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River Valley Civilizations

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Presentation on theme: "River Valley Civilizations"— Presentation transcript:

1 River Valley Civilizations
3500 to 500 BC Nile River The “Cradles of Civilization”

2 Where did the earliest civilizations develop?
River valleys

3 Why did ancient civilizations develop in river valleys?
They had rich soil for agriculture Periodic flooding left silt which made the soil rich in nutrients

4 Geographic Barriers (mountains, deserts, seas, jungles,etc.)
Helped protect many early civilizations from nomadic invaders

5 Where were the earliest civilizations located and when did they exist?

6 River Valley Civilizations
(3500 BC to 500 BC) Mesopotamia in the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys. (Southwest Asia) Egypt in the Nile River Valley and Delta (Africa) India in the Indus River Valley in South Asia China in the Huang He Valley (East Asia). From west to east “EMIC”

7 What were the geographic, social, political, and economic characteristics of the Ancient River Valley civilizations?

8 Mesopotamia The land between two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates)
Part of the Fertile Crescent

9 Fertile Crescent Arc of fertile land stretching from the Persian Gulf to the Mediterranean Sea Mesopotamia

10 Mesopotamia Present day Iraq (Middle East).
What present-day countries are in Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is in what present-day region?

11 Sumer Protected by mountains, deserts and the Persian Gulf
The first of many civilizations to arise in Mesopotamia Protected by mountains, deserts and the Persian Gulf What was the first civilization to arise in Mesopotamia?

12 Sumer Sumer was made up of 12 independent city- states
City-state: A city and the surrounding land it controlled What type of government was found in Sumer? What is a city-state?

13 Mesopotamia had a dry climate
Irrigation Mesopotamia had a dry climate Irrigation was required to bring water from the rivers to the fields during the dry summer months What was the climate like in Mesopotamia? How did they bring water to the fields?

14 First Writing Invented the first written language: cuneiform (wedge writing)

15 Invented Bronze Smelted from copper and tin

16 Other Sumerian Accomplishments
Plow Ziggurats Wheeled vehicles Number system based on 60

17 The first empire to arise in Mesopotamia
Babylonian Empire The first empire to arise in Mesopotamia Empire: several peoples, nations, or previously independent states under the control of one ruler.

18 Code of Hammurabi First set of published laws
Based on the principle of an “eye for an eye” Laws differed based on class

19 Egypt Nile Delta and Nile River Valley (Northeast Africa)
Protected by deserts and seas

20 Nile Delta Located in Lower Egypt (northern Egypt - lower in elevation) Delta: broad, marshy, triangular area of land formed by deposits of silt at the mouth of a river.

21 Lower Egypt View from space shuttle

22 Pictures could stand for sounds as well as ideas
Hieroglyphics Means sacred carving Pictures could stand for sounds as well as ideas

23 Pharaohs Egyptian god-kings They had absolute power (complete control)
Thought to be responsible for making the sun rise, the Nile flood, and crops grow. Believed responsible for making the sun rise, the Nile to flood, and crops to grow

24 Religion Like other River Valley peoples, Egyptians were polytheistic (believed in many gods).

25 Class System Egypt, had a rigid class system and slavery was accepted.

26 India Indus Valley Civilization

27 Indus Valley Civilization
Located on the Indus River in present-day Pakistan (Indian subcontinent).

28 Indus River Flood Plain

29 Natural Barriers The Himalayan and the Hindu Kush Mountains as well as the Indian Ocean protected the Indian subcontinent from invasion.

30 Indus Valley Civilization
Made up of independent city states including Harappa, and Mohenjo-Daro (and 2500 other sites)

31 Indus Valley Achievements
Plumbing The great bath at Mohenjo-Daro The great bath at Mohenjo-Daro

32 Cotton Cloth Indus valley people were the first to cultivate cotton and weave its fibers into cloth

33 Written Language has not been deciphered

34 China Huang He River

35 Also called the Yellow River and the River of Sorrows (yellow silt caused flooding)
Westerners have dubbed it "China's Sorrow," because over the centuries it has killed more people than any other river in the world. In 1887 flooding killed nearly two million people, in 1931 the death toll was almost four million, and in 1938 it was almost one million. Much of the problem stems from the high silt content of the river -- in some stretches as much as 60% by weight. Millions of tons of yellow mud choke the channel, causing the river to overflow and change course. In its lower reaches, the river bed has actually become higher than the level of the surrounding countryside. Water is held in by dikes of ever increasing height, some reaching 30 feet and more. Huang He

36 Flooding of the Huang He
Satellite images before after

37 Geographically Isolated
Gobi desert, Himalayan Mountains, Pacific Ocean, dense jungles

38 China was ruled by a succession of ruling families called dynasties (Early dynasties: Shang and Zhou) What is a dynasty? Shang Dynasty

39 Divine Rulers Chinese rulers were considered divine (god-like).
What does divine mean? Divine Rulers

40 They served under a mandate of heaven (approval of the gods) only as long as their rule was just
The Zhou dynasty claimed the mandate of heaven when they overthrew the Shang Mandate of Heaven

41 Explains the rise, decline, and replacement of families of rulers
Dynastic Cycle Explains the rise, decline, and replacement of families of rulers

42 Chinese Silk The Chinese invented silk cloth (made from the cocoons of silkworms). he oldest silk painting found in China was discovered in a Chu tomb at Changsha. The painting depicts the occupant of the tomb riding a dragon and ascending heaven after his death.

43 Writing Characters stood for ideas, not sounds.
How did the chinese communicate with the gods? Animal bones and tortoise shells on which priests had scratched questions to the gods. The priest applied heat to the bone and then interpreted the cracks. The earliest evidence of Chinese writing is found on oracle bones.

44 Ancestor Worship The Chinese believed that the spirits of family ancestors could bring good fortune or disaster They paid respect to family ancestors and made sacrifices in their honor Bronze vessel used for sacrificial food


46 Irrigation Water wheels were used to bring river water to the fields

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