Mesopotamia, the Hittites, and the Phoenicians

What does one call the arc of rich farmland in Southwest Asia, between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea?

the Fertile Crescent

What are 7 characteristics of civilization?

1) Cities
2) Written language
3) Government
4) Religion
5) Specialized jobs
6) Social classes
7) Unique art styles and architecture

What were the 4 major river valley civilizations that emerged between 3500 and 500 B.C.?

1) Mesopotamian civilization
2) Egyptian civilization
3) Indian civilization
4) Chinese civlization

Where did the Mesopotamian civilization develop?

Between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Southwest Asia

Where did the Egyptian civilization develop?

In the Nile River Valley and the Nile Delta in Africa

Where did the Chinese civilization develop?

In the Huang He Valley in East Asia

What is the English name for the Huang He River?

Yellow River

Where did the Indian civilization develop?

In the Indus River Valley in South Asia

Where did the Hebrew people settle?

Between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River Valley in the Fertile Crescent in Southwest Asia

Where did the Phoenicians settle?

Along the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River Valley in the Fertile Crescent in Southwest Asia

Where was ancient Nubia located?

On the upper part of the Nile River, which is the southern part of the Nile River

What enabled man to enter into the Historic Era?

The invention of writing

What were the earliest written symbols used by man?


What type of writing did the people of Sumer invent?


Define cuneiform.

A system of writing with wedge-shaped symbols, invented by the Sumerians in 3000 B.C.

What did the ancient Sumerians use as writing materials?

Wet clay and a stylus with a wedge-shaped edge

Where did hieroglyphics develop?


Define hieroglyphics.

An ancient Egyptian writing system in which pictures were used to represent ideas and sounds

After Egyptians developed a simplified version of hieroglyphic writing for day-to-day use, what did they begin to use as writing materials?

Used a brush and ink to write on papyrus

How did the Egyptians make papyrus?

By softening reeds, laying them out in a crossed pattern, mashing them into pulp, and then laying them out to dry in thin sheets

Who do historians generally credit for developing the first alphabet?

The Phoenicians

How did the Phoenician system of writing differ from the Sumerian cuneiform and Egyptian hieroglyphics?

It was totally phonetic; one sign was used for one sound

What is Mesopotamia?

A flat plain that lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers

What type of government did the ancient Sumerians have?


Define city-state.

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

What lay at the center of each Sumerian city?

A walled temple with a ziggurat

Define ziggurat.

A massive tiered, pyramid-shaped structure that formed part of a Sumerian temple

Define dynasty.

A series of rulers from a single family line

Define cultural diffusion.

The spread of one culture's ideas, products, traditions, beliefs to another people

How did the Sumerians spread their new ideas and inventions?

1) Through trade
2) Cultural diffusion

Was the Sumerian religion an example of polytheism and monotheism?


Define polytheism.

Belief in many gods

Why is the Gilgamesh Epic important?

1) One of the earliest works of literature
2) Contains a "flood story" that predates the Old Testament story of Noah

What is an epic?

A long poem about a hero

Name four inventions of the Sumerian city-states.

1) Cuneiform writing
2) The wheel
3) The sail
4) The plow

What type of number system did the people of Sumer develop?

A number system in base 60

What are three ways modern western society (European and American) has adapted the Sumerian number system?

60 seconds = 1 minute
60 minutes = 1 hour
360 degrees in a circle

What did Sargon do?

1) Conquered the city-states of Sumer
2) Created the world's first empire by uniting all of Mesopotamia under his rule

What is an empire?

A type of government in which one ruler controls a number of different peoples or previously independent countries

Who was the most important king of the Babylonian Empire?


What was the Babylonian Empire's most important contribution to civilization?

1) The Code of Hammurabi
2) A collection of laws that applied to everyone living in the Babylonian Empire

What did Hammurabi believe would be two benefits of his code of laws?

1) Would unify the diverse (different) groups in his empire
2) Would keep control over the people he had conquered

What is a stele?

An upright pillar or post with writing on it that serves as a monument

How were the people of the Babylonian Empire made aware of the Code of Hammurabi?

It was engraved on steles, which were place throughout the empire.

Where did the Hittites live?


What is another name for Anatolia?

Asia Minor

In what country is Anatolia located today?

Modern Turkey

For what type of technology are the Hittites known?

Iron technology

What did the Hittites make with iron technology?

1) War chariots
2) Iron weapons

What was the historical significance of the Hittites' knowledge of iron technology?

It allowed the Hittites to dominate Southwest Asia, including much of Mesopotamia for 450 years.

What age followed the Bronze Age in Southwest Asia and Mesopotamia?

the Iron Age

What was the Phoenicians' greatest achievement?

Development of the alphabet

What type of government did Phoenicia have?


What was the basis of the Phoenician economy?

Trade in the Mediterranean Sea

What occupations were important to the success of the Phoenician economy?

1) Shipbuilders
2) Seafarers

What three Phoenician city-states were important trading centers?

1) Tyre
2) Sidon
3) Byblos

For what product were the Phoenician city-states of Tyre and Sidon well known in the ancient world?

Purple dye

For what product was the Phoenician city-state of Byblos well known?


Over what product did the Phoenician city-states have a virtual trading monopoly (absence of competition)?

Cedar logs

What was the greatest Phoenician colony? (It was located in North Africa.)


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