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The First Civilizations and Empires Before History A.Historians usually read and study written documents to get an idea of what went on in the past. B. But, for that period of time before written records (called prehistory) scientists study artifacts and fossils to make theories about early human beings. Development of Hominids Animals adapt themselves to environment Hominids adapt environment to themselves Use of tools Language Complex cooperative social structures Australopithecus “The southern ape – Despite name is a hominid Discovery of skeleton AL-288-1, north of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia Nicknamed “Lucy” 3’5, 55lb., bipedal, Brain 500 cc (modern human: 1400 cc), limited speech but opposable digit Estimated date of death: 3.5 million years ago Later Hominids Homo Erectus, “upright man”1.5 Million years ago. Larger brain capacity (1000 cc), improved tool use, control of fire Homo Sapiens,“consciously thinking human” Largest brain, esp. frontal regions Most sophisticated tools and social organization Homo Sapiens “wise human beings” - two groups (250,000 years ago) (a) Neanderthals – first people to bury their dead. - first fossil remains were found in the Neander Valley (Germany) (b) Homo Sapiens Sapiens – people who look like us. - developed in Africa and began to spread out about 100,000 years ago. Hunters – Gatherers Paleolithic Age (2,500,000 – 10,000 B.C.) Known as “old stone age” - humans used simple tools, discovered fire. - Paleolithic people were primarily nomads who hunted animals and gathered plants. Nomads – people who moved from place to place in search for food. (cave paintings) IV.The Neolithic Revolution (8000-4000 B.C) A. Neolithic (New Stone Age) was a period of time when humans began to shift from hunters/gatherers to systematic agriculture. - Systematic Agriculture means growing food on a regular basis. - Humans also began domestication (raising animals for food and clothing.) B. People began to settle around rivers growing and raising their own food. By 3000 B.C., large numbers of people were concentrated in the river valleys of Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China. V. Civilization - Culture is the way of life people follow A civilization is a complex culture in which large numbers of human beings share a number of common elements. Characteristics of Civilizations 1. Cities 4. Social Structure 2. Government 5. Writing 3. Religion 6. Art I. Mesopotamia A. Mesopotamia “cradle of civilization” where civilization began. Mesopotamia was located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. This area is known as Iraq, today. Jericho is often considered to be the world’s 1st city. The Ancient Middle East:Mesopotamia Sumerians created the first known civilization in the ancient Middle East. B. The people who established Mesopotamia were called the Sumerians. The Sumerians devoted much of their wealth to building temples, called Ziggurats, to honor the gods. The Sumerians set-up a government called a city-state. City-states are ruled Ziggurats Temples served civic and religious purposes Daily sacrifices and rituals Storage of surplus grain and other foods Dwelling of priests and priestesses Locale where craftsmen and artisans could practice their trades II. Creativity of the Sumerians A. The Sumerians invented the oldest writing system called cuneiform. Scribes (record-keepers) carved symbols onto wet clay tablets which were later dried. B. The Epic of Gilgamesh is the world’s oldest story, written about the life of a Sumerian king. CUNEIFORM Sumerian writing developed around 3100 BC Symbols were engraved on clay tablets Scribes kept business records and poems on tablets Written Language Cuneiform – the use of wedge-like shapes. III. Empires in Ancient Mesopotamia A. The Akkadians conquered the Sumerians in 2330 B.C. and established the first empire. An empire is a large political unit, under a single leader, that controls many people and territories. B. In 1792 B.C., the Babylonians under the leadership of Hammurabi overthrew the Akkadians. C. Hammurabi was the king of Babylon. He controlled the Babylonian empire by publishing a set of laws known as the Code of Hammurabi, history’s first known written laws. Babylon was patriarchal, meaning a society dominated by men. IV. Egypt A. Egypt is a country in northern Africa on the Mediterranean Sea. Geographic features – Sahara desert and the Nile river. Egyptians created the 365 day calendar. B. Ancient Egyptians had a polytheistic religion; Ra was the sun god and creator of life. Polytheism – means worship of several gods. C. Pyramids were tombs for the mummified bodies of pharaohs and their families. The largest of all the pyramids (called the Great Pyramid) was built for King Khufu. Standing guard over the pyramids is the Great Sphinx, a rock sculpture with the head of a pharaoh and the body of a lion. As much of the brain as it is possible is extracted through the nostrils with an iron hook, and what the hook cannot reach is dissolved with drugs. Next, the flank is slit open . . . and the entire contents of the abdomen removed. The cavity is then thoroughly cleansed and washed out . . . Then it is filled with pure crushed myrrh, cassia, and all other aromatic substances, except frankincense. [The incision] is sewn up, and then the body is placed in natron, covered entirely for 70 days, never longer. When this period . . . is ended, the body is washed and then wrapped from the head to the feet in linen which has been cut into strips and smeared on the underside with gum which is commonly used by the Egyptians in the place of glue..Bob Brier, Egyptian Mummies Brain hooks, Oil jar, Funnel, Embalmer's knife Canopic Jars Mummified Animals Some have been found in large quantities, while others are rare. Many species were raised in the temples to be sacrificed to the gods. Autopsies on cats show that most had had their necks broken when they were about two years old. Cats were highly valued members of the ancient Egyptian household. Cat Cat Dog V. Pharaohs A. Egypt was ruled by a dynasty. A dynasty is a family of rulers whose right to rule is passed on within the family. B. The last Egyptian queen was Cleopatra. VI. Hieroglyphics This was an ancient Egyptian system of writing that used pictures to represent words. Modern people did not understand hieroglyphics until the Rosetta Stone was discovered in Egypt. Carved into the Rosetta Stone was a message written in hieroglyphics along with a translation in Greek. Egyptian Civilization Egyptian science and alphabet was NOT as elaborate as Mesopotamia, though mathematics was more advanced. Egyptians produced the idea that a “day” was divided in to 24 hours. VII. Israelites A. The Israelites (or Hebrews) emerged as distinct group of people, who established a united kingdom known as Israel. B. King Solomon ruled from 970-930 B.C., he made Jerusalem the capital of Israel. C. The Israelites eventually became known as the Jews. Their religion became known as Judaism. The Jews were monotheistic; they believed in only one God. The Jewish word for God is Yahweh. Yahweh is the creator of the world and everything in it. D. The Jews believed that a covenant, or contract, was made between them and Yahweh. Yahweh promised to help guide Moses and the Jews out of bondage in Egypt to the promise land. In return, the Jews promised to obey the Ten Commandments given to Moses on Mount Sinai. E. The Jews believed that certain religious teachers, called Prophets, were sent by God (Yahweh) to serve as his voice to his people. The Torah consists of the Jews’ most sacred writings, including their code of laws. The Torah also describes traditions surrounding the creation of the universe and contains a narrative history of the Jews up to the death of Moses. India and China I. Early Civilizations in India A. As in Mesopotamia and Egypt, early civilizations in India emerged in river valleys. Around 2500 B.C. the valleys of the Indus River supported a flourishing civilization, known as the Harappans in cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro. B. Around 1500 B.C., a group of nomadic people known as the Aryans moved across the Hindu Kush mountains into the plains of Northern India. They invaded and conquered the Harappans and created a new Indian society. C. The Aryans created a caste system that determined a person’s occupation and economic potential, but also his position in society. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5) Brahmans – priest Kshatriyans - warriors Vaisyas – merchants sundras – peasants untouchables II. New Empires A. Asoka, who ruled from 269-232 B.C., is generally considered to be the greatest ruler in the history of India. A. After his conversion to Buddhism, Asoka used Buddhist ideals to guide his rule. He set up hospitals for both people and animals. He sent missionaries to China and other parts of Asia, introducing Buddhism to those areas. C. India prospered because of the Silk Road; silk was China’s most valuable product. The Silk Road stretched from China to Mesopotamia, covering 4,000 miles. III. Early Chinese Civilizations A. The Shang dynasty created the 1st Chinese civilization 1500 B.C.. Civilization along the Yellow River (Huang He (Wong Chee)River) Learned how to ride horses and were skilled in pottery. Already were using bronze (metal) and by 1000 B.C. were using iron. Under the Shang, China developed organized government and a system of writing. B. The Chinese believed they could communicate with supernatural forces to obtain help in worldly affairs. Priest would scratch questions asked by rulers onto oracle bones. These bones would be heated, causing them to crack. The priest interpreted the cracks for answers. IV. Zhou Dynasty A. Zhou (Joe) Dynasty was the first to claim to rule with the Mandate of Heaven. Mandate of Heaven meant the Chinese king had authority from heaven to command. B. The King was expected to rule according to the proper “way” called the Dao. It was the King’s duty to keep the gods pleased in order to protect the people from a natural disaster or a bad harvest. C. Promoted linguistic unity via a standard spoken language (Mandarin Chinese). Largest single group of people speaking the same language in the world at this time. Confucius As a wondering scholar-philosopher in Zhou China, Kung Fuzi[kawng foo-zee] (Confucius) undertook a quest to become chief advisor to a ruler who possessed the wisdom to restore centralized control, peace, and order in his realm (like Aristotle philosopher-king). Though he never fulfilled this goal in his lifetime, his students preserved, spread, and debated his teachings after his death in the early 5th c B.C.E., and compiled his teachings in the Analects. (Consider Greek philosophers, the Buddha, and Jesus’ disciples). His social and political teachings formed the basis for one of humanity’s greatest and most enduring civilizations. V. Qin Dynasty and Han Dynasty A. Qin (CHIN) Dynasty, ruler Qin Shi huang (CHIN Shay Wong) unified the Chinese world and built walls known today as the Great Wall of China. B. Under the Han Dynasty, China extended the borders of its empire and brought scientific and cultural achievements to China.