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Chapter One

From Prehistory to Civilization, 3000-1200 B.C.

TermDefinition
Prehistory the period before history was recorded through written documents
Paleolithic (Old Stone) Age earliest and longest period of prehistory; began with the earliest human types; when humans used simple stone tools
Neolithic (New Stone) Age the period of human history characterized by advances in stone toolmaking and the beginnings of agriculture
Bronze Age the period from around 3,000 B.C. to 1,000 B.C. in which bronze, a mixture of copper and tin, was widely used for tools and weapons--the first metal to be used in this manner
Iron Age iron replaced bronze as the principal tool material (after 1,000 B.C.)
Hunter-Gatherers Responsibilities Men were primarily responsible for hunting, making tools and weaponry to kill animals for food. Women were primarily responsible for gathering plants for food. Women also cared for the children.
the Agricultural Revolution Also called the Neolithic Revolution; the shift from hunting-gathering to a settled way of life based on farming-herding; occurred gradually between 8,000-4,000 B.C. in much of western Asia, northern Africa, and Europe, and other parts of the world
polytheism the belief in many gods and goddesses
Hunter-Gatherers Hunter-gatherers consisted of small band of people that lived throughout the Paleolithic (Old Stone) Age as migratory (wandering) hunters, fishers, and gatherers of edible plants
Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyles Lived/sheltered in caves, temporary huts, or out in the open if climate conditions allowed. Recorded passages of time by measuring sun, moon, and star movements. Painted lifelike images of animals on cave walls. Buried their dead.
Early agrarian (farming) life Involved the cultivation of plants, taming of animals, and the emergence of new skills and technologies to adapt plants and animals to human needs
Agricultural Revolution results Increase in food supply, rise in population, replacement of hunter-gatherer life with village communities
Fertile Crescent Humankind's first Agricultural Revolution (in Southwestern Asia/Mesopotamia), land where farmers could depend on regular rainfall
Result of advancements of the Agricultural Revolution bread, beer, wine cheese, edible oils, woven cloth, leather, pottery for cooking and storage, bricks for houses
Village life over generations, families that made up village communities consisted of traditions, customs, and authority, which later contributed to law and government of civilized society as we know it today
Neolithic Connections Neolithic villages needed one another; traded goods; organized cooperative governments for mutual benefit
Shift in gender roles in prehistory With the Agricultural Revolution, men became the main suppliers of food. Women began birthing more children and tending them and the household. This contributed to men becoming primary decision-makers and thus male dominated society in general.
Crops Wheat and barley in the cooler and wetter conditions of European regions; yams, rice, corn and potatoes in Africa, tropical Asia, and eventually the Americas
the rise of the first true civilizations river valleys of Mesopotamia and Egypt about 3500 B.C.; northern India and northern China about 2500 B.C.; the plains, forests, and mountain valleys of Central America and the Andes about 500 B.C.
Mesopotamia and Egypt the Western civilization of modern times is directly descended from the early civilizations of Mesopotamia ("the land between two rivers") and Egypt; emerged roughly at the same time (3500 B.C.), independent of each other; lasted for more than 3,000 years
Sumer Located between theTigris and the Euphrates Rivers in the southernmost part of ancient Mesopotamia where the twin rivers ran close to each other before entering the Persian Gulf; part of modern states of Syria and Iraq
Irrigation occurred when villagers diverted water from seasonal river flooding that deposited water and rich silt that washed down from distant hillsides onto their fields and palm groves; increased irrigation contributed to larger populations and thus civilization
city-state an independent state that consists of a city and its surrounding settlements and countryside
Governing/Ruling bodies With rise in civilizations, came the need for direction and order. This resulted in ranks of prestige, authority, and power, such as priests, kings, military chieftains and warriors, etc.
Dynasties a line of rulers from the same family
Craftsmen, Farmers, etc. Beneath kings, priests, military in regard to status; craftsman had a variety of marketable trades; farmers were generally beholden as tenants to the wealthy and powerful in control of the land
Sumerian women Some were high-ranking and had roles in religion, politics, and government unlike subsequent societies, but these were usually exceptions; men dominated most of civilized society until recent times
Cuneiform system of writing that the Sumerians developed, consisted of wedge-shaped impressions made by a stylus (scratching tool made of reed) on clay tablets; borrowed by neighboring lands adapted to their own languages; gradually replaced by alphabetic writing
pantheon from the Greek words for "all the gods"; the leading gods and goddesses of a people, believed to be a family group
Sumerian religion belief in many gods and goddesses; believed they wielded power over the land of humans; creation myths developed as a result
Epic A long poem or tale telling a story of gods and heroes from earlier times
Gilgamesh an early king, probably a real person; mythologized as half-human, half-divine character who embodied the values and aspirations of the people of Sumer; quest for immortality
Sumerian mathematics and science innovations devised the basic processes of arithmetic (multiplication, division, and the square and cube root); developed modern division of time (60 minutes in an hour, etc.); responsible for calculating of the hypotenuse of a right triangle and area of a rectangle
Sumerian time Measured by the movements of the sun, moon, and stars; devised a calendar for record keeping of days, months, seasons, and years
ziggurat a massive stepped tower topped with a temple dedicated to the city's chief god or goddesses; housed statues of both divine and human beings
nomads Groups whose social organization and livelihood are based on raising and herding livestock over large stretches of land; traveled to Mesopotamia
Sargon of Akkad a Semitic-speaking territory that overthrew the last Sumerian empire and replaced it (about 2350 B.C.); Akkadian language replaced the Sumerian language
Amorites Semitic nomad people; about 1900 B.C. the Amorite kings of the former Sumerian city of Babylon took over for about 300 years
Hammurabi Most famous Amorite king that reigned from about 1700 B.C.; created collection of laws in ancient Mesopotamia
Hammurabi's Laws based on earlier Sumerian king law codes; engraved in cuneiform writing on a 7-foot tall black stone pillar; a carving at the top shows the Babylonian god of justice, Shamash, speaking the laws to Hammurabi
dowries Money and goods given by a woman's family to her new husband when she marries
Kassites a farming people from the mountains east of the Tigris; conquered most of Babylonia; adopted the Mesopotamian patterns of civilization and dominated the region for 400 years (1600 B.C. - 1200 B.C.)
Steppes Vast semiarid grasslands or plains
Indo-Europeans Steppe peoples that gave up nomadic life for farming lands; moved as immigrants, raiders, and invaders into territories that stretched from western Europe (through Mesopotamia), into India (4000 - 1000 B.C.); made use of horses and developed chariots
Hittites most powerful and longest lasting of the Indo-European-ruled kingdoms in the land of Haiti in Anatolia; held possession of land of mountains, forests, and high plains, with valuable resources like copper, gold, and silver, and the mining districts,
Hittites life had army of charioteers and well trained infantry; fought wars with Egypt to control Syria and Palestine; cuneiform writing in Hittite language; interacted the most with the pharaohs of Egypt
Upper Egypt a narrow strip of fertile land that stretches 500 miles in length and no more than 12 miles in width, alongside the river as it flows across the North African desert
Lower Egypt a fan-shaped pattern of waterways, or delta, formed by the Nile in the last hundred miles before it reaches the sea
Importance of the Nile River Similar to that of the Euphrates and Tigris rivers in Mesopotamia; relied upon for annual flooding and receding to help Egyptian civilization flourish
Egypts Two Kingdoms Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt; later unified under one a single king
pharaohs the rulers of ancient Egypt; name derived from the Egyptian word for "palace," which used to mean "the king"; the pharaoh was to be obeyed as a man given power by the gods and venerated as a god who dwelt among men
the sun-god Re, the king of all the other gods and goddesses; Horus, the falcon-headed ruler of the sky; Osiris, ruler of the afterlife gods that embodied the Egyptian pharaohs at each stage of their life
Egyptian hierarchy the pharaoh (divine and human ruler); an army of lesser officials; groups recruited for foreign trading expeditions, mining, and other large enterprises; peasants as sharecroppers at the pharaoh's disposal
Egyptian women Mothers and wives of the pharaoh considered divine; rarely ruled except in case of Hatshepsut; had some degree of rights (able to inherit property, divorce their husbands), but could not inherit government or temple positions and still subservient to men
Egyptian deities originally conceived in the form of animals, having animal heads or bodies
Akhenaten pharaoh of the New Kingdom of Egypt; renounced polytheism for monotheism; identified the supreme god with Aten, the shining disk of the sun; tried to abolish the worship of other leading deities; failed in religious "revolution"
Egyptian idea of immortality originally believed only applied to pharaohs; end of the Old Kingdom of Egypt (after 2200 B.C.) new idea arose that every person was believed to possess a soul (ka) that persisted after the body died
Mummification preservation of the body after death; thought to provide it with comforts in the tomb helping it in the life to come
hieroglyphs the earliest Egyptian writing, in which pictures stood for whole words or separate sounds of words; devised about 3100 B.C. as part of carvings and paintings intended to honor the pharaohs
Papyrus a paper like material made from the stems of the water-grown papyrus plant; eventually spread to Mesopotamia; papyrus scrolls became the books of the ancient world
Egyptian calendar Egyptian astronomers devised a calendar with 12 equal months of 30 days and 5 "free" days at the end to make up the 365 days of the solar year
Egyptian medicine
Egyptian innovation built boats for water transportation in the Nile, later adapted with sails to travel the open sea to the Mediterranean's eastern shoreline
Pyramids a massive structure with sloping sides that met at an apex, used as a royal tomb in ancient Egypt
the Great Pyramid largest pyramid in Egypt; built by order of King Khufu (ruled about 2650 B.C.); located at Giza near modern Cairo
the Great Sphinx another type of monument carve after the Great Pyramid for another king, Khafre
Temple of Amon at Karnak Near the city of Thebes; begun about 1530 B.C. and completed about 1300 B.C.; the largest religious building ever constructed
weaknesses in the Egyptian state upset by weakling pharaohs, boy-pharaohs, and disputes of succession by disloyal courtiers and self-seeking officials, and by rivalries among powerful families and unruly communities; failure to produce heirs
Maat idea of universal stability and harmony in Egypt
Over 3,000 years -- Egyptian dynasties thirty
the Old Kingdom Beginning about 2700 B.C.; when the power of the pharaohs first reached its height in this period; pharaohs of the Old Kingdom were the builders of the pyramids
Egyptian turmoil 2200 B.C. to about 2050 B.C.; a series of weak pharaohs allowed local officials to gain independent hereditary power in the regions that they controlled; this led to turmoil in Egypt
the Middle Kingdom 2050 B.C. a dynasty from Thebes brought the whole country of Egypt under its rule during this period; built new temples with spoils that they had earned from their conquests; Hyksos moved into Lower Egypt and the Middle Kingdom came to an end
Hyksos Semitic immigrant tribes that moved into Lower Egypt during the Middle Kingdom; adapted to Egyptian civilization and their chieftains ruled Lower Egypt as pharaohs for a time
the New Kingdom 1600 B.C. Native Egyptians ruling in Upper Egypt from Thebes defeated Hyksos rulers and brought the nation into its imperial era; armies moved south into Nubia and vied with the Hittites of Anatolia for control of Palestine and Syria
the Valley of the Kings
End of the New Kingdom 1100 B.C. the power of priests eventually came to overshadow that of the pharaohs and the inability of the then ruling dynasty to produce heirs led to the end of the New Kingdom
Egyptian civilization after the New Kingdom Egypt became victim of various invaders (in Africa, from Mesopotamia, and from Europe); Egyptian civilization continued to flourish
Created by: Annaheaven09