Climate and Geographic Factors
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


Events and Leaders
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
King Sargon of Akkad
Naram-Sin of Akkad
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
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.

Sexagesimal system used by Akkadians
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
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
Example of Akkadian archers