THE INVENTION OFWRITINGWHAT WERE THE FIRST CIVILIZATIONS? Writing appeared inMesopotamia over 5,000 yearsago. This invention was soimportant that it marks the endof Prehistory and the beginningof History. As villages grow intotowns, writing was a way ofstoring informations abouttaxes, trade and populations.
THE FIRST CIVILIZATIONSThe first great civilizations appeared in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India and China around 5,000 years ago.These river civilizations developed along large rivers surrounded by fertile land. These rivers were: The Tigris and Euphrates in Mesopotamia The Nile in Egypt The Indus River in India The Yellow (Huang He) and Blue (Yangtze) Rivers in China
WHAT WERE THE FIRSTCIVILIZATIONS?In river civilizations: The king was themost powerfulperson. He madelaws, led the armyand often hadreligious functions.The kings wereserved by civilservants, and theycreated large armies.Ramesses II
WHAT WERE THE FIRSTCIVILIZATIONS? Society was hierarchical: it was divided intoclearly differentiated groups. A minority ofprivileged people owned most of the landand wealth, and had important posts inpublic institutions. The majority of thepopulations was much poorer.
WHAT WERE THE FIRSTCIVILIZATIONS? There were large-scale building works.The kings builtpalaces, temples, tombs and canals.Ziggurat of Ur
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN CIVILIZATIONLIKE? Mesopotamia means “between rivers”, andwas the territory between the Rivers Tigrisand Euphrates. Mesopotamian civilizationwas the first to use writing 5,000 years ago.
TIMELINE OF ANCIENTMESOPOTAMIA Ancient Mesopotamia is called the cradle ofcivilization. The first cities and empiresformed here. As you will see from the timeline, powerchanged hands many times throughout theancient history of this area. It went from theSumer to the Akkadians to the Babylonians tothe Assyrians back to the Babylonians backto the Assyrians and finally to the Persians.
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN CIVILIZATIONLIKE? Mesopotamia was avery dryarea.However, irrigationcanalsallowedagricultureto develop.
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN CIVILIZATIONLIKE? Its geographical situation made this a keyregion for trade between Asia Minor, theMediterranean area and Syria.
Cuneiform writing was essential. Itconsisted of sings drawn on claytablets with a reed. It is calledcuneiform because the patterns lookas if they were made by a wedge (theLatin word is cuneus). The earliest writing was based onpictograms. Pictograms were used tocommunicate basic information aboutcrops and taxes.
Over time, the need for writingchanged and the signs developed intoa script we call cuneiform. Over thousands of years,Mesopotamian scribes recorded dailyevents, trade, astronomy, andliterature on clay tablets. Cuneiform was used by peoplethroughout the ancient Near East towrite several different languages.
Writing made it possible to organizethe state, for example, by recordinghow much grain there was. Writing was also used to recordstories of important divinities orheroes. This was the beginning ofwritten literature.Epic of Gilgamesh
DID YOU KNOW? The Code of Hammurabi isone of the earliest lawcodes we know about. Itwas engraved on a rock inMesopotamia around1,800 BC. It is based onthe law of retaliation (“aneye for an eye”), whichestablished that thepunishment should matchthe crime.
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN SOCIETY LIKE? The aristocracyconsisted of the king’sfamily and the nobility.They owned the land andoccupied the highestgovernment positions.Mesopotamian societyPrivileges groups had the most wealth and all thepower:
Priests controlledreligious rituals. Theyowned some of the landand co-operated with thegovernment. Civil servants, such asscribes, couldread, write and count.Their tasks wereregistering laws andcommercial transactions.
Part of the population was free, while slaveshad no rights Peasants rented the lands around cities.This lands belonged to the king or thetemple. In exchange, peasants had togive them part of the harvest. Theycultivated crops, such as barley, wheatand beans. The used simple ploughs.
Craftsmen worked in workshops. Therewere different types of craftsmen, such asweavers, carpenters and jewellers. Women were men’s property. If theyworked, their salary was half of that of anadult man.
The Royal Standard of UrThis commemorates a Mesopotamian victory. The Standard should beread from right to left, beginning at the bottomNoblemen covered themselves with acape and wore shoes. Religious and military leader slavesFour-wheel chariotDefeatedenemiesSumerian warriors covered their headswith a leather or metal helmet
The Royal Standard of UrThis commemorates a Mesopotamian victory. The Standard should beread from right to left, beginning at the bottomThe Peace panel depicts animals, fish and other goods brought inprocession to a banquet. Seated figures, wearing woollen fleeces orfringed skirts, drink to the accompaniment of a musician playing alyre.
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN CULTURE LIKE? Mesopotamians were polytheistic: theybelieved in many gods. Their gods weresimilar to human beings, and had the samepassions. However, they were immortal. There were hundreds of gods who wereresponsible for everything in the world, fromrivers and trees to making bread and pottery. Temples were the gods’ residences on Earth.Some were built on stepped pyramids calledziggurats.Religion in Mesopotamia
Gods, goddesses, demons &monstersApkallugriffin Ea (Enki)AshurDumuziIshtar (Inanna)Ellil (Enlil)Sin (Nanna)Marduk
A Mesopotamian myth abouthow and why humans werecreated.At the beginning of time therewere only gods and goddesseson earth. They had to work theland to grow crops to eat. Thiswas difficult and they worked veryhard.Each god and goddess had a jobto do. Some dug the fields andplanted the crops. Others broughtwater to the fields in ditcheswhich had to be kept clear ofweeds.
A Mesopotamian myth abouthow and why humans werecreated.The work was hard, and theywere not happy. They got togetherto discuss what could be done tolighten their workload.They went to get advice fromEnki, who was wise and clever.Enki was fast asleep in hisunderwater house.
A Mesopotamian myth abouthow and why humans werecreated.Enki suggested that he createcreatures to serve them byworking the land. Then the godsand goddesses lives would beeasier.The gods and goddesses thoughtthat Enkis plan was a goodsolution. Enki collected clay fromaround his watery home and usedit to make humans.
A Mesopotamian myth abouthow and why humans werecreated.He breathed life into the clayfigures, but he limited how longthey would live. Only the godsand goddesses would live forever.The humans were put to work inthe fields. As servants of the godsand goddesses they had toprovide them with food and drinkfor their tables.
A Mesopotamian myth abouthow and why humans werecreated.The humans took water from therivers and fed the dry and lifelesslands. They dug the soil andplanted crops.With hard work the humansbrought life to the land, and thegods and goddesses, who hadbrought life to the humans, werehappy......... for themoment...........
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN CULTURE LIKE? The first schools were in Mesopotamia.Originally, they specialized in training scribes.Later, scholars, scientists and theologiansattended schools. Only male children from rich families went toschool. There was no education for girls.The first schools
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN CULTURE LIKE?In Mesopotamia, both architecture andsculpture were exceptional. Architecture: Mesopotamians builtmagnificent palaces such asKhorsabad, and monumental gates, suchas the Ishtar Gate. They invented the archand the vault. Brick and adobe (mud brick)were used for construction.Mesopotamian art
The Ishtar Gatewas the eighth gateto the inner city ofBabylon. It was constructedin about 575 BC byorder of KingNebuchadnezzar IIon the north side ofthe city.THE ISHTARGATE
THE ZIGGURAT OFUR Ziggurats are largesolid mud-brick steppedtowers. Stairways leadto the top where therewas a small temple. No one knows for certainwhy ziggurats were builtor how they were used.They are part of templecomplexes, so they wereprobably connected withreligion.The Ziggurat of Ur today
WHAT WAS MESOPOTAMIAN CULTURE LIKE? Sculpture: they made stone statues ofkings, gods, animals and bulls with humanheads. Reliefs showed political and religiousscenes.Mesopotamian artThe Lady of Warka c.3200 BC(Sumerian)The Warka Vase or The Uruk Vase c.3200 BC(Sumerian)
The Dying Lion (Neo-Assyrian, ca. 645-640 B.C.)Statue of king Gudea with a vase. Around 2140BCE.Bust of an Akkadian ruler, probablySargon, Nineveh, c. 23rd – 22nd century BC.Panel of Ashurbanipal, about 645 BC
THE NILE Ancient Egyptis one of themost importantcivilizations inHistory. Itemerged morethan 5,000years ago,along the RiverNile in thenorth-east ofAfrica
THE NILE Ancient Egyptians lived near the RiverNile, because the land was fertile there.Each year, water from the Nile rose andflooded the area. When the water wentback, it left mud which made the fieldsfertile. The Egyptians built dams to hold back thewater, and canals to carry water inland.
THE NILE The River Nile was also the main meansof communication. Sailing shipstransported people and good along theriver.
THE NILE Egyptian civilization would not haveexisted without the Nile. Egyptians knewhow important it was: they had agod, Hapi, which represented the river.
WHO WERE THEPHARAOHS? The origins ofAncient Egypt dateback to about 3,100BC, when kingMenes united all theterritories along theRiver Nile. Egyptiancivilization lastedabout threethousand years.Egypt wasconquered by theRomans in the firstcentury BC.The Narmer Palette is a significant Egyptianarcheological find, dating from about the 31st centuryBC. Narmer was an ancient Egyptian pharaoh of theEarly Dynastic Period (c. 31st century BC).Egyptological consensus identifies Narmer with theFirst Dynasty pharaoh Menes.
Egyptians calledtheir king apharaoh. The pharaoh wasall-powerful. Hepassed laws, ruledthe country, ownedmost of theland, controlledtrade and ledarmies.Ramesses II, at the battle of Kadesh. (Reliefinside his Abu Simbel temple.)
WHO WERE THEPHARAOHS? Egyptians believed that the pharaohwere gods. Nobody could look at thepharaoh in the eye or touch his body.They also believed that the pharaohhad magical powers. Forexample, they thought that pharaohscould make the water or the Nile rise.
SOME IMPORTANTPHARAOHSKhufu (4thDinasty, 2589–2566 BC).He built the GreatPyramid of Giza.Hatshepsut (18thDinasty, 1479-1458 BC).Thesecond known femaleruler, though quite possiblythe seventh (the reigns of fiveother women are likely, butdisputed).Thutmose III (18thDynasty, 1479–1425 BC).
SOME IMPORTANTPHARAOHSAkhenaten (18thDinasty, 1353–1336 BC).Founder of brief period ofa solar-centered religion.Tutankhamun (18th dynasty(ruled ca. 1332 BC – 1323BC).Ramesses (19thDynasty, 1279 BC – 1213BC). He is often regarded asthe greatest, mostcelebrated, and mostpowerful pharaoh of theEgyptian Empire.
The vulture was thesymbol of UpperEgyptThe Nemes was aheaddress to showroyal powerThe whipsymbolized thepharaoh as a guideThe serpent was thesymbol for LowerEgyptThe crooksymbolizedprotectionA ceremonial beardmarked them as adivinityA royalsarcophagusThe pharaohs usedornaments assymbols ofroyalty, power and Royal Sarcophagus of Tutankhamen
THE ELITENoblemen, priests and scribes were a privilegedminority: The noblemen receivedland and treasures from thepharaoh. They ruled theprovinces. The priests organizedreligious rituals. They alsoowned land. The scribes were able toread, write and count. Theywere in charge of the officialdocuments
THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATIONMost people lived in mud brick houses along theNile: Peasants cultivated the lands belonging tothe pharaoh, the priests and the noblemen. Craftsmen made sculptures and pottery.They also made papyrus, a kind of paper,and linen, which was used to make clothesTomb of Menna
THE MAJORITY OF THE POPULATION Merchants sold wood, minerals andperfumes. Servants were free people who worked for asalary, in the form of bread, beer, grain, meatand cloth rations. Slaves were war prisoners and had no rights.They built monuments, worked in mines orfoughtas soldiers.Tomb of Rekhmire
THE ROLE OF WOMEN Egyptian women had some rights andmore freedom than other women inAntiquity. For example, they could inheritand own property, and they could also getdivorced. Most Egyptian women did house work, orworked as peasants or servants. It was rarefor women to hold posts in theadministration. However, some women, likeHatshepsut or Cleopatra, becamepharaohs.
Kitchen model; women workers grinding, bakingand brewing. Bread- and beer-making (made offermented bread) were usually womens tasks.Twelfth dynasty, 2050-1800 BCE. EgyptianMuseum of Berlin.Dancers and musicians. Nebamun’s tombA wall painting from the New Kingdom tomb ofSennedjem, a Theban tomb builder. He and hiswife Iyneferet are shown sowing and plowing thefields.
HOW DID ANCIENT EGYPT CHANGE?The chronology of the KingdomsThere were three main periodsun the history of AncientEgypt: The Old Kingdom lastedaround 1,000 years. The basicstructure of society and thestate were established. Thepharaoh was already a divineand powerful figure. Thecapital city was Memphis.The Old Kingdom collapsedaround 2,200 B.C.Khafra was an important pharaoh ofthe Old Kingdom
The Middle Kingdomlasted about 4,000years. In this period, thepower of the pharaohsincreased. New citieswere built, and thecapital moved toThebes. The countryexpanded its frontiersto the south. A foreigninvasion brought thisperiod to an end in1,800 BC.Senusret I was an important pharaohof the Middle Kingdom
The New Kingdom started around 1,600BC and lasted about 500 years. Some ofthe most famous pharaohs reigned in thisperiod: Thutmose I, AmenhotepIII, Akhenaten, Tutankhamun andRamesses II. Egyupt conquered Libyaand Syria. Large palaces and templeswere built.After the year 1,100 BC, Egypt was invadedby different foreign peoples: theAssyrians, the Persians, the Greeks andthe Romans.
WHAT WERE EGYPTIAN RELIGIOUSBELIEFS? The Egyptians were polytheistic: theyworshipped many gods. The principal godwas the Sun, called Ra, Amun or Atum.Other important gods were Isis, Osiris andHorus. Each one had a role to play in maintainingpeace and harmony across the land. The ancient Egyptians believed that it wasimportant to recognise and worship thesegods and goddesses so that life continuedsmoothly.
The Egyptians also worshipped:◦ Certain animals, such as the crocodile◦ Natural features, such as the River Nile◦ People, such as the pharaohSobek was connected with the Nile, and protected theking. Live crocodiles were kept in pools at templesbuilt to honor Sobek.
Egyptians believed that religion preservedthe order of the universe. Forexample, religious rituals ensured that theNile flooded each year. Each god had a temple, where a group ofpriests made offerings to its statue. On thegod’s feast day, the statue was taken out inprocession.Temple of Isis, atPhilae
AFTERLIFE Egyptians believed there was anafterlife, as long as the body waspreserved. Consequently, a dead bodywas dried to make a mummy, which wasput in a sarcophagus.
MOMMIFICATION Making a mummy was a very long process.It took almost 3 month to make one of them. First, the body was taken to the tent knownas ibu or the place of purification. Therethe embalmers wash the body with good-smelling palm wine and rinse it with waterfrom the Nile.
MOMMIFICATION One of the embalmersmen made a cut in theleft side of the body andremoved many of theinternal organs. Theliver, lungs, stomachand intestines werewashed and packed innatron to dry them out.The heart was not takenout of the body becauseit was the centre ofintelligence and feelingand the man wouldneed it in the afterlife. A long hook was usedto smash the brain andpull it out through thenose.
MOMMIFICATION The body was then covered and stuffed withnatron which would dry it out. All of thefluids, and rags from the embalming processwill be saved and buried along with the body. After forty days the body was washed againwith water from the Nile. Then it was coveredwith oils to help the skin stay elastic.
MOMMIFICATION The body was stuffed with dry materialssuch as sawdust, leaves and linen so thatit looks lifelike. Finally the body was covered again withgood-smelling oils, and wrapped in linen.
MOMMIFICATION In the past, when the internalorgans were removed from abody they were placed inhollow canopic jars. Overmany years the embalmingpractices changed andembalmers began returninginternal organs to bodies afterthe organs had been dried innatron. However, solid woodor stone canopic jars were stillburied with the mummy tosymbolically protect theinternal organs.Canopic jars of Neskhons, wife of Pinedjem II. Made ofcalcite, with painted wooden heads. Circa 990–969 BC. Ondisplay at the British Museum.
Imsety the human-headed god looksafter the liver.Hapy the baboon-headed godlooks after the lungsDuamutef the jackal-headed godlooks after the stomach Qebehsenuef the falcon-headedgod looks after the intestines.
MOMMIFICATION Between the layersof wrapping, theembalmers placeamulets to protectthe body in itsjourney through theunderworld. A papyrus scrollwith spells from theBook of the Deadwas placedbetween thewrapped hands. A cloth waswrapped around thebody and a pictureof the god Osiriswas painted on itssurface.This is the Isis knotamulet which will protectthe body.This is the Plummet amuletwhich will keep the personbalanced in the next life.
MOMMIFICATION Finally, a large cloth was wrapped around the entiremummy. It was attached with strips of linen that runfrom the top to the bottom of the mummy, and aroundits middle. A board of painted wood was placed on topof the mummy before the mummy was lowered intoits coffin. The first coffin was then put inside a secondcoffin. Finally, the body and its coffins were placed inside alarge stone sarcophagus in the tomb.
THE BOOK OFTHE DEADThe Book of the Dead is an ancientEgyptian funerary text, used fromthe beginning of the New Kingdom(around 1550 BCE) to around 50BCE.The Book of the Dead is made upof a number of individual texts andtheir accompanying illustrations.
AFTERLIFE A wealthy person’s tomb contained the things whichwere necessary in the afterlife, such as food, jewelsor statues of servants. Furniture, clothing, valuable objects, food and drinkare arranged in the tomb for the deceased.Objects from the tomb of Kha and Merit
EGYPTIANTOMBSThere were three kinds of tombs. All had funeral chambers which were hidden fromthieves. A mastaba (meaning "housefor eternity" or "eternalhouse"), is a type of ancientEgyptian tomb in the form of aflat-roofed, rectangularstructure with outward slopingsides that marked the burialsite of many eminent Egyptiansof Egypts ancient period. Mastabas were constructed outof mud-bricks (from the NileRiver) or stone. In the OldKingdom, kings began to beburied in pyramids instead ofmastabas, although non-royaluse of mastabas continued formore than a thousand years.
EGYPTIAN MASTABASThe Mastaba of ShepseskafTomb of Nefermaat in Meidum
EGYPTIANTOMBS The ancient Egyptians builtpyramids as tombs for thepharaohs and their queens.The pharaohs were buried inpyramids of many differentshapes and sizes from beforethe beginning of the OldKingdom to the end of theMiddle Kingdom. There are about eightypyramids known today fromancient Egypt. The threelargest and best-preserved ofthese were built at Giza at thebeginning of the Old Kingdom.The most well-known of thesepyramids was built for thepharaoh Khufu. It is known asthe Great Pyramid.
EGYPTIAN PYRAMIDSThis pyramids were allmade by pharaoh Sneferu(4th Dinasty)The Bent PyramidThe Red PyramidThe Meidum Pyramid
EGYPTIANTOMBS Hypogea were tombs dug outof rock. They are not visiblefrom the outside. The Valley of the Kings is avalley in Egypt where, for aperiod of nearly 500 years fromthe 16th to 11th centuryBC, tombs were constructed forthe Pharaohs and powerfulnobles of the New Kingdom(the Eighteenth to theTwentieth Dynasties of AncientEgypt). The Valley was used forprimary burials fromapproximately 1539 BC to 1075BC, and contains at least 63tombs, beginning withThutmose I (or possiblyearlier, during the reign ofAmenhotep I), and ending with
THE VALLEY OF THE KINGSTomb of Ramesses IVTomb of Sety ITomb of Thutmose III
DEIR EL-MEDINA Deir el-Medina islocated in a small valleysoutheast of the Valleyof the Kings andnortheast of the Valley ofthe Queens. It was home to theworkmen who excavatedand decorated the tombsin the Valley of theKings. The daily life of theworkmen and theirfamily is well-knownthanks to the vastnumber of documentsfound at Dayr alMadinah.
EGYPTIAN ART Artists were the pharaho’s civilservants. They worked in teams, andwere considered craftsmen rather thanartists. Most Egyptian art had a religiousmeaning. Temples and tombs weredecorated with paintings and reliefs. Other works of art had a politicalmeaning. Large statues showed thepharaoh’s power.
EGYPTIAN ART:ARCHITECTURE Egyptian buildings stand out for their colossalsize. Temples and tombs were constructed almostentirely of stone. Other buildings wereconstructed with sun-baked mud bricks. They used columns profusely. Its a post andlintel architecture, with the predominance ofstraight lines above a curve. Exterior and interior walls, as well as the columnsand piers, were covered with hieroglyphic andpictorial frescoes and carvings painted in brilliantcolors. Two types of buildings stand out: temples andtombs.
EGYPTIAN ART:ARCHITECTURE Temples are spaces designated to the worship of acertain god. Egyptian temples had various parts:◦ An avenue of sphinxes, fabulous images that had thebody of a lion and the head of a human.◦ An interior patio, where they received the faithful.◦ A room of columns, which the believers did not haveaccess to. It had the name “hypostyle”.◦ The sanctuary or place with the statue of the god orgoddess.
EGYPTIAN ART:ARCHITECTURETemples of Abu Simbel
EGYPTIAN ART:ARCHITECTURETemples of Abu SimbelPhilaeEdfuDendera
EGYPTIAN ART: PAINTING Painting changed very little in 3,000years. Artists followed strict rules: Figures are painted withoutperspective. Objects are seen from the front. Thehuman body is also shown from thefront, but the head, arms and legs areseen in profile. The person is idealized. He or she isalways young and beautiful. Human figures are static. The aim is toshow stability and continuity.
EGYPTIAN ART: PAINTING Painting was used to decorate the walls ofthe temples and tombs, as well as toillustrate on papyrus. Fresco was a very commonly-usedtechnique. To produce colours, the pigmentswere dissolved in water before being appliedto a damp wall. The themes were very varied and fluctuatedbetween religious representations withsymbolic character (gods, rituals) and scenesfrom daily life, executed with great realism.There are numerous representations ofplants and animals.
EGYPTIAN ART: SCULPTURE A great amount of Ancient Egyptian sculptural pieces areconserved, the majority of which, come from temples andtombs. They were made of stone, wood or bronze. There are different types:◦ Statues of Pharaohs and people from the court. Theyare figures are represented with idealized, rigid, andstatic (motionless) characteristics, with arms stuck tothe body (law of frontality). They tried to give thesensation of being majestic. There is also anabundance of sculptures of gods and deifiedanimals.◦ Statues of people from an inferior class that wererepresented by natural and realistic postures andshapes (for example, the Mayor of the village).◦ There are many figurines that represented scenesfrom daily life (agriculturalwork, soldiers, servants, craftsmen, etc.).