Ancient River Valley Civilizations

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1 Ancient River Valley Civilizations Permanent Settlements During the New Stone Age, permanent settlements appeared in river valleys and around the Fertile Crescent. River valleys provided rich soil for crops, as well as protection from invasion. River valley civilizations (about 3500 to 500 B.C.) Mesopotamian civilization Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys (Southwest Asia) Egyptian civilization Nile River Valley and Delta (Africa) Indian civilization Indus River Valley (South Asia) Chinese civilization Huang He Valley (East Asia) Yellow River. These river valleys offered rich soils for agriculture, and they tended to be in locations easily protected from invasion by nomadic peoples. Other early civilizations (about 2000 to 500 B.C.) The Phoenicians settled along the Mediterranean coast (part of Fertile Crescent in Southwest Asia) Phoenician City-States In about 1100 B.C. the Phoenicians were the most powerful traders in the Mediterranean region. They founded city-states around the Mediterranean Basin, rather than a single country. Sea Traders The Phoenicians were remarkable shipbuilders and seafarers. They were the first Mediterranean people to sail beyond the Strait of Gibraltar. They may have even sailed around the entire continent of Africa. The Phoenicians most important city-states were Tyre and Sidon.

2 Tyre and Sidon were known for their production of red-purple dye. They traded goods they obtained from other lands such as wine, weapons, precious metals, ivory and slaves. Phoenician Alphabet The Phoenicians developed a writing system that used symbols to represent sounds so they could record transactions. They introduced the writing system to their trading partners, and it was adopted by the Greeks. Other early civilizations (about 2000 to 500 B.C.) Nubia was located on the upper (southern) Nile River (Africa). Hebrews Hebrews settled between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River Valley (part of the Fertile Crescent in Southwest Asia). The monotheism of Abraham became the foundation of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam religions that changed the world. The Hebrews were the first to become monotheists. Origins of Judaism According to the Torah God chose Abraham to be the father of the Hebrews. Abraham Shepherd who lived in Ur, Mesopotamia. Wandering of Abraham God commanded Abraham to move to Canaan. Eventually Abraham moved to Egypt and then back to Canaan. Geography Palestine eastern coast of the Mediterranean Sea. Strategically located on the sea and among empires. South of the Phoenician homeland.

3 Canaan Land promised to the Hebrew people, according to the Old Testament. Palestine, was the ancient home of the Hebrews ancient name for the Jews. Historical Text TORAH - First five books of the Hebrew Bible (Christians call this the Old Testament). Judaism Yahweh God of the Hebrews. According to Genesis Yahweh made a pact with Abraham called a covenant. Covenant promises between God and the Hebrews to remain loyal to one another. Exodus B.C. Hebrews lived in harmony in Egypt at first. Eventually forced into slavery. Exodus Hebrews flee Egypt. Moses According to the Bible God told Moses to lead the Hebrews out of Egypt. Moses Hebrew who was raised by wealthy Egyptians. Mount Sinai Mountain in south central Arabia. Moses climbed to the top to pray. Is said to have talked to God. Returned from the mountain with the Ten Commandments. Ten Commandments Principles of the Hebrew Bible that God gave Moses on Mount Sinai. Became the basis for the civil and religious laws of Judaism.

4 Israel Exile The Hebrew people conquered Palestine and eventually set up a kingdom there. David established Jerusalem as the capital and Solomon built a temple there. According to the Hebrew scriptures, they disobeyed God s law and were defeated by Assyrians and Neo-Babylonians. The Jews were Exiled from their land and taken to Babylon. While the Jews were in exile, the teachings of Judaism spread. Later the Persian King Cyrus the Great allowed the Jews to return to Palestine and rebuild Jerusalem. Diaspora Afterward the Jews were dominated by the Greeks and Romans. As result of constant rebellions, the Jews were scattered from their homeland again. This Diaspora, further spread the teachings of Judaism. Ancient River Valley Civilizations Review Cradles of Civilization River valleys were the "Cradles of Civilization." Early civilizations made major contributions to social, political, and economic progress. Development of social patterns Hereditary rulers (dynasties of kings, pharaohs) Early society had a rigid class system, where slavery was accepted. Development of political patterns World s first states (city-states, kingdoms, empires) Centralized government (often based on religious authority) Written law codes (Ten Commandments, Code of Hammurabi)

5 Development of Economic Patterns Metal tools and weapons (bronze, iron) Increasing agricultural surplus (better tools, plows, irrigation) Increasing trade along rivers and by sea (Phoenicians) Development of the world s first cities Specialization of labor Religion Development of religious traditions Polytheism was practiced by most early civilizations. Monotheism was practiced by the Hebrews. Language and writing Pictograms: Earliest written symbols Hieroglyphics: Egypt Alphabet: Phoenicia Cuneiform: Sumer

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