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Peoples & Empires of S.W. Asia. Nomadic Peoples Pastoral nomads, tribes of hunters- gatherers, who traveled with domesticated animals, and occasionally.

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Presentation on theme: "Peoples & Empires of S.W. Asia. Nomadic Peoples Pastoral nomads, tribes of hunters- gatherers, who traveled with domesticated animals, and occasionally."— Presentation transcript:

1 Peoples & Empires of S.W. Asia

2 Nomadic Peoples Pastoral nomads, tribes of hunters- gatherers, who traveled with domesticated animals, and occasionally overrunning towns, settling and building their own empires Indo-Europeans, from the central steppes around the Black Sea, moved to Europe around 2000 B.C. Greek, Latin, Persian, Sanskrit and Germanic languages can all trace origins back to these people By 1750 B.C. Indo-Europeans had spread through Europe, southwest Asia and Anatolia (Asia Minor)

3 The Hittite Empire By 1750 B.C., Indo-Europeans settled in the kingdom of Hattusha in Asia Minor They created the Hittite Empire, and were one of the first people to utilize iron ore for stronger, cheaper weapons Their power threatened even that of Egypt Around 1200 B.C. the empire fell due to attacks by a group known as the “sea people” With the Hittites and Egyptians in decline at the same time, the lack of power in southwest Asia allowed for smaller city-states and kingdoms to flourish

4 The Phoenicians The Phoenicians lived in northern Palestine, along the Mediterranean Sea Pages 55-56 The cities of Phoenicia--Byblos, Tyre and Sidon-- were ports and commercial hubs Purple dye, glass and lumber from the cedar forests of Lebanon were their main exports Their Semitic language was written using a set of 22 characters, this alphabet was passed to the Greeks, and was the basis for the Latin alphabet we use today


6 Map of Palestine c.1200 B.C.

7 The “Children of Israel” South of Phoenicia, lived another Semitic- speaking people called Israelites Never a major political power, the Israelites’ monotheistic faith--Judaism--flourished as a world-religion, eventually influencing Christianity and Islam Israelites recorded their history, in their Hebrew scriptures, telling a story of migration from Mesopotamia to Egypt, enslavement by the Egyptians, and liberation lead by a leader named Moses, and settling in a land they call Canaan

8 United Israel 1200-1000 B.C.: Israelites emerge as a distinct people, organized in 12 tribes, in a unified kingdom Page 57 By 970 B.C. King Solomon established control over all Palestine, with a capital in Jerusalem King Solomon built a great temple, expanded trade, royal and military power After Solomon’s death, tensions divided the tribes north and south

9 Solomon’s Temple

10 Divided Kingdom Tensions after Solomon’s death cause the tribes to split: –The 10 northern tribes retained the name Kingdom of Israel, with a capital in Samaria –The two southern tribes called themselves the Kingdom of Judah, a retained Jerusalem as its capital city Conquered by the Assyrians in 790 B.C., and enslaved, the 10 “lost tribes of Israel” eventually mixed with other peoples and lost their identity

11 Destruction of Jerusalem The Chaldeans conquered the Assyrians, as well as Judah in 586 B.C., destroying Jerusalem and enslaving the tribes of Judah Chaldean slaves were sent to Babylon, until the Persians took control of the city, allowing the people of Judah to return to Jerusalem and rebuild their temple under Persian control

12 The Assyrian Empire Assyrians were Semitic-speaking people from the upper Tigris River By 700 B.C. they controlled a vast empire in southwest Asia, but fell by 612 B.C. to the Chaldeans and Medes At their height, they established an efficient mail system, built one of the world’s first libraries in their capital-- Nineveh--and wielded a large, well organized and disciplined military

13 Map of the Assyrian Empire

14 The Persian Empire The Chaldean king, Nebuchadnezzar II, rebuilt Babylon as the capital of a powerful kingdom, but by 539 B.C. his kingdom fell to the Persians, and Indo-European people from today’s southwestern Iran Cyrus “The Great” (559-520 B.C.) unified the Persians, and built a Persian Empire stretching from Mesopotamia to Asia Minor Emperor Darius extended Persian influence from western India to Egypt, and he even attacked Greece

15 Map of Persian Empire


17 Rise and fall of Persia The empire was divided into 20 provinces called satrapies, ruled by kings known as satraps The Persian king was the “great king” of all others A Royal Road was built from Lydia to Susa, the Persian capital city Internal strife, and royal infighting, brought the fall of the Persian Empire

18 Religion of Persia Zoroaster (b. 660 B.C.) was prophet of “the true religion” to the Persians Like the Judaism, Zoroastrianism teaches that one God--Ahuramezda “the wise Lord”--is god and creator of all Ahuramezda struggles against the evil spirit known as Ahrima Humans play a role in the struggle, by using their free will for good, and will receive their reward at the Last Judgment

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