CODE OF HAMMURABI HISTORY LESSON
Print the Code of Hammurabi reading
comprehension passage and questions (see
Students should read the story silently,
then answer the questions about the story that follow.
Excerpt from passage
The Code of Hammurabi was discovered in the Middle East where the country of Iran is today. The discovery was made in 1901. It had been transported there from its original place in the center of the city of Babylon. The Elamites stole the code and took it back to their homeland in the 12th Century B.C. Archeologists would find the code and other relics that were significant to the Babylonian Empire both at this site and at the present day site of Babylon.
Babylon was located in what is present-day Iraq along the Euphrates River. On the east side of the river the King of the Babylonian Empire, Hammurabi had his palace. It was here that Hammurabi ordered the erection of an 8 foot tall stela with the Code of Hammurabi written in cuneiform upon it.
A stela is a large slab that is usually made of wood or stone. It is shaped similar to the stone at the head of a grave though this one was much longer and wider than the average gravestone. At the top of the stela was a drawing of Hammurabi bowing down before the God of the Sun, Shamash. Beneath this drawing was the Code of 281 laws.
The laws were numbered between #1 and #282. However, #13 was omitted because the Babylonians believed 13 was an evil number. Hammurabi had originally developed the Code of Laws in tribute to the Gods. The people of Babylon were polytheistic. This means that they believed in more than one God. Hammurabi believed that he was the favorite Babylonian and this is why the Gods made him King of Babylon. In tribute to the Gods the Code was made. (continued)
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