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Ancient Civilizations Egypt, India, China, Mesopotamia, and The Hebrews Egypt -located on the Nile River: “The Gift of the Nile.” Longest river in the world; flows into Mediterranean Sea. -the longest of the four civilizations. -annual flooding fertilized the soil. Egypt Uniting Egypt Early on, 2 kingdoms developed. The Upper Kingdom in the South The Lower Kingdom in the North King Menes united the two in Memphis. Kings were referred to as Pharaohs. Egypt The Great Periods The Old Kingdom The Middle Kingdom The New Kingdom Egypt Egyptian Religion polytheistic, meaning they worshipped many gods (part human & part animal). Horus-sky god. Ra-sun god. Osiris-god of life and death -very dominant in their lifestyle. -believed in life after death. -believed in embalming, the preservation of the body. (Brains were embalmed first; this was a very religious ceremony.) (Mummification) -caused government to be a theocracy, meaning the king acted as both religious and political leader. -was a bureaucracy, officials to whom the king delegated administrative responsibilities.(Ka-sow) Egypt Pyramids were built during the Old Kingdom -These served as a place of rest/honor for kings. -They held the king’s clothing, furniture, and weapons. -There were secret passages. -They took thousands of workers and hundreds of years to build. Egypt Egyptian Contributions Hieroglyphics-ancient Egyptian writing system employing picture symbols. (e.g.Rosetta Stone was used to decipher hieroglyphs.) Number System-enabled them to calculate area and volume. Geometry-used to survey flooded land. Calendar-An accurate 365 day calendar. Medicine-Not only embalming, but doctors used splints, bandages, and compresses when treating fractures, wounds, and diseases. India -surrounded by mountains: Himalayas. The mountains served to block cold weather out of the valley and as protection. -Due to seasonal floods, soil was rich for seasonal crops. -They had to deal with monsoons-seasonal winds that would bring heavy rainfall. India India’s Religion Hinduism-polytheistic; the people believed in yoga and fasting, worshipping the cow. Major concepts: Dharma-righteous living; duties to fulfill. Karma-all actions have a consequence. re-incarnation: rebirth of the soul after death. Buddhism -founded by Siddharta Gautama, b. 566 B.C. (BuddhaThe Enlightened One). Buddha, a prince, wondered, meditated, fasted, denied himself pleasure, searching for a solution to end suffering and misery. Comprised Four Noble Truths: All know suffering and sorrow. Suffering is caused be desires. People end suffering by eliminating their desire. Eliminate desires by knowing truth, resisting evil, saying nothing to hurt others, controlling thoughts, meditating, etc. *The goal was to achieve nirvana, meaning one could be one with the universe. India Contributions Seals to make contracts. Straight streets Ditches for irrigation China These people lived in isolation because of the Himalayas, near the Yellow Sea. Chinese history is divided into Dynasties. Rulers of China (from the same family) had a mandate from heaven to form a theocracy. Most important dynasties: Shang, Zhou, Quin, & Han China Religion Confucianism Confucious (b. 551 B.C.) was poor and sought to end suffering by fulfilling a role in society. He had many wise proverbs, such as “Do not do unto others as you would not want done unto you.” Taoism -rejects social structures; belief in the fact that opposites attract and Yin/Yang-life must be kept in balance. China Contributions to Society System of weights and measurements Agriculture system Educated officials Silk trade China (pottery) The Great Wall for protection Mesopotamia Greek for “land between the rivers.” Located between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Fertile Crescent. Sumerian farmers first built dams to control flooding, and constructed canals and ditches to bring river water to irrigate their fields. Fertilized land produced food (grain crops) by 4000 B.C. Mesopotamia Religion Polytheistic; their gods had specific powers over natural forces and human activity. Their gods were unpredictable and selfish. Humans had little control over their lives. They built ziggurats (temples) where the gods lived. (similar to pyramids) Theocracy-the religious leader was also the political leader; he was the mediator between the gods and the people. Mesopotamia Writing Pictographs were used; they also developed a model for the alphabet. Scribes wrote on clay; tablets had to dry. They wrote epics-long poems (e.g.Gilgamesh,) They wrote proverbs-short bits of advice. One bird in hand is worth two in the nest. A good plan today is better than a perfect plan tomorrow. A penny saved is a penny earned. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov. 15:1) A fool’s lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating. (Prov. 18:6) Hammurabi’s Code Hammurabi, the leader of Babylon had a written set of laws that regulated society and trade. He created a tax system. There was a specific punishment for the violation of laws. (e.g.-“an eye for an eye.”) There were differing punishments for social classes. Mesopotamia Contributions to Society Dams and Canals Wagon wheel Potter’s wheel Sun dial - to keep time 12 month calendar based on the cycles of the moon Metal plow The Hebrews A people that grew out of Mesopotamia, lived in Canaan, and were monotheistic-a belief in a one allpowerful God (Yahweh). The Bible records their beliefs and history. The Hebrews Beliefs God determines right and wrong. People should deal justly with each other. People should accept moral responsibility for their actions. The Hebrews History - recorded in the Old Testament. Abraham Moved from Mesopotamia to Canaan at God’s command. (1900 B.C.) God made a covenant (agreement): God would bless Abraham and his descendants if they would remain faithful to God. Jacob (Israel) Abraham’s grandson Jacob had 12 sons, which would grow into tribes (Israelites). Due to a famine, they migrated to Egypt, where pharaohs enslaved them. Moses He led them out of Egypt in an exodus (departure) into the Sinai desert. The covenant was renewed as the Israelites pledged to obey God’s laws, the most important-The Ten Commandments. Joshua He led them across the Jordan River into Canaan After the “judges”, the Israelites wanted a king. Saul Although popular at first, he failed to defeat the Philistines. Battled with David over the throne. David Slayed the giant Philistine, Goliath. He took the throne in 1012 B.C. Organized a central government at Jerusalem. Wrote Psalms. Solomon Constructed a temple in Jerusalem. Wrote Proverbs. Prophets After Solomon, the kingdom divided-Israel & Judah. Invaded by Assyrians (722 B.C.), Chaldeans (586 B.C.)-were exiled to Babylon. Prophets were preachers who interpreted God’s will to the Israelites, who became known as Jews after the Babylonian exile. Prophets were preachers who interpreted God’s will to the Israelites, who became known as Jews after the Babylonian exile.