Chapter 2 ancient river valley civilizations
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Chapter 2: Ancient River Valley Civilizations. 4 Regions!. City-States in Mesopotamia Egypt & Nile River Indus Valley China. Common Characteristics ??. Water!! Deserts of river cultures short on resources River Valley Civilizations Opportunity to adapt environment

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Chapter 2: Ancient River Valley Civilizations

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Chapter 2:Ancient River Valley Civilizations


4 Regions!

  • City-States in Mesopotamia

  • Egypt & Nile River

  • Indus Valley

  • China


Common Characteristics ??

  • Water!!

    • Deserts of river cultures short on resources

    • River Valley Civilizations

  • Opportunity to adapt environment

  • Suitable for domesticated plants/animals

  • Relatively stable (a bit hot) climate


GEOGRAPHY influenced the development of river valley civilizations.


Mesopotamia

The Fertile Crescent


Mesopotamia – Fertile Crescent

  • Sumer – The Earliest of the River Valley Civilizations

  • Sumerian Civilization grew up along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in what is now Kuwait.


Sumerians: City-States

  • City-State: a city and it’s surrounding land becomes an independent political unit

  • Priests were rulers, then came WAR

  • Cultural diffusion: spreading of a new idea or product from one culture to another


Sumerian Culture

  • Polytheism: belief in many gods

  • Class structures

  • INVENTIONS!


Sumerians invented:

  • Wheel, sail, plow

  • Bronze!

  • Brick technology

  • Arches, ramps and pyramids (ziggurat)

  • First writing system, called….


Ziggurat – Holy Mountain

Click on the pictures for more information on ziggurats.


Babylon

  • Empire: a political unit where peoples or countries are controlled by a single ruler

  • Babylon – 2000BCE

  • First know written law code

    • “Rule of Law”

  • Hammurabi’s Code - 1792 BCE


Code of Hammurabi

#175: If a man has struck the cheek of a man who is superior to him, he shall be beaten 60 times with an oxtail whip in the assembly.

#205: If a man has struck the cheek of a member of the aristocracy, they shall cut off his ear.


Early River Valley Civilizations

Environment

  • Flooding of Tigris and Euphrates unpredictable

  • No natural barriers

  • Limited natural resources for making tools or buildings

Mesopotamia

Egypt

Indus River Valley

China


EGYPT“The Gift of the Nile”

Hieroglyphics

Pyramids

Geometry

Advances in medicine and surgery

Nile River

Sahara Desert


Egypt


Favorable Geography

  • Benefits of Nile

    • Rich soil

    • Water

    • Transportation

  • Natural Boundaries


Egyptian History

  • Early gov’ts to control Nile

  • Eventually combined:

    • Lower Egypt (north)

    • Upper Egypt (south)

  • Old Kingdom

    • 3,100-2,200 BC

    • Pyramids built as tombs


Egyptian History

  • New Kingdom

    • 1,570-1100 BC

    • The Empire

    • Ramses II

    • Tutankhamen


Egyptian Life & Culture

  • Pharaoh: god-kings, rulers of the Old Kingdom

  • Privileged aristocracy

    • Pharaoh & his family

    • Nobles

    • Priests

  • Unprivileged masses

    • Peasants

    • Slaves

    • FLEXIBLE CLASS STRUCTURE!


Egyptian Life

  • Economic activities

    • Depended chiefly on agriculture

    • Glassblowing

    • Imported timber and copper

  • Religious beliefs

    • Polytheistic

    • Mummification


Egyptian Contributions

  • Math

    • Surveyed land

  • Art

    • Huge stone statues

    • Carved/painted various scenes

  • Architecture & engineering

    • Pyramids and temples

    • Dams and irrigation canals


Egyptian Contributions

  • Hieroglyphs on papyrus

    • “sacred writing” or pictures to

      Represent ideas and sounds

  • Science

    • Solar-year calendar (365 days)

    • Prepared mummies

    • Recognized/Treated diseases


Early River Valley Civilizations

Environment

  • Flooding of Tigris and Euphrates unpredictable

  • No natural barriers

  • Limited natural resources for making tools or buildings

Mesopotamia

  • Flooding of the Nile predictable

  • Nile an easy transportation link between Egypt’s villages

  • Deserts were natural barriers

Egypt

Indus River Valley

China


Indus Valley


Geography of South Asia

  • Indus & Ganges Rivers

  • Monsoons: seasonal winds

  • Wet & dry seasons


Indus River Valley2500 BC – 1500 BC

  • Harappan culture

  • Trade

  • Well planned cities

    • Grid pattern

    • Modern plumbing

    • Built on mud brick platforms

      • Protected against seasonal floods

    • Larger cities

      • Houses built of baked brick

    • Smaller towns

      • Houses built of sun-dried mud brick


What we DON’T know:

  • Language?? Huh?

  • Religion??

  • Where did they go?


Aryan Migration


Early River Valley Civilizations

Environment

  • Flooding of Tigris and Euphrates unpredictable

  • No natural barriers

  • Limited natural resources for making tools or buildings

Mesopotamia

  • Flooding of the Nile predictable

  • Nile an easy transportation link between Egypt’s villages

  • Deserts were natural barriers

Egypt

  • Indus flooding unpredictable

  • Monsoon winds

  • Mountains, deserts were natural barriers

Indus River Valley

China


ChinaRiver Dynasties


Geography of China

  • Isolation

  • 2 major river systems

  • Loess: yellowish silt deposited by Huang He River

  • 1887 CE flood killed approx 1 million people


Shang China1600 BCE – 1027 BCE

Written records

Palaces with protection!

Class structures!


Origins of Chinese Culture

Written language vs. Spoken language

FAMILY

Family & Ancestors

Class Structure


Zhou China1122 BC – 256 BC

  • Bronze, jade, silver, gold

  • Mandate of Heaven

  • Power to rule came from heaven

    • Power could be lost and passed on to

    • Another family

    • Dynastic Cycle


Feudalism in China

Coined money leads to:

  • Roads

  • Canals

  • TRADE

    Now they have IRON!

  • Weapons

  • Farm tools


Feudalism in China

Feudalism: nobles are granted use of lands that legally belong to the king

King owes the nobles protection

FIGHTING!


Early River Valley Civilizations

Environment

  • Flooding of Tigris and Euphrates unpredictable

  • No natural barriers

  • Limited natural resources for making tools or buildings

Mesopotamia

  • Flooding of the Nile predictable

  • Nile an easy transportation link between Egypt’s villages

  • Deserts were natural barriers

Egypt

Indus River Valley

  • Indus flooding unpredictable

  • Monsoon winds

  • Mountains, deserts were natural barriers

  • Huang He flooding unpredictable

  • Mountains, deserts natural barriers

  • Geographically isolated from other ancient civilizations

China


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