2I. CivilizationPermanent settlements, such as Catal Huyuk, led to emergence of civilizationSocieties that rely on agriculture, produce food surplusesHave formal political organization, other long-lasting institutionsCharacterized by groups of non-farming elites, merchant and manufacturing groups, other specialized workersWritingEssential to civilization for communication, record keeping, establishment of law and orderCuneiform – first known system of writing, emerged in Middle East (Sumer) around 3500 B.C.E.
3II. Tigris-Euphrates Rivers Located in modern-day IraqOften called Mesopotamia (“land between the rivers”)First example of human civilizationBegan B.C.E.Complex religious beliefsSumerians erected shrines and massive monuments/towers, called ziggurats, to honor godsSome ideas (gods’ creation of earth, floods) can be found in various proto-religionsJudaism – earliest monotheistic religion
4II. continued… Highly organized Relied on city-states – small, autonomous regions ruled by a king, with developed urban centerDeveloped strict class systems – kings, noble class, priests controlled most landRegulated system of laws and courtsBabylonian leader, Hammurabi, set early code of law in stone
5II. Nile River Located in northern Africa, modern-day Egypt Began around 3000 B.C.E.Ruled by a pharaoh, or god-kingConsidered to be directly descended from the godsComplex religious and political ritualsPolytheisticTheocracy – ruled through laws based on religious beliefs/through religious leadersDevelopment of writingHieroglyphics – comes from Greek words meaning “sacred carving”More complex than cuneiformUsed papyrus reeds to make a paper-like writing surface
6IV. Indus River Located in modern-day Pakistan, near India’s border Began around 2500 B.C.E.Known for its advanced citiesSophisticated city planning (grid-like patterns), running waterHarappa, Mohenjo DaroLimited trade with Mesopotamia, but developed independentlyDeveloped system of writing, but never been translatedThought to be a theocracy, religion a precursor to HinduismEnvironment and invasions a factor in disappearanceMonsoons, floodsNomadic invaders took over, abandoned cities
7V. Huanghe (Yellow River) Located in northern half of modern-day ChinaBegan about 2000 B.C.E.Developed independently from other civilizationsLargely cut off from contact with outside world by geography (desert, mountains, ocean)Developed sophisticated irrigations systemsControlled flooding of Yellow RiverEarly pioneers in science and weapon/tool-makingDeveloped unique written language based on ideographic symbolsEarly religious beliefs based on spirits, centered around respect for eldersSocial classes divided societyEstablished system of feudalism – nobles owned all the land that peasants workedRigid political system develops – paves way for dynasty systemShang dynasty was earliest – 1500 B.C.E.