River Valley Civilizations

Vocabulary from Unit 2 on StudentsofHistory.org. This unit covers early River Valley Civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, China, and the Indus River Valley in India.
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Terms in this set (...)

Fertile Crescent
An area of rich farmland in Southwest Asia where the first civilizations began
Cuneiform
A form of writing developed by the Sumerians using a wedge shaped stylus and clay tablets.
Hammurabi's Code
Well-preserved Babylonian law code of ancient Mesopotamia famous for its "eye for an eye" justice.
Ziggurat
A tiered, pyramid-shaped structure that formed part of a Sumerian temple
City-state
A city that governs itself and its surrounding territory.
Scribe
A person who writes things down.
Polytheism
Belief in or worship of more than one god.
Delta
A triangle shaped area of land made of soil deposited by a river
Pharaoh
A king of ancient Egypt, considered a god as well as a political and military leader.
Pyramid
Huge, triangular shaped burial tombs of Egyptian pharaohs built during the Old Kingdom.
The Sphinx
It is a tomb made to look like a lion with a human head, it resembles the god, Anubis.
Hieroglyphics
Egyptian writing that involved using pictures to represent words.
Papyrus
A long lasting paper-like material made from reeds that was used in Egypt.
Rosetta Stone
Large stone slab artifact that unlocked the mystery of Egyptian hieroglyphics and allowed them to be translated.
Subcontinent
A large landmass that is connected to the rest of a continent, like India.
Monsoons
Seasonal wind patterns that cause wet and dry seasons
Harappa
A large ancient city of the Indus civilization, created in present-day Pakistan
Mohenjo-Daro
One of the largest settlements of the ancient Indus Valley civilization.
The Steppes
Dry grasslands that stretched north of the Caucasus Mountains.
Aryans
Immigrants who arrived at the Ganges river valley by the year 1000 BC
Caste System
A Hindu social class system that controlled every aspect of daily life.
Loess
A wind-formed deposit made of fine particles of clay and silt.
Oracle Bones
Animal bones carved with written characters which were used for telling the future in ancient China.
Dynastic Cycle
Rise and fall of Chinese dynasties according to the Mandate of Heaven
Mandate of Heaven
The belief that the Chinese king's right to rule came from the gods
Filial Piety
Respect shown by children for their parents and elders
Legalism
A Chinese philosophy that stressed the importance of laws

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