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The First Civilizations
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  1. The First Civilizations

  2. Think about the Big Picture • You need to understand why the development of more stable civilizations was so significant, and the best way to do this is to learn what came before them.

  3. Nomads: Follow the Food • Sole purpose was to satisfy their basic needs: food and shelter • No advanced tools • Followed food • Found shelter

  4. Foraging Societies: Hunt and Gather • Composed of small groups of people who traveled from point to point as the climate and availability of plants and animals dictated. • Climate changes, natural disasters, disease, famine, and natural disasters could endanger or eliminate societies.

  5. Foraging Societies: Hunt and Gather • They did not build permanent shelters and only had a few personal belongings. • Think about how much you can carry in a backpack…

  6. Pastoral Societies: Taming the Animals • Characterized by the domestication of animals • Found mainly in mountainous regions • Extended family was a major institution • Male dominated because men controlled the bulk of the food supply

  7. Pastoral Societies: Taming the Animals • Women had very few rights • Stratification and social structure were based on the size of one’s herd • They did not settle in towns because they had to continually search for new grazing areas and water for herds.

  8. Pastoral Societies: Taming the Animals • As they domesticated more and more animals, they also began to experiment with securing a more dependable food supply through the cultivation of plants. This led to the…

  9. Settling Down: The Neolithic Revolution

  10. Agricultural Societies: This is My Land • 8000 B.C.E. to 3000 B.C.E. • People still lived in relatively small independent groups or communities

  11. Agricultural Societies: This is My Land • What changed? • People figured out how to cultivate plants (needed good soil and water supply) • Domestication of animals (pastoral societies) • Simple tools • Started cultural traditions • Started to think of property in terms of ownership

  12. The Spread of Agriculture

  13. Think about the Big Picture • Nomadic versus Agricultural Societies • When you are moving around a lot, the land belongs to everyone but if you start to stay on land for generations it becomes your home. If someone else comes and drinks your water or your hill than they are looked upon as intruders or invaders, not neighbors. Once nomads started to interact with sedimentary societies through trade and conflict, things started to get complicated.

  14. Important Consequence of Agriculture: A Food Surplus • Individualized labor becomes specialized (if everyone has to farm a civilization won’t develop) • More complex • Organized economies • Governmental structures • Religious organizations • Suddenly the society becomes a civilization

  15. Technology: Metal Workers Deserve Medals • Granite was sharpened to form farming tools • Pottery was used for cooking • Weaving for clothing, baskets, and nets • Wheels for carts and sails for boats • Tools and weapons made of bronze (figured out how to combined copper with tin to create harder metal)

  16. The Transformation… • An unprecedented population explosion due to the increase in the food supply • Permanent settlement in villages and, later, in cities • The specialization of labor, which led to the development of craft industries and other professions • The opportunity to accumulate wealth and the resulting emergence of social class differences • The development of fertility-based religions and the increasing elaboration of religious institutions

  17. The Big, Early Civilizations: The Rivers Deliver • Major early civilizations developed became dominate around 3000 to 2000 B.C.E. • Mesopotamia • Egypt • India • China • Americas

  18. Mesopotamia: Lots of Water • Means: Land between Rivers”; Tigris and Euphrates • Series of ancient Civilizations: Sumer, Babylon, and Persia • Flooding was unpredictable so they learned to build canals and dikes • By 3000 B.C.E. Ur, Erech, and Kish were all major civilizations of Sumer

  19. Sumer: First Major Mesopotamia Civilization • Development of the writing known as cuneiform • Laws, treaties, important social religious customs • Spread all over trade routes • Development 12 month calendar and math system based on units of 60 • Arches and columns

  20. More Sumer • Polytheistic: each city-state had it’s own god that was worshiped by it’s own people • Temples: ziggurats, which were kind of like pyramids to appease their gods • By 1700 B.C.E. the civilization had been completely overthrown

  21. From Sumer to Babylon • As Sumer declined, the city of Akkad rose to dominated the region • First known code of laws (wrote in cuneiform- from Sumerians) • By 1700 Akkad was overthrown by Babylon • King Hammurabi expanded on the code that dealt with daily life

  22. Babylon to Nineveh • Code of Hammurabi created a significant step towards are modern legal system • Babylon quickly fell due to the invasions of the Kassities and then the Hittites • Hittites dominated the region because of iron

  23. Babylon to Nineveh • Within a hundred years the Assyrians learned to use iron and defeated the Hittites to establish the capital of Nineveh • Built a highly disciplined but cruel empire in the Fertile Crescent • Hated by those it conquered and sent many groups into exile….. a result was cultural diffusion

  24. Nineveh to Babylon • In a few hundred years the Assyrians were defeated by the Medes and Chaldeans • The Chaldean king, Nebuchadnezzar rebuilt Babylon • Babylon was doomed to fall and a new civilization, the Persian Empire developed

  25. Think about the Big Picture Continuity through Change Essay • As civilizations were conquered, their cultural heritage, religions, laws, and customs, and technologies were rarely lost • Commonly, conquering civilizations adopted and adapted customs and technologies of those defeated (Code of Hammurabi and iron)

  26. Persian Immersion • REALLY Big Empire- HUGE! • To improve transportation and communication across the empire they built series of long roads… The Great Royal Roads (1,600 miles from Persian Gulf to Aegean Sea)

  27. Lydians, Phoenicians, and Hebrews • Within the Persian Empire smaller societies existed • Lydians: coined money to conduct trade rather than the barter system • Allowed people to save money • Phoenicians: established powerful naval city-states along the Mediterranean and developed the 22 letter alphabet system • Hebrews: Judaism (monotheistic)

  28. Walk Like an Egyptian • Egyptian Civilizations developed along the Nile River • Nile flooding was predictable and they were able to develop a sustainable food source • Three major Kingdoms: Old, Middle and New

  29. Egyptian Achievements • The entire river valley was united under King Menes who built the capital Memphis • Led efforts to build drainage and irrigation systems • Rulers known as Pharaohs directed construction of obelisks and pyramids (tombs for the afterlife) • Hieroglyphic systems to communicate • Created reliable calendar • Trade had an enormous impact on the Egyptians because it brought them into contact with other civilizations (timber, stone, gold, and spices)

  30. You Can Take it with You • Polytheistic • Focus on life after death- the afterlife • Take earthly belonging with you to the afterlife • Needed your body- invention of mummification

  31. Egyptian Women, Hear Them Roar • Queen Hatshepsut ruler for 22 years during the New Kingdom • Women were expected to be subservient to men • Young girls were not educated as nearly as well as young boys • Egyptian women had more rights than their counterparts in Mesopotamia • Buy and sell property • Inherit property • Choose to will their property as they pleased

  32. Egyptian Social Structure: Another Pyramid

  33. Ancient Egypt in Decline • By 1100 B.C.E. Egypt fell into decline • Both the Assyrian Empire and Persian Empire conquered parts of the empire • Later the Greeks, then Romans completely absorbed Egypt into their Empire

  34. Think about the Big Picture Compare and Contrast Mesopotamia and Egypt