World Studies Chapter 2: Early River Valley Civilizations Vocabulary

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Terms in this set (...)

Fertile Crescent
an arc of rich farmland in Southwest Asia, between the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean Sea
Mesopotamia
"land between the rivers" area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
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 spreading of ideas or products from one culture to another
polytheism
a belief in many gods
empire
a political unit in which a number of peoples or countries are controlled by a single ruler
Hammurabi
put together a code of laws
delta
a marshy region formed by deposits of silt at the mouth of a river
Narmer
Egyptian King who is believed to have brought the 2 Egyptian Kingdoms together.
pharaoh
a king of ancient Egypt, considered a god as well as a political and military leader
theocracy
a government in which the the ruler is viewed as a divine figure
pyramid
a massive structure with a rectangular base and four triangular sides. Built in Egypt for as the burial places of pharaohs.
mummification
a process of embalming and drying corpses to prevent them from decaying
hieroglyphics
an ancient Egyptian writing system in which pictures were used to represent ideas and sounds
papyrus
a tall reed that grows in the Nile delta, used by the ancient Egyptians to make a paper like material for writing on
subcontinent
a large landmass that forms a distinct part of a continent
monsoon
a wind that shifts in direction at certain times of each year
Harappan civilization
another name for the Indus Valley civilization that arose along the Indus river, possibly as early as 7000 B.C
loess
a fertile deposit of windblown soil
oracle bone
one of the ancient animal bones or tortoise shells used by ancient Chinese priests to communicate with the gods
Mandate of Heaven
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