Hammurabi’s Code: Take a Poll!

The Code of Hammurabi medium


The Code of Hammurabi!

The Code of Hammurabi is a well-preserved Babylonian law code, dating back to about 1772 BC. It is one of the oldest deciphered writings of significant length in the world. The sixth Babylonian king, Hammurabi, enacted the code, and partial copies exist on a human-sized stone stele (an engraved stone or wooden slab, generally taller than it is wide, erected for funeral or commemorative purposes) and various clay tablets. The Code consists of 282 laws, with scaled punishments, adjusting “an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth” as graded depending on social status, of slave versus free man.

Stele ( An upright stone or slab with an inscribed or sculptured surface) of Hammurabi's Code

Stele ( An upright stone or slab with an inscribed or sculptured surface) of Hammurabi’s Code


Links to more information:





King Hammurabi of Babylon!


Hammurabi (reigned 1792-1750 B.C.) was a Babylonian king. One of the

outstanding rulers of early antiquity, he is especially known as a lawgiver, the

author of the code which bears his name (Code of Hammurabi).


king hammerabi

For more information, click on these links:






Cuneiform is the earliest fully developed system of writing known.



People seem to have begun to write in Mesopotamia about 3000 BC, during the time of the Sumerians.   The

Sumerians wrote in signs called cuneiform (pronounced koo-NEIGH-uh-form), and each sign stands for a

syllable of a word (consonant plus vowel).

Find more information:






Here is a message from Mr. Meiners for you to decipher using the alphabet


history is fun cuneiform-001

Ancient Mesopotamia Diet

Mesopotamian Sheepherders

The primary crop for ancient farmers was grain.  Barley was the grain that most farmers

grew in Mesopotamia. Rice and corn were unknown, and wheat wouldn’t grow in their

silty soil. Mesopotamian bread was coarse and unleavened (flat), but a more expensive

bread could be baked from finer flour. The gardens of Mesopotamia, watered by irrigation

canals, were lush with fruits and vegetables. Among the fruits were apples, apricots,

cherries, figs,melons, mulberries, pears, plums, pomegranates, and quinces. The most

important fruit crop, especially in southern Mesopotamia, was the date. Rich in sugar and

iron, dates were easily preserved. Like barley, the date-palm thrived on the silty soil and

was one of the first plants farmers domesticated.

Here is an ancient recipe fit for a Sumerian king or queen: 

one cup butter,

one-third cup white cheese,

three cups dates,

and one-third cup raisins, all blended with flour.

Mesopotamian farmers also grew lots of vegitables:  onion, garlic, lettuce, cabbage,

cucumbers, carrots and radishes, beets and turnips; and a variety of legumes, including

beans, peas, and chickpeas that could be dried for storage and later use. Cooking oil was

made from sesame seeds.


This is a link to a site with a lot more information about Ancient Mesopotmia

and Sumer!



New Unit: The Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia!

The Fertile Crescent, also known as The Cradle of Civilization, refers to an ancient area of

fertile soil and important rivers stretching in an arc from the Nile to the Tigris and


Farming in the Fertile Crescent:


“We’re in that Fertile Crescent” song!


The Epic of Gilgamesh, the First Written Story!

The Epic of Gilgamesh is a story about a Sumerian king (Gilgamesh) who seems to have lived around 2500 BC,   in Mesopotamia. Story-tellers probably began telling this story not long after he died, and someone probably wrote down the story about 1700 BC, in the time of the Babylonian Empire, but the oldest written   copy of it that we still have dates to the Assyrian   period (around 900 BC). Archaeologists found the tablet in the ruins of the palace   of one of the Assyrian kings.

The Epic begins with Gilgamesh ruling the city of Uruk. He built magnificent ziggurats, or temple towers, surrounded his city with high walls, and laid out its orchards and fields. He was physically beautiful, immensely strong, and very wise. Despite all this,  he is not doing a good job. Everyone is mad at him because he has a lot of girlfriends all at once, he spends all his time partying instead of working, and he is disrespectful to the elders in the city.

Then a messenger tells Gilgamesh about a wild man who is living out in the hills near the city. This wild man’s name is Enkidu.   He goes naked or wears furs, and he drinks only water from the river. But he is very strong. Gilgamesh thinks this is interesting, so he sets a trap for Enkidu to get him to come to the city and be his friend.   Gilgamesh sends a beautiful woman to Enkidu, and when he sees her he kisses her and the kiss works like magic to tame him: he follows her back to the city and becomes civilized.

Now that Gilgamesh has a friend, Enkidu, he is not so bored anymore and he stops being mean to everyone and bothering the girls. Instead, Gilgamesh and Enkidu plan a big heroic trip to the West to get wood for building (because very little wood grew in Mesopotamia). They travel there and fight the great monster Humbaba.

When the two heroes get home, though, they begin to   have problems. Gilgamesh is so cool now that the goddess Ishtar falls in love with him, but when she asks him to be her boyfriend, Gilgamesh rudely says no! Ishtar is angry and she makes Enkidu die of a fever. Gilgamesh is very sad and upset that his friend died, and he is afraid that he will someday die too.

Finally Gilgamesh travels to the Land of the Dead to see if he himself can somehow live forever. While he is there, he meets a man named Utnapishtim, who tells Gilgamesh a story about a great flood. Utnapishtim tells Gilgamesh that the gods sent this flood because people made too much noise on earth and hurt the gods’ ears. He himself survived the flood in a boat. (this is probably related to the story of Noah).

Gilgamesh finds out that he can live forever if he can stay awake for a week watching this plant. But he falls asleep in the end. He goes back to his city, still sad but realizing that everyone has to die sometime, and he goes back to being a good king.


The Epic of Gilgamesh in Cuneiform

Gilgamesh the King

Here is a video about the Epic of Gilgamesh:


Topographical Map Project!

Here is a topographical map (map that shows mountains and valleys)  of the Fertile Crescent and Mesopotamia:

Papier Mache Recipe:

Pour Water Into Flour For Paper Mache RecipePouring Water Into Flour For Paper Mache Recipe

Flour Paste Recipe

1 cup Flour (2 parts) 1 1/2 cups Water (3 parts) 1/2 TBS salt (optional) 1/4 cup white glue (optional)


  • Mix the flour and water together with a wire whisk or fork until it is smooth and you have the consistency you want. If you want to thicken the paste, add flour. If you want to thin it, add a bit of water.
  • Mix in the salt (optional).
  • Mix in the glue (if adding).
  • The salt will help preserve the paste and prevent it from mold while the glue will help strengthen the paste.


  • You can make as much (or as little) paper mache paste you need by using the basic ratio of 2 parts flour to 3 parts water.
  • If you’re working on a large project or need to take a break, cover the paste well with plastic wrap or seal with a lid and store in the refrigerator, should keep for a couple days. Let the paste come to room temperature before using again, stir well before using.

Glue Paste Recipe

White glue (2 parts) Water (1 part)


  • Mix the glue and water together until thoroughly mixed. Use popsicle sticks or wooden chopsticks to stir the recipe, they can be thrown out when done.


  • Watch the paste while building your project, the glue and water can separate during the process and may need to be stirred again.
  • Mix the paste in old plastic containers with lids, you can pop the lid on and the glue will keep for a few days.

Paper You Can Use

  • Newspaper (most common)
  • Tissue paper
  • Paper towels
  • Printer paper (or any sheets of regular paper)
  • Magazine & catalogue pages (the glossy paper can be more tricky to work with)

Tip: Tear the paper into strips of all shapes and sizes, they don’t need to be uniform in size.

Base Material Ideas

Before you can begin applying your strips of paper with paste, you need a basic form or base to build on. Here are some materials that work well:

  • Balloons (can attach balloons together with masking tape to get the basic form you want)
  • Aluminum Foil (crumple and shape as needed)
  • Chicken Wire (shape as needed, mostly used for large projects like school volcanoes)
  • Crumpled Newspaper (basic shape secured with masking tape)
  • Small cardboard boxes (for square or rectangular projects)

3-D Map Project in Cork, Ireland!


Class Project in Onekama, Michigan