History Key Terms, Ch. 1-5

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History Key Terms, Chapters 1 through 5, for exams!

history

the written events of people

prehistory

time before writing was invented

archaeologist

a scientist who studies objects to learn about the the past

oral traditions

stories passed on by word of mouth

geography

the study of Earth's surface and how it is shaped

Stone Age

a period of time during which people made tools and weapons from stone

nomad

a person who has no settled home

fertile

able to grow plants well

domesticate

tame wild plants and animals for human use

surplus

more than is needed

artisan

a worker who is especially skilled crafting items by hand

irrigation

supplying land with water through a network of canals

civilization

a society with cities, a central government, job specialization, and social classes

social class

a group of people with similar backgrounds, income, and ways of living

scribe

someone who writes for a living

Fertile Crescent

a region in Southwest Asia; site of the first civilizations

city-state

a city with its own government and king; both a city and an independent state

polytheism

the belief in many gods

myth

a traditional story or a legend that explains people's beliefs

Babylon

the capital of Babylonia; a city of great wealth and luxury

empire

many territories and peoples controlled by one government

caravan

a group of traders traveling together

bazaar

a market selling different kinds of goods

battering ram

a powerful weapon with a wooden beam mounted on wheels

code

an organized list of laws and rules

Hammurabi

the king of Babylon form about 1792 to 1750 BC; creator of the Babyonian empire

cuneiform

groups of wedges and lines used to write several languages of the Fertile Crescent

alphabet

a set of symbols that represent the sounds of the language

monotheism

the belief in one god

famine

when there is so little food that people starve

exile

to force someone to live in another country

covenant

a promise made by God

Moses

an Israelite leader whom the Torah says led the Israelites from Egypt to Canaan

prophet

a religious teacher who people believe speaks for God or a god

diaspora

the scattering of people who have a common background or beliefs

Nubia

an ancient region in the Nile River Valley now in southern Egypt and northern Sudan

cataract

a large waterfall; any strong flood or rush of water

delta

a plain at the mouth of a river, formed where flowing water deposits soil

silt

fine soil found on the bottoms of rivers

dynasty

a series of rulers from the same family or ethnic group

pharaoh

the title of the kings of ancient Egypt

absolute power

complete control over someone or something

regent

someone who rules for a child until the child is old enough to rule

afterlife

a life after death

mummy

a dead body preserved in lifelike condition

pyramid

a huge building with four sloping triangular-shaped sides; built as royal tombs in Egypt

Giza

an ancient Egyptian city; the site of the Great Pyramid

hieroglyphs

pictures and other written symbols that stand for ideas, things, or sounds

papyrus

an early form of paper made from a reed plant found in the marshy areas of the Nile delta

subcontinent

a large piece of land that sticks out from a continent

monsoon

a strong wind that blows across East Asia at certain times of the year

citadel

a fortress in a city

migrate

to relocate; to move from one place and settle in another

caste

a social class of people

brahman

a single spiritual power that Hindus believe lies in everything

avatar

a Hindu god or goddess in human or animal form

reincarnation

rebirth of the soul in the body of another living thing

dharma

the religious and moral duties of Hindus

ahimsa

the Hindu idea of nonviolence

meditate

to focus the mind inward in order to find spiritual awareness or relaxation

nirvana

the lasting peace that Buddhists seek by giving up selfish desires

missionary

a person who spreads his or her religious beliefs to others

loess

yellow-brown soil

dike

a wall that controls or hold back water

extended family

several generations of closely related people

Confucius

(551-479BC) Chinese philosopher and teacher whose beliefs had a great influence on Chinese life

philosophy

system of beliefs and values

civil service

the group of people who carry out the work of the government

Shi Huangdi

China's first emperor

currency

money used by a group or nation

Liu Bang

founder of the Han dynasty

Wudi

Chinese emperor who brought the Han dynasty to its peak

warlord

a local leader of an armed group

Silk Road

and ancient trade route between China and Europe

silk

a valuable cloth, made by silkworms

Sima Qian

a chinese scholar who wrote the most important history of ancient China, Historical Records

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