McDougal Littell WebQuest

Babylonians and the Code of Hammurabi

WebQuest Image

  • Research daily life in Mesopotamia and Babylon. Discuss what your assigned character might have done for work and recreation.
  • Research Hammurabi's Code. Determine how your assigned character might have been affected by some of Hammurabi's laws.
  • Print the worksheet. In your group of scribes, students learning to be scribes, farmers, soldiers, craftspeople, merchants, upper class wives, free wives, astronomers, or medical practitioners answer the questions.
  • Use the worksheet to help organize your conversation when you meet with students assigned to different roles.
  • Write a conversation using the guidelines provided.

You will need to become familiar with what daily life might have been like for the role you play in Babylonian society. Explore your level of income, gender, education, and status in society. Use all of this information to understand your role in Babylonian society. After you have researched daily life, you must learn about Hammurabi's Code and imagine how the laws might have affected your role in Babylonian society. Use the resources below for your research.

Print Worksheet

You be the Judge on Hammurabi's Code / hammurabi / homepage.htm
Visit "See Hammurabi's Code" to find the text of the entire code. Use the key in Step 2 of the Process to find the laws that affected different levels of society. Visit "Solve Some Problems Hammurabi Faced" to learn about how the laws affected ordinary people.

Mesopotamia: The British Museum
On this site you can learn about cuneiform writing and investigate the life of a scribe. You can also explore the roles of Babylonian astronomers and merchant traders.

Recreation in Mesopotamia: Gateways to Babylon / myths / texts / life / recreation.htm
Read about games, sports, music, dancing, and performances in ancient Mesopotamia.

History of Ancient Medicine in Mesopotamia and Iran: Iran Chamber Society / history / articles / ancient_medicine_mesopotamia_iran.php
Learn about Mesopotamians' ideas concerning disease and the practitioners who helped people get well.

Odyssey Online: Museum of Emory University / ODYSSEY / NEAREAST / homepg.html
Learn about the work of craftsmen (particularly weavers) and scribes by visiting the "People" section. Follow the other links to learn about different aspects of daily life.

Ancient Mesopotamia: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago / OI / MUS / ED / TRC / MESO / life.html
Learn about daily life, women's roles, the laws of Hammurabi, and warfare. Visit the "Science and Inventions" section of the Web site to learn about farming and farming innovations.

Ancient Tablets, Ancient Graves—Accessing Women's Lives in Ancient Mesopotamia: Women in World History Curriculum / lesson2.html
Use this site to investigate women's roles and to learn about the differences between the lives of women in different social groups. Also read about some of Hammurabi's laws that directly affected women.

Ancient Mesopotamia: Shrewsbury, Massachusetts Public Schools / schools / Central / Curriculum / ELEMENTARY / SOCIALSTUDIES / Mesopotamia / ancient_mesopotamia.htm#geography
You can use this site to find answers to some basic questions about trade and commerce, writing, and other aspects of daily Mesopotamian life.

Mesopotamia, 2400 B.C.: McDougal Littell ../AC_interactives/AC_02/mesopotamia/AC_03_079_mesopotamia.html
Interactive map about Mesopotamia's fertile soil and the Sumerian cultural area in 2400 B.C.

Fertile Crescent, 2400–1600 B.C.: McDougal Littell ../AC_interactives/AC_02/fertile/AC_04_109_fertile.html
Interactive map about the Fertile Crescent and the Akkadian and Babylonian empires.