AKS 30: Ancient Mesopotamia & Ancient Egypt

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Civilizations Arise The Five Marks of CivilizationAdvanced Cities Center for trade for a large area Provided markets for local farmers, merchants, & traders Examples: Ur, Babylon (Sumer) Memphis, Thebes (Egypt) Harappa, Mohenjo-Daro (Indus Valley) Luoyang, Yangzhou (China)

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Civilizations Arise The Five Marks of CivilizationSpecialized Workers Need grew as cities grew Began to become experts in a particular type of work Examples: Gov’t official Scribe Priest Potter Metalworker or other artisan

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Civilizations Arise The Five Marks of CivilizationComplex Institutions Growing cities required a system of gov’t & established laws Examples: Gov’t Religion Economy

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Civilizations Arise The Five Marks of CivilizationRecord Keeping As institutions became more complex, people needed to be able to keep track of taxes, grain storage, & passage of time Examples: Cuneiform (Sumerians) Hieroglyphics (Egyptians)

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Civilizations Arise The Five Marks of CivilizationImproved Technology New tools & equipment needed to make life easier for growing groups of people Occurred in both farming & work of artisans Examples: Ox-drawn plows Irrigation systems Potter’s wheel Invention of bronze

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Geographic Features Mesopotamia – The Fertile CrescentCurved shape of land including lands facing Mediterranean Sea & plain between Tigris & Euphrates Rivers

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Geographic Features Mesopotamia – The Fertile CrescentFlooded yearly (unpredictable) leaving behind a thick mud called silt Farmers planted crops in rich soil Resulted in plentiful harvests  allowed villages to grow

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Geographic Features Environmental Challenges for SumeriansChallenge: Unpredictable flooding with a period of little to no rain. Land sometimes became almost a desert.

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Geographic Features Environmental Challenges for SumeriansSolution: Dug irrigation ditches that carried river water to their fields Led to production of surplus crops

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Geographic Features Environmental Challenges for SumeriansChallenge: No natural barriers for protection (defenseless)

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Geographic Features Environmental Challenges for SumeriansSolution: Built city walls with mud bricks

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Geographic Features Environmental Challenges for SumeriansChallenge: Limited natural resources Building materials scarce

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Geographic Features Environmental Challenges for SumeriansSolution: Traded their grain, cloth, & crafted tools with people of mtns & deserts In exchange, they received raw materials like stone, wood, & metal Cultural Diffusion: process by which a new idea or product spreads from one culture to another

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Geographic Features Ancient Egypt – Nile RiverBenefits: Predictable yearly flooding  allowed farming settlements to grow Worshiped the river as a god b/c of its abundance

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Geographic Features Ancient Egypt – Nile RiverProblems: Low waters in Nile resulted in famine b/c of poor crops Flooding = destroyed homes & crops

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Geographic Features Ancient Egypt – Deserts on Either Side of Nile RiverBenefits: Shut out invaders Spared Egypt constant warfare

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Geographic Features Ancient Egypt – Deserts on Either Side of Nile RiverProblems: Acted as barriers between Egypt & other lands Forced Egyptians to live on a very small portion of the land Reduced interactions with other peoples (limited cultural diffusion)

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Development of Mesopotamia CultureScience & Technology Cuneiform Irrigation Bronze Wheel Sail Plow

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Development of Mesopotamia ReligionPolytheistic Belief in more than one god Ziggurat (Sumerian temple) was the center of city life Priests conducted rituals & sacrifices to city gods Served as storage for grains, fabrics, gems

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Key Civilizations in MesopotamiaSumerian City-States (4000-2300 B.C.) Small, independent cities w/ surrounding villages & farms Not unified, constantly at war w/ one another

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Key Civilizations in MesopotamiaAkkadian Empire (2330-2100 B.C.) Founded by Sargon He conquered Sumerian city-states and unified them into the world’s first empire

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Key Civilizations in MesopotamiaBabylonian Empire (1800-1500 B.C.) Most important king was Hammurabi Hammurabi’s Code 282 laws that formed the basis of the Babylonian legal system Different punishments for rich & poor “Eye for an eye”

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Egyptian Religion & PoliticsPharaohs (God-Kings) Considered gods on Earth who ruled over gov’t, religion, & the military This is known as a theocracy *Comparison: Mesopotamian kings were representatives of gods, but they themselves were not considered gods

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Egyptian Religion & PoliticsPyramids Egyptians believed kings had eternal spirits Built pyramids as tombs for pharaohs (resting places from which their rulers could reign forever after death)

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Egyptian CultureSocial ClassesROYAL FAMILYUpper ClassMiddle ClassLower ClassSlaves

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Last Updated: 8th March 2018

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