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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 because periodic flooding left silt which made the soil rich in nutrients

4 They were protected by geographic barriers (mountains, deserts, seas, jungles, etc.)

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

6 River Valley Civilizations
(3500 BC to 500 BC) Mesopotamia in Southwest Asia Egypt in Northeast Africa India in South Asia China in East Asia From west to east “EMIC”

7 Evidence of Early Civilizations

8 What were some characteristics of the Ancient River Valley civilizations?

9 Mesopotamia: Sumer Geography
Mesopotamia was a region located in the part of the Fertile Crescent that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

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

11 Protected on three sides by mountains, deserts and the Persian Gulf (but vulnerable to invaders from the north) What was the first civilization to arise in Mesopotamia?

12 Sumerian Government Sumer was the first known civilization
It arose in southern Mesopotamia

13 City-state: A city and the surrounding land
Sumer Sumer was made up of 12 independent city- states each ruled by its own king. City-state: A city and the surrounding land What type of government was found in Sumer? What is a city-state?

14 Cuneiform: the first written language (wedge writing)

15 Irrigation: brought 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?

16 Controlling the Rivers

17 Bronze Smelted from copper and tin

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

19 Sumerian Inventions

20 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.

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

22 Sumer

23 Egypt Geography Nile Delta and Nile River Valley (Northeast Africa)

24 Nile Delta The delta was 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.

25 Protected by deserts and seas
View from space shuttle

26 Egyptian Government Pharoahs were rulers thought to be gods. They had absolute power (complete control) over the Egyptian Empire. They were 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

27 Egypt, had a rigid class system and slavery was accepted.

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

29 Hieroglyphics: Pictures stood for sounds as well as ideas
Egyptian Writing Means sacred carving Hieroglyphics: Pictures stood for sounds as well as ideas

30 Egypt

31 India: Indus Valley Civilization

32 Geography Located on the Indus River in present-day Pakistan (Indian subcontinent).

33 Indus River Flood Plain

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

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

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

37 first to cultivate cotton and weave its fibers into cloth (textiles)
Cotton Cloth first to cultivate cotton and weave its fibers into cloth (textiles)

38 Writing has not been deciphered

39 Indus Valley

40 China Geography Huang He River

41 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.

42 Flooding of the Huang He
Satellite images before after

43 Protected by the Gobi desert, Himalayan Mountains, Pacific Ocean, dense jungles

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

45 China

46 Chinese rulers were considered divine (god-like).
What does divine mean?

47 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

48 Explains the rise and fall of families of rulers
Dynastic Cycle: Explains the rise and fall of families of rulers

49 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

50 Early Chinese Achievements
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.

51 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.

52 Irrigation: Water wheels were used to bring river water to the fields

53 Bronze Bronze vessel used for sacrificial food

54 Shang Dynasty

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