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Chapters 1-4 Unit I Lesson 2: Cradles of Civilization of Ancient Times
Sumer • Located: • b/t the Tigris & Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia (“land b/t the rivers”), providing fertile soil to grow crops to sustain life with a surplus of food from irrigation • within the FertileCrescent region • within the Middle East in what is now Iraq • Major accomplishments: • est. Babylon as 1st center of trade (city) • built ziggurats – tier-shaped temples; intro. plow and the wheel; 1st to use (blend of tin & copper) • bronze • hierarchy of society from kings & priests to scribes (professional writers) to merchants & artisans to farmers
1st to intro. any form of written language called cuneiform • used stylus to mark on wet clay tablets • deciphered (translated) by discovery of the BehistunRock
The size of the whole monument is larger than half a football field; 100 feet high, 150 feet wide. One example of the quality of workmanship that went into the monument is the preparation of the surfaces. Where loose rocks and cracks were found, hot lead was added as a stabilizer or filler…at 300 plus feet! Engraved on a cliff ledge 345 feet about the ground, theBehistun Inscription stands as a monumental feat of the ancient world. Located at the foot of the Zagros Mountains in western Iran near the modern town of Bisitun, the Behistun Rock was commissioned by King Darius I of Persia (522-486 B.C.).
Government: • (kind of rule with complete power): • autocratic • (a gov’t ruled by a religious leader): • theocratic • (center of trade & surrounding area): • ruled city-states • Babylonian king, Hammurabi • intro. world’s 1st written lawcode • harsh, “eye for an eye…” • Religion: • polytheistic
EGYPT Nile R.
Located: • along the Nile River in N.E. Africa, providing fertile soil to grow crops to sustain life with a surplus of food from irrigation projects • also known as “Kemet” meaning “Black Earth or Black Soil;” • Herodotus, Greek historian and the father of history, called Egypt the “gift of the Nile”
Major accomplishments: • 1st capital [and center of trade) called Memphis by 1st pharaoh, Menes, • when he united Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt • built pyramids • became the best known doctors around the • Mediterranean Sea area
deciphered (translated) by discovery of the RosettaStone found in 18th century (A.D. 1700s)
by a soldier serving under the leadership of French • Emperor NapoleonBonaparte while on campaign in Egypt
Government: • Pharaohs as autocrats / theocrats ruling with the power of • (series of rulers from the same family) • dynasties • Religion: polytheistic
INDIA Indus R.
Located: • along Indus River in South Asia, providing fertile soil to grow crops to sustain life with a surplus of food • major centers of trade: Harappa (Pakistan) & Mohenjo-Daro (near Arabian Sea) with cities built on a grid pattern The Great Bath
Major Accomplishments: • underground sewer system
use of bronze, copper, silver, shell, ivory • pictograms by scribes; later Sanskrit as cultural form of writing • Government: • kings ruling • dynasties as autocrats / theocrats
Gupta Dynasty as example: • gave India its (time period of greatest achievement) • GoldenAge • earliest form of Arabic numerals as we use today • vaccinations against diseases such as smallpox • most families patriarchal (led by the eldest male); • family was most basic unit in society • Religion: polytheistic
Located: • along HuangHe River (the Yellow River or the “River of GreatSorrow”), providing fertile soil more times than not to grow crops to sustain life with surplus food if loess did not cause catastrophic flooding • China is considered the world’s oldestcontinuouscivilization
Major Accomplishments: • Shang dynasty was the 1st to shape the Chinese civilization • several centers of trade, but for centuries, each preferred to remain • isolated from outside influences (outsiders may change Chinese culture) • metal-casting ; jade; silk; kaolin (a fine white clay) • seafarers, merchants, artisans
scribes wrote characters in vertical columns; • later intro. elegant calligraphy using brush & ink
Government: • kings as autocrats / theocrats ruling dynasties • by order of the “MandateofHeaven”: from old dynasty’s cycle of • disaster to new dynasty’s cycle of • prosperity, which eventually becomes the olddynasty with problems, leading to a new dynasty
Religion: • polytheistic, honoring spirits of their ancestors
THE AMERICAS • Location: • Paleolithic groups of Asian people first crossed a land bridge connecting Asia and Alaska, now called the BeringStrait, following migrating animal herds in search of food. • These early Americans spread southward, settling along lakes and rivers, where they learned to farm maize (corn) and beans, tomatoes and squash to sustain life with a surplus of food.
Major Accomplishments: • The Olmecs as the oldest American civilization: • ceremonial centers with pyramid-shaped temples • calendar; carved inscriptions by scribes; intricately carved • jade; figurines & jewelry Some as much as 9 ft. tall; each carved from a single chunk of volcanic basalt; total of 17 colossal heads have been unearthed so far
utilized rubber for ball games [the Olmecs: the “RubberPeople”]
domesticated animals like llama for their • wool • traders • influenced the Mayas & the Aztecs • Government: • priestly leadership with polytheistic religious devotion