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The first civilization can serve as a model for other early civilizations like Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization, Shang Dynasty, Olmec, Chavin, and.

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Presentation on theme: "The first civilization can serve as a model for other early civilizations like Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization, Shang Dynasty, Olmec, Chavin, and."— Presentation transcript:

1 The first civilization can serve as a model for other early civilizations like Egypt, the Indus Valley Civilization, Shang Dynasty, Olmec, Chavin, and Aegean Civilizations.

2 1. Cities as administrative centers 2. Political system based on control of territory (rather than kinship) 3. Specialized, non-food-producing activities 4. Status distinctions based largely on wealth 5. Monumental building 6. System of record keeping 7. Long-distance trade 8. Major advances in science & arts

3 Developed in floodplains of great rivers Developed technology to protect themselves against forces of nature Created religious structures to manipulate the environment

4 Alluvial plain between Tigris & Euphrates Rivers Cons Little rainfall Rivers flood at wrong time for grain agricultures Rivers change course unpredictably No significant wood, stone, or metal resources Pros Warm climate Good soil Cattle-pulled plows + planter to cultivate barley by 4000BCE Irrigation canals began 3000BCE Natural resources Date palms Vegetables Reeds Fish Fallow land for herds to graze

5 Sumerians Present as early as 5000BCE Supplanted by Semitic-speaking peoples by 2000BCE Preserved many aspects of Sumerian culture

6 Villages & cities linked together in system of mutual interdependence Cities depended on villages to produce food Cities provided villages with military protection, markets, and craftsmen’s goods City + agricultural hinterland = city-state Sometimes fought with each other for resources (Water & land) Traded with one another Mobilize human resources to build & maintain irrigation systems

7 Little is known of Mesopotamian political institutions Do know about temples & palaces! Temples Landowners Priests controlled considerable wealth Religious power predates secular power of palaces Palaces Secular leadership began in third millennium BCE when “big men” emerged as secular leaders Lugal ruled from their palaces Tended to take over religious control of institutions Example – Epic of Gilgamesh demonstrates secular rule

8 Powerful  absorb other city-states Create larger terriotiral states Akkadian State Sargon of Akkad 2350BCE Third Dynasty of Ur BCE Needed resources to grow Obtained through expansion & trade Merchants employed at temples or palaces; later private merchants emerged Barter or trade for fixed weights of precious metals or grain

9 Stratified society Kings & priests controlled much of wealth 3 classes Free landowning class Dependent farmers & artisans Slaves Not essential to the economy Most were prisoners of war

10 Agriculture declined the status of women Men did value-producing work of plowing & irrigation Before agriculture, all shared in obtaining food Had rights Own property Control dowry Engage in trade Rise of urban merchant class put greater emphasis on male privilege & also declined women’s status

11 Mixture of Sumerian religion & later Semitic beliefs and deities Deities Anthropomorphic Each city had tutelary gods Representations of the environment Turbulent rivers  vengeful, fear-evoking gods Humans were servants of gods Priesthood served gods Temples contained religious & other buildings Ziggurat most visible Little known of beliefs & practices of common people Evidence of popular belief in magic & use of magic to influence gods

12 Definition – any specialized knowledge that is used to transform the natural environment & society Examples Irrigation systems Nonmaterial knowledge – religious lore, ceremony, writing systems Boats, barges, donkey use for transportation Bronze metallurgy Brick-making Engineering Cuneiform evolved from pictures to represent sounds of words or parts of words Hundreds of signs Monopoly of the scribes Military technology Paid, full-time soldiers Horses Horse-drawn chariot Bow & arrow Siege machinery Base-60 number system Advances in astronomy


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