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Early Civilizations. Early Man. Early Humans What we know about the earliest people comes from the things they left behind. Archaeologists – hunt for evidence buried in the ground Artifacts - weapons, tools, and other things

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early humans what we know about the earliest people comes from the things they left behind
Early HumansWhat we know about the earliest people comes from the things they left behind.
  • Archaeologists – hunt for evidence

buried in the ground

  • Artifacts - weapons, tools, and other things

made by humans

  • Fossils - traces of plants or animals
  • Anthropologists - focus on human

society (how they developed and

how they related to one another.

b c and a d
B.C. and A.D.
  • B.C. --- “Before Christ”
  • A.D. --- Latin words Anno Domini and means “the year of our Lord”.
  • B.C. is the time period before Christ and you count backwards from A.D. 1.
  • *-------------*-------------*--------------*-------------*--------------*---------------*
  • 3 B.C. 2 B.C. 1 B.C. A.D. 1 A.D. 2 A.D. 3 A.D. 4
  • Common Mistake: Many people refer to A.D. and “after death” which is not accurate. This is not accurate because it does not account for the years that Christ was alive on Earth.
  • B.C. and A.D. are western and Christian oriented. Some people prefer the terms to be neutral to all global regions and religions. Instead people around the world use the abbreviations B.C.E. (Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era).

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

PUBLICATIONS: Textbooks, magazine articles, histories, criticisms, commentaries, encyclopedias 

interprets and analyzes primary sources

  • ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS (excerpts or translations acceptable): Diaries, speeches, manuscripts, letters, interviews, news film footage, autobiographies, official records 
  • CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry, drama, novels, music, art 
  • RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery, furniture, clothing, buildings

Primary Sources

Secondary Sources

A journal/magazine article which interprets or reviews previous findings 

A history textbook 

A book about the effects of WWI 

  • Diary of Anne Frank - Experiences of a Jewish family during WWII 
  • The Constitution of Canada - Canadian History 
  • A journal article reporting NEW research or findings 
  • Weavings and pottery - Native American history 
  • Plato's Republic - Women in Ancient Greece 
paleolithic or old stone age

Paleolithic or Old Stone Age

Paleolithic means “old stone” in the Greek language.

Roughly 2.5 million years ago – around 8000 B.C.

  • Traveled in bands of 30 or more and camped near streams or another water source (Why?)
  • Men – hunted
    • Clubs or drove off cliffs
    • Invented spears, traps, and bows/arrows
  • Women – looked after children, searched for berries, nuts, and grains
adapting to the environment
Adapting to the Environment
  • Climate – clothing/protection
  • Caves
  • Fire
ice ages
Ice Ages
  • Long periods of extreme cold
  • Last Ice Age was from 100,000 B.C. – 8000 B.C.
  • Development of the spoken language
  • How did they express themselves prior to this?
  • Paintings – religious meaning? (brought good luck for the hunt)
  • Taming of fire
  • Technology
    • flint used to make tools – axes and spears;
    • skilled tools – fishhooks and needles (animal bones)
lascaux cave in dordogne france discovered in 1940 by 4 teenage boys
Lascaux Cave in Dordogne, Francediscovered in 1940 by 4 teenage boys

What does this tell us about life in the Paleolithic Age?

Primary or Secondary Source?

n eolithic or new stone age 8000 4000 b c

Neolithic or New Stone Age8000 – 4000 B.C.

People started farming, building communities, producing goods, and trading.

why was farming important
Why was farming important?
  • Farming revolution
tzi the iceman
Ӧtzi the Iceman
  • Discovered in 1991
  • Named Ӧtzi after

the Ӧtztal Alps where he

was found

earliest villages
Earliest Villages

Çatal Hüyük

8000 B.C.

atal h y k
Çatal Hüyük
  • Mud- brick homes packed tightly together and decorated inside with wall paintings
  • Spaces between were used as a garbage dump
  • Buried dead below floor of house
  • Babies buried wearing jewelry
benefits of a settled life
Benefits of a Settled Life
  • Greater security
  • Steady food supplies  healthy, growing populations more workers to produce a bigger crop
  • Surplus  trade/barter
  • Specialization (i.e. pottery, weaving)
  • Better farming tools – sickle
  • Domestication of animals
  • Worked with metals (copper)
  • After 4000 B.C., craftspeople in western Asia mixed copper and tin to form bronze, which was widely used. Bronze was harder and longer lasting.
  • Hence, the Bronze Age from 3000 B.C. and 1200 B.C.
  • Who are archaeologists and what do they study?
  • How did domesticating animals help with the Neolithic people?
  • Why were Paleolithic people nomads?
  • Why was the ability to make a fire so important?
5 complete the chart
5. Complete the chart

Cause:Farming begins

why were river valleys important
Why were River Valleys important?
  • Good farming conditions made it easy to feed larger #s of people.
  • Provided fish and freshwater
  • Travel and trade
  • Civilizations are complex societies that have cities, organized governments, art, religion, class divisions, and a writing system.
  • Into what body of water

does the Tigris and the

Euphrates Rivers flow?

  • Why do you think the

region of Mesopotamia was

so well suited for the growth

of civilization?

ancient mesopotamia 4000 b c land in between the rivers
ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA (4000 B.C.)“land in between the rivers”

Why was this a perfect place for the 1st civilization?

  • Fertile Crescent - large arc of fertile land in the Middle East
  • Tigris & Euphrates Rivers made it possible for farming
  • Cattle, pigs, goats & sheep were accessible
what was it like
What was it like?
  • Hot, dry climate
  • Spring – rivers often flooded (not always) destroying crops, homes, etc.
  • Farmers believed they needed their gods to bless their efforts.
  • Irrigation
  • Some areas were marshy.
  • Vulnerable to attack and invasion
mesopotamia 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.
city states
  • Their own gov’t
  • Often went to war with each other
    • To gain glory and to control more territory
  • Protection = wall made of river mud

At the top was a shrine or a special place of worship that only the priests and priestesses could enter.


The area around the ziggurat contained palaces and royal storehouses. The surrounding walls had only one entrance because the ziggurat also served as the city’s treasury.

social classes
Social Classes
  • Upper class
    • Kings, priests, and gov’t officials
    • Kings lived in palaces.
  • Middle class
    • Artisans, merchants, farmers, and fishers
    • Lived in small mud-brick houses
  • Lower class
    • Enslaved people who worked on farms or in the temples.
roles of men and women
Roles of Men and Women



Had some rights

Could buy and sell property and run businesses

  • Headed the households
  • Only ones that could go to school
mesopotamia cradle of civilization

Mesopotamia“cradle of civilization”

Sumerians left a lasting mark on world history. Their ideas and inventions were copied and improved upon by other people.

sumerian writing cuneiform
Sumerian Writing: cuneiform

Developed to keep track of business deals and other events.

sumerian literature
Sumerian Literature
  • Oldest known story comes from Sumer.
  • Epic of Gilgamesh
advances in science and math
Advances in Science and Math
  • Irrigation systems
  • Used geometry to measure fields and put up buildings
  • Created a number system based on 60
  • Watched skies to learn the best times to plant crops and hold religious festivals
  • Recorded positions of planets and stars
  • Developed a 12 month calendar based on the cycles of the moon
  • Best known for his law code or collection of laws
  • Hammurabi Code

“If a man stole the property of church or state, that man shall be put to death;also the one who received the stolen goods from his hand shall be put todeath.”

The laws governed such things as lying, stealing, assault, debt, business partnerships, marriage, and divorce. In seeking protection for all members of Babylonian society, Hammurabi relied on the philosophy of equal retaliation, otherwise known as “an eye for an eye.”

hammurabi s code
Hammurabi’s Code
  • His intention was “to bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and evil-doers, so that the strong should not harm the weak. . .”
  • Those that thought they were fair for the following reasons:
    • Brought order and justice to society
    • Regulated many different activities
    • Stated what all people needed to know about the rules of their society.
hammurabi s code1
Hammurabi’s Code
  • Law 5: If a judge makes an error through his own fault when trying a case, he must pay a fine, be removed form the judge’s bench, and never judge another case.
  • Law 122: If someone gives something to someone else for safekeeping, the transaction should be witnessed and a contract made between the two parties.
  • Law 233: If a contractor builds a house for someone and the walls start to fall, then the builder must use his own money and labor to make the walls secure.
hammurabi s code2
Hammurabi’s Code
  • Some thought that these laws were cruel and unjust.
    • Called for violent punishments, often death, for nonviolent crimes
    • Required different punishments for accused persons of different social classes
    • Allowed no explanation from an accused person
hammurabi s code3
Hammurabi’s Code
  • Law 3: If someone falsely accuses someone else of certain crimes, then he shall be put to death.
  • Law 22: If someone is caught in the act of robbery, then he shall be put to death.
  • Law 195: If a son strikes his father, the son’s hands shall be cut off.
  • Law 202: If someone strikes a man of

higher rank, then he shall be whipped

60 times in public.



Sumerians (ancient Sumer’s city-states)

(3000 B.C. - 1800 B.C.)

2. Babylonians(Babylonian Empire)

( 1800 B.C. - 1200 B.C.

Assyrians (Assyrian Empire)

(1200 B.C. - 539 B.C.)

4. Persians(Persian Empire)

(539 B.C. - 330 B.C.)

  • What is a civilization?
  • What was the Code of Hammurabi?
  • How was the geography of Mesopotamia suited for the growth of population and creation of a civilization?
  • Why did the Sumerian record the positions of the stars and planets and develop a calendar?
the first empires

The First Empires

Assyrians and Chaldeans

the assyrian defense
The Assyrian Defense
  • Large, well-organized army
  • Foot soldiers armed with spears and daggers
  • Experts with bows and arrows
  • Chariot riders and a cavalry
  • 1st army to use iron weapons
techniques in war
Techniques in war
  • Burn crops, destroy dams, cut down trees
  • Tunneled under walls or climbed over them using ladders
  • Battering rams
a well organized gov t
A well-organized gov’t
  • Divided into provinces
  • Roads joined all parts of the empire
life in assyria
Life in Assyria
  • Writing
  • gods
  • More brutal/cruel punishments
  • Literature
  • Temples and palaces
the chaldeans
The Chaldeans
  • Captured Nineveh in 612 B.C.
  • King Nebuchadnezzar
  • Controlled all of Mesopotamia from 605 to 562 B.C.
  • World’s largest and richest city
  • Brick wall
  • Center – large palaces and temples
  • Hanging gardens, one of the seven wonders of the ancient world
  • Outside the center was houses and marketplaces.
  • Trade
  • Center of science
  • Why was the Assyrian army a powerful fighting force?
  • What were some of the accomplishments of Chaldean astronomers?
  • How did the Assyrians set up a well-organized gov’t?
  • Why do you think the Assyrians took conquered peoples from their lands and moved them to other places?
  • What different types of knowledge and skills would the Babylonians need to build the Hanging Gardens?
  • Describe the beauty of ancient Babylon.