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APWH: GSPRITE assignment
Unit 1: Early Civilizations
G: early civs were located by fertile river valleys b/c agricultural, prone to flooding: building and
maintenance of irrigation systems to regulate water for crops; est. of cities, population increased,
negative impact on soil fertility (deforestation, erosion), epidemics emerged and spread, Hittites’
advantageous access to iron, states with geographic advantage conquered surrounding states (Mes,
Bab, Nile Valley); Mesop and India: very vulnerable to invasion; Egypt: somewhat vulnerable to
invasion; China: relatively well protected/ isolated; some trade among civs - especially b/w Mesop and
Egypt, also with India; warfare; core civs=Mesop, Egypt, Indus, Shang China; foundational civs:
Olmec, Chavin
S: agricultural surpluses led to specialized labor – emergence of social hierarchies, slavery; patriarchal;
social and gender hierarchies intensified as states expanded and cities multiplied
P: formal political structure, divine rulers; record-keeping via writing systems arose independently in
all early river valley civs (e.g. Sumerian cuneiform – 1st known form of writing); ruler led overall
administration, infrastructure, military, regulated religion; government oversaw justice system; legal
codes (*Babylonian Code of Hammurabi) reflected social hierarchies and facilitated the rule of
government over people
R: polytheism related to fertility; religious hierarchy with powerful priestly class; gods controlled
fertility and crops; new religious beliefs: Vedic religion, Hebrew monotheism (Jews unique in
adopting monotheistic tradition in this era); Mesopotamia: ziggurats
*religion and intellectual developments helped unify the state
I: monumental architecture: pyramids; Phoenician alphabet and other writing systems, pastoralists
developed and disseminated the following: composite bows, chariots; elites promoted arts and
artisanship (e.g. wall decorations); literature was a reflection of culture (e.g. Sumerian Epic of
Gilgamesh), science arose to help with agriculture and to try to understand nature *astronomy
T: irrigation systems, metal tools and weapons, wheel, pottery; war technologies and urban defense
increased as warfare increased
E: growth and spread of agriculture; most people within civilizations were farmers; laborers supported
the elite class; some early forms of money were created; long-distance trade within and between
civilizations and with nomadic pastoralists; trade (goods, ideas, technologies) expanded from local
and regional to transregional throughout period (e.g. b/w Egypt and Nubia, Mesopotamia and India)
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