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Unit 3 Vocabulary

Early Civilizations

TermDefinition
Fertile Crescent an arc of rich farmland in Southwest Asia, between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean
Mesopotamia land between the rivers
City-State a city and its surrounding lands functioning as an independent political unit
Dynasty a series of rulers from a single family
Cultural diffusion the spreading of ideas or products from one culture to another
Polytheism belief in many gods
Empire a political unit in which a number of peoples or countries are controlled by a single ruler
Delta a marshy region formed by deposits of silt at the mouth of a river
Pharaoh a king of ancient Egypt, considered a god as well as a political and military leader.
Theocracy a government in which the ruler is viewed as a divine figure
Pyramid a massive structure with a rectangular base and four triangular sides
Mummification a process of embalming and frying corpses to prevent them from decaying
Hieroglyphics a ancient Egyptian writing system in which picture were used to represent ideas and sounds
Papyrus a tall reed that grows in the Nile delta, used by the ancient Egyptians to make a paperlike material for writing on
Subcontinent a large landmass that forms a distinct part of a continent
monsoon a wind that shifts in directions at certain times of each year
Harappan Civilization another name of the Indus Valley Civilization that arose long the Indus River, possibly as early as 7000 B.C. characterized by sophisticated city planning.
Loess a fertile deposit of windblown soil
Oracle bone one of the animal bones or tortoise shells used by ancient Chinese priests to communicate with the gods
Mandate of Heaven Chinese history, the divine approval thought to be the basis of royal authority
Dynastic cycle the historical pattern of the rise decline, and replacement of dynasties
feudalism a political system in which nobles are granted the use of land that legally belong to their king, in exchange for their loyalty, military service, and protection of the people who lived on the land
Created by: cbrim