Early Civilizations
Early Humans
What we know about the earliest people
comes from the things they left behind.
• Archaeologists – hunt for evidence
buried in the ground
• Artifacts -
weapons, tools, and other things
made by humans
• Fossils - traces of plants or animals
• Anthropologists - focus on human
society (how they developed and
how they related to one another.
B.C. and A.D.
• B.C. --- “Before Christ”
• A.D. --- Latin words Anno Domini and means “the year of our
Lord”.
• B.C. is the time period before Christ and you count backwards
from A.D. 1.
•
•
*-------------*-------------*--------------*-------------*--------------*---------------*
3 B.C.
2 B.C.
1 B.C.
A.D. 1
A.D. 2
A.D. 3
A.D. 4
• Common Mistake: Many people refer to A.D. and “after death”
which is not accurate. This is not accurate because it does not
account for the years that Christ was alive on Earth.
• B.C. and A.D. are western and Christian oriented. Some people
prefer the terms to be neutral to all global regions and religions.
Instead people around the world use the abbreviations
B.C.E.
(Before the Common Era) and C.E. (Common Era).
Primary and Secondary sources
Differences?
Primary Sources
Secondary Sources
• ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS
(excerpts or translations
acceptable): Diaries, speeches,
manuscripts, letters,
interviews, news film footage,
autobiographies, official
records
• CREATIVE WORKS: Poetry,
drama, novels, music, art
• RELICS OR ARTIFACTS: Pottery,
furniture, clothing, buildings
• PUBLICATIONS: Textbooks,
magazine articles, histories,
criticisms, commentaries,
encyclopedias
• interprets and analyzes
primary sources
Examples:
Primary Sources
• Diary of Anne Frank Experiences of a Jewish family
during WWII
• The Constitution of Canada Canadian History
• A journal article reporting
NEW research or findings
• Weavings and pottery - Native
American history
• Plato's Republic - Women in
Ancient Greece
Secondary Sources
• A journal/magazine article
which interprets or reviews
previous findings
• A history textbook
• A book about the effects of
WWI
Primary or Secondary?
Paleolithic
or Old Stone Age
Paleolithic means “old stone” in the
Greek language.
Roughly 2.5 million years ago – around
8000 B.C.
Hunters-Gatherers
Nomads
• Traveled in bands of 30 or more and camped
near streams or another water source (Why?)
• Men – hunted
– Clubs or drove off cliffs
– Invented spears, traps, and bows/arrows
• Women – looked after children, searched for
berries, nuts, and grains
Adapting to the Environment
• Climate – clothing/protection
• Caves
• Fire
Ice Ages
• Long periods of extreme cold
• Last Ice Age was from 100,000 B.C. – 8000 B.C.
Advancements
• Development of the spoken language
• How did they express themselves prior to this?
• Paintings – religious meaning? (brought good luck
for the hunt)
• Taming of fire
• Technology
– flint used to make tools – axes and spears;
– skilled tools – fishhooks and needles (animal bones)
Lascaux Cave in Dordogne, France
discovered in 1940 by 4 teenage boys
What does this tell us
about life in the
Paleolithic Age?
Primary or Secondary
Source?
Neolithic
or New Stone Age
8000 – 4000 B.C.
People started farming, building
communities, producing goods, and
trading.
Why was farming important?
• Farming
revolution
Ӧtzi the Iceman
• Discovered in 1991
• Named Ӧtzi after
the Ӧtztal Alps where he
was found
Earliest Villages
Çatal Hüyük
8000 B.C.
Çatal Hüyük
• Mud- brick homes
packed tightly together
and decorated inside
with wall paintings
• Spaces between were
used as a garbage dump
• Buried dead below floor
of house
• Babies buried wearing
jewelry
Benefits of a Settled Life
• Greater security
• Steady food supplies  healthy, growing
populations more workers to produce a
bigger crop
• Surplus  trade/barter
• Specialization (i.e. pottery, weaving)
Advancements
•
•
•
•
Better farming tools – sickle
Domestication of animals
Worked with metals (copper)
After 4000 B.C., craftspeople in western Asia
mixed copper and tin to form bronze, which
was widely used. Bronze was harder and
longer lasting.
• Hence, the Bronze Age from 3000 B.C. and
1200 B.C.
Paleolithic Age
Art and Crafts
How Humans Obtained
Food
How Humans adapted
Work of Men and Women
Neolithic Age
Paleolithic Age
Neolithic Age
Art and Crafts
Painted cave walls (usually Made pottery and carved
animals)
objects our of wood; built
shelters and tombs
How Humans Obtained
Food
Hunters and gatherers
Farmed in permanent
villages, raised and herd
animals
How Humans adapted
Learned to make fire,
created a language, and
made simple tools and
shelters
Built mud-brick houses
and places of worship,
specialized in certain jobs,
used copper/bronze to
create more useful tools
Work of Men and Women
Women gathered food
and cared for children.
Men hunted.
Women cared for children
and performed household
tasks. Men herded,
farmed, and protected the
village.
Review Questions
Questions
1. Who are archaeologists and what do they
study?
2. How did domesticating animals help with the
Neolithic people?
3. Why were Paleolithic people nomads?
4. Why was the ability to make a fire so
important?
5. Complete the
chart
Cause:
Farming
begins
GEOGRAPHY influenced the
development of river valley
civilizations.
Early River Valley Civilizations
Sumer
• Flooding of Tigris and Euphrates unpredictable
• No natural barriers
• Limited natural resources for making tools or buildings
Egypt
• Flooding of the Nile predictable
• Nile an easy transportation link between Egypt’s villages
• Deserts were natural barriers
Indus Valley
• Indus flooding unpredictable
• Monsoon winds
• Mountains, deserts were natural barriers
China
• Huang He flooding unpredictable
• Mountains, deserts natural barriers
• Geographically isolated from other ancient civilizations
Why were River Valleys
important?
• Good farming conditions made it easy to
feed larger #s of people.
• Provided fish and freshwater
• Travel and trade
Ancient Mesopotamia
Civilizations
• Civilizations are complex societies that
have cities, organized governments, art,
religion, class divisions, and a writing
system.
• Into what body of water
does the Tigris and the
Euphrates Rivers flow?
• Why do you think the
region of Mesopotamia was
so well suited for the growth
of civilization?
Mesopotamia
ANCIENT MESOPOTAMIA (4000 B.C.)
“land in between the rivers”
Why was this a perfect place for the 1st
civilization?
1. Fertile Crescent - large arc of fertile land in the Middle East
2. Tigris & Euphrates Rivers made it possible for farming
3. Cattle, pigs, goats & sheep were accessible
What was it like?
• Hot, dry climate
• Spring – rivers often flooded (not always) destroying
crops, homes, etc.
• Farmers believed they needed their gods to bless
their efforts.
• Irrigation
• Some areas were marshy.
• Vulnerable to attack and invasion
Mesopotamia – Fertile Crescent
• Sumer – The
Earliest of the River
Valley Civilizations
• Sumerian
Civilization grew up
along the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers in
what is now Kuwait.
City-states
• Their own gov’t
• Often went to war with each other
– To gain glory and to control more territory
• Protection = wall made of river mud
Ziggurat – mountain of god
or hill of heaven
Ziggurat
The area
around the
ziggurat
contained
palaces and
royal
storehouses.
The
surrounding
walls had
only one
entrance
because the
ziggurat also
served as the
city’s
treasury.
At the top was a shrine or a
special place of worship that
only the priests and priestesses
could enter.
Social Classes
• Upper class
– Kings, priests, and gov’t officials
– Kings lived in palaces.
• Middle class
– Artisans, merchants, farmers, and fishers
– Lived in small mud-brick houses
• Lower class
– Enslaved people who worked on farms or in the
temples.
Roles of Men and Women
Men
• Headed the households
• Only ones that could go to
school
Women
• Had some rights
• Could buy and sell property
and run businesses
Mesopotamia
“cradle of civilization”
Sumerians left a lasting mark on world
history. Their ideas and inventions were
copied and improved upon by other
people.
Sumerian Writing: cuneiform
Developed
to keep
track of
business
deals and
other
events.
Sumerian
language
Sumerian Literature
• Oldest known story comes from Sumer.
• Epic of Gilgamesh
Advances in Science and Math
• Irrigation systems
• Used geometry to
measure fields and put
up buildings
• Created a number
system based on 60
• Watched skies to learn
the best times to plant
crops and hold religious
festivals
• Recorded positions of
planets and stars
• Developed a 12 month
calendar based on the
cycles of the moon
Sumerian city-states lost
power when they were
conquered by outsiders.
Akkadians
Babylonia
Hammurabi
• Best known for his law code or
collection of laws
• Hammurabi Code
“If a man stole the property of church or state, that
man shall be put to death;
also the one who received the stolen goods from
his hand shall be put to
death.”
The laws governed such
things as lying,
stealing, assault, debt,
business partnerships,
marriage, and divorce.
In seeking protection
for all members of
Babylonian society,
Hammurabi relied on
the philosophy of equal
retaliation, otherwise
known as “an eye for an
eye.”
Hammurabi’s Code
• His intention was “to bring about the rule of
righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked
and evil-doers, so that the strong should not
harm the weak. . .”
• Those that thought they were fair for the
following reasons:
– Brought order and justice to society
– Regulated many different activities
– Stated what all people needed to know about the
rules of their society.
Hammurabi’s Code
• Law 5: If a judge makes an error through his own fault
when trying a case, he must pay a fine, be removed
form the judge’s bench, and never judge another
case.
• Law 122: If someone gives something to someone
else for safekeeping, the transaction should be
witnessed and a contract made between the two
parties.
• Law 233: If a contractor builds a house for someone
and the walls start to fall, then the builder must use
his own money and labor to make the walls secure.
Hammurabi’s Code
• Some thought that these laws were cruel and
unjust.
– Called for violent punishments, often death, for
nonviolent crimes
– Required different punishments for accused
persons of different social classes
– Allowed no explanation from an accused person
Hammurabi’s Code
• Law 3: If someone falsely accuses someone else
of certain crimes, then he shall be put to death.
• Law 22: If someone is caught in the act of
robbery, then he shall be put to death.
• Law 195: If a son strikes his father, the son’s
hands shall be cut off.
• Law 202: If someone strikes a man of
higher rank, then he shall be whipped
60 times in public.
BABYLONIAN ZIGGURAT
THE MANY PEOPLE OF MESOPOTAMIA:
1. Sumerians (ancient Sumer’s city-states)
(3000 B.C. - 1800 B.C.)
2. Babylonians (Babylonian Empire)
( 1800 B.C. - 1200 B.C.
3. Assyrians (Assyrian Empire)
(1200 B.C. - 539 B.C.)
4. Persians (Persian Empire)
(539 B.C. - 330 B.C.)
Review
1. What is a civilization?
2. What was the Code of Hammurabi?
3. How was the geography of Mesopotamia
suited for the growth of population and
creation of a civilization?
4. Why did the Sumerian record the positions of
the stars and planets and develop a
calendar?
Achievements of
Mesopotamian Civilization
The First Empires
Assyrians and Chaldeans
The Assyrian Empire
The Assyrian Defense
• Large, well-organized army
• Foot soldiers armed with spears and
daggers
• Experts with bows and arrows
• Chariot riders and a cavalry
• 1st army to use iron weapons
Techniques in war
• Burn crops, destroy dams, cut down
trees
• Tunneled under walls or climbed over
them using ladders
• Battering rams
A stone carving of the Assyrians conquering an Egyptian town in their war on Egypt.
A well-organized gov’t
• Divided into provinces
• Roads joined all parts of the empire
A drawing of the Assyrian capitol of Nineveh.
The ruins of Nineveh.
Life in Assyria
•
•
•
•
•
Writing
gods
More brutal/cruel punishments
Literature
Temples and palaces
The Chaldeans
• Captured Nineveh in 612 B.C.
• King Nebuchadnezzar
• Controlled all of Mesopotamia from 605
to 562 B.C.
Nineveh under siege by the Babylonians and Medes.
Babylon
•
•
•
•
World’s largest and richest city
Brick wall
Center – large palaces and temples
Hanging gardens, one of the seven
wonders of the ancient world
Babylon
• Outside the center was houses and
marketplaces.
• Trade
• Center of science
Conquered by the Persians
Review
1. Why was the Assyrian army a powerful
fighting force?
2. What were some of the accomplishments
of Chaldean astronomers?
3. How did the Assyrians set up a wellorganized gov’t?
4. Why do you think the Assyrians took
conquered peoples from their lands and
moved them to other places?
Review
5. What different types of knowledge
and skills would the Babylonians need
to build the Hanging Gardens?
6. Describe the beauty of ancient
Babylon.
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