about the creation of the world. The name, Enuma Elish, comes from the first two words of the poem, which mean "when on high". [...]

Who was Enlil? – Mesopotamia – West Asian gods

By |2018-04-16T08:46:50+00:00September 15th, 2017|Religion, West Asia|

Who was Enlil? This is what one of the tablets that was found in the Assyrian king's library looks like. This one tells the story of the Flood. The Sumerian god Enlil The god Enlil, according to Sumerian stories dating back to about 3500 BC, was a god of air and wind, weather and storms. He also was [...]

West Asian history – The Levant, Mesopotamia, and Iran

By |2018-04-25T23:50:36+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Map of West Asia People also call West Asia the Near East or the Middle East. It is the part of Asia that is closest to the Mediterranean Sea. West Asia covers all the land between Russia in the north, Afghanistan in the east, the Persian Gulf in the south, and the Mediterranean Sea in the west. The Levant is the [...]

Hammurabi of Babylon – Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By |2018-04-25T23:49:52+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Code of Hammurabi (1700s BC) About 1700 BC, a new king in Babylon pulled all the scattered cities of Mesopotamia back together into one empire. That's the Babylonian Empire. The king's name was Hammurabi. It's an Amorite name, so Hammurabi probably had Amorite ancestors. This is another episode in a regular West Asian cycle. Empires form under a strong ruler. [...]

Code of Hammurabi project – ancient West Asia

By |2018-04-25T23:41:44+00:00September 14th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Code of Hammurabi (1700s BC) Here are a few of the 282 laws of the Code of Hammurabi. Which of these laws do you think are good laws and why. Which laws would you change? Why? Write an essay, or discuss among your classmates. 3. If any one brings an accusation of any crime [...]

Assyrians – Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By |2018-06-09T23:22:33+00:00September 13th, 2017|History, West Asia|

Assyrian history: the head of an Akkadian king (maybe Sargon, who invaded Assur) Where did the Assyrians live? We first hear of the Assyrians around 2300 BC. That's when Sargon of Akkad invaded their small kingdom, Assur, in what is now Syria. (Syria is named for the Assyrians.) Early Assyrian traders About 2000 BC, Assur became independent of [...]

Amorites – Mesopotamia – West Asian history

By |2018-04-25T23:48:13+00:00September 13th, 2017|History, West Asia|

History of the Amorites: an Amorite jug, about 2200 BC Where did the Amorites live? About 2400 BC, the Amorites were living in what is now southern Turkey and Syria. Amorites means "westerners" in Sumerian, and that makes sense because the Amorites lived to the west of Sumer. They spoke a Semitic language, and lived partly [...]

West Asian architecture – Ancient Mesopotamian architecture

By |2018-04-13T12:56:00+00:00September 11th, 2017|Architecture, West Asia|

Mesopotamian architecture: The Ishtar Gate of ancient Babylon, built during the Neo-Babylonian period (600s BC). Now in Berlin. Mesopotamian architecture Builders in Mesopotamia always had a serious problem. There was not enough stone or wood. But there was lots and lots of clay. So their buildings were usually built of brick, or mud-brick. West Asian builders got used [...]

Persia and the Jews – West Asian history

By |2018-04-24T23:20:00+00:00August 24th, 2017|History, Religion, West Asia|

The remains of the Second Temple in Jerusalem In 536 BC, Cyrus the Great, the king of the Persians, conquered the Babylonian Empire. Cyrus believed that religious freedom was important to keeping his empire together. And he wanted each area (satrapy) of his empire to rule itself. So he let the Jews go home from Babylon [...]