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Fertile Crescent

An arc of rich farmland in Southwest Asia, between the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea

City State

A city and its surrounding lands functioning as an independent political unit.

Dynasty

A series of rulers from a single family.

Cultural Diffusion

The spread of cultural elements from one society to another

Polytheism

belief in multiple Gods

Empire

a group of countries under a single authority

Hammurabi

King of the Babylonian empire; creator of the Code of Hammurabi, one of the world's oldest codes of law.

Delta

flat, low-lying land built up from soil carried downstream by a river and deposited at its mouth

Pharaoh

ruler of Ancient Egypt

mummification

embalmment and drying a dead body and wrapping it as a mummy

hieroglyphics

a system of writing using symbols or pictures

papyrus

ancient paper made from stem of papyrus plant

monsoon

a seasonal wind in southern Asia

civilization

a society in an advanced state of social development (e.g., with complex legal and political and religious organizations)

loess

a fertile deposit of windblown soil

oracle bone

One of the animal bones or tortoise shells used by ancient Chinese priests to communicate with the gods.

mandate of heaven

in Chinese history, the divine approval thought to be the basis of royal authority

dynastic cycle

the historical pattern of the rise, decline, and replacement of dynasties.

feudalism

A political system in which nobles are granted the use of lands that legally belong to their king, in exchange for their loyalty, military service, and protection of the people who live on the land

disaster

an event resulting in great loss and misfortune

caravan

A group of traders traveling together, often through the desert.

unite

To bring together as one

tomb

a place for the burial of a corpse (especially beneath the ground and marked by a tombstone)

civil war

fighting between people within their own country

economy

the system of making and trading things.

basin

A bowl like area for storing water

isolate

set apart from others

plateau

A flat area that rises above the land close by.

canal

A waterway made by humans

invade

march aggressively into another's territory by military force for the purposes of conquest and occupation

artisan

a skilled worker who practices some trade or handicraft

ivory

a hard smooth ivory colored dentine that makes up most of the tusks of elephants and walruses

jade

A precious stone that is usually green

noble

A person of high birth

society

an extended social group having a distinctive cultural and economic organization

scribe

someone employed to make written copies of documents and manuscripts

symbol

something that stands for something else

fast

abstaining from food

hegira

the flight of Muhammad from Mecca to Medina in 622 which marked the beginning of the Muslim era

idol

a material effigy that is worshipped as a god

koran

Holy book of Islam

alms

The money or care that one gives to the poor and the needy

haji

The pilgrimmage to Mecca that is a religious duty of all Muslims

jihad

a holy struggle or striving by a Muslim for a moral or spiritual or political goal

contagious

able to spread from one person to another

surplus

extra of anything.

mosque

A muslim place of worship

Infidel

One who does not belive in the religion another person believes in.

slave

A person who someone owns and treats like property

clergy

The people who lead a religion

rebellion

A fight by people against a government, a struggle for change

renaissance

the revival of learning and culture

humanism

the doctrine that people's duty is to promote human welfare

drama

A play to act out on a stage

sonnet

A 14 line poem about one idea

fresco

A painting done in wet plaster on a wall

patron

A person who supports the arts with money

portrait

A drawing of a person

chapel

A small church

vatican

the home of the pope.

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