Chapter One Ancient Civilizations

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1 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section One How Civilization Began Chapter One Ancient Civilizations Section One How Civilization Began the Paleolithic Era Unlike modern humans, early people who lived in the Paleolithic Era did not live in cities. These people did not know how to plant seeds to make food grow. As a result, they were nomads who had to be able to move around to places where food could be found. Since they had to move around so much, these early humans could not have very many possessions or build buildings. They also had to spend most of their time hunting or gathering food. Because of this, they did not have much extra time to make art or create a system of illustration of Paleolithic blades writing. How Historians Know If these people lived so long ago, and had no system of writing, how do historians know anything about them? Historians dig for artifacts left by early people. They then use these artifacts to try and figure out things about the early people. These objects from the past which historians study are called primary sources. Historians then use the information they learn from primary sources to create secondary sources. the Neolithic Revolution Around 10,000 BCE, people began to figure out that they could plant seeds to grow food. This time is called the Neolithic Revolution. People who adopted agriculture, or farming, no longer had to worry about wandering around to find food. As a result, they could stay in one place. This discovery of agriculture is what allowed civilization to begin. The Paleolithic Era was a time period from about 2.6 million years ago to 10,000 BCE when humans did not know how to farm. Nomads are people who move around instead of staying in one place. Artifacts are everyday objects left behind by historical people. Historians use artifacts to figure things out about historical people. Primary sources are historical sources that come from the time period being studied. Examples include artifacts, newspapers, and eyewitness accounts. Secondary sources are historical sources written by historians based on what they have learned from various primary sources. This History book is an example of a primary source. During the Neolithic Revolution, people figured out how to farm. This allowed them to create civilization. 1 Sheltered 1.1

2 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section One How Civilization Began Accounting for Dates in History BCE stands for Before Common Era and CE stands for Common Era. The Common Era is the time period that started with the year 1, when many civilizations started to use the same calendar. BCE dates tell us how many years before the Common Era an event happened. So they count down, like negative numbers. For example, 4000 BCE stands for 4000 years before the Common Era, so it is longer ago than 3000 years before the Common Era. CE dates tell us how many years after the Common Era something happened, so CE dates count forward, like positive numbers. If a date is mentioned without any letters written after it, it is assumed that it is a CE date. CE dates count forward, like positive numbers. 1 CE 1000 CE 2000 CE 4000 BCE 3000 BCE 2000 BCE 1000 BCE BCE dates count down, like negative numbers. The Features of Civilization Once people had discovered agriculture, they could stay in one place. This allowed civilizations to develop. All civilizations share the following eight features: Sheltered 1.1 Cities People began to live in larger settlements. Most early cities were situated near a river or other large water source. 2

3 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section One How Civilization Began Job Specialization Job specialization means that everyone has one job. Then, each person trades with others to get what he or she needs. Social Classes Different groups, or social classes, formed within early cities. Each social class had different duties. Writing Early civilizations needed to be able to keep records, so systems of writing developed. ancient tablet with writing Complex Religion Most early civilizations religions were polytheistic. This means they had many gods. Polytheistic religions have many gods. Centralized Government Ancient governments made sure that everyone had enough food and water. They also made laws and protected people s belongings. Public Works Governments would pay for public works, which were large projects that would benefit everyone. Two examples of public works are roads and bridges. Arts & Architecture It made more sense to have architecture, or permanent buildings, now that people were not wandering around. They could now use their extra time to create art to decorate the buildings. ancient artwork 3 Public works are things paid for by the government that everyone gets to use. Architecture is the science of making buildings. Sheltered 1.1

4 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Two Mesopotamian Civilization Memory Trick To remember the order of Mesopotamian civilizations, think about how cuddly a baby sumo wrestler would be. Sumo Sumer Babies Babylon Are Assyria Cuddly Chaldea People Persia Chronological order is the order that things happened in. Sumerian things are things that have to do with the civilization of Sumer. A city-state is a city that governs itself. Section Two Mesopotamian Civilization The earliest civilizations developed around 4000 BCE in the modern-day Middle East in an area known as Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia Mesopotamia means between the rivers in Greek. It refers to the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Fertile Crescent the Middle East. Sometimes this area is called the Fertile Crescent because it is shaped like, well, a crescent. It makes sense that the first civilization would be near two rivers, since farming is necessary to begin civilization, and farming requires a source of water. Ancient Civilizations in Mesopotamia Over time, many different civilizations have settled in Mesopotamia. The ancient civilizations there, in chronological order, included Sumer, Babylon, Assyria, Chaldea, and Persia. sculpture showing a scene from the Epic of Gilgamesh Sumerian City-States The earliest Mesopotamian civilization, Sumer, was divided into city-states. A city-state is small, like a city. But it has its own government, like a state. So a citystate is a city that governs itself. Sumerian Writing The Sumerian tale the Epic of Gilgamesh is the oldest known story in the world. It tells a the story of a hero named Gilgamesh. who is trying to find immortality. In one part of the story, he meets a man who was told by the gods to build a boat because a flood is coming. Sheltered 1.2 4

5 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Two Mesopotamian Civilization Sumerians used an alphabet called cuneiform. The Babylonians and Assyrians also used this alphabet. Cuneiform is the name of the Sumerian alphabet. cuneiform script Babylonian Law In Babylonia, King Hammurabi put his code of law into effect. Hammurabi s Code is the earliest written code of law. In the code, laws and punishments were set out clearly. This made it so that people would not want to commit crimes, because they knew they would be harshly punished. Many of the punishments in Hammurabi s Code followed the eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth principle. This means that the punishment for breaking a law was related to the crime. (For example, if one man hit another man and broke his tooth, the first man might have his tooth knocked out as punishment.) Assyrian Warfare The Assyrians, a very warlike people, conquered Babylonia around 1200 BCE. They are best known for their efficient army. a ziggurat Sumerian, Babylonian, and Assyrian Architecture The Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians all built ziggurats. Ziggurats were a type of pyramid. Chaldean Copycats The Chaldeans ruled Mesopotamia from about 626 BCE to 539 BCE. The Chaldeans wanted to bring back traditions from the Babylonian time period. Because of this, Chaldean culture was very similar to Babylonian culture. 5 King Hammurabi Memory Trick The main thing you ve got to remember about the Assyrians is that they were warlike, so... don t say it out loud or anything, but look at the first three letters of the word Assyrian, and you ve got a pretty decent way to remember that the Assyrians liked conflict! A ziggurat was a Mesopotamian pyramid a triangle-shaped building. Sheltered 1.2

6 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Two Mesopotamian Civilization Zoroastrianism is a religion which began in ancient Persia. It is named after its creator, a man named Zoroaster. A satrapy was a small state within the Persian Empire. (Much like Texas is a state in the country of the United States.) Persian Empire Around 550 BCE, the first Persian king, Cyrus, began to conquer the area around the Tigris and Euphrates. He did this because he felt it was his duty to spread his religion, Zoroastrianism, as far as he could. In doing so, he created the Persian Empire. Around 520 BCE, the Persian king Darius divided the empire into 120 satrapies, or small states. This division of the empire made it easier to govern. King Darius the Great Bartering is a type of economy, or way people buy things. To barter, people do not use money. Instead, they trade objects directly for other objects. For example, a person might trade a chicken for a loaf of bread. Cultural diffusion is the spread of ideas from one place to another. Sheltered 1.2 Mesopotamian Currency & Trade Most ancient people used a barter system to trade. In 546 BCE, the Persian king Cyrus conquered Lydia, a small kingdom in modern -day Turkey. The Lydians were the first to use coins for trade, and so the Persians adopted the use of coins instead of bartering in order to trade. Phoenician Sea Traders The Phoenicians were a group of traders who sailed and traded all around the Mediterranean Sea. Since they traveled so much, they were able to spread ideas to all the places they went. This spreading of ideas is called cultural diffusion. The most important idea that the Phoenicians spread was that of the phonetic alphabet. In this type of alphabet, each character stood for a sound. Characters could then be put together to make words. This was much easier than using a picture alphabet, with a different picture for Phoenician alphabet each word. 6

7 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Three Egyptian Civilization Section Three Egyptian Civilization Importance of the Nile Like all other early civilizations in the Eastern hemisphere, Egyptian civilization sprang up around a river, the Nile. Rivers were necessary for all early civilizations to provide irrigation for crops, but the Nile was especially important for Egypt since most of Egypt is a desert. The Greek historian Herodotus summed it up well when he wrote, Egypt is the gift of the Nile. By this he meant that, without the Nile, there could be no civilization in Egypt. Egyptian Historical Records The Egyptians left behind lots of primary sources which historians can study to learn about their civilization. Official Egyptian records were carved into clay tablets or onto monuments in hieroglyphics. Hieroglyphics were pictures used instead of letters in the Egyptian alphabet. Egyptians also used papyrus for other records. Egyptian hieroglyphics 7 Hieroglyphics were pictureletters that made up the Egyptian alphabet. Papyrus is a type of ancient paper. Sheltered 1.3

8 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Three Egyptian Civilization In a hierarchical society, some social classes are higher than others, and higher social classes have fewer members. A pharaoh was an Egyptian king who was also a god. A polytheistic religion is a religion with many gods. In an ethical religion, proper behavior is considered important. These religions usually have a set of rules that tell them what is allowed. In a monotheistic religion, there is only one god. Sheltered 1.3 Historians are able to read hieroglyphics because of the Rosetta Stone. This stone was found in It was a kind of code-breaker that helped historians figure out what hieroglyphics meant. Egyptian Society Like most ancient civilizations, Egypt had a hierarchical social structure. At the top of society was the pharaoh. The pharaoh was like a king who ruled all Egyptians. He was also considered to be a living god. Next were government officials and priests. After that there was a large middle class composed of workers. At the bottom of society were slaves and servants. Egyptian Religion Traditional Egyptian religion was both polytheistic and ethical. It was believed that when people died, they went to a place where their behavior in life would be judged. If it was decided that the dead person had been good, he would live forever in a happy place. If it was decided that the person was evil, then a monster that looked like a dog with a crocodile s head would eat him. Egyptians believed that they would need everything they owned after death. Because of this, Egyptians were buried Ammit, the Eater of the Dead with all of their possessions. Most dead people were buried with a copy of the Book of the Dead in their arms. The Book of the Dead was a book of instructions to help a person after death. It included tips on how to live a good life. Short-lived Monotheism One pharaoh, Akhenaton, embraced a monotheistic religion. In Akhenaton s religion, only one god, the sun god, was worshipped. But after Akhenaton died, Egyptians quickly returned to their old religion. 8

9 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Three Egyptian Civilization Mummification & the Pyramids The Egyptians believed that a person needed all of his or her possessions after death even the body and internal organs! The process of mummification developed to preserve these items. King Tut s sarcophagus When a pharaoh died, his mummified body would be enclosed in a decorated coffin, called a sarcophagus. The sarcophagus would then be placed inside the pharaoh s burial place, called a pyramid. Most of the largest pyramids were robbed before modern times, so historians couldn t be sure what kinds of items might have been placed inside. But in 1922, the tomb, or grave, of King Tutankhamen was discovered. The tomb contained many expensive objects. Because of this, historians believe that all pharaohs must have had rich burial places too. Egyptian Art Many examples of Egyptian art are still around today. This is partly because Egypt s dry climate is good for preserving old things. This art shows pharaohs, the gods, and sometimes even everyday life. People in Egyptian art have stylized bodies. The bodies usually have their feet and heads pointed to the sides, but their chests turned toward the front. Egyptian painting with stylized bodies 9 Mummification was an ancient way to preserve dead bodies. The dead body would be wrapped in cloth to help keep it from decaying, or rotting away. A mummified body is called a mummy. A sarcophagus was a coffin a box or case used to bury a dead person. It was often made of gold or silver, and would be carved to look like the dead pharaoh. Stylized bodies in art do not look natural. They are often strangely posed. Sheltered 1.3

10 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Four Hebrew Civilization A patriarch is the male head of a family or tribe. In a patriarchal society, fathers and husbands have power over their families. The Torah is one of the holy texts of the Hebrews. It is much like the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. A temperate climate is not too hot, and not too cold. Judaism refers to the religion of the Ancient Hebrews. Practicers of Judaism are called Jews, or can be described as Jewish. A religion that is ethical promotes good behavior Monotheism is a religion with only one god. A covenant is an agreement. Sheltered 1.4 Section Four Hebrew Civilization Hebrew civilization is considered to have begun with the patriarch Abraham. The Torah is the main source for information about Abraham and the other patriarchs of Ancient Israel. Geography & Contact with Other Cultures Hebrew civilization began in the area surrounding modern-day a Torah scroll Jerusalem, near the Eastern coast of the Mediterranean. Most of Ancient Israel enjoyed a temperate climate that was perfect for herding animals. 10 Due to their location near the Mediterranean, the Hebrews came into contact with many other civilizations, such as Assyria, Chaldea, Egypt, and Rome. The Origins of Judaism The ancient Hebrews were different from other early civilizations in that their religion was a type of ethical monotheism. This means that they worshipped one God, and felt that behavior was important. They also believed that they had a special covenant, or agreement, with God. According to the agreement, if they followed God s laws, then someday he would lead them to a wonderful land. Within the Torah are the Ten Commandments, which governed Hebrew society. According to the Ten Commandments, it is important to respect older people. Killing and stealing are considered wrong.

11 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Four Hebrew Civilization the Kingdom of Israel The first two kings of Israel were Saul and David. They were chosen as kings by a prophet. The fact that a prophet chose the ruler shows how important religion was in Hebrew society. King David established the capital at Jerusalem around 1000 BCE. The next king, Solomon, ordered the building of a holy temple to house important King Saul in battle religious documents. After Solomon s death in 930 BCE, the kingdom of Israel was split into the kingdoms of Israel & Judah. A prophet is a person to whom a god speaks. The prophet will then tell other people what the god has said. What the prophet says is called a prophecy. Solomon s Temple the Diaspora The kingdoms of Israel and Judah were eventually conquered by invaders. As a result of this, many Hebrews were forced to move to other areas. This spreading out of the Jews is referred to as the Diaspora (pronounced die-ass-puh-ruh). During a diaspora, members of a group go off in many different directions. 11 Sheltered 1.4

12 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Five Indian Civilization Section Five Indian Civilization Early Indian civilizations grew up around two major Indian rivers the Indus River and the Ganges River. Both rivers run through the Himalayas, a large mountain range in modern-day India. Harappan Civilization The earliest civilization in India was located on the banks of the Indus River. This civilization existed from about 2700 BCE to 1900 BCE. This civilization had two major cities: Harappa and Mohenjo Daro. It is called Harappan Civilization in honor of the city of Harappa. Artifacts are everyday objects left behind by historical people. To infer is to make an educated guess based on information that is available. An inference is the guess made by the person who has been inferring. Sheltered 1.5 Harappan Writing Historians have not been able to read the writing left behind by the people of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. Because of this, historians must use artifacts found in these cities to infer, or figure out, what life was like there. game pieces from Mohenjo Daro 12 Some of the objects historians have found from Ancient India have pictures of musical instruments carved on them. Game pieces and children s toys have also been found. These objects tell us that the Harappan people had free time to enjoy one of the benefits of civilization.

13 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Five Indian Civilization Harappan Ruins and Artifacts Many clues from Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro show that both cities had strong governments. We can infer this because the cities were very organized. They had straight streets running at right angles to each other. Human beings don t naturally get together and agree to build their houses in straight lines. So we can infer they must have been told to do so by a government. aerial view of the ruins of Harappa Vedic Civilization Vedic civilization developed around the Ganges River from around 1500 BCE to 500 BCE. It takes its name from the Vedas, a series of Hindu religious documents, which were written during the time period. Ruins are the buildings and walls left over from an ancient city. Aerial means from the air. An aerial view of something is usually a picture taken from an airplane or satellite. Aryans and Dravidians The Aryans moved into India around 1700 BCE. They settled around the Ganges River. Another group of people, called the Dravidians, already lived there. The Aryans conquered the Dravidians and treated them poorly. statue of a Hindu god Hinduism and the Caste System The religion of the Vedic people was an early version of Hinduism. This religion involved the worship of many gods. The Vedas were a set of holy books used by the Ancient Indians. According to the Vedas, an organized society was important. Vedic people were 13 Sheltered 1.5

14 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Five Indian Civilization In a hierarchical society, some social classes are higher than others, and higher social classes have fewer members. divided into four groups. The top group was made up of Brahmins, who were priests. Next were Kshatriyas (pronounced kuh-shot-ree-uhs), who were warriors. Third were Vaisyas (pronounced vizh-uhs), who were working people. At the very bottom were Sudras, who were servants. This social hierarchy eventually evolved into the caste system. the Caste System Memory Trick Imagine a kshatriya shooting you, then saying, Ha ha, I k-shot-ya! That will help you remember that they were warriors. Karma is the idea that if a person does bad things, then bad things will eventually happen to him or her. If the person does good things, then good things will happen. To follow the law of dharma a person must do his or her duty what is expected of him or her. Sheltered 1.5 Belief in reincarnation is an important part of Hinduism. Reincarnation is the idea that the soul is born again and again into different bodies. By following the laws of karma and dharma, a person can be reincarnated, or born again, into a higher caste, or social class. The concepts of karma and dharma actually helped to reinforce the caste system. Hindus believed that those who had been born into a low caste had followed the Karma laws of karma and dharma in a previous life. In this way, one s social status was viewed as an effect of how a person behaved. 14 Brahmins priests Kshatriyas warriors Vaisyas merchants & herders Sudras servants

15 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Six Chinese Civilization Section Six Chinese Civilization Geography and Food Production Ancient Chinese civilization developed along the Huang-He, or Yellow River. (It is sometimes called the Yellow River because of its yellowish sediment, called loess.) This area had a warm, wet climate, which was perfect for farming. Chinese Dynasties Events in Chinese history are grouped according to dynasty. Each dynasty is named after the ruling family of the time period. The dynasties of Ancient China were the Xia (pronounced zhee-uh ), Shang, and Zhou (pronounced zho ). A dynasty is a period of time during which members of one family are Xia, Shang, and Zhou China Memory Trick To remember all of the dynasties of Chinese history in order, imagine a group of zebras who have become addicted to huffing (which is a terrible idea, btw) and have decided to go to rehab. Mythical Xia Dynasty? The first dynasty described in ancient Chinese books was the Xia dynasty. Historians are not sure whether this dynasty actually existed, or was simply a mythical tale. If it did exist, it would have been from about 2070 BCE to 1700 BCE. Shang Dynasty The Shang Dynasty ruled the area around the Huang He River from 1700 BCE to 1122 BCE. 15 Seven Shang Zebras Zhou Quit Qin Huffing Han The Tang Stuff Song Yesterday Yuan Morning Ming Sheltered 1.6

16 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Six Chinese Civilization To venerate something is to treat it with great respect or honor. Ancestors are members of the family who have died. An oracle is a person who can see the future. So the name oracle bones tells us exactly what they were. They were bones used to predict the future. The Mandate of Heaven is the idea that the gods have given the ruling family the right to rule. Shang Religion Ancient Chinese religion was polytheistic. This religion included veneration of ancestors. The Shang honored their ancestors by giving them gifts. Shang Writing The people of the Shang dynasty left behind many oracle bones. The Shang used these to ask questions of the gods. These oracle bones are important because they are the earliest examples of Chinese writing. Chinese statue an oracle bone Zhou Dynasty The Zhou dynasty lasted from about 1045 BCE to 256 BCE. During the Zhou dynasty, many people were fighting with each other. Because of all this fighting, thinkers presented new ideas about how the government could get things under control. the Mandate of Heaven The Chinese considered their king to have been chosen by the gods. In order to rule, the Zhou had to beat the Shang in battle. To explain why it was OK for the Zhou to do battle with the Shang, the Zhou created the idea of the Mandate of Heaven. According to the Mandate of Heaven, the gods chose a ruling family. This family had the right to rule as long as they governed the people fairly and well. If this family made the gods unhappy, then the gods would send bad weather to punish the people. When the gods sent bad weather to show that they were unhappy with the old ruling family, that meant that it was OK for a new family to take over the government. The fact that the gods had allowed the new family to beat the old family showed that they approved. Sheltered

17 Chapter One Ancient Civilizations; Section Six Chinese Civilization Confucianism Confucius, a Chinese thinker, spoke about how a good society should work. His main idea was that everyone should behave according to his or her role in life. According to Confucius, there are five relationships. Most included a Confucius leader and a follower. It was the leader s job to set a good example. The follower was supposed to respect and obey the leader. The most important relationship of a person s life was that among children and their parents. A good child was supposed to practice filial piety. Filial piety means that the child is respectful of parents and does what the parents say. Confucius thought that the government s job was the same as that of the leader in any relationship. According to Confucius, good rulers should rule by example and treat their subjects fairly. Legalism Another thinker who spread his ideas about proper government during the Zhou period was Hanfeizi. His system of government was called Legalism. According to Hanfeizi, a good ruler must make very strict laws and enforce them with harsh punishments. The five relationships were those between ruler and subject, husband and wife, parent and child, older sibling and younger sibling, and friend and friend. Filial piety is respect for parents. Memory Trick Hanfeizi just SOUNDS angry and mean. Imagine a strict ruler shouting it as he beats someone with a bamboo stick (which is how Legalists punished people). The yin and yang symbolizes balance between opposites. Daoism Laozi was a thinker who spread the philosophy of Daoism. Daoists believed that the world is full of opposites. According to Daoists, it was important achieve balance between opposites. This idea is symbolized by the yin and yang. Laozi believed that government was unnatural. He taught that having too many laws would cause people to want to rebel. Laozi thought a good ruler should not make too many laws. 17 Memory Trick Lao rhymes with Dao, so that can help you to remember that Laozi founded Daoism. Also, it s a pretty lousy way to govern (if you ask me), and lousy sounds like Laozi. Sheltered 1.6

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