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Chapter 2 –Early River 
Valley Civilizations 
3500 B.C. to 450 B.C.
Section 1 – City States in 
Mesopotamia 
Main Idea The earliest civilization in Asia 
arose in Mesopotamia and organized i...
The Fertile Crescent 
 Land between the Tigris and Euphrates 
Rivers 
 The Rivers flow southeastern to the Persian 
Gulf...
The Sumerians-Came to area around 
3500 B.C. 
Problems Found in area: 
1. Rivers unpredictable 
(floods and droughts) 
2. ...
Sumerians create city-states 
 Because of the growing trade – laws and organizations needed 
to be created 
 City states...
Sumerian Culture 
 Polytheist – belief in many gods. 
 Had gods for clouds, air, water, fire, etc. 
 Sumerians worked v...
God King 
Ancient Sumerian Gods
Sumerian Hierarchy 
 Priests and Kings 
 Wealthy Merchants 
 Farmers and those who work with their hands 
 Slaves 
Sla...
The First Empire Builders 
 From 3000 to 2000 B.C. 
Sumerians were in constant 
war with each other. 
• This allowed outs...
Hammurabi – Most famous of the Mesopotamian Emperors and his 
code of laws 
 Called the Codex of Hammurabi or the Code of...
Section 2 – Pyramids of the Nile 
Main Idea Along the Nile River, civilization 
emerged in Egypt and became united into a ...
The Nile River 
 Runs north from Lake Victoria and empties in 
the Mediterranean Sea 
 The Nile is a lot easier to predi...
Egypt unites into a kingdom 
 Pharaohs – god-king 
 Pharaohs were god on earth for the people of 
Egypt and ruled as a k...
Egyptian Culture 
 Like the Mesopotamians, 
Egyptians were polytheistic. 
 They had Ra (the sun god), 
Horus (the god of...
Egyptian Hierarchy 
 Kings, queens, and royal families 
 Wealthy Landowners, priests, government 
officials, and army co...
Egyptian Technology 
 Hieroglyphics – form of writing 
 Advanced mathematics – counting system 
and geometry 
 First to...
Section 3 – Planned Cities on the 
Indus 
Main Idea The first Indian Civilization built well 
planned cities on the banks ...
South Asia 
 Protected by huge mountains (Himalayas and 
Hindu Kush Mountains) 
 Indus Valley – Two Great rivers the Gan...
Most important Achievements 
 City planning* 
1. Used a precise grid system 
2. Featured a fortified part of city called ...
Mysterious End 
Around 1750 B.C. the 
quality of the building 
declined. 
 May have overused the 
land 
 Maybe the Indus...
Section 4 – River Dynasties in 
China 
Main Idea The early rulers introduced ideas 
about government and society that shap...
China’s Heartland 
 To the east the Pacific 
 To the west Taklimakan desert and the Plateau of 
Tibet 
 To the southwes...
Civilization Emerges in Shang 
Times 
 2000 B.C. – First dynasty appears called Xia 
(shyah) 
 Its leader was Yu and he ...
Social Hierarchy in Shang 
 Sharp division between lower and upper class 
 At the top ruling class of warriors and their...
Chinese culture 
 Respect for one’s parents was very strong. 
 Eldest males controlled family property and 
made decisio...
Oracle bones 
 Oracle bones – made of 
tortoise shell and animal 
bones 
 Kings consulted these 
bones for knowledge of ...
Zhou take over and Introduce 
The Mandate of Heaven 
Strong Dynasty 
Establishes peace 
and 
Prosperity; it is 
Considered...
Zhou Contributes to Chinese Culture 
 Started Feudalism – 
political system in which 
nobles or lords are granted 
use of...
Zhou fall victim to their 
Mandate of Heaven 
 First 300 years marked by peace and 
prosperity 
 771 B.C. start to get i...
Zhou Dynasty artifacts
WH Chapter 2 early river valley civilizations, 3500 b.c.  450 b.c.
WH Chapter 2 early river valley civilizations, 3500 b.c.  450 b.c.
WH Chapter 2 early river valley civilizations, 3500 b.c.  450 b.c.
WH Chapter 2 early river valley civilizations, 3500 b.c.  450 b.c.
WH Chapter 2 early river valley civilizations, 3500 b.c.  450 b.c.
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WH Chapter 2 early river valley civilizations, 3500 b.c. 450 b.c.

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This powerpoint covers Chapter 2 of the McDougall Textbook - Early River Valley Civilizations

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WH Chapter 2 early river valley civilizations, 3500 b.c. 450 b.c.

  1. 1. Chapter 2 –Early River Valley Civilizations 3500 B.C. to 450 B.C.
  2. 2. Section 1 – City States in Mesopotamia Main Idea The earliest civilization in Asia arose in Mesopotamia and organized into city-states. This is important today because the creation of city- states is a pattern scene throughout history.
  3. 3. The Fertile Crescent  Land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers  The Rivers flow southeastern to the Persian Gulf  These Rivers flooded the valley between them once a year and left behind silt (a very fertile soil)
  4. 4. The Sumerians-Came to area around 3500 B.C. Problems Found in area: 1. Rivers unpredictable (floods and droughts) 2. Defense (lived in an open plain in huts) 3. Very Few natural resources (very little stone, wood, and metal) Solutions: 1. Irrigation – digging ditches to hold water and carry it to fields of crops 2. Built mud walls to surrounded cities (to protect villagers) 3. Create trade network – traded their grain and cloth for wood, metal, and stone 4. Invented the sail, wheel, and plow to aid in their labors
  5. 5. Sumerians create city-states  Because of the growing trade – laws and organizations needed to be created  City states – are like countries today. A city and the surrounding countryside were controlled by government officials or rulers. Priests- early government was controlled by the temple. Monarchs – During war, priests did not control the cities. At first they only ruled during war but by 3000 B.C. war became to frequent monarchs were given permanent control. This system of government became popular amongst Sumerian cities and cultural diffusion occurred.
  6. 6. Sumerian Culture  Polytheist – belief in many gods.  Had gods for clouds, air, water, fire, etc.  Sumerians worked very hard in their life so they would be protected by their gods.  It is estimated they believed in more than 3,000 gods.
  7. 7. God King Ancient Sumerian Gods
  8. 8. Sumerian Hierarchy  Priests and Kings  Wealthy Merchants  Farmers and those who work with their hands  Slaves Slaves could be foreigners or Sumerian children sold into slavery to pay off their poor parents’ debts.
  9. 9. The First Empire Builders  From 3000 to 2000 B.C. Sumerians were in constant war with each other. • This allowed outsiders to invade and conquer: • Sargon of Akkad – conquered Sumer. Akkadians were a Semitic people. (Spoke a language similar to Arabic and Hebrew)  Akkadians conquered other neighboring city-states and created the first empire.  Babylonian Empire • Came into the fertile crescent about 2000 B.C. • They were called Amorites another Semitic group • We call them Babylonians because they established their empire’s capital at Babylon.
  10. 10. Hammurabi – Most famous of the Mesopotamian Emperors and his code of laws  Called the Codex of Hammurabi or the Code of Hammurabi  written as a set of laws to unify the empire. These laws would govern the diverse groups under one universal set of laws.
  11. 11. Section 2 – Pyramids of the Nile Main Idea Along the Nile River, civilization emerged in Egypt and became united into a kingdom ruled by pharaohs. This is important today because the monuments are still seen today and are a testament to their highly advanced ancient civilization.
  12. 12. The Nile River  Runs north from Lake Victoria and empties in the Mediterranean Sea  The Nile is a lot easier to predict and dependable in this way.  The desert that surrounds it creates a barrier between cultures but also protected ancient Egyptians from invasion.
  13. 13. Egypt unites into a kingdom  Pharaohs – god-king  Pharaohs were god on earth for the people of Egypt and ruled as a king  Pharaoh was the center of religion, government, and the army.  Pyramids – were the tombs of pharaohs. They would rule the afterlife from their pyramid palaces.
  14. 14. Egyptian Culture  Like the Mesopotamians, Egyptians were polytheistic.  They had Ra (the sun god), Horus (the god of light, and Isis (the goddess that represented motherhood and the wife)  The Egyptians worshipped 2,000 gods and goddesses. Special temples were made for the major deities.  Unlike the Mesopotamians however, Egyptians believes in a beautiful afterlife for the worthy.
  15. 15. Egyptian Hierarchy  Kings, queens, and royal families  Wealthy Landowners, priests, government officials, and army commanders  Middle classes –merchants and artisans  Lower classes – unskilled laborers and peasant farmers  Slavery * Was not introduced until later periods of Egyptian history
  16. 16. Egyptian Technology  Hieroglyphics – form of writing  Advanced mathematics – counting system and geometry  First to use stone columns in houses and palaces  Medicine – used splints for repairing broken bones and had effective remedies for fever and wounds
  17. 17. Section 3 – Planned Cities on the Indus Main Idea The first Indian Civilization built well planned cities on the banks of the Indus River. This is important today because India has roots in this ancient culture.
  18. 18. South Asia  Protected by huge mountains (Himalayas and Hindu Kush Mountains)  Indus Valley – Two Great rivers the Ganges and the Indus Rivers  Monsoons – Great winds that bring heavy rains to make the land fertile
  19. 19. Most important Achievements  City planning* 1. Used a precise grid system 2. Featured a fortified part of city called a citadel. In the citadel were the most important buildings 3. Early plumbing and sewage systems 4. Made oven-baked bricks cut into standard sizes
  20. 20. Mysterious End Around 1750 B.C. the quality of the building declined.  May have overused the land  Maybe the Indus River changed its course.  Aryans, a nomadic tribe came into area and maybe wiped them out.
  21. 21. Section 4 – River Dynasties in China Main Idea The early rulers introduced ideas about government and society that shaped Chinese civilization. This is important today because ancient Chinese culture still shape Chinese culture today.
  22. 22. China’s Heartland  To the east the Pacific  To the west Taklimakan desert and the Plateau of Tibet  To the southwest the Himalaya Mountains  To the north Gobi Desert and Mongolian Plateau  Between all these barriers a fertile plain with two major Rivers the Huang He (Yellow River) and the Yangtze (Chang Jiang River)
  23. 23. Civilization Emerges in Shang Times  2000 B.C. – First dynasty appears called Xia (shyah)  Its leader was Yu and he introduced flood control and irrigation project. The Shang Dynasty Arose and lasted from 1532 to 1027 B.C. .  They introduced the first written records.  Unlike the other river civilizations Shang built with wood.
  24. 24. Social Hierarchy in Shang  Sharp division between lower and upper class  At the top ruling class of warriors and their families owned land  Everyone else worked for them The population was 95% peasant and 5% elite Shang.
  25. 25. Chinese culture  Respect for one’s parents was very strong.  Eldest males controlled family property and made decisions.  Family closely linked to religion. Ancestors could bring good fortune or ruin to a family.
  26. 26. Oracle bones  Oracle bones – made of tortoise shell and animal bones  Kings consulted these bones for knowledge of their fortune  Priest would scratch questions on a bone  Then apply red hot poker to it to make it crack.  Cracks were read to determine the gods answer.
  27. 27. Zhou take over and Introduce The Mandate of Heaven Strong Dynasty Establishes peace and Prosperity; it is Considered to have Mandate of Heaven In time, dynasty declines and becomes corrupt; taxes are raised; Power grows weaker Disasters such as floods, Famines, peasant revolts, and invasions occur Old dynasty is Seen as having lost Mandate of Heaven; rebellion is justified. Dynasty is overthrown Trough rebellion and bloodshed; New Dynasty Emerges New Dynasty Gains power Restores peace and order and claims Mandate of Heaven Dynastic Cycle In China
  28. 28. Zhou Contributes to Chinese Culture  Started Feudalism – political system in which nobles or lords are granted use of lands that legally belong to king. Protectors of their lands and the people on that land.  Improve trade, roads, and canals.  Use of Iron for weapons
  29. 29. Zhou fall victim to their Mandate of Heaven  First 300 years marked by peace and prosperity  771 B.C. start to get invaded by people of the north.  Lords pick fights with other lords.  Harmony and peace most valued by the Chinese lost; later will be replaced for a new dynasty who will restore these values.
  30. 30. Zhou Dynasty artifacts

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