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Chapter 2: Ancient River Valley Civilizations
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  1. Chapter 2:Ancient River Valley Civilizations

  2. 4 Regions! • City-States in Mesopotamia • Egypt & Nile River • Indus Valley • China

  3. 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

  4. GEOGRAPHY influenced the development of river valley civilizations.

  5. Mesopotamia The Fertile Crescent

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. Sumerian Culture • Polytheism: belief in many gods • Class structures • INVENTIONS!

  9. Sumerians invented: • Wheel, sail, plow • Bronze! • Brick technology • Arches, ramps and pyramids (ziggurat) • First writing system, called….

  10. Ziggurat – Holy Mountain Click on the pictures for more information on ziggurats.

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. EGYPT“The Gift of the Nile” Hieroglyphics Pyramids Geometry Advances in medicine and surgery Nile River Sahara Desert

  15. Egypt

  16. Favorable Geography • Benefits of Nile • Rich soil • Water • Transportation • Natural Boundaries

  17. 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

  18. Egyptian History • New Kingdom • 1,570-1100 BC • The Empire • Ramses II • Tutankhamen

  19. 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!

  20. Egyptian Life • Economic activities • Depended chiefly on agriculture • Glassblowing • Imported timber and copper • Religious beliefs • Polytheistic • Mummification

  21. Egyptian Contributions • Math • Surveyed land • Art • Huge stone statues • Carved/painted various scenes • Architecture & engineering • Pyramids and temples • Dams and irrigation canals

  22. 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

  23. 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

  24. Indus Valley

  25. Geography of South Asia • Indus & Ganges Rivers • Monsoons: seasonal winds • Wet & dry seasons

  26. 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

  27. What we DON’T know: • Language?? Huh? • Religion?? • Where did they go?

  28. Aryan Migration

  29. 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

  30. ChinaRiver Dynasties

  31. Geography of China • Isolation • 2 major river systems • Loess: yellowish silt deposited by Huang He River • 1887 CE flood killed approx 1 million people

  32. Shang China1600 BCE – 1027 BCE Written records Palaces with protection! Class structures!

  33. Origins of Chinese Culture Written language vs. Spoken language FAMILY Family & Ancestors Class Structure

  34. 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

  35. Feudalism in China Coined money leads to: • Roads • Canals • TRADE Now they have IRON! • Weapons • Farm tools

  36. Feudalism in China Feudalism: nobles are granted use of lands that legally belong to the king King owes the nobles protection FIGHTING!

  37. 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