Early River Valley Civilizations ERV’s. ERV--Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is Greek for “between the rivers” The two main rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates. Mesopotamia.co.uk. ERV--Mesopotamia. Present-day Mesopotamia resides in the country of Iraq, which is in the Middle East.
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Mesopotamia is Greek for “between the rivers”
The two main rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates
Present-day Mesopotamia resides in the country of Iraq, which is in the Middle East
This area is also know as the Fertile Crescent, why?
Sumerians formed city-states south of Mesopotamia around 3000 B.C.
Sumerians lose control by 2000 B.C. to the Akkadians.
The Akkadians, a Semitic people spoke Hebrew and Arabic.
The Akkadians migrated from the Arabian Peninsula.
Priests served as bureaucrats meaning they surveyed the land, assigned fields
and distributed the crops. They also engaged in religious ceremonies.
The king lead the army, administered trade and judged disputes.
Hammurabi’sCode—one of the first written laws. Hammurabi was around from 1792-1750 B.C.
Law of Exact Revenge
An eye for an eye a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life.
The law exacts retribution, not humans.
The victim must bring the criminal to court. It was up to the victim or the victim’s family to enforce the sentence.
Highest and most powerful
Wealthy, they held large tracts of land
Owned land but no representation
Criminals/Debtors/Prisoners of War
Many of whom were enslaved were allowed to trade
Polytheistic—belief in many gods
Used by bureaucrats to keep records
Writing known as Cuneiform (wedge-shaped characters)
They used a reed (stylus) to draw pictograms into a wet clay tablet.
The Huang He (Yellow) River is located in
northern China. It is called the Yellow River
considering it carries a rich yellow soil
--Level plains in the Eastern half
Lung Shan Yang Shao
Black Pottery Painted Pottery
(Red and Black)
They merged by 2000 BC to produce towns and the Shang
Dynasty started in 1600 BC.
The Shang king descended from a god Shang Di.
Decision by Divination
--flat shoulder bone of a cattle or the lower tortoise shell
--A question was written and either heated in a fire or with a hot piece of metal
--The shells or bones cracked and the answers were deciphered based on the length of the crack.
Nobles and aristocracy
Commoners and artisans
Slaves and war captives
The Shang believed that slaves didn’t have souls or spirits and could safely be killed.
Ancestor worship has their origins with the Shang Dynasty
Living relatives were to intercede on behalf of the deceased.
Cities were made of pounded earth walls with heavy gates.
The city of Zhengzhou the earth wall was 20 feet high and a mile square.
Bronze--a mixture of copper, tin, lead and zinc
Calendars were used for agriculture
Astronomy—records of sunspots and eclipses
Shang Dynasty—Minneapolis Institute of Arts