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Chapter 1- Beginnings of
Most of human history spent in nomadic existence
About 10,000 BCE humans first learn to
farm….Called Neolithic Revolution and changes
human life dramatically
First Farming Near Rivers
Farming communities become permanent settlements
become civilizations
Civilizations have five characteristics
1. advanced permanent cities with domestication of
crops and animals
2. specialized workers
3. complex govt. and religious institutions
4. Advanced record keeping
5. Advanced technological advancements
Earliest civilizations in WorldMesopotamia….S.W. Asia
Fertile Crescent, Mesopotamia- areas for
earliest development of farming, civs. along
Tigris and Euphrates rivers
S.W. Asia another name for modern Middle
East… fact this area located in modern Iraq
Fertile soil left after river floods
Able to grow crops with irrigation and
civilization efforts
Ability to control rivers…..establish several city
states in southern mesopotamia in 4th millenium
Examples of walled city states for defense :
1. Ur, 2. Uruk, 3. Eridu
Estimated 95% of people involved in agriculture
Extensive trade amongst the city states
Elaborate writing via cuneiform or clay tablets
Polytheistic religion with many Gods
Sumerian Achievements
Development of writing
Advances in mathematics, astronomy and calendar
First novel is Epic of Gilgamesh
Influenced peoples of ancient S.W. Asia with potter’s
wheel and architectural accomplishments such as
ziggurats and irrigation projects
Oldest law system in world: Hammurabi’s Code
Empires of Mesopotamia
Sargon of Akkad- 2370 B.C.E. leads first
empire of area
Empire- Kingdom or state that controls foreign
New Kingdoms/Empires
1. Assyria and Babylonia
Hammurabi-King of Justice for his law
code which includes concept of “eye for an