World History Unit Two: Mesopotamia and Egypt
Unit 2 Overview • Section 1: Eight Features of Civilization • Section 2: Geography Influences Culture • Section 3: Ancient Mesopotamia • Section 4: Ancient Egypt • Section 5: History Skills: Developing an Argument
By the end of this lesson, you should be able to… • Define civilization • List and describe the eight features of civilization
In what ways would your life be different if civilization, or life in the city, had not developed and we were still living in the Old Stone Age?
#1--Cities • Neolithic Revolution • Food surpluses allowed people to settle in communities • Civilization—life in the city!
#2—Job Specialization • Food surpluses meant that not everyone had to be a farmer. • People could perform different jobs and then trade with others for food and products that they needed.
#3—Social Classes • Living in a settled community enabled people to accumulate wealth. • Social classes (divisions in society based on wealth) began to emerge.
#4—Public Works • Examples of public works: • Irrigation ditches for farmers • Roads to aid in trade • Government Buildings • Given these examples, how would you define public works?
#5—Organized Government • What type of planning and coordination would be needed if Prophetstown was going to build a new high school? • Leadership emerged that would organize the population to accomplish group goals. (Building public works, etc…)
#6--Writing • What kinds of things might a civilization with a well-developed writing system be able to do, that a society without writing could not? • Writing was useful for…
#7—Complex Religion • Religion helped people answer questions like… • What is the purpose of life? • Where did I come from? • What will happen to me after I die? • What is good? Evil? • Gradually religion often became tied with the government. Why would rulers do this?
# 8—Art and Architecture • Non-material culture • What does art reveal about the society that produced it?
In your small group, make a chart listing the eight features of civilization and provide examples of each from the village of Prophetstown. • List as many examples as you can.
In what ways has the environment in the comic strip shaped the character’s material culture? • How might it shape the non-material culture?
By the end of this lesson you should be able to… • Label the following locations on a map: Mesopotamia, Tigris, Euphrates, Sumer, Akkad, Egypt, Nile, Upper Egypt, Lower Egypt • Explain how geography influenced the development of distinct Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations
Focus Question: • How did the different geographies of Mesopotamia and Egypt cause them to develop distinct civilizations?
Unpredictable… Geography of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia • In what ways was the Fertile Crescent vulnerable to outside attacks? • What factors would contribute to the rise of civilization in this region?
The Nile had predictable floods—the floods came at the same time each year Geography of Egypt
Egypt • The flooding of the Nile River was gradual and predictable. How might this flooding have aided the development of Egyptian civilization? • Egypt was less vulnerable than Mesopotamia to outside invasion. How do you account for this fact?
Given these different environments, how do you think the religious beliefs of the Sumerians and Egyptians were different?
Mesopotamia The gods were hostile and unpredictable It was important to understand the will of the gods so that we can please them Egypt The gods were predictable It was important to be obedient to the pharaoh who was believed to be a god and the Egyptian’s connection to the spirit world Religious Beliefs in Mesopotamia and Egypt
By the end of today’s lesson you should be able to… • Define Mesopotamia and locate this region on a map • List the main achievements of Sumerian civilization and explain why they are so significant • Explain the social structure of Sumerian civilization
Explain the fall of the Sumerian city-states • Define empire and cultural assimilation
Mesopotamia • Mesopotamia is located in modern-day Iraq • Mesopotamia means “land between the rivers.” (Tigris and Euphrates) • Area where the first civilizations emerged
Sumerians • The first group to settle in Mesopotamia were the Sumerians • The Sumerians settled the lower Euphrates • By 3000 BC the Sumerians had established 12 independent city-states
Cuneiform Brick houses, palaces, temples Bronze tools and weapons Irrigation Trade Coined money Religious and Political Institutions Schools Art Law Codes Sumerian Achievements
Why do you think that these achievements are so significant? • What do you think is the greatest achievement? Why? • (Think about the pre-historic past that the Sumerians emerged from.)
Social Structure of the Sumerians • Priests • King • Commoners
Sumerian Religion • Religion influenced every aspect of Mesopotamian life including politics, the military, social institutions like the family, etc… • Sumerians believed that gods and demons could be seen in nature
Beliefs about the Sumerian gods • Invisible but everywhere • Controlled the universe • Seen in nature
Sought to understand the will of the gods through divination, dreams, and astrology—advise the kings Carried out the god’s work on earth Coordinated economic activities Distributed land Oversaw irrigation projects Stored food for emergencies Performed religious ceremonies Managed the god’s wealth Duties of the Priests
The Ziggurat • The temple was built for the god of the city and his family • Religious ceremonies were carried out in the temple • Economic functions of the ziggurat
Sumerian Government • Sumerians were led by a king • Duties of the king • Construct and maintain temples and irrigation canals • Wage war • Kings were believed to be selected by the gods to represent them on earth
Sumerian city-states shared… • A common language • Same culture, religious beliefs, etc… • Yet they constantly fought each other over land boundaries and water rights.
What were the dangers of the constant fighting between the Sumerian city states?
Conquests of Mesopotamia • By 2350 B.C. Sargon the Great, a warrior king from Akkad, conquered the Sumerian city-states • Sargon created the world’s first empire (a number of territories or people under a single ruler) • The empire extended from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean
Spread of Sumerian Culture • The Akkadians adopted Sumerian culture (cultural assimilation) and spread it with their conquests • Although the Sumerians eventually disappeared as a distinct people group, their ideas, art, and culture would live on
Mesopotamia Security Council • Imagine that you are a representing your city-state at a council that was created to develop ideas to protect Mesopotamia from outside invasion. As you make your recommendations to the board, be sure to… • Explain reasons why the region is vulnerable to attack • Develop a plan for governing the area that would unite all the city-states and prevent outside invaders from conquering them • Propose a method for how to defend your city-states
By the end of this lesson you should be able to… • Identify the key developments in Egypt’s Old, Middle, and New Kingdoms • Explain the role of the pharaoh in Egyptian society • Explain the social structure of Egyptian society
Ancient Egypt • Egypt developed along the Nile River in northern Africa • “The Gift of the Nile” –Herodotus • What resources did the Nile River provide for the Egyptians?
Egyptian Stability • The mountains and deserts surrounding Egypt helped bring peace and stability to Egyptian society by… • Isolating Egypt from outside attack • Enabling Egypt to develop a homogenous, or uniform, culture • Providing raw materials—gold, copper, stone • Current of the Nile flows upstream—easy transportation
The Old Kingdom • In 2900 BC, Menes the ruler of Upper Egypt, conquered Lower Egypt—this resulted in a unified kingdom • After it’s unification, Egypt entered what historians call the Old Kingdom (2686-2181 BC)
The Old Kingdom • The basic components of Egyptian culture were formed during this period • This time period is also known as the “Pyramid Age”
The Pharaoh • The Egyptians believed that the pharaoh was both a man and a god • The pharaoh was the absolute ruler in Egypt • The pharaoh’s court was located in Memphis
Beliefs About the Pharaoh • Protector of Egypt • Controlled the floodwaters • Kept irrigation works in order • Maintained Justice • Expressed the will of the gods in heaven