World Civilization (Exam 1 Review)
Chronology: First Humans (General Overview of prehistory)
• Hominids: Flourished 2-4 million years ago
• Homo Erectus: Flourished 100,000-1.5 million years ago
• Homo Sapiens:
o Neanderthals flourished 100,000-30,000 B.C.
o Homo Sapien Sapiens emerged 200,000 B.C.
• A set of beliefs, values, ideas and a way of thinking.
Civilization: A Culture characterized by:
• The emergence of cities
• Social and political stratification
• Evolution of a formal economic Structure
• A system of writing
Primary Sources: Direct expressions of the individuals involved.
Secondary Sources: Documents made after the fact, almost as a review.
Neanderthals: Were discovered in Germany, they buried their dead, wore clothing and used
Homo Sapien Sapiens: Were nomadic, and knew nothing of agriculture. Lived in bands of 20-
30 people. This was the “Old-Stone age” or Paleolithic era (2.5 million – 10,000 B.C.)
Fire was used for the first time 500,000 years ago. (Cooked food, warmth, light)
Neolithic era: “New Stone Age” began with the Agricultural revolution, allowing the
development of permanent settlements, forming the basis of all civilization. • Neolithic Revolution 10,000 B.C. – 4,000 B.C.
• First emerges in West Asia (Middle East) with development of crops
o 8500 years ago: Wheat – Middle East
o 6000 years ago: Rice – China
• Domestication of animals begins
• Çatalhöyük: 6700-5700 B.C.
o Extremely crowded Neolithic City
o No Doors, must enter through the roof (Evidence of beginning of settlements)
Akkadian, Babylonian, Hebrew, Assyrian, Aramaic, Arabic, Januanitic
English, Spanish, French (our common every day languages)
Mesopotamia- “Land between the rivers”
There is not much rain in this region, though the soil is fertile for farming because of the
“silting process”. This occurred when the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flooded over. Though
this was not always regular, and so some irrigation techniques were implemented in order to
maintain agricultural stability.
I. Sumerians: (3000-2350 B.C.)
The Sumerians built large cities (such as Ur, Urak and Lagash). These formed the basis
for the future of “City-States”. These cities had large walls to defend against invaders,
as invasion was common, for the flat land they lived on made invasion easy.
b. Political Structure: Ziggurats formed the physical and economic center of the cities. They were large
stepped pyramids, around which individuals came to market to trade goods. The
Sumerian city states were theocracies, with economies based on agriculture. The kings
were believed to have been chosen by the gods, while a small group of nobles
participated in the government.
Cuneiform was a writing form where a wedge shaped stylus was used to imprint words
onto clay tablets. It was used as a record keeping system.
d. Epic of Gilgamesh:
The Epic of Gilgamesh is an adventure story in which Gilgamesh is a part Human part
God, who is extremely cocky. This angered the Gods so they send down a beast known
as Enkidu to fight with Gilgamesh; however the two of them become best friends.
However one day, Enkidu dies, and so Gilgamesh goes out to try and find the tree of life,
to bring Enkidu back to life and reach immortality. He eventually fails and dies, because
immortality is only for the Gods.
II. Akkadian – Guti
The Akkadian Empire replaced the Sumerian Empire after their collapse; however the
Akkadian Empire itself was eventually conquered by the invading Guti in 2100 B.C. III. Babylonia
a. Hammurabi’s Reign: 1792-1750B.C.
He put in place public works programs, and created the first set of laws for a civilization,
known as Hammurabi’s Code.
b. Hammurabi’s Code:
The code consisted of a set of laws, based on retribution (the “eye for an eye” mentality).
The laws ranged from consumer protection laws, to thievery, and gave guidelines for
determining punishment. It even required officials to find perpetrators of crimes.
1) Political Structure:
The Pharaoh was the supreme leader, who was followed by the Vizier (the steward of the
land) who looked over the Central Bureaucracy. From here, Egypt was divided into 42
provinces. (22 upper and 20 lower) Each was watched over by a Governor.
This lead to a series of problems, as the Governors had a greater connection to the people
than the Pharaoh, who appeared to be extremely disconnected from the people. This led to
immense provincial instability and the eventual collapse of the Old Kingdom.
The Vizier was the right-hand man to the pharaoh and leader of the Bureaucracy. He
was known as the “Steward of the Land”. He was the one who took control during the
pharaoh’s absence, and acted as a connection between pharaoh and the provinces.
2) Important Periods:
Egypt experience stability and prosperity during the Old, Middle and New Kingdoms, though
experience major instability during the Intermediate periods.
a) Early Dynastic: 3100-2700 B.C.
Menes is considered the first pharaoh (Dynasty I). He united all of Egypt for the first
time, creating one unified kingdom. Because of this, his symbol becomes the Double
Diadem, which signifies unification.
b) Old Kingdom: 2700-2200 B.C.
During the period there was great architecture, most notably the Great pyramids at Giza.
Their writing system was known as Hieroglyphs, which was forgotten, but relearned
in1799 with the discovery of the Rosetta stone. The Pharaoh (translates to “Great
Palace”) must rule in perfect harmony, via Ma’at. i) Ma’at:
Ma’at was the belief that the universe had a certain harmony to it, and as long as
the pharaoh and the people all played their roles properly and lived in peace, all
would be fine.
c) 1 Intermediate Period: 2200-2025 B.C.
d) Middle Kingdom: 2025-1630 B.C.
Pharaoh’s begin to build a loyalty system with the Governors, by promising them their
job for life, in exchange for unwavering loyalty. During this time, the pharaohs lose their
“God-Like” status as a leader, and rather become seen as more of a shepherd.
e) 2 Intermediate Period: 1630-1550 B.C.
f) New Kingdom: 1550-1075 B.C.
3) Economic/Social Structure:
The Pharaoh was at the top, followed by the Bureaucracy and military. After that came the
middle class, this was comprised mostly of priests and merchants. The lowest class (next to
slaves) was the farmers, which made up nearly 90% of the population.
Priests were the ones entrusted to interpret the word of the gods. They were a polytheistic
society. Their major gods were Re (later renamed Amon-Re), Osiris (and Seth, his evil
brother), Isis and Horus.
4) Important People:
a) Menes: The first pharaoh.
b) Thutmose III: An extremely aggressive ruler, who expanded the military.
5) Nile River:
The land around the Nile was referred to as the “black lands”, while the desert areas beyond
were often referred to as the “red lands”. The Nile essentially acted as the spine for
Egyptian culture, it allowed for easy trade, and communication throughout the empire.
Semitic-speaking peoples from Mesopotamia, who believed in the God of Abraham.
From 1900-1500 B.C., the Hebrews migrated from Mesopotamia to Canaan and then to
Egypt, where they were enslaved. Moses and other Israelites (“warriors of God”) led an Exodus (escape) from Egypt. This is when Moses told them that they must believe in the
one true God, Yahweh (Jehovah).
Jerusalem was the heart of the Judah kingdom, before the kingdom was destroyed by the
Babylonians. It was ruled by Sol and David between 1000-970 B.C.
III. History/Old Testament:
After the fall of Judah, many Jews were enslaved by the Babylonians, in what is called the
“Babylonian Captivity”. At this point, three prophets came forward (Isaiah, Ezekiel and
Jeremiah) and claimed that their hardships were brought upon themselves for not following
Gods rule. Between 1250-150 B.C., was the creation of the Old Testament.
Jehovah (God) was eternal, having never been created. He was considered to be
Transcendent. Because of their belief in Jehovah, the world becomes demystified, as he
provided an explanation for the world around them. This demystification opened the door to
a slew of scientific inquiry.
o Individuals were given autonomy, and were self-conscious. They were allowed to
choose between good and evil, as God would judge each individuals choice.
o The Covenant is the agreement between God and the Hebrews as appears in
Exodus and Deuteronomy. (This contains the 10 commandments) Harappan Civilization: 3000 B.C.
Harappa was a city with 35,000 civilians. It was a monarchy with a theocratic base, and
agriculture based primarily on wheat, barley and peas. T