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Ancient Civilizations

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Samuel Dunbar

on 25 January 2014

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Transcript of Ancient Civilizations

Ancient Civilisations
Ancient Greece
Gods of Worship
Ancient Egypt
Known Customs
Major Conflicts
Gods of Worship
Major Conflicts
Known Customs
Gods of Worship
Major Conflicts
Known Customs
Ancient greek religion has many gods, who's presence are atill felt in Greece today. The Sky Father Zeus is the king of the gods, often depicted with a thunderbolt. There was also Apollo, God of light and poseidon, god of the sea. The god of love Aphrodite is also very familiar and played a role in the Trojan War. Burket, W (1985). These are but a few of the plethora of gods worshiped by the Greeks.
Greek History is littered with great concurs and defeats. Legendary triumphs for Greece over Troy in the Trojan War an epic story of reprisal, passion and violence. The British Museum, The Trojan War. The Saga has such legends as Achilles how’s believed descendant is Alexander the Great. Bosworth, A.B (1988). Alexander the Great was a self appoint pharaoh, who hailed himself the son of god. He expanded Macedon’s supremacy to India, and abolished the city of Thebes because they questioned his authority. Cartledge, P. (2009)
Greece is widely known as the birthplace of western philosophy as well as Mathematics, Drama, the Olympic Games and modern day Democracy. Many traditional Greek customs are still practiced today, however their origins of why are not always known. At birth eldest children are traditionally named after a grandparent, done so to continue on a family name. Greeks are also well know for their traditional meals and dinner parties, meals are often a celebration with family and friends rather than just nourishment. The meal itself is a social event, so much of the work is done ahead and, with the exceptions of meze appetizers and salad preparation, relatively little last-minute attention is required. Rosemary Baron (1991)
Within Ancient Greece the vast majority of work was for agricultural purposes, while there were exceptions depending on class and stature in society, the standard diet was based mainly on cereals, barley, wheat and common wheat, along with traditional vegetables like tomatoes and olives, as well as nuts and honey, the main animal husbandry were sheep and goat, however fish was the staple in Greek diet, given its geographical availability and abundance.
Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food. Hippocrates (460BC -370B.C.E)

Seeing as Greece still exists to this day it is hard to say there was a downfall exactly, more of a rearrangement. Much of the culture from Ancient Greece still exists today, though the buildings and structures of ancient times are but a tourist attraction now. The Greek culture went from a waring, lusting, primitive civilisation to a more refined type of living, more political, law abiding, and prosperous both in culture and in country. Introduction of British, coupled with the downfall of the political tyranny of a single ruler to a more structured and detailed government led to Greece’s move from ancient civilisation to today’s known. Bell Dinsmoor, W. (1950
Many of the ancient civilisations worships the same deities, often having different names and same or similar functions. Gods for the sky, like the Mesopotamian An, gods for the water, like Ea, gods and goddesses for the earth and air, like Enki and Enlil. Gods and goddesses for love and death, fertility and war, even dark gods like Nergal, god of the underworld, associated with war, destruction and devastation.
It was believed there was a god/goddess for every part of human life, even the vegetation and that which gave them food water and shelter. Cavendish, M. (2005)

It is suggested that the staple foods for Mesopotamian's were cereals. The grains were roasted, boiled, brewed and grounded, creating porridge, beer and breads to list but a few. Ellison (1982). Evidence supports Mesopotamians developing agriculture to support increasing settlement. Hunting wild animals still supplemented their diets. Mark J.J (2009).
Daily life in Iran today has similar aspects as Ancient Mesopotamia, both using the same building materials. Nemet-Nejat K.R, (1988). Mesopotamians were considered great inventors with aspects in today’s life with the sixty-second minute and hour.The wheel has also been credited to Ancient Mesopotamia. Mark J.J (2009). It was common for families to have house slaves who could marry and increase the family’s wealth. Nemet-Nejat K.R, (1988).
Mesopotamia in its latest years was the place of many battles during WW1, in ancient years it’s conflicts were much smaller in scale and mostly with neighbouring countries or factions within itself. Though no longer in infancy, information on Ancient Mesopotamia’s political and war history is still scant at best. Covering from Iraq to the Euphrates to northern Syria in modern times the conflicts within were between the countries that have formed today like Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, and between their neighbours who wanted riches, slaves, and land, Pakistan, India, Arabia, and so forth. Van De Mieroop, M. (1997)
One well known factor that led to the downfall of the Mesopotamian empire was due to poor irrigation techniques, after irrigation farming land, water sits on the top-soil, over great time spans, water had left behind a mineral salt, which eventually eroded the top-soil to the point farming and agriculture on those lands was no longer possible. Another known factor for the downfall of Mesopotamia was city-states infighting amongst themselves over fertile farming land.
Historians believe that overpopulation in Mesopotamia may have caused the area to overrun its resources and ability to support itself. Stephen Bertman (2005)

Human existence was understood by Egyptians as a tiny step in a never-ending eternal journey presided over and orchestrated by supernatural forces in the forms of countless deities. Egyptian mythology was the belief structure and underlying form of ancient Egyptian culture from at least 4000B.C.E. Joshua Mark (2013). While today an exact total is still not known, Egyptologists have estimated that between 1500 and 2000 deities were believed in, ranging from Osiris, the king of the underworld, down to Tayet the god of weaving.
Ancient Egyptians were great foragers and hunters, herders and breeders, but they had a very advanced lifestyle, baking their own bread, and brewing their own beer. Using not only wheat, flax, and/or barley, they ground their own flour to bake both flat and round bread loaves, sometimes adding yeast, fruits, and other grains for flavour.
The brewing of their beer was not as simple as once thought either. They used both dried and undried malt to create different tastes and textures, often using barley and fruits for taste and to create new brews. Delwin, S. (1996)

The Ancient Egyptians had many customs, perhaps the most well known one was mummification. This was completed on king and commoner alike. Before a body could desiccate organs were removed, including the brain, and the body was drained of fluids replacing them all with stuffing and embalming fluid, then wrapping the body in linen and placing it in a sarcophagus. Commoners would have simple wooden or even reed made sarcophagi while kings would have gold coated and jewel inlaid placed in lavish tombs, often buried with their servants. This was also paired with offerings and worship to the gods. Elliot Smith, G. (1914)
Ancient Egyptians are believed to have had two major types of enemies, throughout their some 30 dynasties of rulership. The first of those types were not directly perceived as a military threat to Egypt itself but possessed things that the Egyptians thought of value. Mittani and Hatti people fall into this category, while the second type were considered a direct invading force such as the Libyans, Hyskos and the Hittites, some of which held possession of land in Egypt for decades and even centuries. Ancient Egyptian warfare started around 1500 B.C.E and were mainly caused by the Egyptians wish to expand their lands and political control in the region. Peter Fitzgerald (date unknown)
Ancient Egypt has lasted for more than three millennia and the question of its end is a hotly contested issue. Dobson (2011) questions what represent the ending of a civilisation as great as Ancient Egypt. There have been numerous downfalls of Kings in tragic, violent or politically motivated acts by successors. Egypt was engaged in a catastrophic war with the Assyrian that led Egypt to be easily invaded by the Persian Empire. Dobson, (2011)
Given the plethora of information on social media sources when researching information, on such a broad subject like ancient civilisations, refining your searches seem to limit the useless information and allow you the "user" to engage others seeking similar clarity on that particular topic. It must be noted that not all information should be discarded unless it meets M.J. Metzger 5 standardized methods of determining legitimate and factual information online, the more criteria an online source meets however, generally speaking the reliability and credibility does increase vastly.
Focusing on our chosen topic of Ancient Civilisations, we set about trawling the internet for creditable resources. M.J. Metzger (2007), describes the use of a checklist when validating online resources, this is the approach that our team employed when collecting our online resources. Working with currency, author identification, credentials, presence of contact details and plausibility of arguments to help guide our choices.
Upon our interactive and collaborative research and studies, numerous verifiable sources could be found, some of those legitimate sources will feature throughout.

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Delwin, S.1996, Investigation of Ancient Egyptian Baking and Brewing Methods by Correlative Microscopy, Science, Vol. 273, p 488-490 retrieved from http://ancientgrains.org/samuel1996science.pdf
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Lauren Riordon
Jess Unsworth
Samuel Dunbar
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