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)

Code of Hammurabi: First codified
system of laws
Unified Egypt lead by the God-King
Pharaoh (Menes, 3100 BC, Old
Kingdom)
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)
• Depended on Tigris and Euphrates
Rivers
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
Territorial growth and change
unified under Hammurabi.
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 called
Cuneiform
• Schools
Egypt:
• Stone working technologies—
Pyramids
• Bronze working brought by the
Hyksos
• Written Language—Pictograph
• Literature
• Demography: Spread to
Palestine and Syria in New
Kingdom
Social Structure
Mesopotamia
1. Kings and nobles: King and royal family, priests, and high officials
2. Free clients: Workers who relied on royal family. Worked noble lands
in return for an independent plot of land.
3. Commoners: Free citizens who could buy and sell their lands. City
dwellers had some political rights.
4. 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.
• Religion: Developed as a system to explain the unexplainable.
Violent relationship with gods due to the unexpected nature of
the Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
Social Structure
Egypt
1.
2.
3.
4.
5.
6.
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: Early on mainly filled traditional roles, no females allowed in
scribe schools, eventually women were pharos
• Some female leaders as wife of the Pharaoh, did receive royal burial
• Religion: Goddesses important part of religion. More peaceful
relationship with gods due to the predictable nature of the Nile River.
Culture
Mesopotamia:
• Polytheistic Religion
• Animism—prayed to prevent
the wrath of the harsh world
• Ziggurat – Most visible
religious structure
• Code of Hammurabi—laws
governed crime, medicine,
trade, and agriculture. Eye
for an eye.
• Cuneiform – Writing system
with wedge shaped symbols.
Became basis of Asian
language. Complex system;
small group used it.
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
Culture Cont.
Mesopotamia:
• Math and Science
1.
Number system based on 60;
basis of second and minutes
we use today.
2. Astronomy
• Great adapters of their
environment: Metals (Bronze)
ceramics, transportation, and
engineering.
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Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia