Ancient River Valley Civilizations
Ancient River Valley Civilizations
UNIT 1: THE FIRST
Topics to Cover This Unit
1.2 Early Civilizations
1.3 Early Empires
• To study prehistoric humans,
historians must rely on
• Prehistory: time before writing
• Archaeology: study of the past
from what humans have left
• Anthropology: study of human
life and culture (fossils and
• Various scientific methods
can be used to date fossils
including radiocarbon dating
• Hominids (humanlike creatures that walked upright) are
believed to have first lived in Africa approximately 4
million years ago.
• These hominids adapted over time.
• A fossil nicknamed “Lucy” was found by Donald Johanson
in Ethiopia in 1974.
• Scientists called this type of hominid Australopithecus (“southern
“People felt that there were a number of
evolutionary changes, which all went
together. That our ancestors stood up to free
their hands so that they could make and use
stone tools, they had to have large brains…
Here comes Lucy, about 3.5 million year
old…very small brain…and we have never
found any stone tool, stone artifacts,
associated with her species. Yet she is
walking upright. So it appears that…walking
on two legs, precedes by perhaps as much
as a million and a half years, the manufacture
of stone tools and the expansion of the
Donald Johanson, 1991 interview
• 2.5-1.6 million years ago, Homo habilis (handy human)
and used stone tools
• 1.8 million-100,000 years ago, Homo erectus was the first
fully upright human being
• Around 200,000 years ago, Homo sapiens (“wise human”)
• Homo sapiens showed rapid brain growth
• Mastered the use of fire
• Two groups descended from this larger group
Homo sapiens sapiens
• Discovered in the
• “wise, wise human being”
Neander Valley in
• Likely lived between
100,000-30,000 years ago
• Made clothes from animal
• Believed to be the first
humans to bury their dead
• Similar anatomy to modern
• Appeared in Africa between
150,000 and 200,000 years
• “Out of Africa” theory states
that they spread out of Africa
about 100,000 years ago
and replaced early hominid
species in Europe and Asia.
Starter: Complete Early Humans Chart
Homo Sapiens Sapiens
• Time period from approximately 2,500,000 BC to 10,000
• Use of simple stone tools
• “Paleolithic” is Greek for “Old Stone Age”
Life in the Paleolithic Age
• Nomadic following food source (larger animals)
• Hunter-gatherer lifestyle
• Men believed to be hunters
• Women believed to be the gatherers
• Lived in small groups
• Depending on location, they would adapt for weather,
• Fire became important for warmth, hunting, cooking, and for
• Paleolithic cave paintings have been discovered that
depict mostly animals and landscapes.
• Historians believe these paintings may have held a religious
Lascaux Cave Painting
(aka Agricultural Revolution)
• A revolution is a major change.
• Between 8,000 and 4,000 BC, people began using systematic
agriculture (farming on a regular basis).
• Shift from hunter-gatherer to farming and keeping of animals.
• This shift led to many changes in the way humans lived.
• Neolithic is Greek for “New Stone.”
• Newer tools did develop, but the farming aspect had a larger impact.
• Domestication of animals began
• People began to settle down into communities and towns
• IMPORTANT: This was not an overnight, sudden change. This
was a gradual change that occurred in different parts of the
world at different times between 8,000 and 5,000 BC.
• By 8,000 BC people were growing wheat and barley and
had domesticated pigs, cows, and sheep in Southwest Asia.
• By 6,000 BC, wheat and barley were being grown in the
Nile Valley in Egypt.
• They began to spread into other areas of Africa shortly after.
• Central Africa grew tubers and tree crops.
• By 5,000 BC Southeast Asians were farming rice.
• By 4,000 central Europe began to farm.
• Mesoamericans (present-day Mexico and Central America)
began to farm mainly beans, squash, and maize (corn)
between 7000 and 5000 BC.
• With a food surplus, people began to settle into larger
• The oldest known settlement was in Southwest Asia
(Jericho by 8,000 BC)
• Catal Huyuk (in modern Turkey) is one of the largest
known communities from this period and covers 32 acres.
• It is believed that between 67,000 and 57,000 BC, this town had
about 6,000 inhabitants.
Mud brick houses
Very few streets
Farming believed to have taken place outside of the city walls
(hunting also took place based on paintings found at the ruins)
Religion is evident due to shrines containing religious figures
Effects of the Neolithic Revolution
• Settling down into towns/communities
• Many communities saw a need for walls to protect from invasion or
• Trade began in some areas between communities
• Artisans (skilled workers) began to make items to trade with
• Storing of surplus food
• Gender roles changed as men sometimes traveled for
hunting or left the city walls for farming
• Women stayed home and became a more domestic role
• What issues might arise in settled communities that would
not arise for nomads?
The End of the Neolithic Age
• Between 4,000 and 3,000 BC, some areas began to
discover that metal-bearing rocks could be melted and
molded into tools and weapons.
• Copper was the first metal used to make tools.
• Copper and tin was then combines to make bronze which was
harder and more durable.
• The Bronze Age (3,000 to 1,200 BC)
• The Iron Age ( around 1,000 BC)
• When looking at societies of the past, we look at their
culture (their way of life).
• After settlement into towns, culture became much more
complex leading to civilization.
• Civilization: complex culture in which large numbers of
human beings share common elements.
Basic Elements of Civilization
• Social Structure - A system of levels in society. This can be
economic (jobs and wealth), social (popularity), or
Stable Food Supply When a society has enough food so it
can survive, plus some extra to trade.
Religion A set of beliefs, usually in a god or gods, together with
forms of worship such as holidays, prayer services, and rituals.
Government A group of people who keep law and order and
Writing Symbols and signs put together to make words.
Culture A people's unique way of life--all of its forms of creative
expression and entertainment
Technology ...All advances, inventions, and processes created
to make life easier.
1.2 EARLY CIVILIZATIONS
Location: Fertile Crescent, primarily present-day Iraq,
Rivers: Tigris and Euphrates (Tigris-Euphrates)
• The Ancient Greeks referred to this
civilization as Mesopotamia, meaning
the land “between the two river.”
• Very little rainfall
• Instead, the soil became fertile due to silt
deposits and the overflow of the river.
• Flooding of the rivers was very
• They learned to control the waters through
irrigation and drainage.
• Civilizations of Mesopotamia include
many groups, the first being the
• Mesopotamians believed that
supernatural forces ruled the world.
• Religion was a source for answers as to
why things occurred in their world.
• They practiced a polytheistic religion
meaning they believed in many
• Humans were supposed to obey their gods
due to inferiority to the gods.
• Religious buildings called ziggurats were
in the center of their cities. Atop of the
ziggurats were temples dedicated to
• Surplus food or materials were often stored in
Government and Cities
• The Sumerians developed independent cities in Southern
Mesopotamia by 3,000 BC.
• As these cities expanded, they gained control over larger territories
of land and formed city-states.
• Sumerian cities were surrounded by walls for protections.
• City homes were mad of sun-dried brick.
• People living inside the city would develop a common identity and
work together for survival.
• Priests and priestesses held large amounts of power.
• Theocracy: type of government in which people believe the ruler(s)
has divine authority (right to rule from the gods)
• Kings held great power leading armies, supervising public
works, organizing irrigation and farming.
Economy and Society
• The city-states based their economy on farming, but trade
and industry became important as well.
• Woolen textiles, pottery, and metalwork became specialties
• The invention of the wheel around 3000 BC led to carts
making trading of their goods (primarily metals) to other
• Traded primarily with the Mediterranean and India.
• Three classes developed:
• Nobles: included priestly officials and their families
• Commoners: worked for rulers, farmers (90%), merchants, fishers,
• Slaves belonged to palace officials and were used primarily for
Writing and Language
• Cuneiform (wedge-shaped symbols)
• To record information, they a reed and clay tablets. These
tablets baked in the sun to make their message
• The Epic of Gilgamesh, an epic poem, tells the story of a
king in search of immortality.
• Sundial (time keeping)
• First to make bronze tools
• Achievements in math and astronomy
Code of Hammurabi
• Many empires developed within Mesopotamia throughout
• Hammurabi, created a new Mesopotamian kingdom
(Babylon) by combining city-states.
• Hammurabi created one of the earliest law codes known
• It outlined relationships between people within the kingdom and
• The laws were made public in the center of town so that people
would be aware of expectations.
• The society became patriarchal (led by men) and women had fewer
rights in marriage.
• Many of the punishments can be seen as harsh.
Location: Egypt, Africa
The Nile River
• The Nile River flows from central Africa northward dumping into the
• Before it meets the sea, it splits into three major branches creating a delta.
• Yearly floods along the Nile left a deposit of mud that created a rich
soil (“Black Land”).
• Trade along the Nile helped unify the area.
• Natural barriers (deserts, seas) also helped protect Egyptians from
• Along with predictable flooding,
religion provided a sense of
• For Egyptians, religion was
represented in world order.
• Polytheistic, their gods
represented heavenly bodies
and natural forces.
• Sun gods (Sun was called Re
and viewed as giver of life.
Rulers were considered the Son
of Re and therefore held great
• Land gods (including the Nile
• Pyramids and mummification
were important aspects of
Egyptian religion. (see page 44
in blue text)
• Ancient Egyptians believed their rulers
were given power from the gods.
• The pharaoh (like a king/queen, monarch)
therefore held absolute power.
• These pharaohs were mummified after
death because Egyptians believe they
continued to rule in the afterlife.
Nobles and priests
Middle Class (merchants, artisans, scribes,
Workers of the land (majority were peasants
who farmed and served as military)
Daily life in ancient egypt
• Young marriages (12 and 14) were arranged by parents
• Main reason for marriage was to produce children
• Monogamy (marriage to one) was typical, but men were allowed
additional wives if their first was childless.
• Divorce was possible and compensation was given to the wife if it
• Patriarchal society, but women held much respect (and
could become the pharaoh)
• Women kept their own property even after marriage
Writing and education
• Hieroglyphics: Greek translation meaning “priest-carvings”
or “sacred writings”; this type of writing uses pictures and
• The original hieroglyphic writing was for writing on temple walls and in
tombs; it is extremely complex
• Hieratic script uses the same principles, but is simplified using dashes,
strokes, and curves. This was used more for business, record keeping,
and for daily use.
• Not all Egyptians could write!
• Scribes, masters of writing, were also teachers and were
highly respected. (Only men of the upper class could
become a scribe.)
Art and science
• Pyramids, temples, and monuments (religious as well)
• Math became extremely important for building projects
• Used a 365-day calendar
• Embalming of bodies led to increased knowledge of
Location: India, Asia
Rivers: Indus, Ganges
• The Himalayas in the north
provide a natural barrier.
• South of the Himalayas is the
• The Indus River lies to the west.
• The Indus River is considered
the cradle of Ancient Indian
• The Deccan Plateau, south of
the rivers, extends to the tip on
India and is hilly and dry.
• India experiences a monsoon
(seasonal wind pattern) that
heavily impacts climate and
The Indus Valley
• Between 3000 BC and 1500
BC, the Indus supported a
• More than 2000 settlements have
been discovered in the area from
• Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, only
about 400 miles apart, are two of the
most successful settlements.
• Each city was home to somewhere
around 35000 and were carefully
Most buildings made of mud brick
Not a lot of
available about the
earliest people of
the Indus Valley,
because we cannot
written language of
It was adopted
by the Indians
of the nomadic
The Caste System
Rigid social classes that determined a
person’s occupation, economic potential,
and social status-based partly on skin color
Life of the
difficult. They were
human. They lived in
ghettos and to tap
sticks together so
others would know
they were coming.
*Male dominated society:
-oldest male had legal authority
over the entire family
-suttee required a wife to throw
herself on her dead husband’s
funeral pyre (fire) and die
• Based on the
Hindu sacred text
• Believed in an
• Individual self,
or atman, had
the duty to
come to know
*The idea that after death the individual soul is
reborn in a different form.
• Karma-the idea that people’s actions
determine their form of rebirth and the class
into which they are reborn
• dharma-divine law rules karma, requires
people to do their duty in one’s caste
• provides a religious basis for the caste
system, gave hope to the lower classes
Gautama, known as
• Gave up his rich life
to find the meaning
of life and the cure
• The pain, poverty,
and sorrow that
beings are caused
by their attachment
to things of this
• Achieving wisdom
is a key step to
or ultimate realitythe end of the self
and a reunion with
the Great World
Four Noble Truths
1. Ordinary life is full of suffering.
2. This suffering is caused by our
desire to satisfy ourselves.
3. The way to end suffering is to end
desire for selfish goals and to see
others as extensions of ourselves.
4. The way to end desire is to follow the
Location: China, Asia
River: Huang He (Yellow) River, and the Chang Jiang River
Geography of China
• Mountains and
• Flooding was
• Came to power around 1500 BC
• First written records
• Built buildings of woods
• Focus on the importance of groups and cooperation
• Family was considered the most important part of society and
• Chinese believed that family members who died could still
influence those living (ancestor worship)
• Came to power around 1027 BC
• Adopted much of Shang culture, but began a new idea of
• Divine rule: rulers are chosen by god(s)
• Issues within the Zhou rule led to losses of power to
nobles. These nobles fought each other leading to what
is referred to as the “time of warring states.”
• Confucius (born 551 BC)
believed that peace
could return to China.
• Concerned with human
behavior-proper way to
behave was in accordance
with the Dao
• Dao: “the proper
•View of the Dao-Duty and
• Five Constant Relationships-parent and child,
husband and wife, older and younger siblings,
older and younger friends, and ruler and
• All people had to subordinate their own
interests to the broader needs of the family and
• “Work Ethic”-If each individual worked hard
to fulfill his or her duties, then the affairs of
society as a whole would prosper as well.
• a sense of compassion and empathy for
• “Do not do unto others what you would
not wish done to yourself”
• “Measure the feelings of others by one’s
• “Within the four seas all men are
• inaction rather than
• The best way to act in
harmony with the
universal order is to
act spontaneously and
let nature take its
course by not
interfering with it.
• “School of Law”
• proposed that
human beings were
evil by nature
• believed a strong
ruler is required to
create an orderly
• 221 BC, the Qin Dynasty began under ruler Shih Huangdi.
• Doubled the size of China
• Burned many books throughout his empire that he disagreed with
• Unification of the empire
• Construction of roads which caused an increase in trade
• Set standards for writing, law, money, and weights & measurement
• Construction of the Great Wall
• After Shih Huangdi’s death, his son served only three
years before being defeated by the Han Dyansty.
Great Wall of China
• created to protect
invaders from the
• linked existing walls
•present wall was
ordered 1,500 years
after the first Qin
• Came to power in 202 BC and ruled for 400 years
• Liu Bang (first emperor of the Han Dynasty) lowered
taxes, decreased punishments for crimes, and life
became easier for the Chinese.
• Empress Lu
• Wudi (141-87 BC) expanded China to its modern size.
• Civil service exams (rule of merit) tested the ability of applicants
before they could receive government posts.
Inventions of the Han Dynasty
• Two-bladed plow
• Silk (in high demand in India and portions of Europe led to
the development of the Silk Road)
• Silk Road: trading network from China into parts of Western Asia
and parts of Europe; trade of luxury items only due to the dangers
of the route; cities were developed along its route in several
*The methods to making paper and silk were kept very
The Silk Road
1.3 EARLY EMPIRES
Greece and Rome
• a major political unit having a territory of great extent or a
number of territories or peoples under a single sovereign
authority; especially : one having an emperor as chief of
• the territory of such a political unit
• something resembling a political empire; especially an
extensive territory or enterprise under single domination
• Greece is the southeastern-
most region on the
• It is defined by a series of
mountains, surrounded on
all sides except the north by
water, and endowed with
countless large and small
• Surrounding seas and the
many deep bays and natural
harbors along the coastlines
allowed the Greeks to
prosper in maritime
commerce and to develop a
culture which drew
inspiration from many
sources, both foreign and
• MOUNTAIN RANGES crisscross the peninsula
making internal communications difficult and leading
to the development of independent city-states.
• Numerous ISLANDS and the indented coastlines of
the Greek peninsula and of Asia Minor stimulated
• The ROCKY SOIL and limited natural resources
encouraged the Greeks to establish colonies abroad.
GREEK HISTORY: AN OVERVIEW
• Greek CIVILIZATION started around 2000 B.C.
• By 1600 B.C., the Greek people had built fortified
cities in the major valleys and many people were
• Several wars, including the Trojan War around
1200 B.C. threw them into what is known as the
• During the DARK AGES, knowledge of writing was
lost and most people lived in isolated villages.
• This period ended in about 800 B.C when the
Greeks started to write again with an alphabet
based on that of the Phoenicians.
• Many city-states emerged and struggled with each
other for power for hundreds of years after that. In
480 B.C., the Greeks UNITED to defeat the invading
Persians, but the alliance didn’t last long.
• Around 477 B.C., two city-states, ATHENS AND
SPARTA, became the dominant powers in that
region and constantly fought each other for power.
• Greece had its GOLDEN AGE in Athens around
477 - 431 B.C.
• In 334 B.C., ALEXANDER THE GREAT, leader of the
country of Macedonia to the north, conquered the
Greeks and started what is called the HELLENISTIC
• Greece unwillingly remained under Macedonian
control until the Romans conquered both
Macedonia and Greece around 140 B.C.
• The ROMANS then spread the knowledge of the
ancient Greek philosophers throughout their empire.
• The Roman Empire lasted as a unified empire
until 395 A.D. when it was split into the eastern
and western empires.
• Greece became part of the eastern or BYZANTINE
EMPIRE and Greek literature became the basis for
learning in Byzantine institutions.
Was Alexander the Great a Hero or Villain?
Write a persuasive paragraph (minimum of 5 sentences) in
which you identify him as a hero or villain. You must use
historical information and or quotes from reading (book or
online excerpt) as historical evidence.
• The POLIS (city-state)
consisted of a city and
its surrounding plains
• The center of the polis
was the elevated,
fortified site called the
people could take
refuge from attack.
• With the revival of
commerce, a TRADING
below the acropolis.
Four major TYPES OF GOVERNMENT evolved
in ancient Greece:
• Monarchy (rule of a king) limited by an
aristocratic council and a popular assembly.
• Oligarchy (rule of the few) arising when the
aristocratic council ousted the king and
abolished the assembly.
• Tyranny (rule by one who ruled without
legal authority) riding to power on the
discontent of the lower classes.
• Democracy (rule of the people), the
outstanding political achievement of the
During the GOLDEN AGE of Greece (461429 B.C.), the great statesman PERICLES
guided Athenian policy.
• Power resided in a board of TEN ELECTED GENERALS.
• To ensure that the POOR COULD PARTICIPATE IN
GOVERNMENT, Athens paid jurors (a panel of 6,000 citizens
chosen annually by lot) and members of the Council.
• WOMEN, SLAVES, and RESIDENT ALIENS
were DENIED CITIZENSHIP.
• These groups had no standing in the law courts.
(If a woman sought the protection of the law, she
had to ask a citizen to plead for her in court.)
• *Note: Pericles did NOT begin democracy in Greece. He
expanded suffrage to more male citizens.
Sparta to 500 B.C.
The city-state of Sparta expanded by conquering and
enslaving its neighbors. To guard against revolts by the state
slaves (helots), who worked the land, Sparta transformed
itself into a militaristic TOTALITARIAN STATE.
• Every Spartan was first of all a solider.
• Sickly infants were left to die on lonely
• Boys were taken from their families at age 7
to live under rigorous military discipline.
• Girls were trained to be the mothers of
• To many Greeks, ATHENS WAS A TYRANT CITY and an enslaver of Greek
• In 431 B.C., the PELOPONNESIAN WAR broke out between the Spartan
League and the Athenian empire.
• COMMERCIAL RIVALRY between Athens and Sparta's ally Corinth was an
• Real cause: SPARTAN FEAR of Athens' growth of power.
Sparta's army had the ability to besiege Athens and lay waste to its fields.
Athens' unrivaled navy could import foodstuffs and harass its enemies' costs.
In 2nd year of war, a plague killed a third of the Athenian population,
Weak leadership of the Athenian government.
The Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.)
Nearly all of Greece was polarized between two alliances.
• In 404 B.C. Athens lost power after its last fleet was
destroyed by a Spartan fleet.
• The once great city of Athens was stripped of its
possessions and demilitarized.
Evolution of Gov’t in Ancient Greece
Using the PDF on the website (4FormsofGovernment),
create a flow chart showing the evolution of governments.
In each box (one for each government), you will need to
outline characteristics of the type of government AND why
this change was needed. BE DETAILED!
The Parthenon Today
The Acropolis of Athens
Odeum of Herodes
• The Greeks were POLYTHEISTIC and did not all worship the
• Some small villages worshiped the main gods and their own
• There were hundreds of Greek gods. Some of the most
famous gods were Zeus, Hera, Apollo, Artemis, Poseidon,
Aphrodite, Athena, Demeter, Hermes, Ares, and Hades.
• ZEUS surpassed all other gods in spirit, wisdom and justice
and his wife HERA was the queen of the gods.
According to tradition the first OLYMPICS took place in 776 BC. They
became a central aspect of Greek culture and in many ways were the
most important factor uniting the Greeks, except for their language and
• Rome is located on the Italian
Peninsula which juts into the
travel and trade
• About 18 miles inland on the
Tiber River-easy access to the
sea but far enough in to
protect from pirates
• Built on seven hills-easy to
• Located on a north-south
Peoples of Italy
• Indo-Europeans move into
Italy (Latins, Greeks, and
• Etruscans have the most
influence on Rome’s
from a village to a city, mode
of dress, and organization of
The Roman Republic
• Republic-the leader is not a king and
certain citizens have the right to vote
• Rome gains control of most of Italy
through a series of wars
• Gave citizenship to some conquered
people-allowed them to control local
affairs in return for soldiers and
• Believed success was due to three
virtues: duty, courage, and discipline
wrote of the
Why was Rome so Successful?
• The Romans were good diplomats
• They were skilled, persistent
soldiers and brilliant strategists
• In law and justice, the Romans
The Roman Senate
• Select group of patricians
who served for life
• Began as an advisory
group, by the third
century, had the force of
• Rome’s first code of law.
• Some laws are practical
• Some punishments too harsh
• Other laws, are just plain silly
by today’s standards
The Punic Wars
• The Romans faced a strong
power in the Mediterranean,
• Carthage was founded by the
• The Carthaginians occupied Sicily, an
island close to the Italian coast.
• The two powers will begin a
long struggle for dominance
in the Mediterranean.
Master of the Mediterranean
• Rome will destroy Carthage in the Third Punic
War. With the conquest of Macedonia and
Greece, the Romans will become master of the
Origins of Christianity
• Had its roots in Judaism
• Was lead by Jesus of Nazareth who
was proclaimed the Messiah
• Messiah: savior
Beliefs of Christianity
• Monotheism: belief
in one God
• Jesus is both the Son
(human form) of God
• Life after death
• Holy Book: Bible
• Early Christians were persecuted by the Romans for refusing to
worship the Roman Gods
• Martyr: Someone who dies for their beliefs
• Adopted and
• Later Christianity
became the official
religion of the Roman
Impact of the Church in the
Late Roman Empire
• As the Roman Empire
declined in the West, the
church in Rome grew in
• The church became an
example of moral
Decline of the Roman Empire
• Moral decay
• Army discipline
• Division of empire
• Political problems
• Economic problems
• MAD PIE
• Conditions in the later centuries made Romans
lose their patriotism.
• The people lost faith in Rome and the family
• To defend against increasing
threats, Rome hired mercenaries
(foreign soldiers who fought for
• Military started to include
• Discipline and loyalty collapsed.
Division of the Empire
• Rome was divided into Eastern and
• Constantine moved the capital from
Rome to Byzantium (He also ended
persecution of Christians)
• Civil conflict: politician- generals
fought each other for power
• Weak leadership: Emperors
were unable to handle problems
faced by the empire. They were
often brutal and incompetent.
Many were murdered.
• From 376 to 476 Germanic and Mongol invaders poured into the
Western portion of the Roman Empire.
• The high cost of defending its
borders caused the Empire to
raise taxes and mint coins with
• With Roman money worth less
(devaluation), prices rose
• Small farmers abandoned their
lands causing food shortages.
• Germanic tribes
Western Empire Falls
• The Western Roman Empire ceased to exist in 476 AD when
Germanic invaders overthrew the last Roman Emperor.
• The Eastern Roman Empire survived and
later became known as the Byzantine Empire
• Roads that connected
Rome to all parts of the
• Arches were used as
memorials in addition to
bridges, and aqueducts
• Aqueducts were
designed to bring water
from the mountains to
• Means open
• The political and
economic heart of
• Stadium which held 50,000
• Mock battles, gladiator contests, and
other bloody spectacles were seen here
• Piped water for drinking and bathing
• Sewage systems to remove human waste
• Medical Schools
UNIT 1 REVIEW
Which development most enabled early
peoples to form permanent settlements?
Advances in agricultural production
B. The creation of democratic government
C. Spread of monotheism
D. Advances in written language
Advances in agricultural production (farming)
enabled early people to form permanent
• Before farming was utilized, people were nomadic meaning
they moved. These people moved following their food
• After the development of agriculture, these people no
longer needed to travel following large animal. (They still
hunted, but had a more stable food supply through the
farming of grain products.)
• After settling, other developments toward civilization
occurred including (but not limited to):
• Development of towns and cities
• Development of law codes/rules of expectation
• Development of written language (to track food supply and other
• Divisions of labor
How did the implementation of laws such
as the Code of Hammurabi affect people
of ancient societies?
It unified the various peoples and laws within the
B. It reduced the authority of the king over citizens.
C. It limited the role of government in the lives of citizens.
D. It established the separation of government and
Hammurabi’s Code unified the various
people and laws within the Babylonian
• The Babylonian Empire was large and spread over a vast
• Hammurabi’s Code became the universal law for all
people within the empire.
• The laws were published in the market area within each
city so that citizens would be aware of the laws and
• Remember, Hammurabi’s Code is known for laws such as
“an eye for an eye” or “a tooth for a tooth”, but
punishments were different based on the social class of
Hammurabi’s Code of ancient
Mesopotamian society was important
Listed the laws and the corresponding punishments
B. Explained how government officials were chosen
C. Established a single currency for use across the empire
D. Described how to perform formal religious ceremonies
Hammurabi’s Code was important
because it outlined laws and
• Recall, the laws were posted in market areas in each city
within the empire so that people would be aware of the
laws and corresponding punishments.
Cuneiform and hieroglyphics were
important achievements in the
B. Religious beliefs
C. Agricultural production
D. Representative government
Cuneiform and hieroglyphics were
important achievements toward the
development of written language.
• Cuneiform: “wedge-shaped” system of writing developed
by the Sumerians using a reed stylus to create
impressions on clay tablets
• Hieroglyphics: “priest-carvings” or “sacred writings”;
system of writing using pictures and more abstract forms
used by the Ancient Egyptians
Which geographic features determined
the location of the early civilizations of
Egypt, Mesopotamia, China, and India?
Oceans and coastlines
B. Rivers and valleys
C. Fertile soils and plains
D. Rainy seasons and forests
The earliest civilizations were located
along rivers and valleys.
• We discussed four early river civilizations in this unit:
• Egypt in the Nile River Valley
• Mesopotamia in the Fertile Crescent (Tigris and Euphrates Rivers)
• Ancient China along the Yellow (Huang He) River
• Ancient India in the Indus River Valley
How did geographic features influence the
diffusion and settlement of both the
Phoenician and Greek traders?
Both had access to the Mediterranean Sea
B. The monsoon winds made ocean travel easier
C. The arid climate encouraged migration
D. Russia’s rivers provided ease of travel
Geography influenced the diffusion and settlement of the
Phoenician and Greek traders due to their access to the
Greece’s mountainous terrain and its
series of small islands influenced the
ancient Greeks to develop
A political system based on independent city-states
B. A culture that was uniform throughout its vast empire
C. An economic system based on mining precious metals
D. A society completely isolated from other civilizations
Greece’s mountains and islands influenced
the ancient Greeks to develop a political
system based on independent city-states.
• City-state: sate with political and
economic control over the
• City-states had various ways of
lives making them hard to unite.
• Recall the differences between
Athens and Sparta.
• Athens: arts, education, teaching and
training to create good citizens
• Sparta: all life surrounded warfare
and creating good warriors
• Different city-states within Greece
had different government types
How did Pericles influence the functioning
of Athenian government?
He introduced representative democracy.
B. He expanded direct democracy to new classes of free
C. He increased the salaries of government officials.
D. He greatly strengthened the authority of military leaders
Pericles influenced democracy in Greece
by expanding direct democracy to new
classes of free men.
• Cleisthenes created the foundations for Athenian democracy
in 508 BC when he created a council of 500 male citizens to
be the final authority on the passing of laws.
• Pericles ruled from 461 BC-429 BC (Age of Pericles).
• During this time, every adult male citizen was allowed to vote creating an
idea of direct democracy.
• Even poor male citizens were able to participate in politics by paying
How was the Silk Road associated with
the development of cities?
Increased trade along this route helped to establish
cities within major empires.
B. The development of many cities created a need for
C. The Silk Road was built as an alternative to trade
between large cities by the sea.
D. European governments promoted free trade between
Increased trade along the Silk Road led to
the development of cities within major
• The Silk Road (named
due to China’s valuable
silk) passed through
various empires across
• Silk Road arose between
200 BC and 100 AD
covering a distance of about
• Only luxury goods were
traded along the Silk Road
because travel was difficult
A form of government in which the leader
is not a monarch and certain citizens have
the right to vote is called a/an
A republic is a type of government in
which the leader is not a monarch and
certain citizens have the right to vote.
• Dictatorship: form of government in which a person (or small
group) has absolute control
• Monarchy: government by a sovereign ruler such as a king or
queen (mono means one)
• Empire: large political unit or state that controls many peoples
or territories (Note: An empire is NOT a government type.)
• Republic: a form of government in which the leader is not a
king and certain citizens have the right to vote (Note: “to the
republic, for which it stands” in our Pledge of Allegiance)