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Early River Valley Civilizations

To be used with guided notes and Chap. 2 packet

Rachel Jaunese

on 9 October 2015

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Transcript of Early River Valley Civilizations

Two major river systems:
Yellow River (in the north)
Yangtze River (in the south)
both flow west to east
fertile soil along river
Chinese Civilization
Sometime after 3000 BCE (in current day Pakistan) a civilization developed in the Indus River valley
River flows from Himalayas to Indian Ocean
river flooded every summer, leaving fertile soil along banks (large flood plain)
Indus Valley Civilization
Egypt is a desert country, called
"gift of the Nile"
river flows south to north and empties in the Mediterranean Sea
Egyptian Civilization
began 3500 BCE
located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
productive farming techniques
canals - plows - animal power
wheat - barley - date plums
developed about 5000 years after agriculture developed
formed in river valleys because of the fertile soil and access to water
first civilization developed in the Fertile Crescent and spread along trade routes
civilizations developed in China independently
Early River Civilizations
Early River Valley Civilizations
(land between two rivers)
3000 BCE city-states developed in Sumer
City-State: a political unit consisting of an independent city and the surrounding lands
formed around the city TEMPLES
Priest-Kings managed the economy by storing and redistributing grains
grain was used to pay for city walls, canals, and temples
grain also paid for weapons - Sumerians fought with their neighbors
Sumerians invented a writing system called CUNEIFORM
picture-symbols pressed into clay tablets
cuneiform was used for record keeping and later for poetry and history
Interregional Trade
Sumerians had: clay, grain and wool
Traded for: hardwood, stone, copper, gold and semi-precious stones
*This trade helped spread the ideas/principles of civilizations
5000 BCE agriculture appears (Imported from Fertile Crescent)
Egypt's farmers grew wheat, barley, and flax (woven into linen cloth)
raised cattle, goats, sheep and pigs
Increased FOOD SURPLUS led to increase in population
Lower Egypt - was mostly unified (not separate city-states)
Upper Egypt - was in state of conflict until 3100 BCE
King Menes took control of Upper and then later Lower Egypt to unite the region
Menes - led first dynasty (series of rulers from the same family)
Writing System:
hieroglyphics means "sacred carving"
Scribes- writing specialists used hieroglyphics to keep records and communicate
were absolute monarchs, whose power was unlimited
managed economy & government
crops were used to pay taxes
grain was redistributed and used to pay for public works
forced labor also used to build public structures, like pyramids
farmers built homes on higher ground because of flooding
grew wheat, barley and cotton by using canals to water in the dry season
domesticated cattle, sheep and possibly elephants
Writing System:
developed system, but scholars have not decoded it
this is why we know little about this civilization
Complex City Organization:
two major cities: Harappa and Mohenjo-daro
each had elevated citadel/fortress and a lower residential area
citadel was used for political business and religious rituals
residential area had brick homes, wealthy families had bathrooms and sewers
Indus Valley people made metal ornaments, weapons, ceramics and cotton cloth
Luxury items like textiles and semi-precious stones were exported as far a Mesopotamia
Civilizations developed on both rivers at about the same time (2000 BCE)
large centers surrounded by walls
artisans making ceramics and jade carvings
social hierarchy - wealthy at top
Shang Dynasty:
Yellow River around 1600 BCE
grew millet, using dry farming (without irrigation)
first (in region) to use writing system
pictograms that stood for objects
Diviners - used oracle bones to try to predict the future
Yangtze River:
warmer southern climate led to growing rice (using irrigation)
artisans made impressive pieces from jade, ivory, bronze
some sculptures were over 8 ft. tall
Up next:
Classic Empires
Full transcript