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River Civilizations Characteristics of a civilization 1. Written Language 2. Specialized Labor 3. Complex Culture & Society 4. System of Government & Laws Mesopotamia & the Fertile Crescent Mesopotamia & the Fertile Crescent Mesopotamia – the land between the rivers - little rain but rich soil and source of water from the Tigris & Euphrates rivers - ideal for start of farming becomes the first civilization in world - flooding of rivers are unpredictable and often devastating - few natural barriers invaders constantly storm through region difficult to stabilize Mesopotamia Writing System - cuneiform (wedge-shaped) – stylus used to make marks on clay and baked to harden tablet - began as early as 4000 BCE – accepted as written language by 3200 BCE - first used for record-keeping - later uses include literature (Gilgamesh), laws, religious ceremonies - scribes have important place Mesopotamia Specialized Labor -used to divide people into skilled members of society; categorize jobs - copper, gold, silver metal work bronze - pottery & textiles - scribes Mesopotamia System of Government & Laws - created through city-states city and surrounding area under control - ziggurat (temple) was center of city - theocracy ruled by a divine authority or priest - Hammurabi’s Code first set of written laws - many different rulers due to constant invasions Mesopotamia - Complex Culture & Society Reconstructed Ziggurat of Ur Religion - polytheistic worshipped many gods - personal gods each family and/or city had own god to represent them - humans are inferior to gods serve the gods & keep them happy or suffer their wrath - Ziggurat – step pyramid with temple at top (close to gods); also administrative center Mesopotamia - Complex Culture & Society Society - patriarchal male dominated - three social groups - nobles (leaders, priests, scribes) - commoners (artisans, merchants) - slaves (conquered people) Gilgamesh – first known literature Technological advancements - first wheel - sundial - math system - first laws - FIRST Egypt & the Nile River Valley “Egypt, the gift of the Nile.” ~ Herodotus, Greek historian (484-432 B.C.E.) Egypt & the Nile River Valley Egyptian civilization centered around the Nile River • 4,100 miles long, flows northward • The Nile is the longest river in the world! • Yearly flooding, but predictable Every July the river flooded regularly, leaving behind rich soil…silt. Regular cycle: flood, plant, harvest, flood, plant, harvest… • Nile provided reliable transportation To go north, drift with the current toward the sea To go south, sail catching the Mediterranean breeze Egypt & the Nile River Valley • Egypt arose along narrow strip of land made fertile by the river • Most of Egypt’s history focused around Lower Egypt (near the Nile Delta) • Upper Egypt developed later upstream • Deserts on both sides of Nile provided natural protection against invaders reduced interaction with others Egypt would develop a unique culture because of isolation Egyptian Writing • Egyptians wrote in hieroglyphics Pictographic writing • Wrote on papyrus Dried reeds from the Nile. Used a reed pen, or fine brush, and ink. • Hieroglyphics were deciphered by The Rosetta Stone discovered in 1799 A.D. Egyptian Government Above: Abu Simbel, built by Ramses II The Great Pyramids at Giza • Egyptian rulers were called Pharaohs: priest-kings considered gods served both political and religious roles • Theocracy government where the rulers are thought to be divinely-guided, or divine themselves • Pharaohs’ tombs very important believed their spirits or Ka lived there Built massive tombs for them: pyramids Egyptian Economy/Specialized Labor • Traditional economy based on farming and trade. • Egyptians traded up and down the Nile, with Mesopotamians and sometimes with Indus Valley (in Pakistan) Egyptian Economy/Specialized Labor A. Harvesting grain; B. Musicians play for the workers in the fields; C. Women winnowing the grain; D. Scribes tally the farmer’s taxes; E. The farmer’s son tending the livestock / cattle. Egyptian Complex Culture & Society Distinct Social Classes Women had many of the same rights as men: could own property, seek divorce, or rule! Not “locked in”! could rise up through marriage or through merit (success). Egyptian Complex Culture & Society Religion: • Polytheistic many gods…over 2,000 Main deities: Ra, the sun god; Horus, sky god; Isis, mother goddess “giver of life”; Osiris, god of underworld • Pantheon-family of gods 1) Horus, son of Osiris, a sky god closely connected with the king. 2) Set or Seth, enemy of Horus and Osiris, god of storms and disorder. 3)Thoth, a moon deity and god of writing, counting and wisdom. 4) Khnum, a ram god who shapes men and their kas on his potter's wheel. 5) Hathor, goddess of love birth and death. 6) Sobek, the crocodile god,7) Ra, the sun god 8) Amon, a creator god often linked with Ra. 9) Ptah, another creator god and the patron of craftsmen. 1O) Anubis, god of mummification. 11) Osiris, god of agriculture and ruler of the dead. 12) Isis, wife of Osiris, mother of Horus and Mistress of Magic. Egyptian Complex Culture & Society Belief in an afterlife! Envisioned as an agrarian paradise The Funerary Scene: depicts what ancient Egyptians believed occured after a person died. Egyptian Complex Culture & Society Mummification – embalming and preserving body believed a better after-life if preserved. took out all the internal organs, except heart. organs were put in canopic jars, put in the tomb did not take out the heart...the intelligence and emotion of the person. thought the brain had no significant value, taken out through nose. body packed and covered with natron (a salty drying agent), then left for 40-50 days. made many preparations for their burials, including painting tombs and preparing canopic jars for the organs Egyptian Complex Culture & Society • Items needed for after-life placed in tomb with body (Writing materials, clothing, hairdressing supplies and assorted tools, etc.) • Food left for the dead, and depicted on walls of the tombs thought would be magically transformed as needed. • Images of items tomb owner may want in after-life painted on walls Egyptian Complex Culture & Society SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY • Geometry, Astronomy and Math numeric system on base 10 (decimal) • Engineers and Architects first to use stone columns (in homes, palaces and temples) • Advancements in Medicine earliest known medicine and surgery • Calendar 12 month, 365 day calendar from studying the stars So accurate it was only 6 hours off from today’s calendar year Edwin Smith Papyrus medical text Indus River Valley Indus River Valley settled on the banks of the Indus River farmers relied upon monsoons to bring in heavy rainfall for crops - heavy rains was also destructive makes life unpredictable - mountains protect subcontinent but does not keep out invaders PLANNED COMMUNITIES – Specialized Labor • Careful city planners; laid out in grid with a defendable citadel. - Harappa - Mohenjo Daro • Engineered sophisticated plumbing and sewage systems. • Similarity in housing indicates little differences between social classes • farming-based Left: The excavated ruins of Mohenjo Daro – one of several planned cities laid out on a grid system in the Indus region. Right: The citadel at Mohenjo Daro. System of Government & Laws Religion and government were linked Priest-King - connection for the people to the gods Royal palace and holy temple were combined in the citadel central administrative area Mohenjo-Daro Citadel Complex Culture & Society • most Harappans were farmers – grew rice, wheat, barley, peas, and cotton • city dwellers made copper and bronze tools, clay pottery, and cotton cloth • known traders with Mesopotamia & Egypt • patriarchal society Written Language • used a special script cannot translate • wrote on seals • perhaps to denote ownership China - most isolated of the four river civilization due to geographic distance and barriers - mountains and deserts separate civilization from others - develops most unique civilization of the four river civilizations - key rivers were the Huang He (Yellow) & Yangtze - destructive flooding China’s Sorrow China Writing system - first found on oracle bones (cattle bones or tortoise shells) - used to verify China’s first dynasty - told of kings and their exploits - historical record - divination fortune telling - oldest continuously used script China Government & Laws - earliest societies – Yangshao & Longshan little known of their laws - first known rulers were the Shang kings cruel, harsh rulers known for practicing ritual slaughter of servants after their death - able to control through harsh laws and powerful military - well-organized hierarchy with nobility controlling peasants and king controlling nobility China Specialized Labor - Yangshao and Longshan known for developing distinctive pottery potters - also shaping stone – jade artisans - also cultivated rice, millet, barley, and wheat farmers - during Shang - world’s finest bronze workers metal workers, miners, etc. China Complex Culture & Society - raised bronze casting to art form - used for ritual honoring ancestors ancestor worship - ancestors intercede on behalf of family with the gods (polytheistic) hierarchy – king at top “Son of Heaven” -nobility controlled bureaucracy & religious rituals of ancestor worship - peasants were farmers, artisans, etc.