Period 1: Technological and Environmental Transformations

Period 1: Technological
and Environmental
8000 b.c.e – 600 b.c.e
5% of The Test
Key Concept 1.3
 The Development and Interactions of Early
Agricultural, Pastoral and Urban Societies
River Valley Civilizations
 After agriculture people begin to form civilizations
independent from one another…
 Mesopotamia (current Middle East)
 Egypt, Nile River Valley
Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa Indus River Valley
 Shang in Yellow River or Huang Ye Valley
 Mesoamerica (Olmecs)
 Andean Region South America (Chavin)
River Valley Civilizations
Mesopotamia means “between
 Situated between the Tigris
and Euphrates rivers
 Around 5000 BCE: people
began settling in these
 By 3000 BCE few cities in
Mesopotamia were well
Regions of Mesopotamia
3 different regions:
 Sumer:
 Cities like Uruk and Ur were
some of the earliest
 Babylonia
 Assyria
Mesopotamia (Environment)
Cities in Mesopotamia emerged
because the two rivers.
 Water provided food…life
 People manipulated the rivers to
irrigate their crops
 Formed canals and dams
 Rivers had unpredictable flooding
 Tools: plows, canals, pottery,
bronze tools
Mesopotamia (Political)
Mesopotamian cities were city-states:
 Cities governed themselves and surrounding areas. Weren’t
unified into one country or empire.
 Had monarchies where kings ruled
 First kings were military leaders
 Because of conflict with other cities
 Priests were also very important in the political structure
Mesopotamia (Political)
Babylonian Empire ( beginning in 1894 BC)
Capital was the city of Babylon
 King Hammurabi:
 Most known Mesopotamian king
 Ruled from about 1790 to 1750 BC
 Created the Code of Hammurabi
 282 laws carved on stone
 One of earliest systems of laws; made public
 Idea of “an eye for an eye”
Mesopotamia (Culture)
 Polytheistic: believed in several gods and goddesses
 Believed these gods controlled natural forces
 Climate, rivers, farming, etc.
 Agricultural was essential to survival
 Since river flood were unpredictable, Mesopotamians made offerings to
please the gods so that the rivers may flood at the right times for good
 This is why priests were so important
 Did not believe in an afterlife. Explains why agriculture was
Mesopotamia (Culture)
 Kings would also be priests (helped improve status with
 Constructed large temples called Ziggurats
 Priests would communicate with the gods in these temples
Mesopotamia (Culture)
 Cuneiform: the earliest system of writing
 First used out of necessity to keep records of food surplus, trade,
and property
 Writing then expanded to be used in literature as well
 The Epic of Gilgamesh, worlds earliest stories about a king that ruled
the city of Uruk sometime betweek 2750 and 2500 BCE
Mesopotamia (Economy)
 Food surplus lead to division of labor (specialization)
 Other than farmers, people where:
 Craftsmen, artisans, bronze workers, scribes (who wrote cuneiform)
 Food surplus also made trade possible
 Mesopotamian cities traded within themselves
 Also traded with other civilizations:
 Egypt: gold
 Persia: tin
 Southeastern Africa: beads, wood, obsidian
 India: pears, copper, and ivory
Mesopotamia (Social Structures)
 With division of labor came social stratification (social classes)
and economic inequality
 Gap between rich and poor grew large
 Upper class: landowners, priests and kings
 Middle Class: merchants, farmers, craftsmen, scribes
 Lower Class: workers in debt, slaves (prisoners of war)
 Women: some freedom but mostly patriarchy
 Could own property and have income
 Did not receive formal education; educated at home
 Marriages were arranged by men