World History Lesson 2

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Ancient Near East. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Indo-Europeans, Israelites, Phoenicians, Philistines, Persians.

Fertile Crescent

Agriculturally productive land between the deserts of Arabia and mountains of Persia and Asia Minor, and along the coast of the Eastern Mediterranean Sea.

Mesopotamia

"Land between the Rivers." The Tigris-Euphrates river valley.

cuneiform

"Wedge-shaped" writing invented by the civilizations of Mesopotamia. They used a sharp reed to make impressions on damp clay tablets that became permanent when dried out.

ziggurat

Step-pyramid architecture developed in Mesopotamia. A temple at the top was thought to be the home of a deity.

Akkadian empire

Mesopotamian empire founded by Sargon. It split into Assyrian and Babylonian groups.

Old Babylonian empire

Mesopotamian empire of Hammurabi, famous for his Code of Laws.

pyramid

Architecture developed by Egyptians using precise geometry and engineering, as monuments to dead pharaohs.

Old Kingdom

Early period of Egyptian history in which the great pyramids were built.

Middle Kingdom

A golden age of Egyptian history, of peace, prosperity, and trade. Abraham visited Egypt at this time. This period ended with an invasion by the Hyksos people.

New Kingdom

During this period Egypt was a militaristic, expansionist state, and held the Israelites in captivity. Toward the end of this period Egypt weakened, began experimenting with monotheistic religion, and was overtaken by foreign invaders.

Stonehenge

Megalithic structure built by ancient north Europeans as an observatory and calendar for ritual functions.

Indo-Europeans

People group living near the Black Sea who migrated into Europe, Iran, and India. Their language became the root language for people groups in those areas.

Hittites

Indo-European people group who used iron weapons and chariots. They are mentioned about 40 times in the Old Testament.

Saul

First king of Israel.

David

King of Israel who made Jerusalem the capital and gathered materials for the building of the temple.

Solomon

King of Israel who built the temple and reigned in a time of power and prosperity.

Phoenicians

Neighbors of the Israelites famed as sea-faring traders and colonizers, and as inventors of an alphabet that became the basis for modern European alphabets.

Philistines

Powerful neighbors of the Israelites living in five cities along the coastal plain.

Assyrian Empire

Aggressive Mesopotamian empire that conquered Israel and Egypt but failed to completely subdue the southern kingdom of Judah.

Neo-Babylonian Empire

Mesopotamian empire that conquered the southern kingdom of Judah. At the height of their power they engaged in numerous lavish building projects that made their capital city legendary.

Persian Empire

This was an empire started by Indo-Europeans. It grew into the largest empire the world had seen to that point, from Egypt and Greece to India. They allowed the Jews to rebuild their temple.

Zoroastrianism

A dualistic religion that became the primary religion of Persia. Some scholars think it had great influence on the theological development of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

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