Chapter 2: Rivers, Cities, and First States 4000 - 2000 BC

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Terms in this set (...)

Key Terms
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Bronze
A metal that is formed when copper is merged with arsenic or tin, a useful metal for tools and weapons.

This period is also called the Bronze Age.
Alluvium
Area of land created by river deposits.
City
A large, well-defined urban area that holds a dense population in one place.
City-state
A political organization based on the authority of a single, large city that controls the surrounding countryside.
Cult
A religious movement, based on worshiping false gods, or an authoritarian figure.
Palace
The official residence of a ruler, his or her family, and the court/entourage.


Appeared around 2500 BCE, source of power rivaling the temple. Symbol of permanent secular, military, and administrative power.
River Basin
Areas drained by a river and that included all its tributaries.
Scribes
People who led a large amount of power just behind the ruler and the priests, the one who produced written records with the new writing tools.
Social Hierarchies
Distinctions between the privileged and the less privileged.
Temple
A place of worship, a holy place to connect with God.
Territorial State
A form of political organization that holds authority over a large population and landmass,; its power is extended over a wide area that is larger than that of city-states.

A political form that emerged in the riverine cities of Mesopotamia, which was overwhelmed by the displacement of nomadic peoples. These states were kingdoms organized around charismatic rulers who headed large households; each had a defined physical border.
Urban-rural divide
The interdependent distinction where people of the cities created lifestyles on specialized labor and the mass production of goods, while those in the country remained dependent upon land cultivation and tending the livestock.

Grains and animal products were exchanged for goods from the Urban centers.
Uruk
The first urban center of the world; near the Euphrates river, called "shining city" of King Gilgamesh.

Home to 10,000 people.

Became an immense commercial and administrative center.
Settlement, Pastoralism, and Trade.
Reliable water sources determined where and how people settled. Predictable flows of water allowed them to sow crops adequate to feed large populations.

Abundant rainfall allowed the world's first villages to emerge, but the breakthrough of cities occurred in drier zones where large rivers beds of rich alluvial soils.

A worldwide warming cycle caused growing seasons to expand.

The combination of fertile soils, water for irrigation, and availability of domesticated plants and animals made each river basin attractive for human habitation. Cultivators began to produce agricultural surpluses to feed the city dwellers.

Cities started to have greater divisions of labor and trad expanded over long distances.

Rise of Trade- Important because it helped with the exchange of cultural information, vital to Mesopotamian society.
Where were main Riverine cities?
Near the Tigris and Euphrates River Basin, Nile River, Indus River Basin.

All relied heavily on irrigation.
Inner Mongolia and Central Asia
All herding, very little planting.

Focused on the domestication of cattle, sheep, and horses.
Tigris and Euphrates
Flooded a lot, but with time the Mesopotamians learned to irrigate and control flooding. Besides good soil, they had to trade for everything else because they lacked natural resources.
Akkadian and Sumerian beliefs
Gods shaped political institutions and controlled everything.

All major gods had a city they "created".
Harrappan Culture
Little is known because the written language can't understood. Had fortified citadel housing, public facilities, alongside large residential areas, with good drainage.
Trade between Mesopotamia and Indus River Valley
Copper, flint, shells, ivory, pottery, flint blades, and jewelry for gold, silver, gems, and jewelry.
Ethnic Makeup Ancient Egypt
Contained people form Sinai, Libya, Mediterranean, Nubia, and Central Africa
Culture in Ancient Egypt
Densely populated, depended on irrigation, gave their rulers immense power, contained a complex social order
Riverine Culture in Egypt
Self contained because not connected like Mes. and Indus.
Egyptian Dynasty
Spanned 3100-332 BCE, contained Old Kingdom, Middle Kingdom, and New Kingdom
Religion of Egypt
Gods, then Kings, then everyone else.

Kings became gods after death during Old Kingdom.

Commoners used amulets, animals associated with deities.
Language in Egypt
Hieroglyphs, written by scribes, whose literacy elevated their status.

One of two basic forms of Egyptian writing that were used in conjunction throughout antiquity. Hieroglyphs are pictorial symbols; the term derives from a Greek word meaning "sacred carving"—they were employed exclusively in temple, royal, and divine contexts. See also Demotic writing.

Sharpened the division between urban and rural worlds.
Prosperity in Egypt
Success from the government administering resources carefully, no private property, but treated as so until the government came and took it.
Riverine Culture in China
Didn't emerge until the 2nd millenium BCE because food was so abundant in widespread Agrarian cultures.
Afro-Eurasian Nomads
Considered barbaric by those living in cities, warrior culture.
Anatolia
Clear regional cultures, Troy the most famous and most advanced city.
European Culture
Dominated by warfare, wild frontier with thick foliage, Northern plains herded cattle, and used ploughs.
Beer Mugs
Different shapes and sizes but used in the warrior cultures of Europe.
Harappan culture was characterized by
-building fortified citadels
-public baths
-use of brick as building material (standardized)
-houses with private bathrooms, toilets, and showers

*not by a distinct system of writing where Harrapan epics of poetry were recorded
Aegean world was characterized by
-a warrior ethos
-scattered settlements separated by natural obstacles
-intermediate trade with seafaring people
-a preference for conquest and commerce

*not by a highly stratified society between noble warriors and peasents
An example of correctly characterized Longshan culture is
Residents burned deer scapulas to communicate with the dead.
The demise of Egypt occurred for the reasons of
-overexpansion left the army unable to quell unrest
-fueding between elite political factions
-decentralizations of control over land
-bloody struggles over access to irrigation

*doesn't include external invasions from the east
Pastoral Nomadic Communities
Around 3500 BCE, western Afro-Eurasia witnessed the growth and spread of pastoral nomadic communities that herded domesticated animals with demanding grazing requirements.
Horses
By the second millennium BCE, full-scale nomadic communities dominated the steppe lands in western Afro-Eurasia. Horse-riding nomads moved their large herds across immense tracts of land within zones defined by rivers, mountains, and other natural geographical features. In the arid zones of central Eurasia, the nomadic economies made horses a crucial component of survival.
Trickle trade
Also called "down the line trade," this is a method by which a good is passed from one village to another, as in the case of obsidian among farming villages; the practice began around 7000 BCE.
The Sumerian pantheon
The Sumerian gods, each of whom had a home in a particular floodplain city. In the Sumerian belief system, both gods and the natural forces they controlled had to be revered.
Sumerian temples
Temples were thought of as homes of the gods and symbols of Sumerian imperial identity. They also represented the ability of the gods to hoard wealth at sites where people exchanged goods and services. In addition, temples distinguished the urban from the rural world.
Ziggurat
By the end of the third millennium BCE, the elevated platform base of a Sumerian temple had transformed into a stepped platform called a ziggurat.
Cuneiform
As people combined rebus symbols with other visual marks that contained meaning, they became able to record and transmit messages over long distances by using abstract symbols or signs to denote concepts; such signs later came to represent syllables, which could be joined into words. By impressing these signs into wet clay with the cut end of a reed, scribes engaged in a form of wedge-shaped writing that we call cuneiform.
The Great Flood
A crucial event in Sumerian memory and identity, assigned responsibility for Uruk's demise to the gods.
Sargon the Great
Reigning from 2334 to 2279 BCE, Sargon was the king of Akkad, a city-state near modern Baghdad; he helped bring the competitive era of city-states to an end and sponsored monumental works of architecture, art, and literature.
Harappa
One of two cities that, by 2500 BCE, began to take the place of villages throughout the Indus River valley. The other was Mohenjo Daro. Each covered an area of about 250 acres and probably housed 35,000 residents.
The White and Blue Niles
Rising out of central Africa and Ethiopia, the two main branches of the Nile are called the White and Blue Niles. They come together at the present-day capital city of Sudan, Khartoum.
Demotic writing
The second of two basic forms of ancient Egyptian writing. Demotic was a cursive script written with ink on papyrus, on pottery, or on other absorbent objects. It was the most common and practical form of writing in Egypt and was used for administrative record keeping and in private or pseudo-private forms like letters and works of literature.
Anatolia
Now mainly the area known as modern Turkey; in the sixth millennium BCE, people from Anatolia, Greece, and the Levant took to boats and populated the Aegean. Their small villages endured almost unchanged for two millennia.
Jade
The most important precious substance in East Asia. Jade was associated with goodness, purity, luck, and virtue, and was carved into such items as ceremonial knives, blade handles, religious objects, and elaborate jewelry.
Book of the Dead
An Ancient Egyptian funerary text that contains drawings and paintings as well as spells describing how to prepare the jewelry and amulets that were buried with a person in preparation for the afterlife.
Troy
Founded around 3000 BCE, Troy was an important third millennium BCE site in Anatolia for trade, to the far west. Troy is legendary as the site of the war that was launched by the Greeks (the Achaeans) and that was recounted by Homer in the Iliad.
Megalith
Literally, "great stone" the word megalith is used when describing structures such as Stonehenge. These massive structures are the result of cooperative planning and work. made for religion and calendar
Bell beaker
An artifact from Europe, this ancient drinking vessel was so named because its shape resembles an inverted bell. valuable, people were buried with it.