1 st Six Weeks Prehistory And Ancient Civilizations
1 st Six Weeks Themes
1. What is LIFE?
a) What do humans need to survive?
b) What is the environment?
2. What is CULTURE?
a) Way of life, traditions, customs,
b) Why have culture?
The First Humans How do we know if this “ancient stuff” really happened?
The study of past societies through an analysis of what people left behind them.
The study of how humans live
Scientific methods for excavations
Method of analysis that calculates the ages of objects by measuring the amount of carbon left in an object
Thermo luminescence dating (Archmides article Aug 06)
Method of analysis that dates an object by measuring the light given off by electrons trapped in surrounding fossils and artifacts
Deoxyribonucleic acid tests
Genetic tests providing information on human evolution
The Earliest Humans
The earliest human like creatures in Africa. Also known by the name of Australopithecines. (Apes)
Neanderthals - The first homo-sapiens
“ Wise-wise human being”
Hunters and Gatherers “Lets go get some tools”
“ Old Stone Age”- usage of simple tools
“ Middle Stone”-gradual shift from food gathering and hunting economy to a food producing one
“ New Stone”- shift from hunting to systematic agriculture
Adding of copper and tin to tools.
The single most important development in human history?
Neolithic farming villages
Jericho and Catal Huyuk
Mexico, Central America, India, China, Europe, Egypt
The Birth of Civilization
Human Needs + Environment = Culture
A complex culture in which large numbers of human beings share a number of commonalties.
6 Basic Characteristics of Civilizations
Rise of cities
Growth of governments
Role of religion
New social structure
Use of writing
The First Civilizations Mesopotamia & Egypt
WORLD HISTORY Dates Cheat Sheet
Remember: The years count backwards!
Year of Our Lord
Before the Common Era
Mesopotamian Region The Geography
Mesopotamia Region “The land between the rivers”
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Present Day Country of Iraq
Flooding along the banks of the river
Irregularity of flooding created insecurity
Zero natural barriers
Mud and dirt is abundant in the area.
What needed to be done?
Creation of cities
Governing the cities
Zero natural barriers enabled “raiders” to sweep in continually
Walls were created for defense
These walls were made of mud bricks which enabled the Sumerians to invent the following: 1) Arch 2) Dome
Government ruled by divine authority
Belief in many gods and goddesses
Temples were often built upon this massive stepped tower.
The tower of Babel was a ziggurat .
Culture and Science
Led and dominated by men
Cuneiform writing c. 3000 B.C.
“ wedge shaped”
-used for record keeping to maintain knowledge of previous events
The Epic of Gilgamesh
Mathematics and Astronomy
Museum Tour PRESS HERE
A Babylonian tablet from 87 B.C. reports the arrival of the comet now known as Halley.
The Sumerians 3000 B.C. – 2340 B.C.
Creators of the first Mesopotamian civilization
Cities with political and economic control over the surrounding countryside
The wheel c. 3000 B.C.
Sumerian city-states contained three major classes
1) Nobles 2) Commoners 3) Slaves
The Akkadians 2340 B.C. – 1792 B.C.
Sargon overruns Sumerian city-states
The Akkadians set up the first empire in world history
Empires are easy to create but difficult to maintain. Why?
Babylon under Hammurabi 1792 B.C. - 1750 B.C.
Hammurabi comes to power
Divides his opponents and defeats them with a well-disciplined army
Hammurabi is best known for his law code
The Code of Hammurabi
Did Mesopotamian’s Invent Soap?
As far back as 2500 B.C., clay tablets from near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers were found that make mention of the use of soap.
It's use for washing did not necessarily come first. It was first used as a way to dress one's hair, or as a medicament on wounds.
It was the accepted practice in Babylon 4,000 years ago that for a month after the wedding, the bride's father would supply his son-in-law with all the mead he could drink. Mead is a honey beer and because their calendar was lunar based, this period was called the honey month, which we know today as the honeymoon.
The First Civilizations Egypt
Egypt THE ENVIRONMENT
Like Mesopotamia, the Egyptian civilization is also a river valley
The Nile River- The longest river in the world
Unlike the floods of Mesopotamia’s rivers, the flooding was predictable
Unlike Mesopotamia, Egypt had excellent natural barriers.
Deserts to the west and east, cataracts to the south, and the Mediterranean Sea to the North
These barriers did not prevent trading however.
Movement along the Nile created efficiency in trading
Sun gods & land gods
Re (Ra) is shown below.
Who is this? How do you know?
Old Kingdom Age of Pyramids
Stability-free from invasion
A family of rulers whose right to rule is passed on within the family
Monarchs were called Pharaohs
In charge of government bureaucracy.
Tombs for the Pharaoh’s noble officials
The Great Pyramid at Giza
Geometric angles are almost precise
The Great Sphinx
Middle Kingdom Period of Chaos
Age of political chaos and invasion
New Kingdom The Empire
Strong military advancements
Prosperous gains in wealth
Read about Egyptian society and the daily life
First female ruler in history
Nearly led a religious revolution
Restored the gods
Writing and Education
Masters of the art of writing and also its teachers
The Persian Empire
The Hebrews and Persians
Religion-Judaism- Influenced Christianity and Islam
Descendants of Abraham
Saul the first Hebrew King
David- reclaims Palestine
Building Projects- Temple
Covenant-contract with God
Won the approval by using not only Persians but also the conquered as government officials.
Reputation of mercy
Generous to supporters, harsh to enemies
Satrapies- Persian provinces
Satrap- Persian governors
Well maintained roads
Immortals (Persian Guard)
Increased taxes led to disloyalty
Other Notable Civilizations
Built enormous palace complex on Crete at Knossus
Decorative paintings, elaborate bath drains
First to make use of iron. (Weaponry)
Elephants in battle
Excellent traders by sea.
Best known for its alphabet. The Phoenician alphabet was passed onto the Greeks.
Leaders with absolute power
First “ large” armies equipped with iron weapons
Hebrew and Persian Religions A Closer Look
Humans play a strong role in the struggle between good and evil
Perform good deeds: achieve paradise
HEBREWS and JUDAISM Written down as the Hebrew bible or “ Torah ” Christians call this The Old Testament Torah
Hebrews control Palestine and establish monarchy c. 1000 BC
Call territory “ Israel ” and establish Jerusalem as its capitol
Solomon’s most famous
deed is the building of the
temple at Jerusalem;
symbolic center of their
Map of Palestine The Holy Land
Remain under Persian control until conquests of Alexander the Great (4 th century bc.)
People of Judah retain their separate identity, become known as the Jews
God has a ‘contract’ with his people that he will take care of them if they promise to obey him and his laws
MORAL concerns were at the heart of the law of God