Fossil evidence shows that the earliest humans originate in Africa. People were nomads who moved from place to place in search of food and spread across the globe.
Prehistory is known as the time before the invention of writing around 5,000 ago. (3000 BC) Archaeologists and anthropologists use clues from fossils and artifacts to tell a story rather than go by written record.
Breakthroughs came about 10,000 years ago when humans learned how to farm and abandoned the hunter-gatherer lifestyles. From here, farming villages would start to sprout up.
Civilizations start to emerge. Civilizations are complex societies with cities, government, religion, jobs, public works, social classes, arts and writing. The four main civilizations develop on fertile river plains in: Mesopotamia (Tigris, Euphrates) Egypt (Nile) Indus Valley (Indus) China (Huang He)
Organized Religion Central Social Government Classes Job What is a Art &Special- civilization? Architectureization System of Cities Roads, writing bridges, temples, etc
Huang-He River Indus RiverTigris-Euphrates River Nile River
It was not soon thereafter that ancient rulers gained more power and conquered villages, cities and territories beyond their own thus creating empires. An empire is a group of states, territories and/or people ruled by one person.
The first civilizations in Egypt arise along the 4,100-mile Nile River on narrow strip of fertile land
Yearly flooding brings water and fertile black mud —silt Farmers build irrigation system for wheat and barley crops Egyptians worship the Nile as a god The blue figure is the Nile god Hapi
Religion plays a major role in Egyptian society. Egyptians are polytheistic, belief in many gods. Egyptians believe in over 2,000 gods and goddesses Believe in life after death; person judged by deeds at death Develop mummification, process that prevents body from decaying Book of the Dead contains prayers and spells, guides soul after death
Osiris – God of the Afterlife Isis – Goddess of Protection Horus– Son of Osiris and Isis, God of the Sky
Society shaped like pyramid, from pharaoh down to farmers, laborers Few people at top have great power; most people at bottom People move into higher social classes through marriage or merit Women have many of the same rights as men
To the Egyptians, kings are gods; Egyptian god-kings called pharaohs Pharaohs control religion, government, army, well-being of kingdom Government based on religious authority -theocracy
Kings were believed to rule even after death and had an eternal life force called the ka Egyptians build elaborate tombs and pyramids to meet needs after death. Pyramids made with blocks of stone, 2−15 tons each
The pyramid is estimated Every angle in the base is to have about 2,300,000 exactly 90 degrees, stone blocks weighing forming a perfect square. from 2-30 tons each with Even though it is located in some weighing as much as Egypt, where 70 tons. temperatures can get well The mortar used is of an over 100 degrees unknown origin. It has Fahrenheit, the been analyzed and its temperature inside The chemical composition is Great Pyramid remains known but it cant be constant at 68 degrees F. reproduced. It is stronger This is the same as Earth’s than the stone and still average temperature. holding up today
The pyramid was once covered with a smooth mantel stone that would reflect the sun up Egyptians wrote to 100 miles away. about and kept Even though the builders of the great pyramid did not have records of accurate measuring devices, EVERYTHING! great pyramid is within 1 However, there is centimeter of being perfectly no written record level. of them ever The Great Pyramid is located building the at exactly 31 degrees north pyramids. and 31 degrees east.
By 3000 B.C., the Sumerians build cities in the Fertile Crescent or Mesopotamia (land between rivers) Each is a city-state—an independent political unit Sumer city-states Uruk, Kish, Lagash, Umma, and Ur Each city has temple and ziggurat; priests appeal to gods
Sumerians invent the wheel, sail, and plow; first to use bronze Make advances in arithmetic and geometry Develop arches, columns, ramps and pyramids for building Have complex system of writing—cuneiform Study astronomy, chemistry, medicine
Other civilizations living in the Fertile Crescent were the Akkadians and the Babylonians. Sargon was the Akkadians ruler and he created the first ever empire. King Hammurabi of Babylon gave us the first major collection of laws known as Hammurabi’s Code. Hammurabi’s Code
Also living in the Fertile Crescent were the Hebrews, a group of nomadic people. The Hebrews developed a religion known as Judaism which is monotheistic (the belief in a one, true God). Judaism is the oldest, monotheistic religion to survive to the present
Prophets, or spiritual leaders such as Abraham, told the people to obey God and also preached a strong code of ethics (moral standards to live by). An example of these ethics would be the Ten Commandments, which is a covenant (an agreement between God and man) to obey.
God told Abraham to move his people from Ur in Sumeria to Canaan (modern day Palestine/Israel). This is the land that the Hebrews believed that God had promised them.
Eventually invading armies, such as the Egyptians, captured Canaan and imprisoned the Hebrews (now called the Jews). They lived in captivity for nearly 1,000 years until they were forced to leave. Moses leads the Jews out of captivity in Egypt during the Exodus.
Following the exodus, Jewish people experience diaspora, the scattering of people, which causes Jews to settle all over the world. This helps make Judaism a major religion worldwide.
With over 3,000 years of history, Judaism is the oldest continuous monotheistic (just one god) religion in the world. Basic laws and teachings come from the holy text, the Torah. The Torah establishes claim to Canaan, (Jerusalem/Palestine, the Holy Land) Jews believe the Holy Land was gift from Yahweh (God) to Jewish Synagogue: King Solomon’s Temple Abraham. Jewish King Solomon built a great temple to God in Jerusalem.
The first Indian civilizations build well-planned cities on the banks of the Indus and Ganges Rivers. Two main rivers: Indus and Ganges (Ganga)
By 2500 B.C., people build cities of brick laid out on a grid system Engineers create plumbing and sewage systems Indus Valley called Harappan civilization after Harappa, a city
City built on mud-brick platform to protect against flood waters Brick walls protect city and citadel— central buildings of the city Streets in grid system are 30 feet wide Lanes separate rows of houses (which featured bathrooms)
Signs of decline begin around 1750 B.C. Earthquakes, floods, soil depletion may have caused decline Around 1500 B.C., Aryans enter area and become dominant
Typically we associate Aryan’s with Nazis. However, Hitler misunderstood what Aryan’s were. Aryans are actually people of Indo-Iranian heritage and have dark hair, dark eyes and a darker skin complexion.
Aryans develop a complex class society in India which still exists today. These classes are known as castes. In the caste system you are born into a certain class which you can never leave. You are expected to take on the jobs and responsibilities of your family.
Dates back 5,000 years. Is a polytheistic religion with the belief in many gods but also believe in a spiritual force called brahman. Religious requirements of the caste system shape many aspects of Hindu’s lives and culture. Animals play an important role in religion and culture. Hindus also believe in reincarnation, or the rebirth of the soul into another bodily form such as an animal.
Another major religion to form in India is Buddhism. Created around 500 B.C., Buddhism shares many Hindu traditions, however, it urged people to seek enlightenment through meditation rather than priests, rituals and the many gods of Hinduism. Siddhartha Gautama, also known as Buddha, taught people to live their lives correctly. Buddhists seek nirvana, harmony with the universe.
The swastika has been used in many cultures around the world for thousands of years prior to the use by the Nazis. In fact, it is considered a good luck symbol in Buddhism and Hinduism.
The first Chinese civilizations arose on the Haung He (Yellow) River. Because China is surrounded by great barriers such as the Gobi Desert to the North, the Himalaya Mountains to the West and South, and the Pacific Ocean to the East, the Chinese believe their civilization is the center of the earth.
Around 1650 B.C. Chinese people called the Shang came to power. The Shange created the first dynasty – a time period of a series of rulers from the same family. The Shang are eventually overthrown by the Zhou and so starts thousands of years of the dynastic cycle, the rise and fall of dynasties.
During the time of the Shang, the Chinese developed complex religious views. They prayed to different gods, spirits and nature. Important aspects of religion was balance and harmony with the universe and the respect and honor for ancestors. Having honor and respect for one’s ancestors was said to give good fortune to your family. Confucius, a scholar, preached about the importance of respect to maintain balance in the society.
Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it. It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop. Our greatest glory is not in never falling, but in getting up every time we do. When anger rises, think of the consequences. Have no friends not equal to yourself.
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