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Mesopotamia Egypt India China 
Environment 
(Geographic 
location) 
in between the Tigris 
and Euphrates rivers 
(parts of...
Record Keeping 
(What kind of 
writing? Who 
writes?) 
Earliest writing system 
(cuneiform) on clay 
tablets; scribes were...
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Early Complex Societies

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  1. 1. Mesopotamia Egypt India China Environment (Geographic location) in between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (parts of modern day Iran, Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey, Syria); known as Fertile Crescent NE Africa, Nile river Indus river valley Indus and Ganges rivers Eastern Pakistan & Northern India fertile plains along Huang He (yellow river) in NE China Advanced Cities (Major cities/Centers of Trade) Uruk, Ur, Babylon, Nineveh Cradle of Civilization Alexandria Memphis Thebes Harappa = first settlement Mohenjo­Daro = burial mound; Great Bath (religious center?); trade center Anyang Zhengzhou Specialized Workers (What people group? What did people do?) Sumerians and Babylonians; Assyrians farms (cucumbers, leeks, dates, pears) irrigate the land, potters, weavers, metal works Egyptians priests, nobles, warriors, scribes, merchants, craftsmen, peasants, slaves Harappans farmers (barley, wheat, dates, melons); traders (traded with Mesopotamia); craftsmen (pottery, art, jewelry) Shang (govt. owned slave labor) farmers used flood waters to make soil fertile (grew millet), craftsmen who used bronze Complex Institutions (Religion, Type of Government) city states, polytheistic, rulers were often priests=theocracy, earliest written law code (Code of Hammurabi) ­first organized administration; taxes Pharaoh was king=absolute ruler/like a god, monarchy, religion­bodies preserved, tombs are pyramids, Archaeological evidence tells us little about the religious and political structures of Harappan society. Trading seals with pictures of gods tell us they were probably polytheistic. govt= dynasty or ruling family, like Shang with help of nobles. King is the chief priest. Sacrificed to royal ancestors and gods (Polytheistic) (mandate of heaven­Zhou)
  2. 2. Record Keeping (What kind of writing? Who writes?) Earliest writing system (cuneiform) on clay tablets; scribes were important members of society Hieroglyphics Had their own pictographic writing system that we cannot decipher (Hindu like text) writing with pictographs known as characters Society (family roles, community) Referred to by first and the profession or father’s last name; Nuclear families; children named after cities where they lived; Fluid population due to migration; Everything centered around the Pharaoh. The people thought he would ascend to be a god when he died. The people wanted to make sure he would treat them well when he ascended. Peaceful (no weapons); Cities mostly had traders and craftsmen as inhabitants; Families lived together in 1­2 story houses; Great Bath used most likely for public baptisms Emperor was the supreme leader. Centralized government helped to keep public works in progress (levees, canals, irrigation, etc.). Families were patriarchal in nature. Advanced Technology (Significant Contributions) first city builders, migrates=stepped pyramids (temples), wheel/sailboat/weapons and tools out of copper, irrigation canals, calender (12 months), the wheel embalming, Hieroglyphics, pyramids, papyrus, geometry, 365 day calendar based on astronomy Advanced urban culture and city layout (grid); public sewers and water supply connected houses; city layout; cotton cloth highly advanced bronzed technology, weapons, art, religious vessels. Invented the pottery wheel.

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