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Birth of Civilization in the MIddle East

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  1. 1. 11 The Birth of Civilization in theThe Birth of Civilization in the Middle EastMiddle East
  2. 2.   OVERVIEW Civilization  Complex social and economic structures  Effective and lasting government  Religious beliefs  Scientific and technical achievements  Literary and artistic styles  Spread to less advanced civilizations • By 1200 B.C. civilization spread beyond Mesopotamia and Egypt  Crisis • Internal problems and outside invasion • Emerged more advanced and more expansive  Phoenicians  Assyrians  Persians  Monotheism
  3. 3. The Prehistoric Era The Origins and “Ages” of Human Beings  Homo sapiens sapiens, “thinking thinking” human being • Homo sapiens first appeared about 100,000 year ago • First hominids (humanlike creatures) appeared about 2,500,000 years ago • Brain size • Use of tools, a product of intelligence • Progress in technology  Old Stone (Paleolithic) Age • Progress speeded by Homo sapiens  New Stone (Neolithic) Age • Stone tools become stronger, sharper, and more specialized  Bronze Age (about 3000-1000 B.C)  Iron Age (after 1000 B.C.)
  4. 4. Human origins Earliest humanlike species originated in East Africa Homo erectus appeared in East Africa 1,5000,000 years ago By 500,000 years ago Homo erectus had spread to much of Europe and southern Asia Homo erectus evolved into the advanced species of Homo sapiens – then, later into Homo sapiens sapiens H. s. sapiens appeared 30,000 years ago, first in the Middle East and Europe and then across Africa and Asia H. s. sapiens made their way across a “land bridge” that at the time linked the eastern tip of Asia with Alaska
  5. 5. Development of physical characteristics  Skin color and physical characteristics Hunters, fishers, and gatherers  Small groups of 20 to 30 for purposes of hunting, protection and childrearing Role of women Language  Essential for communication and creation of abstract ideas
  6. 6. New Stone (Neolithic) Age  Period after 8000 B.C.  Advances in tool making  Shift from hunter-gatherers to settled agrarian life  Domestication of plants and animals  Growth of organized community relations The New Stone Age: The Agricultural Revolution
  7. 7. Agricultural revolution Begins in the Middle East Glaciers had melted significantly by 8000 B.C. Europe left cold and rainy; North Africa, formerly cooled and watered by glacial influence, began to dry up; Middle East had fertile soil and good water supply
  8. 8. Beginning of farming Wild grasses Women collected and stored grains and observed growth of grains around storage containers Garden patches Wheat and barley Tools – stone-bladed hoes and flint- edged sickles
  9. 9. The Civilized World of the Middle East, 3000-1200 B.C.
  10. 10. Domestication of animals  Wild dogs first to be tamed  Sheep, goats, pigs, and cattle raised as a source of food as well as for producing wool, skins and milk  Used strength of animals for transportation and tilling the ground Wheel invented about 3500 B.C. Plow invented about 3500 B.C. New technologies affect field and pasture  Bread, beer, wine, cheese, edible oils, woven cloth, leather, fired-clay pottery for cooking and storage, clay bricks for house building  First agricultural villages appear abut 6000 B.C.
  11. 11. Social and intellectual consequences of the Agricultural Revolution  Typical village: 200-300 inhabitants  Authority in the hands of male elders who elected a chief leader  Farmlands were common property and worked cooperatively  Foundations of ethics and law created Division of Labor  Agriculture created the need for labor  Impact on women: children and the home  Labor tasks
  12. 12. Religion  Closely associated with food production  Hunters: showed a respect for animal spirits  Farmers: worshipped the spirit of the earth– “Great Mother”  Other spirits worshipped: sun and moon Calendar: for planting and harvesting  29 days for the moon to go through its phases but does not divide into 365 days
  13. 13. Mesopotamia “the land between the rivers” Vast plain between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers By about 3500 B.C., many prosperous villages Civilization begins where the two rivers run close together before entering the Persian Gulf  Land was flat, marshy, and open to flooding  Limited rainfall, but summers hot and humid  Irrigation and seasonal flooding deposits rich silt  Colder and drier weather after 3500 B.C. • Means easier to harness Tigris and Euphrates for irrigation • Population growth – some cities near 40,000
  14. 14. Sumer (3500-2400 B.C.) Southern Mesopotamia: Sumerians  Arrived about 3500 B.C., probably from central Asia  Conquered or absorbed earlier inhabitants  Controlled the south (some of the north) for over 1000 years  Need for social direction, regulation, and discipline Rise of a Complex Society  Priesthood • Communities devote resources to service of gods and goddesses • Building of large temples • Craftsmen  Defense against bandits, and wandering people • Wars over territory and water  Emergence of military chieftains– by 2500 B.C.“kings” • Power both in peace and war • Positive relationship with priests
  15. 15. Control of the city and surrounding countryside Own government and armed forces Cultivators made up 90% of the population  Farmland divided into one section for the temple priests, another for the king, and the remainder for private owners  Most worked as tenant farmers  Storehouses  Commerce  Debt slavery Emergence of the city-state: government
  16. 16. Ranks of prestige, authority, and power 1. king, high priests, and their principal officers and agents 2. private landowners and merchants 3. (biggest group) commoners: farmers/peasants and free craftsmen 4. slaves – considered property of their owners
  17. 17. Women  Occupied some roles of authority and prestige  Role in religion  Landowners  No queens in Sumer  Excluded from education and literary culture
  18. 18. Technology Wheel and plow by 3000 B.C. in Sumer Metalworking Ore-bearing mountains fringe Mesopotamia Smelting copper and tin in kilns Bronze By 3000 B.C. bronze had spread to Sumer as well as the use of silver, gold, and lead
  19. 19. Writing Dates from 3100 B.C. in Sumer Develops with increased prosperity (accounting records) Pictograms simplified so they could be easily and quickly “drawn” – develops into cuneiform Sumerian “cuneiform” (wedge shape) Some symbols used as ideograms, others as phonograms for sounds of words or syllables Use of tablets By 2600 B.C. the writing system could produce a visual statement Writing practiced only by professional scribes
  20. 20. Law One of the fruits of writing Statements of customary rules and practices Shortcomings of law by interpretation Commoners insisted on protection afforded by written statements of rules
  21. 21. Religion Polytheism Anthropomorphic – humanlike in character and appearance Priests and priestesses No immortality nor rewards and punishments after death Epic of Gilgamesh
  22. 22. Science Response to the needs in cultivation, irrigation and commerce Basic arithmetic – multiplication, division, square and cube root Sixty-base system and ten-base (decimal) system  Circle marked into three hundred and sixty degrees  Formula for computing the hypotenuse of a right triangle devised  Area of a triangle calculated Calendar Few advances in medicine
  23. 23. Architecture Displays the power of religion and kings Raised platforms, temples and palaces built of mud brick Ziggurat: Step-Pyramid structure Ziggurat of Ur made of mud-brick: 50 feet high and 200 x 300 feet at the base Use of the arch, vault, and dome Statues
  24. 24. Babylonia (2400 – 1200 B.C.) Semitic speakers who migrated from Arabia About 2350 B.C. led by Sargon who attacked the Sumerian cities and the rest of Mesopotamia. Order not restored until about 1900 B.C. by the Amorites (another group of Semites) who settled near the city-state of Babylon Sumerian city-states frequently at war About 2400 B.C, invasion from Akkad, north of Sumer
  25. 25. Amorites Hammurabi conquered Mesopotamia by 1700 B.C. Advances in arts, sciences, and commerce Code of Hammurabi – uniform standard of law Deals with the administration of justice, social classes, property, trade and commerce, assaults, wages, and marriage and the family “Retaliation in kind” (lex talionis) “eye for an eye”
  26. 26. Tigris-Euphrates Valley  Wealth of the Tigris-Euphrates valley attracted less civilized people • By 1600 B.C. the non-Semetic Kassites conquered most of Babylonia and adopted Babylonian culture, language, and religion. They dominated the region until 1200 B.C.  Hittites • Indo-Europeans in Asia Minor • Civilization adapted to land of mountains, forests and high plateaus – copper, gold , and silver plentiful • Hittites won control of Asia Minor about 1600 B.C. • Army of charioteers and well-trained infantry  Fought against Egypt to control Syria and Palestine • Translate tales of Gilgamesh
  27. 27. Land of the Pharaohs: Egypt People entered Egypt from Arabia (to the east), Nubia (to the south), Libya (to the west), and Palestine and Syria (to the north)  Egyptians were of black and white racial origin For two thousand years continuity and stability The Nile and the “Two Lands”  Cycle of labor and life depends on the Nile’s flooding  Two distinct geographical sections – upper Egypt (the Valley) and Lower Egypt (the Delta)  Lower Egypt: triangular area of rich soil (deposited by the Nile River)  Upper Egypt is long and narrow (no more than 12 miles wide)  Around 3100 B.C. the two lands unified under a single king
  28. 28. Government by A God-King (3100-30 B.C.) Pharaoh  Son of the sun-god Re, king of all the other gods and goddesses  Incarnation of Horus, falcon-headed ruler of the sky • When he died, he became one with Osiris who reigned as pharaoh of the underworld • Appointed by the gods to conduct the rituals and sacrifices that won their favor • Stability and harmony of Egypt part of the stability and harmony of the universe • Universal stability and harmony called maat • Maat the responsibility of the pharaoh • Absolute authority • Vizier: chief deputy to the pharaoh
  29. 29. Class, Gender, & Family Classes  Aristocracy (nobility)  Commoner (peasants)  No business class Women  Monogamy  Could own property, bring lawsuits, and divorce their husbands  Upper-class women learned to read and write Upper-classes households could have harems with a principal wife  Principal wife was often the ruler’s own sister  Queens and princesses often wielded real power
  30. 30. Rhythm of Egyptian history Old Kingdom – begins about 2700 B.C.  Period of pyramid building  About 2200 B.C. : a series of weak pharaohs Middle Kingdom – begins about 2050 B.C.  Ends about 1800 B.C. with Semitic tribes moving into Lower Egypt New Kingdom –reestablished about 1600 B.C.  Territorial expansion  Valley of the Kings constructed near Thebes After the New Kingdom, Egypt subject to power struggles in the Middle East and northern Africa In 525 B.C. Egypt became a province of Persia From 333 B.C. ruled by Greeks and in 30 B.C. was conquered by the Romans
  31. 31. Religion: The Base of Pharaoh’s Authority Explains creation, nature of the world, ethical principles, and life after death Polytheistic Akhnaton identified the supreme God Aten as the single divine power and south to abolish the worship of other deities Ethics Immortality Originally conceived in the form of animals and later often bore animal heads or bodies Deities did not have strong individual personalities
  32. 32. By 1800 B.C., the soul of deceased stands before Osiris, ruler of the underworld Heart (character) was weighed to measure the soul’s truthfulness If the soul passed, it was admitted to everlasting life in a garden of paradise; otherwise, it was cast into the crocodile jaws of a monster  Ka (life force or soul) persists after the body dies  Use of mummification and comforts in the tomb would aid the soul during its life to come
  33. 33. Egyptian Law & Writing Law  No developed system of law  Law, right, and justice flowed from the pharaoh  Principal guide was custom and will of the ruler Writing  Hieroglyphs  Hieratic (priestly) script  Demotic (popular) script  Alphabet  Papyrus rolls  National literature generally served religious purposes
  34. 34. Science and Technology Egyptians: no interest in mathematics  Used a ten-base (decimal system)  Solar calendar of 365 days – 12 months of 30 days and 5 free days; 3 weeks of 10 days and a 24 hour day Scientific medicine  Books on disease, established medical practices, libraries and schools  Waterborne parasites  Demonic theory of sickness Technology  Boats with masts and sails  Religious buildings
  35. 35. Architecture and the Arts Pyramids  Great Pyramid –476 feet high, 760 feet on each side, 2,300,000 cut blocks weighing two and a half tons apiece, sides of polished marble  Great Sphinx Obelisks, sacred to the sun-god Re Religious shrines  Temple of Amon at Karnak (next slide) – 1220 feet by 340 (about 10 acres) Sculpture and painting  Rigid posture and frontalism, face in profile, left foot forward, no depth
  36. 36. The First Universal Empires: Assyria and Persia Crisis and Recovery of the Civilized World (1200-900 B.C.)  1200 B.C.– the Hittite kingdom in Asia Minor is invaded by newcomers  Invaders proceed on to Syria, Palestine and Egypt • Disrupted trade and commerce • Shortage of tin led metalworkers to use iron as they developed new methods of smelting. Led to the Iron Age • Used archers and spearmen riding horses  The Kassite kingdom was overthrown by its eastern neighbors
  37. 37. Mesopotamia: Sematic nomads (Aramaeans from Syria and Chaldeans from Arabia) took advantage of the Kassite collapse. Aramaeans conquered the north and the Chaldeans conquered the south •The Aramaeans adopted the ways of the Mesopotamians and created a number of prosperous city-states that dominated land trade throughout the Middle East
  38. 38. Mediterranean coast: Phoenicians established seaborne trade Merchant vessels and oar-powered warships with bronze-tipped rams Phoenician merchants traveled Mediterranean Sea and into the Atlantic  Created colonies in Africa and Spain – Carthage in North Africa Alphabet  30 signs developed in the Middle East as an improvement to Egyptian hierglyphics After 1200 B.C. Aramaeans brought the alphabet to Mesopotamia The Phoenicians passed on alphabetic writing to less advanced western people
  39. 39. Assyria (900-600 B.C.) • A Semitic people arriving from Arabia to the middle and upper Tigris River about 3000 B.C. • Settled along trade and invasion routes • Began as farmers, herders, and traders but became tough soldiers defending their land
  40. 40. The Assyrian and Neo- Babylonian Empires
  41. 41. • Went on the offensive after 1200 B.C. (took advantage of weak power centers in Middle East) • Recognized the advantage of controlling the trade routes between Asia and the Mediterranean • Created a universal empire beginning 900 B.C. with the defeat of the Aramaeans and by the seventh century B.C. reached Palestine and most of Egypt • Fall of Assyria: destroyed by the Chaldeans and Medes by the end of the seventh century B.C.
  42. 42. The Assyrian State • First truly military state • All adult males were subject to military service • War was glorified • Mixed Force: chariots, light and heavy infantry, cavalry, battering rams, and movable siege towers • Assyrian state was too small to control their large territory and compensated with terror to enforce its rule • Conquered lands organized into provinces with Assyrian nobles appointed as governors
  43. 43. Persia (550-330 B.C.) • After the Chaldeans liberated Babylonia, there was a rebirth of industry and arts • King Nebuchadrezzar • Media and Persia formed the western part of a vast plateau in Asia Minor. • Rich in metals and agriculture • Medes helped the Chaldeans crush the Assyrians
  44. 44. The Persian Empire
  45. 45. • Persian King Cyrus defeated the Medes in 550 B.C. and won their support for future expansion • Within twenty years of the victory over the Medes, Cyrus controlled the Middle East from the Indus Valley to the Mediterranean • By 525 B.C., Cyrus’ son Cambyses controlled Egypt and Libya • Government  Monarchy – absolute king • Army – infantry operated with a bow- wielding cavalry and charioteers • Fleet of warships  Civil servants • 20 provinces administered by governors (satraps) • Royal inspectors
  46. 46. • Royal Highway  1700 miles from Susa, near the Persian Gulf, to Sardis near the Aegean Sea • Zoroaster, 17th century B.C.  State religion of Persia  Rejects polytheism and taught the monotheism of a god of goodness and light, Ahura Mazda  Rewards and punishments in life after death • Astronomy  Art and architecture  Used cuneiform for inscriptions and Aramaic language and alphabet for commerce  Weakened by internal conflicts and declining loyalty to the king, in 330 B.C. Alexander the Great brought down the failing empire
  47. 47. The Jews and Monotheism (1200- 300B.C)  Belief in an eternal, almighty, all-knowing, creator of the universe, infinitely good  An opposing evil power gained dominion over the human race  Belief and obedience would end with a savior to crush the evil power  Humans must accept the one God who would be of help
  48. 48. The Israelites and Their Neighbors
  49. 49. The Rise and Fall of Israel, 1200- 537 B.C. • After years of wanderings settled in Canaan (Palestine) around 1200 B.C.  Originated in Mesopotamia  Led by Abraham  Famine forces them to Egypt • “Israel” • Worshipped the god Yahweh  Unique, mysterious, jealous, covenants • The prophets • Reigns of David and Solomon about 1000 B.C.  David extended the kingdom until it included most of the eastern coastlands of the Mediterranean  The Temple on Mount Zion  Ark of the Covenant
  50. 50. • Split of Solomon’s kingdom • Israel in the north • Judah (including Jerusalem and the Temple) in the south • In 722 B.C., Assyrians destroyed Israel • Chaldeans of Babylonia captured Jerusalem and destroyed • The Temple in 587 B.C. • Deportation of Hebrews and others fleeing to Egypt
  51. 51. The Jews As A Scattered People, 537-330 B.C. • Persian defeated the Chaldeans and established a religiously tolerant empire and permitted Hebrews to return to Palestine  Temple rebuilt in 515 B.C.  Territory consists only of Judah (Judaea)  Ruled by the high priests of the Temple  Diaspora  Priestly status inherited and priests formed a powerful aristocracy  Jews became more devout in following the laws of righteousness and ritual purity in the Torah • Judaism became more of a religious than national group  Impact of exile  “Chosen People”  Messiah, “Anointed One”
  52. 52. Discussion Questions 1. Define civilization. What are its characteristics and how do they contribute to the growth and development of humanity? 2. What are the four ages of human development noted by the textbook. How do they differ? In what way do they mark a change for humanity and civilization? 3. Compare and contrast the civilizations that develop in Mesopotamia and Egypt. How are they similar and how are they different? What accounts for their differences? 4. Evaluate the empires of Assyria and Persia. How did they develop and what contribution did they make to the development of civilization? What were their strengths and weaknesses?

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