2 Ancient History & Prehistory Ancient history is the study of the history of the first civilizations that wrote and kept records. Of course, people had been living in communities on Earth long before they began to write things down. That period of history is called PREHISTORY. The main difference between prehistory and ancient history: There is a written record of the ancient period, but not of the prehistoric period.
3 Ancient History & Prehistory: Vocabulary 1. ancient history A study of the history of the first civilizations that wrote and kept records. 2. prehistory the period of time before people began to write things down 3. civilization has a written language, a social hierarchy, and a social system has a division of labor, an organized religion, and a food supply 4. B.C. an abbreviation often thought to mean before Christ or before the birth of Jesus Christ 5. A.D. an abbreviation for Anno Domini, which is Latin for in the year of our Lord
4 Ancient History & Prehistory: Communities and Civilizations Before you begin to study ancient civilizations you must first know what a civilization is! There are differences between people living together in communities and groups, and people living together in civilizations. Prehistoric people lived together in communities, but those groups are not considered civilizations. A civilization is a large group of people who live in a society that is complex. A civilization has a written language, a social hierarchy, and a political system. There is a division of labor, an organized religion, and a food supply. This is another important difference between the ancient world and the prehistoric world. Prehistoric people did not live in civilizations, but ancient people did.
5 Ancient History & Prehistory: Population of the Ancient World The ancient world has many different civilizations. You will hear about the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans. You will learn about places like Persia, Babylon, and Judea. Some of these civilizations coexisted, or were around at the same time as one another. But there are other ancient civilizations that existed at different times. Scholars consider the ancient world to be anything between 3500 B.C. and 476 A.D. While the ancient world was not as populated as the world is today, there were still millions and millions of people on the planet then. People lived on all of the continents with the exception of Antarctica. When you read about the ancient Egyptians, or any other ancient civilization, it s important to remember that they were not the only civilization in existence at that time, or the only people alive on the planet.
6 Ancient History & Prehistory: Difference Between Civilizations What makes one civilization different from another? Sometimes you will learn that there were two or more civilizations that not only existed at the same time and in the same area, but that they also had similar cultures and religions. If you look at a map of the Italian peninsula in ancient times, you will see that Romans, Etruscans, Greeks and other people populated the area. But these groups were considered to be members of different civilizations, even though their cultures had things in common. That s because they spoke different languages. Language is one of the main features that distinguishes one civilization from another. In order for a civilization to arise in the first place, it would be important for the people to be able to communicate with one another.
7 Ancient History & Prehistory: Dates in the Ancient World When you learn about ancient history, you will often see the abbreviations B.C. and A.D. For example, you may read that in 490 B.C., the Persian Empire attacked Greece, or that the Roman Empire fell in 476 A.D. The abbreviation B.C. is often believed to mean before Christ, or before the birth of Jesus Christ. The abbreviation A.D. means Anno Domini, which is Latin for in the year of our Lord. The year 1 B.C. means one year before the birth of Jesus. The year 1 A.D. is the year in which scholars say Jesus was born.
8 Ancient History & Prehistory: Dates and the Ancient World If the current year is 2009 A.D., it means that it has been two thousand, nine years since the birth of Jesus. In order to figure out how long ago 490 B.C., or any other date in the B.C. time period really is, you must do the following: Add the current year to the number of years B.C A.D B.C. = 2,499 years ago
9 Ancient History & Prehistory: B.C. and A.D. The fact that we use a dating system which uses the birth of Jesus to divide history has been debated over the years. That is because the birth of Jesus is very important to some people, like Christians, and not important to other people who practice different faiths. This dating system was developed by a Christian monk who lived in the Middle Ages. It was adopted by Europe and has become the traditional way most western societies recognize time.
10 Mesopotamia The first civilizations developed in an area called the Fertile Crescent. The Fertile Crescent is an area of rich land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East. The present day countries of Iraq, Palestine, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordon, and Kuwait are the countries that are there now. In 3500 B.C. this region was called Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia means the land between two rivers.
11 Mesopotamia Ancient civilizations, as well as more modern ones like the United States, often developed along the banks of rivers. Rivers produce food and water. Often, when rivers flood their banks, the surrounding soil becomes very fertile and good for growing crops. Thousands of years ago, when civilizations first began, there were no countries or nations, but there were city-states. A city-state is an area that has its own government and culture. Some of the earliest city-states in the Fertile Crescent were Ur, Kish, and Nippur.
13 Mesopotamia: Vocabulary 1. Fertile Crescent an area of rich land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East. 2. Mesopotamia area of the Fertile Crescent around 3500 B.C. which means land between two rivers 3. city-state an area that has its own government and culture 4. Sumer powerful city-state in early Mesopotamia credited with developing the wheel and cuneiform 5. Ziggurat a pyramid-shaped building that was used for religious ceremonies 6. cuneiform the first form of writing that people used 7. Akkad powerful city-state in Mesopotamia which grew to become the first empire 8. empire a large area full of city-states that is controlled by one ruler
14 Mesopotamia: Sumer Sumer was an early and influential Mesopotamian city-state. The Sumerians made houses out of mud bricks. They also built structures called ziggurats. A ziggurat is a pyramid-shaped building that was used for religious ceremonies. The ziggurat of Ur, located in present-day Iraq, still stands. The Sumerians are credited with inventing the wheel and cuneiform. Cuneiform is the first form of writing that people used. The Sumerian civilization lasted until about 2000 B.C.
15 Mesopotamia: Akkad Akkad was another powerful city-state in Mesopotamia. In about 2334 B.C., the Akkadians expanded their influence by conquering other city-states in the region. The Akkadian Empire eventually controled a large area. An empire is different from a city-state. An empire is a large area full of city-states that is controlled by one ruler. The Akkadian Empire is considered to be the first empire in the world.
16 Mesopotamia: Vocabulary 1. Babylon a city-state from Mesopotamia which grew into an empire and existed from 1894 B.C. until 539 B.C. 2. Hammurabi Code the first written laws by King Hammurabi of Babylon consisting of 282 laws 3. Assyrian Empire located in the northern part of Mesopotamia, King Ashurbanipal created a library with thousands of clay tables 4. Gilgamesh thought to be a Mesopotamian king, written about in a Babylonian poem 5. Mesopotamia often called the cradle of civilization because it is the area in which the first civilizations were established
17 Mesopotamia: Babylon In about 1894 B.C., the city-state of Babylon began to emerge as a major force in the Fertile Crescent. It encompassed many citystates and spread over the whole of Mesopotamia. One of Babylon s most powerful kings was Hammurabi. Hammurabi is famous for developing the Hammurabi Code, which consists of 282 laws. The Babylonians made many contributions to mathematics and astronomy. The Babylonian Empire lasted until 539 B.C.
18 Mesopotamia: Assyria In around 1900 B.C. the Assyrian Empire, which was located in the northern part of Mesopotamia, gained power and influence. Even though Assyria and Babylon were separate civilizations, they influenced each others culture and progress. Each civilization that emerges makes contributions that advance human knowledge. Even in the ancient world, people traveled, talked, and traded. As they did, different ideas, inventions, and religions were spread from person to person and eventually from culture to culture. In the 19 th century, archaeologists found what has come to be called the Library of Ashurbanipal. This was a library of a Assyrian king of the same name. The library comprises thousands of clay tables that contain the writings of many civilizations that existed in Mesopotamia. One of the writings found was of a Babylonian poem called Gilgamesh. Gilgamesh is thought to have been an ancient Mesopotamian king.
20 Mesopotamia: Cradle of Civilization Mesopotamia is often called the cradle of civilization because it is the area in which the first civilizations were established. Many civilizations made important early contributions that helped to shape the development of all civilizations to follow.
21 Hebrews and Judaism: Vocabulary 1. Hebrews group of people who lived in an area called Canaan, and founded the Kingdom of Israel 2. Canaan area of Mesopotamia which is now Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and northeastern Israel 3. Torah the first five books of the Bible, kept between two scrolls, handwritten by scribes 4. Judaism the religion practiced by the Hebrews, the ancestors of the Jewish people 5. monotheism the belief in one god 6. Kingdom of Israel founded in about 1000 B.C., by King David
23 Hebrews and Judaism The Hebrews were a group of people who lived in an area called Canaan, which is the area of Palestine, Jordan, Syria, and northeastern Israel. At the time of the Canaanites, the Egyptian Empire was a powerful force and major civilization in the region. Scholars believe that many Canaanites migrated to Egypt due to a famine. The Egyptians forced the Hebrews to live as slaves for hundreds of years. Scholars are unsure when, but at some point the enslaved Hebrews were granted their freedom and allowed to leave Egypt.
24 Hebrews and Judaism The story of the enslavement and emancipation of the Hebrews is told in the book of Exodus, which is in the Torah. The Torah is the first five books of the Bible, and the most important book in the religion of Judaism. Judaism is the religion practiced by the Hebrews, who are the ancestors of Jewish people. Judaism is one of the first monotheistic religions in the world. Monotheism is the believe in one god.
25 Hebrews and Judaism In about 1000 B.C., the Kingdom of Israel was founded by King David. The Hebrews became known as the Israelites. After King David s death, his son Solomon became the king of Israel. He is famous for building a temple in which to keep the Torah. There are many very strict laws regarding how the Torah is treated. For examples, every copy of the Torah is handwritten by scribes. The Torah itself is kept between two scrolls, and a special pointer is used to read from the sacred books.
27 Hebrews and Judaism After the death of King Solomon, the Kingdom of Israel split into two parts: Israel was located in the north and Judah was located in the south. In 722 B.C., Israel was conquered by the Assyrian Empire. Over a hundred years later, the Babylonians conquered Judah. Judaism is one of the most important world religions. Not only is it practiced by millions of people the world over, it is considered the origin of two other widely practices: religions: Christianity and Islam.
28 Ancient Civilizations Teacher Created Resources, Inc. #2929 Differentiated Lessons
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