Mesopotamian Social Structure

Mesopotamian Social Structure



hey charger history today the essential question is what were the social classes of Mesopotamian society when I say pause please pause your video and copy the essential question in your notebook remember to skip one line and write the question neatly across the top of the page pause now draw your vertical line for your notes remember the circle key vocab today as you write your notes key vocabulary is any word that's important for today or any vocab word that we've already covered in class your first word for today is social class social class is the rank that a person holds in society your social class is based on how much money and power you have please pause your video and write these notes remember to circle key vocab from class like social class pause so throughout history not just in Mesopotamia but in pretty much every society and even artists today a problem that people start to have when your society becomes more complicated is that some people get a lot of money in power and other people get less so just like in America today a major problem that many people are citing is that a few people in our country have tons of money while most of the people have only a little bit of money so just as an aside that's why we as I said have the goals of going to top high schools and then on to colleges because we want to make sure that we are not stuck at the bottom having trouble taking care of ourselves but that we can be more in the top of the pyramid have a higher social class so that we can take care of ourselves and take care of our families well in Mesopotamia there was a similar structure it was not easy to move in Mesopotamia from here to up here but you could depending on how much education you got so this is what life looks like so a lot of Mesopotamians but we're going to talk about the different levels of life and what it was like to be part of each part of society please draw this shape in your notes press pause and make sure that your shape has five boxes just like mine pause okay the shape you just drew it was called a ziggurat you're going to learn more about ziggurats later this week but these were important buildings for Mesopotamian we're going to use this ziggurat shape to draw the five social classes of Mesopotamia let's start at the top at the top of the social structure in Mesopotamia for the priests priests were significant or important because Mesopotamian believed so strongly that the gods controlled their harvest if the gods were happy with them then more crops would grow Mesopotamians relied on the feasts to keep the gods happy priests in Sumer were also the local doctors if you got sick you sent for a priest the priest shaved their heads so that everybody knew that they were priests this was a very important position to have in Mesopotamia as we know from yesterday over time the priests started to allow military commanders to take control these commanders turned into monarchs or change Kings became right up there with priests at the top of the social classes the Kings oversaw trade with other civilisations building projects like irrigation ditches and the collection of taxes so that's what it looked like perhaps to be a king or a priest in Mesopotamia this picture is actually a father passing on rule to his son because remember that monarchs pass on their rule to their children all right make sure that you're writing this down in your notes so far you should have priests and kings at the top you do not have to draw the picture but you come to a little sketch if you want to but make sure it's fast the next level that you should write down are called scribes and government officials these are people that worked for the Kings to help make the government run subscribe is a person who kept records for the king so notice how this little person has a stylus in their hand this is what they wrote with the scribes were the only people in the city-state that knew how and write any kind of taxes that were collected important events keeping track of the floods of the rivers and other city records were written down by the scribes the scribes had gone to a special school like this when they were little boys to learn how to write and they were only allowed to go if they were boys girls were not allowed to go to those schools the government officials were the people who worked for the king collecting the taxes and making sure that things in the city ran smoothly after the scribes and the government officials came the wealthy merchants please write them down remember you don't need to draw the picture but you can draw a little picture as long as it's fast the people who were in the wealthy merchant class had really nice lives these are like rich bankers of today there were the people who made a lot of money from buying and selling goods they traded with other societies they sold goods like fabric jewelry and spices to people in their cities and outside their cities they were travel to go find more people to sell to the people in this class were jewelry they had long hair excuse me there's just some motorcycle outside my house making a loud noise anyway the merchants have long hair they have long beards and they were kind of a skirt type or a dress type of clothing women would wear long dresses with one shoulder bare and the colder months they would all have nice cloaks to keep warm all right after the wealthy merchants came the working class these were people who made things for society these were farmers craftsmen people who worked with their hand they had a good life with enough food to eat but they didn't have this fancy luxuries like the cloaks and the jewelry like what the merchants had please pause your video if you need more time to add working class to your ziggurat here are some examples of working class people we have this man who's making clay pots on a wheel people still do that today we have these musicians they're playing something called the lyre they're probably playing for the king they're probably not slaves they probably aren't related to the king or anything like that they're just people who get paid to be musicians and play for him last we have part of the working class are the farmers too so these people are using the plough behind the domesticated animals to help make their farming go faster alright last at the bottom of the ziggurats come the slave yes Mesopotamia did have slaves but their slavery was a little bit different than the slavery that you've learned about before they were not slaves for life that's the most important thing about Mesopotamian slaves they could earn their freedom the people who were slaves will usually foreign people who have been captured in war so people from other city-states or other kingdoms that had been cast they could also have been Sumerian people who had been sold into slavery as children to pay for the death of their parents as their parents owed money they might have to give up their child to pay their debt but by working obediently day and night Sumerian slaves could earn their freedom it usually took three years to earn your freedom from slavery please pause your video if you need more time to finish writing on your ziggurat and just one last quick point about women oh no sorry this is a picture of slaves notice how they can't escape notice how there are children there and women it wasn't just grown-up man it was everybody who might be sold into slavery all right last point about women in Mesopotamia women had pretty equal rights they were able to hold most jobs that men could have their rights were pretty much the same as for men but the only thing they couldn't do is they couldn't be a scribe most women were not allowed to go to the schools that taught the boys how to read and write I would say only if your family was very very wealthy or powerful you might have the chance as a girl to go become a scribe that's just one more way that money and power affected your social class now you know how the social classes are organized in Sumerian city-states overall most Sumerians had what they needed to live well and if you didn't remember the government would pay for you to or would give you food in the form of taxes from the farmers so most people were pretty well taken care of but of course the higher that you got on that social ranking the more luxuries and the fancier life you had now please exit of this tab to go back to your playlist and find out what to do next

11 thoughts on “Mesopotamian Social Structure

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *