Early Civilizations

Early Civilizations

Early Civilizations Week 2: Mesopotamia and Egypt Birth of History History begins in Sumer but WHY???? What distinguished history in this period from the previous week?

What does it mean to be civilized? Civilization Defined Urban Political/military system Social stratification Economic specialization Religion Communications Higher Culture Civilization and the Means of Production

Essential element: concentration of wealth Agriculture Control over natural resources Development of ancient civilization not hunter-gatherer economics Mesopotamia Between the Rivers Tigris and Euphrates Contemporary Iran, Iraq

Cultural continuum of fertile crescent The Wealth of the Rivers Nutrient-rich silt Key: irrigation Necessity of coordinated efforts Promoted development of local governments City-states Sumer begins small-scale irrigation 6000 BCE By 5000 BCE, complex irrigation networks Population reaches 100,000 by 3000 BCE Attracts Semitic migrants, influences culture

Sumerian City-States Cities appear 4000 BCE Dominate region from 3200-2350 BCE Ur (home of Abraham, see Genesis 11:28), Nineveh (see Jonah) Ziggurat home of the god Divine mandate to Kings Regulation of Trade Defense from nomadic marauders The Ziggurat of Ur Political Decline of Sumer

Semitic peoples from northern Mesopotamia overshadow Sumer Sargon of Akkad (2370-2315 BCE) Destroyed Sumerian city-states one by one, created empire based in Akkad Empire unable to maintain chronic rebellions Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BCE) Improved taxation, legislation Used local governors to maintain control of city-states Babylonian Empire later destroyed by Hittites from Anatolia, c. 1595 BCE Legal System

The Code of Hammurabi (18th c. BCE) 282 items lex talionis (item 196: eye for an eye) Social status and punishment women as property, but some rights Exploring the Code The Code seems to be mostly about preventing disputes, so how does that

connect to the idea of a civilization process? What did you think of the code? Is there any positives qualities of the code? Mesopotamian Empires 1800-600 BCE Technological Development in Mesopotamia Bronze (copper with tin), c. 4000 BCE Military, agricultural applications

Iron, c. 1000 BCE Cheaper than bronze Wheel, boats, c. 3500 BCE Shipbuilding increases trade networks Social Classes Ruling classes based often on military prowess Originally elected, later hereditary Perceived as offspring of gods Religious classes Role: intervention with gods to ensure fertility, safety

Considerable landholdings, other economic activities Free commoners Peasant cultivators Some urban professionals Slaves Prisoners of war, convicted criminals, debtors Patriarchal Society Men as landowners, relationship to status Patriarchy: rule of the father Right to sell wives, children Double standard of sexual morality

Women drowned for adultery Relaxed sexual mores for men Yet some possibilities of social mobility for women Court advisers, temple priestesses, economic activity Introduction of the veil at least c. 1500 BCE Development of Writing Sumerian writing systems form 3500 BCE Pictographs Cuneiform: wedge-shaped Preservation of documents on clay

Declines from 400 BCE with spread of Greek alphabetic script Uses for Writing Trade Astronomy Mathematics Agricultural applications Calculation of time 12-month year 24-hour day, 60-minute hour Mesopotamian Literature

Epic of Gilgamesh, compiled after 2000 BCE Heroic saga Search for meaning, esp. afterlife This-worldly emphasis The Legend One and the same fate befalls every man. ~Ecclesiastes 9 For Sumerians, there was NO JOY in the afterlife !!! A Quest for Immortality - Does this seem far-fetched? Foreign conquests of Israel

Civil war Northern tribes: Israel Southern: Judah Assyrian conquest, 722 BCE Exiles Israel: ten lost tribes Babylonian conquest, 586 BCE Additional exile of many residents of Judah Returned later than century Decline Kassite and Interlude

of the OldHittite Babylonian Empire Learned how to combat salinization of the soil But the lack of governing skills and fighting techniques led to decline. The Light-Chariot Warfare Fighting on horse back would prove to be efficient. Hittites Emerge circa 1600 BCE Refer to in the Bible; probably from the

Steppe regions Efficient means of strength but not very intellectual. Might of the Assyrians Assyrian Supremacy 1300 - 612 BCE Following the Kassite dark age Semitic group who settled on the Tigris. Notable Nobles - Sennacherib 705 - 681 BCE advanced the Assyrian rule Built a stupendous city - Nineveh Assyrian Frightfulness

Virtues of brutal masculinity - machismo I tore out the tongues of many who plotted against me and then had them murdered. AFRICA: GEOGRAPHY 5,000 miles north-south, east-west

North: mountainous coastline Sahara desert West: interior grasslands, tropical jungle on coast East (on Indian ocean): snowy mountains, upland plateaus Central: Jungles South: hills, plateaus, deserts THE VALLEY OF THE NILE Egypt in many ways

was more significant than Mesopotamia. Two Major Difference: Environment Peaceful THE GIFT OF THE NILE

Gradual, predictable flooding Inundation (July-October) Sprouting Summer Communication:

Nubia-Egypt Current: north Winds: south Sub-Saharan Africa-Mesopotamia

Increased in importance w/dessication of Sahara EARLY AGRICULTURE IN NILE VALLEY 10,000 BCE migrants from Red Sea hills (northern Ethiopia) Introduce collection of wild grains, language roots of Coptic

5000 BCE Sudanese cultivators, herders migrate to Nile river valley Adaption to seasonal flooding of Nile through construction of dikes, waterways Villages dot Nile by 4000 BCE IMPACT ON POLITICAL ORGANIZATION Mesopotamia: grand public works to control

flash floods Egypt: simple, local irrigation projects Rural rather than heavily urban development Trade networks develop THE SPAN OF EGYPTIAN

HISTORY Early Nubian domination Manetho, Egyptian priest/historian Archaic Period: 3100-2660 BCE Old Kingdom, 2660-2160 BCE

Middle Kingdom, 2160-1640 BCE pyramids Hyksos invasion New Kingdom, 1550-1075 BCE THE TWO KINGDOMS OF EGYPT

Early on Egypt was two separate kingdoms Upper Kingdom (Southern Egypt) Lower Kingdom (Northern Egypt) UNIFICATION OF EGYPT

Legendary conqueror Menes, c. 3100 unifies the Egyptian kingdom Sometimes identified with Narmer Tradition: founder of Memphis, cultural and political center of ancient Egypt Instituted the rule of the Pharaoh Claimed descent from the gods Absolute rulers, had slaves buried with them from 2600

BCE Most powerful during Archaic Period (3100-2660 BCE) and Old Kingdom (2660-2160 BCE) THE PHARAOHS The Pharaohs were chief priests and therefore considered to be gods. ka = the mind and was believed to be immortal. Does preservation of life lead in the

development of civilization? Government = Theocracy SOCIAL HIERARCHY Pharaoh Royal Advisor Priests Traders/Merchants Ordinary Citizens Slaves

THE PYRAMIDS Early architecture from Old Kingdom Tallest buildings in the world until 19th century 2M Blocks, some 60

tons each Role: burial chambers for Pharaohs How were the pyramids built? Video - Pyramids of Giza EGYPTIAN URBAN CULTURE Major cities along Nile river, especially at delta Memphis c. 3100 BCE, Heliopolis c. 2900 BCE

Nubian cities include Kerma, Napata, Mero Located at cataracts of the Nile Well-defined social classes Pharaohs to slaves Archaeological discoveries in Nubia also support class-based society Patriarchal societies, notable exceptions: female Pharaoh Hatshepsut (r. 1472-1458 BCE) RELATIONS WITH NUBIA

Competition over Nile trade Military conflict between 3100-2600 BCE Drives Nubians to the south Established Kingdom of Kush, c. 2500 BCE

Trade, cultural influences continue despite military conflict What have we noticed about civilizations as they grow? TURMOIL AND EMPIRE Increasing agricultural productivity at end of Old Kingdom leads to rise of regional powers and decline of central

state (2160-2040 BCE) Beginning of Middle Kingdom (2040-1640 BCE) Invasion of Hyksos from southwest Asia, c. 1674 BCE Semitic people, horse riders with bronze weaponry Driven out by local military efforts, creation of New Kingdom (1550-1070 BCE)

Ahmose 1560 BCE - hero of the Egyptian struggle EGYPTIAN RELIGION Polytheistic = over 2,000 gods and goddesses Built huge temples to

honor the gods. Why is that significant? Believed in the afterlife. OSIRIS AND ISIS Behold the Lord of all things is born!

What is the purpose of this legend? What do you take away from the story? What seems to be the moral? THE ENNEAD

The Nine Gods of Heliopolis (Sun City) Ra-Atum Shu = Tefenet Geb = Nut

Osiris = Isis Seth = Nephthys SOCIAL IMPORTANCE Egyptian Civilization varied greatly from Mesopotamian city-states.

Egypts United Kingdom allowed for: High degree of unity Stability Cultural Continuity HIEROGLYPHS

Sacred Writings Preserved on papyrus, made from reeds Simplified form: hieratic script, 2600 BCE-600 CE Rosetta Stone, discovered 1799 Hieroglyphs Demotic (popular) Greek

Pictographs Meroitic language recorded in alphabet after 5th century BCE INTELLECTUAL ADVANCEMENTS Developed written numbers for recording taxes

Ratio of a Circle 360 degree Calendar - Sirius Solar alignment Addition and Subtraction 12 month calendar so accurate only 6 hours off the current record. Medicine - Natural versus Supernatural

Listened to heartbeat, used natural sources like castor oil to alleviate pain AGRICULTURE AND INDUSTRY The gift of the Nile resulted in most of Egypts splendor.

Nutritious soil that yielded excellent crops Wheat, Barley, Millet, Vegetables, Fruits, Flax, and Cotton Economic Collectivism ECONOMIC SPECIALIZATION Bronze metallurgy introduced late, with

Hyksos invasion Development of iron early, c. 900 BCE Trade along Nile river More difficult in Nubia due to cataracts Sea trade in Mediterranean EGYPTIAN ACHIEVEMENT

Peace and SelfSufficiency Legacy Musical Instruments Agricultural Techniques

Pharmacy - Medicine Pyramids NEXT WEEK What are the enduring qualities of civilization? How do the cornerstones of civilization fit into the mold of society?

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