Located along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, dessert environment which has been modified through the building of an extensive canal system, is located at the crossroads of the ancient world, no natural barriers: modified their environment by building walls around their cites; had few natural resources: used clay bricks for building and imported timber. Low resources meant constant conflict for those resources that were available.
They had a polytheistic religion as is evidenced by what part/parts of Hammurabi's code; their temples are ziggurats (step type pyramid structures; gods generally represented the natural elements that surrounded them. Had a very bleak view of the afterlife.
Built extensive canals: used clay bricks in building; had the arch and column but did not use it to the extent that the Romans or Greeks did; main structure is the ziggurat. For the Art part, they generally created pottery that was decorated with paining. They also had writing, called cuneiform, and they had the world's first epic, called the Epic of Gilgamesh.
Basic governmental structure is the City State. City states were generally independent of each other. A city state is a city and the are around the city it controls. City States are best understood as small countries. However, city states could grow large and powerful like babylon.
Most city states were headed by a King. There is division among scholars about whether the government was a theocracy or a absolute monarchy, but based on the reading of Hammurabi's code it looks more like an absolute monarchy.
We are focusing our studies on Hammurabi, he created Hammurabi's code. He is one of the great kings of Mesopotamia. We remember him most for Hammurabi's code, which you are studying now.
Why did Hammurabi need to create a single code of law?? What are the benefits of having a single code of law?