Ancient Civilizations:
Mesopotamia-Egypt
Themes Notes
AP World History
Political :Trade, War,
Diplomacy, Nation
Building
Egypt:
Mesopotamia:
• Isolated city cities function as
isolated political units or City-State
•
•
Political structure: Kings ruled city- •
states as monarchy (Sargon,
Hammurabi)

Trade with outlying territories: Egypt,
Syria, Near East out-posts, Turkey

Babylonians united Mes.
(Hammurabi, 1792-1750 BC)
Hyksos people from near east settled
in Nile Delta. Ousted by New
kingdom Pharaohs after bringing
bronze working (farming tools and
weapons).
•
New Kingdom: invaded parts of
Syria and Palestine
•
Hittite Rise: People of central Turkey
brought new languages and Iron
technology as major advancement
•
Rameses II: last great Egyptian
pharaoh (1290-1224 BC)
Code of Hammurabi: First codified
system of laws
Unified Egypt lead by the God-King
Pharaoh (Menes, 3100 BC, Old
Kingdom)
Change and Continuity
Mesopotamia:
Egypt
Change
Change
Writing system—Pictograph,
Ideogram, Phonetic sign
Political instability: Old, middle, and
new kingdoms experienced periods
of collapse, chaos, and invasion.
Political unification—began as
sovereign city-states, become
unified under Hammurabi.
Territorial growth and change
Metal working technology—Copper
to Bronze in Second Intermediary
Period (1640s).
Continuity
Continuity
Religion—animistic, polytheism
Society: Egyptian society and social
structure remained though
1200+years (ex. Pharaoh)
Technology, Inventions, and
Demography
Mesopotamia:
• Writing—Pictograph to
Ideograms
Egypt:
• Stone working technologies—
Pyramids
• Bronze working brought by the
Hyksos
• Schools
• Written Language—Pictograph
• Literature
• Demography: Spread to
Palestine and Syria in New
Kingdom
Social Structure
Mesopotamia
•
Kings and nobles: King and royal family, priests, and high officials
•
Free clients: Workers who relied on royal family. Worked noble
lands in return for an independent plot of land.
•
Commoners: Free citizens who could buy and sell their lands.
City dwellers had some political rights.
•
Slaves: Indentured servants, prisoners of war, and criminals.
•
Women: domestic roles, fewer political rights, men controlled
home and political world. Some roles for women in religion and
some property rights for women.
Egypt
Social Structure
•
•
•
•
•
•
•
Pharaohs: God-King on earth rules divine monarchy
Royal family and advisors
Scribes and other government officials
Soldiers, merchants, artisans
Farmers and free workers
Slaves
Women: Also mainly filled traditional roles, no females allowed in
scribe schools
• Some female leaders as wife of the Pharaoh, did receive royal
burial
• Goddesses important part of religion
Cultural and Intellectual
Mesopotamia:
• Polytheistic Religion
• Animism—prayed to
prevent the wrath of the
harsh world
• Code of Hammurabi—laws
governed crime, medicine,
trade, and agriculture.
Egypt:
•
Polytheistic Religion; Osiris,
Isis, others. Active after-life
mythology. Mummification as
part of death and after life.
•
Short period of monotheism
(Akhenaten, 1367-1350 BC).
•
Pharaoh is god Horus in
human form. Divine rule.
•
Ironworking form Hittites
• Spread of Culture: Syria,
Near East, Egypt.
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Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia