Climate and Geographic Factors
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Climate of Northwestern Mesopotamia was semi arid with strong seasonality in both precipitation and temperature
-Winters in Akkad were cold and wet and generally accumulated 100-300 mm of precipitation a year
-Summers in Akkad were hot, very dry
-Nobody actually knows why this empire collapsed but there are many theories
-Akkadian collapse was previously attributed to human factors including invaders and political disintegration
-One theory of Akkadian collapse is that Akkadians might have been the first example of social collapse related to external or internal social factors
-Another theory is that Akkadian Empire was beset by a 300 year drought
-Archaeologists have reason to believe a shift to more arid conditions caused this empire to collapse
-Marine sediment establishes direct link between Mesoptamia aridification and social collapse
-Sudden shift to more arid conditions key factor contributing to collapse of Akkadian Empire

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Events and Leaders
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The 4 rulers after Sargon were Rimush, Manishtusu, Naram-Sin and Shar-Kali-Sharri who all together ruled for 147 years
-During latter part of Sargon's reign empire suffered from waves of revolts
-In 2215BC Sargon died after ruling 55 years and expanding empire over the fertile crescent from the Meditteranean Sea to the Arabian Gulf
-Naram-Sin grandson of Sargon put down multitudes of revolts like the "Elamite Uprising"
-Reports were left by Manishtusu, Naram-Sin and Shar-Kali-Sharri, speaking of many rebellions and victorious battles
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King Sargon of Akkad
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Naram-Sin of Akkad
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One of Naram Sins victories


Agriculture and the Economy
-Important to the success of thea Akkadian was the fertile, rain fed agriculture production
-Akkadians imperialized agriculture production and contolled long distance trade
-The highly urbanized city-states depended on intensive,state managed irrigation agriculture
-Archaeological investigations at Tell Leilan in North East Syria have suggested that a major environmental change associated with Akkadian collapse
-The unification of Sumer and Akkad gave King Sargon access to huge potential wealth mainly in the form of crops
-There was a broad production of emmer, durum and barley, later on Akkadians brought their barley-rationing system to the North
-Akkadians dominated with a focus on barley monocultures, which was more efficient
-The reliance on the barley crop became increasingly dangerous as climate became more arid
-Akkadia remained vulnerable to pressure from nomadic pastoralists and hunter-gatherers under the rule of Naram-Sin
-Pastoralists and hunter-gatherers threatened rich fertile land
-Tell Leilan one of three major city-states in North East Syria was a privincial capital and primary provider of imperialized cereal production
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Dry farming and irrigation in Akkadian Empire



Science and Mathematical Contribution
-Akkadians used a sexagesimal numbering system, the basis of our division of the hour and minute into 60 units.

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Sexagesimal system used by Akkadians
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Example of the Akkadian Empire's alphabet


Art, Literature and Music
- Ideology and power of the empire was reflected in art
-Emphasis on naturalism manifested in masterpieces of stone sculpture
-Akkadian seals preserve iconography illustrates interactions between man and the world
-Ideology and power reflected in art
-Akkadian art has produced some of the most beautiful specimens of gemcutter's art ever discovered
-Akkadian art centered around the rulers
-Art included war portrayals, engravings of mythological figures on precious stones
-Carvings included life size bronze heads of kings, and a six foot tall sculpture of King Naram-Sin
-Akkadian perfected the "seal cutter" craft
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Inscription by Naram-Sin recounting the building of the temple of Marad by his grandson


Transportation and Weaponry

-First wheeled vehicles used by the Akkadians were four wheeled chariots driven by horses
-Bows were used and could have a range of 250-650 meters depending on the type
-Types of bows included simple and composite
-Arrows were used to drive back and kill enemies
-Akkadian armies had a combination of spears and missile weapons
-Swords were made of bronze
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Example of Akkadian archers