The Beginnings of Civilization Chapter One:

Chapter One:
The Beginnings of
Defining “Civilized”
• Urban life: permanent constructions
• System of regulatory government
• Class distinction (wealth and
• Tools/skills --> production/trade
• Written communication
• Shared system of religious belief
** Not a value judgment! **
Origins of Western Civilization
• Paleolithic World View (Old Stone Age)
• Art
• Religion
• Neolithic Civilizations (Late Stone Age)
Domestication of animals
Cultivation of vegetation
War / Weaponry
The Bronze Age
(3000-1000 B.C.E.)
Sumerian (3500-2350 B.C.E.)
Semitic (2350-612 B.C.E.)
Aegean Cultures
Sumerian Culture
• Agricultural/Urban settlements
• “Fertile Crescent”
• Writing/record-keeping: Cuneiform
• Shared system of religious belief
• Civil ruler / Religious rulers
Epic of Gilgamesh
• Gilgamesh ruled at Uruk c. 2700 B.C.E.
• Composed in Sumerian (2000 B.C.E.) on
cuneiform tablets
• Introspective work
• Asserts universal questions about
human existence
Semitic Culture
• Akkadian Period
• King Sargon and descendants (2350-2150 B.C.E.)
• Focus on HUMAN achievement
• Heroic Code
• Babylonian Legacy
• King Hammurabi
• Assyrians
• Culmination of Mesopotamian culture
Fall of Mesopotamia
• Medes
• Nomadic warriors
• Conquered Nineveh in 612 B.C.E.
• Conquered and absorbed by Persians
• Persians
• Nomadic warriors
• Conquered by Alexander the Great
Poll: What is another name for a Paleolithic s...
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Poll: Are Homo sapiens sapiens the only specie...
Poll: Were cave paintings were used in religio...
Poll: Which country has the best examples of c...
Poll: Gilgamesh ruled which Sumerian city?
Poll: Which goddess did Gilgamesh rebuff?
Poll: What did Gilgamesh and Enkidu kill?
Poll: What did the hero Utnapishtim survive?
Poll: What Biblical story does Utnapishtim's t...
Poll: Any questions?