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Grade 6
“World History and Geography:
Ancient Civilizations”
Grade 6 “World History &
Geography: Ancient Civilizations”
• Archaeological studies of the early
physical & cultural development of
humankind from the Paleolithic era to
the agricultural revolution.
Study Guide
a. Hunter-gatherer societies
– Development of tools & use of fire
b. Locations – Africa, the Americas, China,
EGYPT, Greece, Israel, Mesopotamia,
Persia, Rome
Climate Changes
Climatic changes & human modifications of the
physical environment which gives rise to the
domestication of plants and animals & adds
new sources of clothing and shelter
a. Slash & burn agriculture – rip up the land
and burn it so to have fresh soil to grow crops
b. Turn from food gathering to food producing
c. Domestication of dogs & sheep
d. Permanent settlements – crude mud houses
A. Mesopotamia
a. Off the Tigris & Euphrates River Systems,
Migration of northern farmers settle in region
from Babylon to Persian Gulf
b.Wheat grown from seed, herds of goats, sheep,
and pigs.
c. Ubaidians develop first divisions of labor, mud
brick villages, first religious shrines
d.2750 - Gilgamesh, hero of Sumerian legends,
reigns as king of Erech
A. Mesopotamia
e. The earliest writing in Mesopotamia was a picture
writing invented by the Sumerians who wrote on clay
tablets using long reeds. The script the Sumerians
invented and handed down to the Semitic peoples
who conquered Mesopotamia in later centuries, is
called cuneiform, which is derived from two Latin
words: cuneus , which means "wedge," and forma ,
which means "shape." This picture language, similar
to but more abstract than Egyptian hieroglyphics,
eventually developed into a syllabic alphabet under
the Semites (Assyrians and Babylonians) who
eventually came to dominate the area.
A. Mesopotamia
f. Hammurabi (as King) combined astute diplomacy and
military leadership; he defeated Rim-Sin, as well as the kings
of Elam, Mari, and Eshnunna, and about 1760 BC became the
ruler of a united kingdom extending from the Persian Gulf to
the Habur River. The history of Babylonia (the world's first
metropolis) is considered to begin with Hammurabi. An
unusually active and capable administrator, Hammurabi gave
his personal attention to such details as the cleaning of
irrigation canals and the insertion of an extra month into the
calendar. He was an outstanding lawgiver; the Code of
Hammurabi is one of the most significant legal documents
ever uncovered. He was also an inspiring religious leader;
during his reign the Babylonian city god Marduk became a
recognized leader in the pantheon of deities.
A. Mesopotamia
f. Hammurabi – By far the most remarkable of the
Hammurabi records is his code of laws, the earliest-known
example of a ruler proclaiming publicly to his people an
entire body of laws, arranged in orderly groups, so that all
men might read and know what was required of them. The
code was carved upon a black stone monument, eight feet
high, and clearly intended to be reared in public view. This
noted stone was found in the year 1901, not in Babylon, but
in a city of the Persian mountains, to which some later
conqueror must have carried it in triumph. It begins and
ends with addresses to the gods. Even a law code was in
those days regarded as a subject for prayer, though the
prayers here are chiefly cursings of whoever shall neglect
or destroy the law. “AN EYE FOR AN EYE”
B. Egypt
In Africa near the Nile
a. Art & Architecture
i. Of the materials used by the Egyptian sculptor -clay, wood, metal, ivory, and stone -- stone was
the most plentiful and permanent, available in a
wide variety of colors and hardness. Sculpture was
often painted in vivid hues as well. Egyptian
sculpture has two qualities that are distinctive; it
can be characterized as cubic and frontal
B. Egypt
b. Belief in the Afterlife
i. The need to preserve the body from decay was probably
the most important part of the Egyptian belief in a life after
death because the spirit was thought to inhabit it at times.
In the Predynastic period before 3,000 B.C. and the
beginning of the Pharonic Age, the body was placed in a
grave in the sand with some simple offerings. The natural
heat and dryness preserved it with little need for
embalming or other preparation. As society developed in
Egypt and tombs became much more elaborate, it was
necessary to treat the body to protect it from decay.
B. Egypt
ii. The removed internal organs were separately
treated and, during much of Egyptian history,
placed in jars of clay or stone. These so-called
Canopic Jars were closed with stoppers fashioned
in the shape of four heads -- human, baboon,
falcon, and jackal -- representing the four
protective spirits called the Four Sons of Horus
B. Egypt
iii. The Egyptians believed that the next life had to
be provided for in every detail and, as a result,
tombs were decorated with depictions of the
deceased at his funerary meal, activities of the
estate and countryside, and the abundant offerings
necessary to sustain the spirit
B. Egypt
iv. In the religion of ancient Egypt deities were associated
with various aspects of nature and the cosmos, particular
geographical localities, or even episodes in human
experience such as birth and death. Osiris, originally a god
of vegetation and fecundity, was the most important deity
related to the afterlife. His wife, Isis, was his principal
mourner but also served as an image of motherhood. Some
deities had animals associated with them and some were
depicted as having animal characteristics. The ibis-headed
god Thoth, as an example, was the patron of scribes and
writing as well as being a moon god
B. Egypt
v. Queen Hatshepsut rise to power went against
all the conventions of her time. She was the first
wife and Queen of Thutmose II and on his death
proclaimed herself Pharaoh, denying the old king's
son, her nephew, his inheritance. To support her
cause she claimed the God Amon-Ra spoke,
saying "welcome my sweet daughter, my
favourite, the king of Upper and Lower Egypt,
B. Egypt
v. Thou art the King, taking possession of the Two
Lands." She dressed as a king, even wearing a
false beard and the Egyptian people seem to have
accepted this unprecedented behaviour. She
remained in power for twenty years and during this
time the Egyptian economy flourished, she
expanded trading relations and built magnificent
temples as well as restoring many others
B. Egypt
vi. Ramses (the GREAT) II was an ancient
Egyptian king, third ruler of the 19th Dynasty, the
son of Seti I. During the early part of his reign
Ramses fought to regain the territory in Africa and
western Asia that Egypt had held during the 16th
and 15th centuries BC. His principal opponents
were the Hittites, a powerful people of Asia Minor,
against whom he waged a long war.
B. Egypt
vi. The major battle of this war was fought in 1274 at
Kadesh, in northern Syria, and in 1258 BC a treaty
was signed whereby the contested lands were
divided and Ramses agreed to marry the daughter
of the Hittite king. The remaining years of his rule
were distinguished by construction of such
monuments as the rock-hewn temple of Abu
Simbel, the great hypostyle hall in the Temple of
Amon at Karnak, and the mortuary temple at
Thebes, known as the Ramesseum
C. Kush
i. Kush, the Egyptian name for ancient
Nubia, was the site of a highly advanced,
ancient black African civilization that rivaled
ancient Egypt in wealth, power and cultural
development. The first capital of Kush lay at
Kerma just south of the Third Cataract of the
Nile. Here dwelt powerful and wealthy black
kings who controlled the trade routes
connecting central Africa with ancient Egypt.
C. Kush
a. The Egyptians, who had few natural resources of
their own, sought the precious, exotic products of
central Africa to satisfy the demands of their luxuryloving populace. By about 1500 B.C., the Egyptians,
feeling threatened by the Nubian kings, invaded Kush
and conquered it. For the next four centuries, the
Egyptians exploited Kush as a colony. Egypt's wealth
in gold came from the desert mines of Kush. The
Egyptian word for gold is nub, which is thought by
some to be the origin of the name Nubia
D. Ancient Hebrews
a. Judaism – first monotheistic religion (belief
in only one God)
i. Belief in God, observance of law, practice of the
concepts of righteousness & justice, importance of
ii. Abraham (Abraham is said to be the first person
to accept a covenant, or contract, with God),
Moses (the prophet Moses first recorded the
Torah, the Jewish holy text), Naomi, Ruth, David,
& Yohanan ben Zaccai
D. Ancient Hebrews
iii. According to the Bible, Abraham is born in the
city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia and brings his
family to Canaan. Abraham's son Isaac remains in
Canaan his entire life. During a famine, Issac's son
Jacob moves to Egypt with his entire family and
their posessions. Exodus from Egypt. According
to the Bible, Moses leads the people of Israel out
of slavery in Egypt. An essential story for the
Jewish people, the Exodus is commemorated
through the festival of Passover. Shortly after the
Exodus, the nation receives the Torah at Sinai
D. Ancient Hebrews
iv. 70 AD Titus, son of the Roman Emporer
Vespasian, destroys Jerusalem and the Second
Temple. Jews are sold into slavery and sent into
exile. The synagogue begins to play a central role
in Jewish life.
D. Ancient Hebrews
b.One of the most spectacular finds in the Cave
of Letters was a packet of personal documents
that belonged to a young Jewish woman
named Babatha. Probably born around A.D.
104, Babatha became a woman of means who,
by the time of her death around 132, owned
valuable properties left to her by her father and
her two husbands
E. Ancient Greece
a. Development of city-states in the region of
the Aegean Sea
b. Transition from tyranny (dictatorship) to
oligarchy (Government by a few, especially by
a small faction of persons or families)
E. Ancient Greece
c. Significance of the invention of the idea of
citizenship – Pericles’ Funeral Oration - In 431,
shortly after the Peloponnesian War had broken out,
Pericles delivered his famous Funeral Oration to
commemorate those troops who had already fallen in
battle. Recorded, and probably rewritten by the
historian Thucydides, it is one of the primary sources
on which our understanding of ancient Athens is
based and provides a unique insight into just how
Athenian democracy understood itself. In the speech
Pericles relates the special qualities of the Athenians,
redefining many traditional Greek virtues in a radical
new light.
E. Ancient Greece
d. Athenian Democracy vs. Representative
i. In modern direct democracy the people are given the right
to pass laws, veto laws and withdraw support from an
elected representative. Modern direct democracy is
characterised by three pillars
ii. Representative democracy is a broad term describing a
means of governance by the people through elected
representatives. The people elect government officials who
then make decisions and enact laws on their behalf.
E. Ancient Greece
e. Greek Mythology – still used today
i. Homer’s Iliad & Odessy
ii. Aesop’s fables
E. Ancient Greece
f. Athens & Sparta
i. Athens had been occupied from 3,000 BC onward, but not until the
height of Mycenean rule (1,400 BC to 1,200 BC), did the city begin to
create the buildings commonly associated with it. Originally situated on
the rocky mount known as the Acropolis, the city began to spread
southward. As Athens expanded physically, so too did it expand from a
political standpoint. As the Dorians and the Greek Dark Ages began to
slowly relinquish their hold upon Greece, a change in political thought
came to Athens. The aristocratic families which had lost most of their
power due to the monarchy of the Dark Ages, elected a statesman who
would represent the city for one year. This practice carried on to create
a democratic tradition within Greece, the remnant of which still serves
as a model within the present
E. Ancient Greece
ii. Sparta - Unlike Athens, Sparta was a military
oligarchy, monarchy, democracy, and timocracy
all rolled into one. Originally founded with
aristocratic interest, Sparta managed to keep its
lineage of kings through out its existence. The
kings themselves came from two great aristocratic
houses. From these two great houses and the
aristocratic influence of early Sparta, the city
survived under the edict of "dependence of the
small on the great."
E. Ancient Greece
g. Alexander the Great - Alexander was called "the
great" because he conquered lots and lots of land.
According to this page in our Persian Wars
category, Alexander (336-323 BC) became king of
Greece at age 20, then proceeded to conquer most of
the western world. At its height, Alexander's empire
included all of Europe, most of Asia, and big huge
chunks of Africa. He actually planned to make Asia
and Europe one country, with him as its ruler!
h. Important Greek figures – Hypatia, Socrates, Plato,
Aristotle, Euclid, Thucydides
F. India – Indus Valley
a. Nomadic Aryans invaded India ca. 1500 BC
destroying the Indus valley civilization and
exterminating the Indus inhabitants. Thus
ended the most brilliant civilization of the
ancient world. Subsequent to this invasion,
India was plunged into 2000 years of the Vedic
Dark Ages. When cities were built again, it
was under Scytho-Greek influence. The
ziggurat of the Indus disappeared forever
F. India – Indus Valley
b. Brahmanism the religious and social system of the Brahmans
and orthodox Hindus, characterized by the caste system and
diversified pantheism
c. The Indian caste system has been in use for many years. Still
today the values of the caste system are held strongly. It has
kept a sense of order, and peace among the people. There are
five different levels of the system: Brahman, Kshatriya,
Vaishya, Shudra, and Harijans. Within each of these categories
are the actual "castes" or jatis within which people are born,
marry, and die. They all have their own place among each
other and accept that it is the way to keep society from
disintegrating to chaos
F. India – Indus Valley
d. Buddha - In about the sixth century B.C. Siddhartha
Gautama was born into a royal family. When he was a young
adult his experiences with the outside world drove him to seek
out a greater understanding of life and spiritual fulfilment.
Through seeking guidance and meditation, Siddhartha
achieved Enlightenment. From that point, he was known as
the Buddha, which means 'Enlightened One'. For the rest of his
life, the Buddha traveled great distances teaching people about
one path to salvation. Believed in afterlife.
e. Maurya empire - was India's first great unified empire. It
lasted from 321 to 185 BCE, and was ruled by the Mauryan
dynasty. At its height it ruled virtually all of northern and
central India and even parts of Afghanistan and Pakistan
F. India – Indus Valley
f. Asoka - Ashoka the Great (also Asoka, Aśoka,
pronounced as Ashok-uh, not Ashokaa) was
the ruler of the Mauryan empire from 273 BC
to 232 BC. A convert to Buddhism, Ashoka
reigned over most of the Indian subcontinent,
from present day Afghanistan to Bengal and as
far south as Mysore
F. India – Indus Valley
g. Sanskrit literature - Literature in Sanskrit, India's oldest
language, and the mother language of several modern
languages in India. Given its extensive use in religious
literature, primarily of Hinduism, and the fact that most
modern Indian languages have been directly derived from or
strongly influenced by Sanskrit, it is not surprising that the
position of Sanskrit in Indian culture is not unlike that of Latin
in European culture
i. Bhagavad Gita - meaning "song of the Lord", refers to itself as a
'Yoga Upanishad' and is sometimes called Gītopanişad. It is believed to
be the only known religious text to have been spoken by God or an
incarnation/ avatar of God directly
F. India – Indus Valley
h. Idea of the number ZERO
G. China
a. Confucius - is a moral and religious system
from China started by Kongfuzi, under the
Pinyin system, c.551-479 B.C., Chinese sage
more commonly known as Confucius, who
created sayings known as the Analects and
other ancient commentaries. These moral
concepts taught how to treat other people.
G. China
b. This was similar to the Golden Rule. Confucianism,
with these practical social concepts, was surpassed by
Buddhism from the 3rd to 7th century A.D.,
Confucianism had a revival under the Tang Dynasty
of China (618-907). The Song Dynasty (960-1279)
developed a modified version of Confucianism, based
on beliefs of Zen Buddhism and during the Ming
Dynasty, under the Pinyin system, (1368-1644)
meditation became a part of Confucianism. With the
overthrow of the monarchy in 1911-12, Confucianism
G. China
c. Qin Shi Huang (November or December 260 BC - September
10, 210 BC), personal name Zheng, was king of the Chinese
State of Qin from 247 BC to 221 BC, and then the first
emperor of a unified China from 221 BC to 210 BC, ruling
under the name First Emperor. Having unified China, he and
his prime minister Li Si passed a series of major reforms
aimed at cementing the unification, and they undertook some
Herculean construction projects, most notably the precursor
version of the current Great Wall of China. For all the tyranny
of his autocratic rule, Qin Shi Huang is still regarded today as
some sort of a colossal founding father in Chinese history
whose unification of China has endured for more than two
millennia (with interruptions).
G. China
d. Han Dynasty - The Han Dynasty (Traditional
Chinese: Simplified Chinese: Pinyin: Hàncháo; 202
BC - AD 220) followed the Qin Dynasty and
preceded the Three Kingdoms in China. During the
Han Dynasty, China officially became a Confucian
state and prospered domestically: agriculture,
handicrafts and commerce flourished, and the
population reached 50 million. Meanwhile, the
empire extended its political and cultural influence
over Vietnam, Central Asia, Mongolia, and Korea
before it finally collapsed under a combination of
domestic and external pressures
G. China
e. The Silk Road is the ancient trade route
passing from the shores of the Mediterranean
through Bukhara and Samarkand to Dunhuang
and on to Xian in central China. Silks, spices
and perfumes, precious gems such as amber
and coral, and all manner of commodities
traveled along this route. But the Silk Road
also transported cultural influences knowledge and ideas, customs and religions,
art and science.
G. China
e. During four major expeditions on the Eastern
Silk Road between 1900 and 1930, Stein
journeyed across the area between the Pamirs
and China several times, discovering tens of
thousands of manuscripts, paintings and
artifacts dating from the second century BC to
the 15th century AD.
H. Rome
a. How Rome got its name - Rome is the capital
city of Italy. Building started in 753 B.C. and
the Romans have a story to explain how this
happened. Twin boys, Romulus and Remus,
were taken from their mother and left by the
river Tiber to starve. A mother wolf found the
babies and looked after them until they were
old enough to take care of themselves.
H. Rome
a. Years later, Mars (the Roman God of war) told
the boys to build a city where they had been
found. The two boys built this city, but ended
up at war with each other. Romulus won the
battle and the city became known as Rome.
Today, historians and archaeologists agree that
people started living in Rome long before the
time of Romulus and Remus, but many people
still believe in their legend
H. Rome
b.How Rome was ruled - At first, Rome was
ruled by kings. They were sometimes very
cruel and the last king, Tarquin the Proud, was
overthrown. Rome then became a republic for
the next four hundred years. This republic was
ruled by a senate, and people called Senators
were elected to do different jobs in the senate.
H. Rome
b. However, not everyone was allowed to vote in
these elections. Women and slaves were not
allowed to vote and neither were poor people.
Those Roman people who were not slaves
were called 'citizens'. In the 1st century B.C.
the generals who controlled the army became
very powerful. Rome was no longer just a city,
it was the capital of an empire. The Romans
ruled lands from France to North Africa
H. Rome
c. Who were Roman Emperors - A Roman
Emperor was the man who ruled over the
Empire. At first, Rome was ruled by Generals
but this caused problems. The Generals were
always fighting over who would have the final
say in running the Empire. Eventually the
Generals were replaced by just one man - The
H. Rome
c. The first Emperor to come to power was Augustus in
27 B.C (Before this, we had Julius Caesar with his
idea of a republic). He was a popular Emperor who
brought peace after many years of fighting. Not all
the Emperors were so good and wise, some were
terrible! The Emperor had a troop of special soldiers
to protect him. They were called the Praetorian
Guard. However, some of the bad Emperors were so
unpopular that their Praetorian Guards killed them