Five Minute Writing Assignment • Why did the first civilizations emerge near rivers and river valleys? • 1. Offered rich soils for agriculture • 2. Tended to be located in places that could offer protection from nomadic invaders Five Minute Writing Assignment • List three forms of technology found in River Valley civilizations and how they changed life for their citizens. • Wheel – moving heavy objects • Plow- prepare soil for better plant growth • Irrigation system- system to provide constant water source. • System of writing- record keeping, communication Discussion Question: • What is the difference between the Copper, Bronze and Iron Ages? Unit 2 : Early Civilizations Copyright © Clara Kim 2007. All rights reserved. The Fertile Crescent • Arc of land between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea in Southwest Asia One land…Two Rivers • Mesopotamia means = “land between the rivers” – Tigris River and Euphrates River • Both rivers flooded once a year and left thick bed of silt. – Silt: rich, new soil farmers could plant and harvest enormous quantities of wheat and barley Political Power of the Priests • Sumer’s earliest governments were controlled by temple priests – Farmers believed they needed blessings for success of their crops – Priests were the middle man for the Gods – Priests demanded portion of farmer crops as tax Political • Later followed Hereditary rulers: ? when the power is passed down to family members Sargon Economy/Commerce • Did early civilizations use a barter economy or a monetary economy? Barter • Increasing agricultural surplus (better tools, plows, irrigation) • Increasing trade along rivers – traded with Egypt • Specialization of labor Religion • Polytheistic: Belief in Many Gods (3,000!!!) • Gods could be angered at any moment and to keep them happy (?) Sumerians: – Built impressive ziggurats or temples to sacrifice food, wine and animals MORE ZIGGURATS!!! Sumerian Society Kings and Priests Wealthy merchants Ordinary Sumerian people Slaves Rights of Women • Could hold property • Join lower ranks of priesthood • There were few women scribes. Why? • Could women go to school? – Scholars think that girls were not allowed to attend schools Language/Literature Epic of Gilgamesh • Myths and legends recorded in this long poem • Story of a legendary Mesopotamian king. • One of the earliest works of literature in the world “Gilgamesh, whither are you wandering? Life, which you look for, you will never find. For when the gods created man, they let Death be his share, and withheld life In their own hands” Achievements Science and Technology • Invented the wheel, the sail, the plow • First to use bronze. • Developed system of writing • Built irrigation systems, buildings, surveyed flooded fields.