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Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus River, and China

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Christine Mai

on 17 January 2014

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Transcript of Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus River, and China

Ancient River Valley Civilization: Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indus River, and China

Andrea Pham and Christine Mai

Complex Religion
Geographic Determinant
Organized Government
Art, Architecture, and Technology
Annotated Bibliography
Indus River
Egypt depended on the Nile River to survive
Farmers used the Nile to grow food and plants whose fibers were used for clothing
Egyptians awaits for the annual floods of the Nile River to provide irrigation and fertile soil
Nile River was also used for transportation and trading
The Indus Valley is located in South Asia or the subcontinent of India
Divided into 3 major zones: well-watered northern plain, the dry Deccan, and the coastal plains
Surrounded by the mountain ranges and the Indian Ocean
Seasonal monsoons has shaped Indian life by bringing lots of rain to the land
Indus River
Compare and Contrast
Indus River
Indus River
Indus River
Indus River
Compare and Contrast
Compare and Contrast
Mesopotamia means “between the rivers” because of the Tigris and Euphrates
Named Fertile Crescent because of the dark, rich soils and golden wheat fields
Few natural barriers, resulting in the region becoming a crossroad where people and ideas unite
The rivers were used to irrigate the land and transport goods

Long distances and physical barriers caused China to be isolated from the other civilizations
To the west and southwest of China, high mountain ranges and brutal deserts blocked the easy movement of people
Fertile farming regions supported the largest population
Rivers provided water for irrigation and served as transportation routes

Created the Hammurabi’s Code involving civil law
A ruler was responsible for maintain city walls and the irrigation systems
The ruler led the armies and enforced the laws
The ruler was seen as the chief servant of the gods

Pharaohs organized a strong, centralized state
Government is a theocracy
The pharaoh had absolute power, owning and ruling all the land in the kingdom
Pharaohs took pride in preserving justice and order.
The pharaoh depended on a vizier to supervise the business of government

The Indus Valley cities had a well-organized government
Rajahs ruled the cities
Powerful leaders (priest-kings), made sure city-dwellers had a steady supply of grain from the villages
Indus priest had absolute power over the government
The cities were built by expert government planners

Government headed by an emperor and a royal family, ruled by dynasties
Rulers were very autocratic and tyrannical
Emperors mercilessly enforced their rule, conscripted colossal armies and labor force
Emperors and officials were to be righteous and virtuous models for their subjects
Traders sailed along the rivers or risked the dangers of desert travel to carry goods to distant regions
They used the surplus to trade for goods and services
The Tigris and Euphrates rivers made transport of goods easy and economical
Mesopotamia lacked natural resources, so the system of trade developed from people’s need

Well developed economy
Most Egyptians were farmers
Nile river helped the agriculture by providing irrigation and fertile soil
Farming and fishing -agriculture created most of Egypt's wealth
Egypt mainly exported grain, gold, linen, and papyrus, glass and stone objects
Traded with their foreign neighbors

Depended greatly on trade
Advancement in boats and carts were used at the main method to trade and travel
Most Indus Valley people were farmers
Some people were merchants and traders
Farmers grew a variety of crops: wheat, barley, melons, and dates
Shipped cargoes of cotton cloth, grain, copper, pearls, and ivory combs to distant lands
Egypt's link to the Arabian Sea and Persian gulf helped reached the cities of Sumer

Large-scale irrigation works made farming more productive
Commerce expanded and Chinese copper coins made trade easier
Merchants benefited from new roads and canals
Silk became a precious export

Sumerians were polytheistic, worshipping many gods
The gods favored truth and justice, but they were also responsible for violence and suffering
The gods were thought to control every aspect of life, especially the forces of nature
Had a strong belief in afterlife which included ka and ba (similar to karma and dharma)
The chief god was the Sun God, Amon-Re
The pharaoh was believed to be closely linked with the sun god
Both Osiris and Isis promised lifer after death to the faithful ones
Egyptians believed that each soul had to pass a test in order to win eternal life

They were polytheistic (more than one god)
A mother goddess, the source of creation, has been widely honored
Worshiped sacred animals, including the bull
Some scholars believe these early practices influenced later Indian beliefs, especially the veneration of, or special regard for, cattle

Prayed to many gods and nature spirits, especially Shang Di
Believed the universe reflected a delicate balance between two forces, yin and yang
Many religions derived from China: Confucianism, Buddhism, Daoism, etc
As a ritual, the Chinese prayed in order to ensure good harvest or victory in war

Cuneiform grew out of a system of pictographs used to record goods
As their writing evolved, they were able to use it to record myths, laws, prayers, treaties, and business contacts

The oldest literature of ancient Egypt includes: hymns, prayers to the gods, proverbs, love poems, and writings that tell of royal victories in battle or give practical advice
Egyptians developed a form of picture writing called hieroglyphics (used to keep important records)
Egyptians added ideograms, pictures that symbolized an idea or action
Over time, demotic was developed (a simpler form of writing for everyday use)

Indus script
Between 400-600, distinct indus symbols have been found in seals, pots, etc
The first indian script develops in the Indus Valley around 2600 BC -it is still not possible to fully understand
Later, Indian scripts, like Brahmi and Khatosthi were developed to write both official and local languages.
These scripts were used to write great epics, royal inscriptions, administrative documents, and religious text

System used pictographs and ideographs, signs expressing ideas
Chinese scholars turned calligraphy into an elegant art form
The written language promoted unity

Created vivid mosaics in intricate patterns using little pieces of painted clay
They were not good at colossal stone sculptures because of the lack of stone
Sumerians developed jewelry and pottery
Developed the arch and column, and were familiar with the use of domes
Masters of construction using bricks made of mud
Ziggurats were sacred buildings dedicated to gods
Developed basic algebra and geometry
Studied the sky to create accurate calendars

Arts included: statues, wall painting in tombs, and carving on temples
Best known for wall and pillar drawings
some show everyday sciences of trade, farming, family life, etc.
Famous structures: the great pyramids of Giza & the temples at Thebes
They built pyramids with millions of limestone blocks
Priest-astronomers developed a calendar
Invented Shaduf to draw water for irrigation
Mastered advanced form of shipbuilding

Developed skills in painting, pottery, and sculpture and jewelry
Sculptures were made mainly of stone (first made out of wax)
All houses were built of uniform oven-fired clay bricks.
Include modern plumbing systems, with baths, drains, and water chutes
Cities were carefully planned out in a grid pattern, with rectangular blocks larger than modern city blocks
First civilization to develop precise measurement and weighing equipment
Constructed tools and weapons from bronze, copper, and iron

Developed a system of writing numbers
Studied the movement of planets and constructed an accurate calendar
Made first books
Architectures mainly featured timber framework
Paintings and carvings were included in architectural work to make it more attractive
Beautiful flower patterns on pillars reflect the craftsman’s handiwork and imagination

"Ancient Mesopotamia." Ancient Mesopotamia. N.p., n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
"Ancient Scripts: Indus Script." Ancient Scripts: Indus Script. N.p., n.d. Web. 16
Jan. 2014.
"Chinese Ancient Architecture, Architectural Style, Construction." Chinese
Ancient Architecture, Architectural Style, Construction. N.p., n.d. Web. 14 Jan. 2014.
INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.
"Indian Archiecture." Infoplease. Infoplease, n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.
"INDUS RIVER VALLEY CIVILIZATION." Indus River Valley Civilization. N.p.,
n.d. Web. 15 Jan. 2014.
"Mesopotamia: Architecture." Mesopotamia: Architecture. N.p., n.d. Web. 15
Jan. 2014.
"Mesopotamia for Kids - Art, Music, Crafts." Mesopotamia for Kids - Art, Music,
Crafts. N.p., n.d. Web. 16 Jan. 2014.
"The Government of Ancient China." Ancient China Government. N.p., n.d. Web.
14 Jan. 2014.
Ellis, Elizabeth Gaynor., Anthony Esler, and Burton F. Beers. Prentice Hall World
History: Connections to Today. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2003. Print

ruled by kings or priests
held majority of power civilizations
strong government

some of the rulers were tyrannical
government specialized in different fields, such as agriculture, architecture, etc.
all were polytheistic
valued gods and performed rituals to appease them
the religions are still practiced today, such as Buddhism and Hinduism.

some sacrificed humans or animals to please their gods
different gods
were developed from pictographs
used by priests, scribes, and scholars

Different materials used for writing, such as tablets and papyrus
Different purposes, such as recording ideas, religious texts, documents, etc)
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