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Early Civilizations

TermDefinition
Neolithic Period 8,000 B.C.E. New Stone Age; People began to farm and domesticate animals and more permanent societies began to arise. This led to the start of the earliest civilizations
Paleolithic Period Around 2.5 million years ago-10,000BCE. Old Stone Age. Nomads lived in groups of 10-20 and made tools and weapons from stone and from bones. Humans lived in caves.
Civilization A complex society with reliable food surplus, specialized job occupations, social class distinctions, cities, complex governments, trade, religion, and an organized writing system
Domestication The process of changing plants or animals to make them more useful to humans.
Job Specialization The degree to which a job holder performs only a limited number of tasks.
Fertile Crescent A geographical area of fertile land in the Middle East stretching in a broad semicircle from the Nile to the Tigris and Euphrates. An area of rich farmland in southwest Asia where the first civilizations began.
Theocracy A political system believed to be divinely guided or a state under the control of a group of religious leaders.
Democracy A political system in which the supreme power lies in a body of citizens who can elect people to represent them.
Oligarchy A form of government in which the power to rule is held by a small, usually self-appointed elite.
Tyranny A government in which absolute ruling power is held by a person who is not a lawful king.
Aristocracy A form of government in which power is held by the nobility. Group of the most wealthy and privileged.
Hammurabi's Code They were created by King Hammurabi of Babylonia in the mid 18th century BCE and placed on stones tablets for all to see. These were the first set of written laws.
Justinian Code A codification of Roman law that kept ancient Roman legal principles alive, established by Justinian in the Byzantine Empire.
Draconian Law Named for a lawgiver in Athens in the 7th century. Laws made by him were cruel and severe. Harsh laws that made small offenses punishable by death.
Polytheism The belief in many gods.
Monotheism The belief in one god.
Division of Labor Division of work into a number of separate tasks to be performed by different workers.
Irrigation A way of supplying water to an area of land. The artificial watering of farmland by storing and distributing water from reservoirs or rivers.
Social Class A category of people who have a similar standing or rank in a society based on wealth, education, power, prestige, and other valued resources.
Caste System A Hindu social class system that controlled every aspect of daily life, a set of rigid social categories that determined not only a person's occupation and economic potential, but also his or her position in society.
Created by: sweitzern2
 

 



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