the trade of one product for another without using money


a long period of time without food, usually caused by a drought or disease that attacks the main crop of an area.


a long period of dry weather


Belief in or worship of more than one god.


a society that has cities, a central government run by official leaders, and workers who specialize in variiety of jobs (only possible if there is a surplus of food and all the people do not need to produce food), which lead to social classes, a religion,


the development of skills in a particular kind of work, such as trading or record keeping


an amount of a good that is in excess than what is needed for survival


a worker who is especially skilled at crafting items by hand; such as a weaver or potter

Fertile Cresent

a region that in Southwest Asia (Modern day Iraq), shaped like a crescent of the moon; it is the site of one of the worlds first cvilizations


Native of Sumer or having to do with Sumer; the first inhabitants of Southern Mesopotamia. They were known for their inventions and writing systems.


An ancient region in the valley of the Euphrates River located north of its mouth.


Known as the "land between the rivers"-" (between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers) in southwest Asia (the Middle East) nd sometimes called "the craddle of civilization" because it is believed to be the start of civilization


An early trading center built along an oasis in the desert. It is one of the oldest known cities and was surrounded by a high wall. According to the Bible, Joshua's trumpet was to have brought down the walls of Jericho.


A self governing city and the lands surrounding it


A large temple built by the ancient Sumerians to worship the gods or goddesses of a city. Also used as a meeting hall and storage site for surplus foods.


A black volcanic rock prozed for making sharp-edged cutting tools and early mirrors


a fertile (rich soil) place in the middle of a desert where there's water, trees, and plants live.


supplying land with water through a network of canals


Farming; cultivation of crops


A system of writing invented by the Sumerians to keep track of business deals. It used wedge-shaped pieces of wood pressed into wet clay.


A person whose profession was writng down or copying letters, contracts, and other documents.

Division of Labor

(aka Specialization) A variety of occupations that arise due to a surplus of food (not everyone must farm).