About 1.6 million years ago, before Homo habilis left the scene, another species of hominids appeared in East Africa. This species name mean, "upright man." Some anthropologists believe These guys was a more intelligent and adaptable species than Homo habilis. These people used intelligence to develop technology—ways of applying knowledge, tools, and inventions to meet their needs. These hominids gradually became skillful hunters and invented more sophisticated tools for digging, scraping, and cutting. They also eventually became the first hominids to migrate, or move, from Africa. Fossils and stone tools show that bands of hunters settled in India, China, Southeast Asia, and Europe. According to anthropologists, These were the first to use fire. Fire provided warmth in cold climates, cooked food, and frightened away attacking ani- mals. The control of fire also probably helped them settle new lands.
These guys may have developed the beginnings of spoken language. Language, like technology, probably gave these guys greater control over the environment and boosted chances for survival. The teamwork needed to plan hunts and cooperate in other tasks probably relied on language. They might have named objects, places, animals, and plants and exchanged ideas.
Have seen the footprints of ape-like features but also have some human characteristics them at the site of Chad and Kenya and found cave paintings and flutes indicate they have artistic talents. In 1856, as quarry workers were digging for limestone in the Neander Valley in Germany, they spotted fossilized bone fragments. These were the remains of "...........", whose bones were discovered elsewhere in Europe and Southwest Asia. These people were powerfully built. They had heavy slanted brows, well-developed muscles, and thick bones. To many people, the name "..........." calls up the comic-strip image of a club-carrying caveman. However, archaeological discoveries reveal a more realistic picture of these early hominids, who lived between 200,000 and 30,000 years ago. Evidence suggests that these guys tried to explain and control their world. They developed religious beliefs and performed rituals. About 60,000 years ago, These guys held a funeral for a man in Shanidar Cave, located in northeastern Iraq. Some archaeologists theorize that during the funeral, the family covered his body with flowers. This funeral points to a belief in a world beyond the grave. They were also resourceful. They survived harsh Ice Age winters by living in caves or temporary shelters made of wood and animal skins. Animal bones found with Their fossils indicate the ability of Them to hunt in subarctic regions of Europe. To cut up and skin their prey, they fashioned stone blades, scrapers, and other tools. The Neanderthals survived for some 170,000 years and then mysteriously vanished about 30,000 years ago. hunters' expert knowledge of wild animals likely played a key role in this, or taming, of animals. They tamed horses, dogs, goats, and pigs. Like farming, this came slowly. Stone Age hunters may have driven herds of animals into rocky ravines to be slaughtered. It was then a small step to drive herds into human-made enclosures. From there, farmers could keep the animals as a constant source of food and gradually tame them. Not only farmers domesticated animals. Pastoral nomads, or wandering herders, tended sheep, goats, camels, or other animals. These herders moved their animals to new pastures and watering places. As government, religion, and the economy became more complex, people recognized the need to keep records. In early civilizations, government officials had to document tax collections, the passage of laws, and the storage of grain. Priests needed a way to keep track of the calendar and important rituals. Merchants had to record accounts of debts and payments. Most civilizations developed a system of writing, though some devised other methods of record keeping. Around 3000 B.C., Sumerian scribes—or professional record keepers—invented a system of writing called cuneiform (KYOO•nee•uh•FAWRM), meaning "wedge-shaped." (Earlier Sumerian writing consisted of pictographs—symbols of the objects or what they represented.) The scribe's tool, called a stylus, was a sharpened reed with a wedge-shaped point. It was pressed into moist clay to create symbols. Scribes baked their clay tablets in the sun to preserve the writing.
People soon began to use writing for other purposes besides record keeping. They also wrote about their cities' dramatic events—wars, natural disasters, the reign of kings. Thus, the beginning of civilization in Sumer also signaled the beginning of written history.
more flexible writing system. This term comes from the Greek words hieros and gluph, meaning "sacred carving."
As with Sumerian cuneiform writing, in the earliest form, a picture stood for an idea. For instance, a picture of a man stood for the idea of a man. In time, the system changed so that pictures stood for sounds as well as ideas. The owl, for example, stood for an m sound or for the bird itself. Hieroglyphs could be used almost like letters of the alphabet. Although hieroglyphs were first written on stone and clay, as in Mesopotamia, the Egyptians soon invented a better writing surface—papyrus (puh•PY•ruhs) reeds. These grew in the marshy delta. The Egyptians split the reeds into narrow strips, placed them crosswise in two layers, dampened them, and then pressed them. As the papyrus dried, the plant's sap glued the strips together into a paperlike sheet.
About 2350 B.C., this conqueror defeated the city-states of Sumer. He led his army from Akkad (AK•ad), a city-state north of Sumer. The Akkadians had long before adopted most aspects of Sumerian culture. His conquests helped to spread that culture even farther, beyond the Tigris-Euphrates Valley. By taking control of both northern and southern Mesopotamia, He created the world's first empire. An empire brings together several peoples, nations, or previously independent states under the control of one ruler. At its height, the Akkadian Empire loosely controlled land from the Mediterranean Coast in the west to present-day Iran in the east. His dynasty lasted only about 200 years, after which it declined due to internal fighting, invasions, and a famine. of Akkad was the first ruler of the Semitic-speaking Akkadian Empire, known for his conquests of the Sumerian city-states in the 24th to 23rd centuries BC. Religion:
Polytheistic Social Class:
Pharaoh at the top of social hierarchy. Mathematics:
Advanced geometry. Writing:
Rosetta Stone and papyrus. Technology:
Medicine and extremely accurate calendar
With nature so much in their favor, Egyptians tended to approach life more confidently and optimistically than their neighbors in the Fertile Crescent. Religion played an important role in the lives of Egyptians. Religion and Life Like the Mesopotamians, the early Egyptians were polytheistic, believing in many gods. The most important gods were Re, the sun god, and Osiris (oh•SY•rihs), god of the dead. The most important goddess was Isis, who repre- sented the ideal mother and wife. In all, Egyptians worshiped more than 2,000 gods and goddesses. They built huge temples to honor the major deities. In contrast to the Mesopotamians, with their bleak view of death, Egyptians believed in an afterlife, a life that continued after death. Egyptians believed they would be judged for their deeds when they died. Anubis, god and guide of the underworld, would weigh each dead person's heart. To win eternal life, the heart could be no heavier than a feather. If the heart tipped the scale, showing that it was heavy with sin, a fierce beast known as the Devourer of Souls would pounce on the impure heart and gobble it up. But if the soul passed this test for purity and truth, it would live forever in the beautiful Other World. People of all classes planned for their burials, so that they might safely reach the Other World. Kings and queens built great tombs, such as the pyramids, and other Egyptians built smaller tombs. Royal and elite Egyptians' bodies were preserved by mummification, which involves embalming and drying the corpse to prevent it from decaying. Scholars still accept Herodotus's description of the process of mummification as one of the methods used by Egyptians. Attendants placed the mummy in a coffin inside a tomb. Then they filled the tomb with items the dead person could use in the afterlife, such as clothing, food, cosmetics, and jewelry. Many Egyptians purchased scrolls that contained hymns, prayers, and magic spells intended to guide the soul in the afterlife. This collection of texts is known as the Book of the Dead.
Hammurabi recognized that a single, uniform code of laws would help to unify the diverse groups within his empire. He collected existing rules, judgments, and laws into the Code of Hammurabi. Hammurabi had the code engraved in stone, and copies were placed all over his empire. The code lists 282 specific laws dealing with everything that affected the community, including family relations, business conduct, and crime. Since many people were merchants, traders, or farmers, for example, many of the laws related to property issues. Additionally, the laws sought to protect women and children from unfair treat- ment. The laws tell us a great deal about the Mesopotamians' beliefs and what they valued. Although the code applied to everyone, it set different punishments for rich and poor and for men and women. It frequently applied the principle of retaliation (an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth) to punish crimes.
The prologue of the code set out the goals for this body of law. It said, " To bring about the rule of righteousness in the land, to destroy the wicked and the evil-doers; so that the strong should not harm the weak." Thus, Hammurabi's Code reinforced the principle that government had a responsibility for what occurred in society. For example, if a man was robbed and the thief was not caught, the government was required to compensate the victim.
The most important gods were Re, the sun god, and Osiris (oh•SY•rihs), god of the dead. The most important goddess was Isis, who represented the ideal mother and wife. In all, Egyptians worshiped more than 2,000 gods and goddesses. They built huge temples to honor the major deities. In contrast to the Mesopotamians, with their bleak view of death, Egyptians believed in an afterlife, a life that continued after death. Egyptians believed they would be judged for their deeds when they died. Anubis, god and guide of the underworld, would weigh each dead person's heart. To win eternal life, the heart could be no heavier than a feather. If the heart tipped the scale, showing that it was heavy with sin, a fierce beast known as the Devourer of Souls would pounce on the impure heart and gobble it up. But if the soul passed this test for purity and truth, it would live forever in the beautiful Other World. People of all classes planned for their burials, so that they might safely reach the Other World. Kings and queens built great tombs, such as the pyramids, and other Egyptians built smaller tombs. Royal and elite Egyptians' bodies were preserved by mummification, which involves embalming and drying the corpse to prevent it from decaying. Scholars still accept Herodotus's description of the process of mummification as one of the methods used by Egyptians. Ancient Egyptians lived along the Nile from the mouth well into the interior of Africa. River travel was common, but it ended at the point in the Nile where boulders turn the river into churning rapids called a cataract (KAT•uh•rakt). This made it impossible for riverboats to pass this spot, known as the First Cataract, to continue upstream south to the interior of Africa. Between the First Cataract and the Mediterranean lay two very different regions. Because its elevation is higher, the river area in the south is called Upper Egypt. It is a skinny strip of land from the First Cataract to the point where the river starts to fan out into many branches. To the north, near the sea, Lower Egypt includes the Nile delta region. The delta begins about 100 miles before the river enters the Mediterranean. The delta is a broad, marshy, triangular area of land formed by deposits of silt at the mouth of the river. The Nile provided a reliable system of transportation between Upper and Lower Egypt. The Nile flows north, so northbound boats simply drifted with the current. Southbound boats hoisted a wide sail. The prevailing winds of Egypt blow from north to south, carrying sailboats against the river current. The ease of contact made possible by this watery highway helped unify Egypt's villages and promote trade. (Dynasties 3-6, ca. 2649-2150 B.C.) was one of the most dynamic periods in the development of Egyptian art. During this period, artists learned to express their culture's worldview, creating for the first time images and forms that endured for generations. Architects and masons mastered the techniques necessary to build monumental structures in stone. Sculptors created the earliest portraits of individuals and the first lifesize statues in wood, copper, and stone. They perfected the art of carving intricate relief decoration and, through keen observation of the natural world, produced detailed images of animals, plants, and even landscapes, recording the essential elements of their world for eternity in scenes painted and carved on the walls of temples and tombs. Among the rulers of the New Kingdom, who declared herself pharaoh around 1472 B.C., was unique. She took over because her stepson, the male heir to the throne, was a young child at the time. Unlike other New Kingdom rulers, Hatshepsut spent her reign encouraging trade rather than just waging war. The trading expedition She ordered to the Land of Punt (poont), near present-day Somalia, was particularly successful. She sent a fleet of five ships down the Red Sea to Punt in search of myrrh, frankincense, and fragrant ointments used for religious ceremonies and in cosmetics. In addition to these goods, Her fleet brought back gold, ivory, and unusual plants and animals. After several smaller battles, the Egyptians and Hittites clashed at Kadesh around 1285 B.C. This pharaoh, and a Hittite king later made a treaty that promised "peace and brotherhood between us forever." Their alliance lasted for the rest of the century. Like the rulers of the Old Kingdom, who built the towering pyramids, rulers of the New Kingdom erected grand buildings. In search of security in the afterlife—and protection from grave robbers—they hid their splendid tombs beneath desert cliffs. The site they chose was the remote Valley of the Kings near Thebes. Besides royal tombs, the pharaohs of this period also built great palaces and magnificent temples. Indeed, the royal title pharaoh means "great house" and comes from this time period. This guy, whose reign extended from approximately 1290 to 1224 B.C., stood out among the great builders of the New Kingdom. At Karnak, he added to a mon- umental temple to Amon-Re (AH•muhn RAY), Egypt's chief god. Ramses also ordered a temple to be carved into the red sandstone cliffs above the Nile River at Abu Simbel (AH•boo SIHM•buhl). He had these temples decorated with enormous statues of himself. The ears of these statues alone measured more than three feet. This lay closer to the Red Sea than Napata did, and so became active in the flourishing trade among Africa, Arabia, and India. Kush used the natural resources around here and thrived for several hundred years. Unlike Egyptian cities along the Nile, They enjoyed significant rainfall. And, unlike Egypt, they boasted abundant supplies of iron ore. As a result, This became a major center for the manufacture of iron weapons and tools. In here, ambitious merchants loaded iron bars, tools, and spearheads onto their donkeys. They then transported the goods to the Red Sea, where they exchanged these goods for jewelry, fine cotton cloth, silver lamps, and glass bottles. As the mineral wealth of the central Nile Valley flowed out of here, luxury goods from India and Arabia flowed in. After four centuries of prosperity, from about 250 B.C. to A.D. 150, Meroë began to decline. Aksum, another kingdom located 400 miles to the southeast, contributed to their fall. With a seaport on the Red Sea, Aksum came to dominate North African trade. Aksum defeated Meroë around A.D. 350. Centuries earlier, around the time the Kushite pharaoh sat on the Egyptian throne, a new empire—Assyria—had risen in the north. Like Kush, Assyria came to dominate Egypt. This lay south of Egypt between the first cataract of the Nile, an area of churning rapids, and the division of the river into the Blue Nile and the White Nile. Despite several cataracts around which boats had to be carried, the Nile provided the best north-south trade route. Several kingdoms, including Kush, served as a trade corridor. They linked Egypt and the Mediterranean world to the interior of Africa and to the Red Sea. Goods and ideas flowed back and forth along the river for centuries. The first kingdom, Kerma, arose shortly after 2000 B.C. With Egypt's revival during the New Kingdom, pharaohs forced Egyptian rule on Kush. Egyptian governors, priests, soldiers, and artists strongly influenced the Nubians. Indeed, Kush's capital, Napata, became the center for the spread of Egyptian culture to Kush's other African trading partners. The rest of the world paid little attention to the Persians until 550 B.C. In that year, Persia's king, began to conquer several neighboring kingdoms. He was a military genius, leading his army from victory to victory between 550 and 539 B.C. In time, He controlled an empire that spanned 2,000 miles, from the Indus River in the east to Anatolia in the west. Even more than his military genius, though, His most enduring legacy was his method of governing. His kindness toward conquered peoples revealed a wise and tolerant view of empire. For example, when His army marched into a city, his generals prevented Persian soldiers from looting and burning. Unlike other conquerors, He believed in honoring local customs and religions. Instead of destroying the local temple, He would kneel there to pray.