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Chapter 1: Early Humans and the First Civilizations

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Joseph Floyd

on 24 August 2017

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Transcript of Chapter 1: Early Humans and the First Civilizations

Chapter 1: Early Humans and the First Civilizations
The First Humans and the Emergence of Civilization
Civilization in Mesopotamia
Greeks called the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers valley Mesopotamia 'between the rivers'
Little rain fall, soil enriched by silt from rivers
Floods were irregular, often catastrophic
Farming required complex irrigation systems
Barley was the principle crop in southern Mesopotamia
In Sumeria, villages grew into city-states
Writing invented ca.3200 BCE
Egyptian Civilization
Egyptian civilization developed along the Nile River
Flooding of the Nile was predictable, irrigation based on rise and fall of the river
Egyptian civilization was more rural than Mesopotamia
Nile River unifies Egypt, deserts protect from invasion
Upper and Lower Egypt unified around 3100 BCE

New Centers of Civilization and New Empires
New population movements, chariot warfare lead to violent changes and the growth of empires
End of 2nd millennium BCE dawn of Iron Age
Paleolithic Age
Nomadic Indo-European speaking peoples in steppe north of Black Sea first domesticated the horse.
Indo-Europeans with horse-drawn chariots expanded into Europe, western Asia and India.
Hittite Empire dominated Middle East from 1600- 1200 BCE.
Hittites were first to make tools and weapons from iron.
City-States of Mesopotamia
Sumerians developed bronze tools and weapons, numbers, a calendar, writing (pictographs called cuneiform)
Cities built around a temple or ziggurat, government was theocracy (rule by divine authority)
Four groups: elite (royalty, priests, priestesses), dependent commoners (palace, temple officials), free commoners (farmers, fisherman, merchants) and slaves.
Depiction of Ritual at Ziggurat of Ur
US troops climbing ziggurat of Ur, 2010
Standard of Ur, Peace Panel
Created 2600 BCE
Lapis Lazuli and Shell
Dilmun site, Bahrain
Persian Gulf
Empires of Mesopotamia
Akkadians and Amorites were Semitic people north of Sumeria
Sargon of Akkad conquered Sumerian city states ca. 2340 BCE
Akkadian empire collapsed due to invasions by nomads
After 1762 new empire emerged under Hammurabi, Amorite king of Babylon
Code of Hammurabi was one of the first written codes of law
Hebrews were a Semitic people of pastoral nomadic origin
Practiced monotheism-the worship of one God
According to Old Testament (Torah), Hebrews escaped slavery in an 'exodus' from Egypt
Israelites emerge ca.1100 BCE, unite under David and Solomon (1001-930)
Israel split into two kingdoms, northern kingdom conquered by Assyrians in 720, southern kingdom by Babylonians in 520
Marsh Arabs, southern Iraq, 1977
Practices of home and boat-building, pottery, baskets similar to ancient Sumerians
Bas-relief of Sumerian reed house
Lascaux Caves, southern France
Cro-Magnon cave-paintings, ca. 15,000 BCE
Closest relative to
homo sapiens
were Neanderthal
Appeared 250,000 years ago, organized group hunts, bone and stone tools, first to bury their dead
Displaced by

homo sapiens
(Cro-Magnon), extinct 28,000 years ago
Dwarf hominids lived on Flores, Indonesia as recently as 12,000 years ago

Hand ax, 1.2 million years
Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania
Adult female
homo erectus
Cueva de las Manos, Argentina, 12,000 BCE
Earliest human like creatures or hominids, lived in east Africa 3 to 4 million years ago,

Homo habilis
first walked upright,
Homo erectu
s lived from 1.9 million to 70,000 years ago, used large stone tools, migrated out of Africa to Eurasia
Paleolithic 'Old Stone Age' lasted until 10,000 BCE
Humans lived by foraging (hunting and gathering)
Late Paleolithic coincided with last Ice Age, people in cold climates lived in caves, mammoth bone huts
Humans began to use fire around 500,000 BCE
Women bore children, gathered berries, nuts and grains. Men hunted wild animals
Hadza, Great Rift Valley, Tanzania
Neolithic Revolution
End of Ice Age ca.10,000 BCE leads to Neolithic (New Stone Age) Revolution
Gradual transition to agriculture
People in Middle East began growing barley, wheat, domesticating sheep, goats, cattle by 8000 BCE
Agricultural led to permanent settlements

Norte Chico or Caral culture, Peru (3700-1800 BCE)
One of the world's first urban societies, based on fishing, not grain agriculture.
Old Kingdom, Age of Pyramids, from 2686 to 2181 BCE
Capital at Memphis, near Nile delta, Lower Egypt
Kings, or pharaohs, considered gods, expected to rule according to Ma'at (truth, balance, order)
After civil war, Egypt reunified by dynasty in Thebes, Upper Egypt
Middle Kingdom lasts from 2000-1700 BCE
New concern of the pharaohs for the people
Old and Middle Kingdoms
Giza necropolis, 2500s BCE
New Kingdom
Hyksos ('foreigners') from Middle East conquer Nile delta
Expulsion leads to founding of New Kingdom in 1550 BCE
Egypt becomes empire, conquers Canaan and Syria in Asia, Nubia in Africa
Akhenaten (1364-47) introduces new religion of god Aten
Traditional religion restored after his death
Wars with Hittites, invasions by "Sea Peoples" in 1100s
Society and Economy in Egypt
Nobles and priests surrounded god-king
Merchants acquired wood and stone from Crete and Syria, ebony, ivory, gold from Nubia (Sudan), incense and spices from Punt (East Africa)
Land owned by king, in possession of nobles, temple complexes
Vast majority were serfs, common people bound to the land, who farmed estates of nobles.
Head, Sargon of Akkad
Code of Hammurabi
Empire of Akkad, 2279 BCE
Oldest Ten Commandments, 50 BCE
Tel Dan Stele 800 BCE
Refers to 'House of David'
Canaanite ports gain independence from Egyptian, Hittite empires by 1200 BCE
Phoenician city-states export purple dye, glass, wine, wood, after 800 BCE establish colonies across the Mediterranean,
Assyrians conquer Phoenician city states
Carthage (Tunisia) becomes an empire
Semitic language, first phonetic alphabet (based on sounds)
Phoenician glass
Sa Caleta, Phoenician Ruins, 600 BCE Ibiza island, Spain
Ibiza, 21st century
Walls of Jericho, 8000 BCE
First permanent human settlement, West Bank of the Jordan River
Culture of Mesopotamia
Assyrian Empire
Assyria (Land of Ashur), in northern Mesopotamia, grew into an empire, dominated Middle East from 901-608 BCE
Military had iron weapons, infantry, cavalry, chariots
Terror as instrument of war
Efficient system of communication, administration
Guardians of Sumerian, Babylonian culture
Conquered peoples forcibly relocated, creating diverse society
Aramaic becomes common language
Babylon rebelled against Assyrians, in 626 BCE became the capital of a new empire
City rebuilt under Nebuchadnezzar (605-526 BCE)
Hebrew Prophet Daniel interprets Nebuchadnezzar's dream
Persians, Indo-Europeans in Iranian plateau, united by Cyrus (559-530 BCE)
Conquers Babylon in 539
First Persian Empire (Achaemenid Empire) extends from Egypt to India
Local rule by satrap (governor)
Persian king worshiped as regent of Ahura Mazda, god of Zoroastrianism

Persian Empire
Persepolis ruins
Ahura Mazda
Homo sapiens idaltu
Oldest modern human fossil, Ethiopia, 160,000 years ago
Mentuhoteph II (2046-1995 BCE), founder of Middle Kingdom
Egyptian-style tomb of a Nubian Prince
27,000 year old stone drawing,
Apollo 11 Cave, Namibia
Farming spread to central Europe by 4000 BCE
People in late Neolithic Europe erected large standing stones called megaliths
Most built between 3200-1500 BCE
Avebury, England
Filitosa, Corsica, Mediterranean
Battle of Kadesh, Egyptian-Hittite Wars, 1276 BCE
Mother-goddess , Çatalhöyük
Çatalhöyük, present-day Turkey
Extinct Hominids
The Earliest Hominids
Homo neanderthalensis
Homo floresiensis
Joseph Floyd
Skull with cowrie shell eyes, Jericho
Pharaoh Ramesses II (r.1279-1213 BCE)
Persian Immortals
10,000-man Imperial Guard
Homo sapiens idaltu
Ishtar Gates, built 575 BCE
Hanging Gardens of Babylon
Hittite chariot
Indo-European Migrations, 4000-1000 CE
Egyptians were polytheistic.
Chief deity was the sun god Ra.
Osiris god of the dead, symbol of resurrection,
Egyptians practiced mummification.
Pyramids were tombs for mummified kings.
Egyptian writing, hieroglyphics, carved in stone or written on papyrus
Culture of Egypt
Isis, Osiris, Horus
Opening of the mouth ritual
Tomb Paintings, Middle and New Kingdoms
Nile River
Mesopotamian religion form of polytheism (worship of many gods)
Droughts and floods shaped religion
Priests practiced divination (predicting the future by supernatural means)
Epic of Gilgamesh
first great work of literature
Scene from
Epic of Gilgamesh
Hominids emerged 3 to 4 million years ago, first
homo sapiens
160,000 years ago
Paleolithic/Neolithic transition from foragers (hunter-gatherers) to farmers.
Agriculture developed 8000 BCE
First civilizations in river valleys
Sumeria, Babylonia, Egypt from 3000-1200
Indo-European, Semitic migrations, Iron Age empires (Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians)
Semitic peoples create alphabet, monotheistic religion

Dog Jawbone,
Kesslerlcoh Cave, Switzerland, 14,500 years ago
Mammoth Spear Thrower
Montastruc Cave, France
12,500 years old
Phoenician galley
Assyrian cavalry archer
Nawarla Gabarnmeng, Australia
26,000 BCE
Early mound-builder cultures arose in the lower Mississippi River valley from about 3500 BCE No evidence of agriculture
Poverty Point mounds, Louisiana, 1650-700 BCE
Egyptian mummification
Nubian Conquest of Egypt, 760 BCE
Australian Aboriginals with spear thrower (woomera), boomerang
Pyramids of Caral, 2600-2000 BCE
3.3 million year old stone tools
Lomekwi, Kenya, 2012
Oldest evidence of hominin use of tools
Babylon under Hammurabi, 1810-1750 BCE
The Ten Commandments, Mel Brooks History of the World, Part 1 (1981)
Epic of Gilamesh, played on Sumerian lute
, 3.2 to 3.5 million years old
Watson Brake, 3500 BCE
Humans and Cattle, 6000 BCE
Jebel Uweinat, Egypt-Sudan-Libya border
Kerma culture flourished in Nubia (Sudan) from 2500-1500 BCE
Ceremonial center for cattle-herding pastoralists
Large ritual burials, cattle-cult, trade with Egypt
Dilmun was a center of trade between Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley
Hittite and Egyptian Empires
Gorham's Cave, Gibraltar
Occupied from 45,000 to 28,000 years ago
The last habitation of the Neanderthals
Neanderthal rock-engraving?
Mammoth bone huts, Ukraine
Paleolithic hunters
Dilmun Seals
Under Egyptian rule, Nubia was the main source of gold for the Middle East
Kingdom of Kush emerges in Nubia ca.1070 after fall of New Kingdom, elements of Egyptian culture, religion, pyramids for rulers
Nubian dynasty ruled Egypt from 760-650 BCE
Iron Age kingdom on "island" of Meroë, confluence of Nile, Atbarah Rivers
Harvesting Grain
The Hadza are among the world's last foragers, live in small bands called "camps"
Standard of Ur, War Panel
Ancient World 3000-600 BCE
The first civilizations emerge in river valleys
Characterized by forms of government, urban centers, social stratification, written languages
Rosetta Stone enabled the understanding of Egyptian hieroglyphics
Phoenician stone-tablet
Nubian Kush pyramids, Meroë
Centers of Domestication of Plants and Animals
Neolithic Revolutions Outside the Middle East
Abu Simbel temples, southern Egypt, carved during reign of Ramesses II as a monument to himself and Queen Nefertari, re-located with the construction of the Aswan High Dam (1960-70)
Laas Geel cave paintings, Somalia, 9000-3000 BCE
Neolithic revolution in parts of Africa focused on pastoralism (raising livestock) primarily cattle
Kuk Swamp, New Guinea Early agricultural site
9000-6000 BCE
Irrigation ditches, farming of taro, bananas and sugar cane in highlands of New Guinea
Neolithic cultures emerged in China, based on farming millet in Yellow River and rice in Yangtze River, from 8500-7500 BCE
Banpo Neolithic village, Yellow River
Pengtoushan , Yangtze River
Faiyum Oasis, site of Egypt's earliest farming village, 5400 BCE
Neolithic basket, Faiyum
Australia was the only continent where agriculture did not develop
Aboriginal Australians practiced fire-stick farming to aid hunting, gathering
Hail to you, O Nile, that issues from the earth and comes to keep Egypt alive!
He that waters the meadows which Recreated, in order to keep every kid alive.
He that makes to drink the desert and the place distant from the water: that is his dew coming down from heaven.
The lord of the fishes, who makes the marsh-birds to upstream.
He who makes barley and brings emmer [wheat] into being, that he may make the temples festive.
If he is sluggish, his nostrils are stopped up and everybody is poor
When he rises, than the land is in jubilation, then every belly is in joy, every backbone takes on laughter, and every tooth is exposed.
He has come unto us that he may carry away Upper Egypt; the double diadem has rested on his head.
He has come unto us and has united the Two Lands; he has mingled the reed with the bee.
He has come unto us and has brought the Black Land under his way; he has apportioned to himself the Red Land..
He has come unto us and taken the Two Lands under his protection; he has given peace to the Two Riverbanks.
He has come unto us and has made Egypt to live; he has banished its suffering.
He has come unto us and made the people to live; he has banished its suffering.
Hymn to the Nile
Hymn to the Pharaoh
"By the rivers of Babylon, we sat and wept when we remembered Zion
There on the poplars we hung our harps, for there our captors asked us for our songs, our tormentors demanded songs of joy;
They said sing us one of the songs of Zion!
How can we sing the songs of the Lord while in a foreign land?
If I forget you, Jerusalem, may my right hand forget its skill.
May my tongue cling to the roof of my mouth, if I do not remember you, if I do not consider Jerusalem my highest joy.
Psalm 137
If a free man has destroyed the eye of a member of the aristocracy, they shall destroy his eye
If he has destroyed the eye of a commoner or broken the bone of a commoner, he shall pay one mina of silver

If he has destroyed the eye of a free man's slave or broken the bone of a free man's slave, he shall pay one-half his value
Depiction of port of Uruk
Assyrian Empire
Amenhotep (Akhenaten)
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