Mesopotamia Economy

Mesopotamia Economy
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GRAPES for Social Studies

G.R.A.P.E.S. and Social Studies

By Liane Hicks

Ancient Civilizations are typically taught focusing on the key areas of: Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy and Social Structure using the acronym G.R.A.P.E.S. By utilizing this acronym, students can compartmentalize their findings and compare and contrast different civilizations.


Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids

Ancient Mesopotamia

By Liane Hicks

Ancient Mesopotamia, “the land between the rivers” was the world’s first civilization. This region that lay along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in modern-day Iraq is also nicknamed the “Fertile Crescent” for its crescent moon shape and cultivable land. Learn more with Storyboard That!




Ancient Mesopotamia

Storyboard Description

G.R.A.P.E.S.: Geography, Religion, Achievements, Politics, Economy and Social Life. This storyboard explains the economy and jobs in ancient Mesopotamia.

Storyboard Text

  • AGRICULTURE
  • ARTISANS AND CRAFTSMEN
  • SCRIBES
  • PRIESTS AND GOVERNMENT OFFICIALS
  • Main crops in ancient Mesopotamia werebarleyand wheat. They also grew peas, beans, lentils, cucumbers, leeks, lettuces, garlic, grapes, apples, melons, and figs. They used Cuneiform to keep records. Animals like donkeys helped along with the first plow!
  • Potters, sculptors, jewelers, metal-smiths, carpenters, and stone masons crafted incredible works of art that were used for music, decoration, to honor kings, gods, goddesses, and depict important events and daily life.
  • Scribes were highly respected and were important record keepers as well as poets, writers, and teachers. The Epic of Gilgamesh is considered the earliest surviving work of literature and describes the life and adventures of the demigod Sumerian King of Uruk.
  • MERCHANTS
  • Priests were powerful and were said to communicate with the gods and Mesopotamians believed that the gods controlled everything. Government officials were from the upper class or noble families.
  • FISHING AND TRADE
  • MESOPOTAMIAN ECONOMY
  • ENSLAVED PEOPLE
  • Merchants traded food, clothing, jewelry, wine, and other goods between cities using a barter system. For example, a farmer might trade goats or fruit in exchange for pottery or furniture. The exchanges were official and were often signed using the impression of a cylinder seal in clay.
  • Mesopotamia's central location with sea routes from the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf, as well as the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, allowed for ample trade and fishing.
  • Enslaved people did much of the labor in ancient Mesopotamia to build the massive city-states. They were often prisoners of war and were forced to live under brutal conditions. They had no rights.
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