30 terms

Characteristics of Civilization

Each of these cards contains a passage about life in early civilizations. Read each passage and tell the characteristic of civilization that applies.
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It's no surprise that across the "civilized" world, each ruler's first act was to store grain against hard times.
FOOD SURPLUS
The social structure was topped by a small ruling and priestly elite, with a much larger group of commoners who either owned property or did not, and at the bottom a small group of slaves, those who were captured in war, convicted criminals, or people heavily in debt.
HIERARCHY
Priests used "oracle bones" bearing inscriptions to learn the will of the spirits, writing a question and then heating the bones in a fire until they cracked, providing a "yes" or "no" answer.
RELIGION
Little is known about the world's first _____, but they were probably dominated by a single family or clan passing authority from generation to generation.
GOVERNMENT
Scribes were in charge of keeping track of which grain had come from which landowner.
WRITTEN LANGUAGE
The Mesopotamian woman's role was strictly defined. She was the daughter of her father or the wife of her husband. Women rarely acted as individuals outside the context of their families. Those who did so were usually royalty or the wives of men who had power and status.
PATRIARCHY
The seeder plow, invented by the Mesopotamians, was a major achievement. It revolutionized agriculture by carrying out the tasks of seeding and plowing simultaneously. Seed was dropped down the middle funnel into the furrow that the plow created.
TECHNOLOGY
Expert potters, weavers, and masons were soon followed by tailors, leather tanners, miners, and other trades.
SPECIALIZATION
In the spring, the floodwaters rose to cover the surrounding "flood plains" at the bottom of the Nile Valley in Egypt. When the Nile finally retreated a month later, it left a thick layer of silt—fertile farmland. This made Egypt the breadbasket of the ancient world.
FOOD SURPLUS
Only the elite could wear linen, a textile made from the fibers of flax plants, because the process of making it took much longer than weaving or knitting wool.
HIERARCHY
The largest pyramid ever built is the Great Pyramid: 481 feet high, 756 feet on each side, containing about 2.3 million blocks of granite weighing 2.5 tons each, with a facade of 144,000 white limestone blocks, which were later removed for use on subsequent pyramids.
MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE
During this period, Chinese society was already organized around the male-centered extended family that dominates Chinese culture to the present day.
PATRIARCHY
Uruk had sixty to eighty thousand people at its height.
CITIES
After the pharaoh died he required magnificent funeral rites to ensure his resurrection in the afterlife.
RELIGION
To create documents, scribes carved sentences or phrases into stone seals, then pressed the seals into the wet clay.
WRITTEN LANGUAGE
There was constant friction between Sumerian kings, and when things got bad enough, cities went to war.
ARMIES
The Longshan culture produced exquisite black pottery, including fragile wine vessels, bowls, and incense burners. Some of these clay items are as thin as eggshell, yet have miraculously survived to the present day.
CREATIVITY
Grain cultivation began around 9000 BCE and soon spread around the world, and places that grew grain experienced a population explosion.
FOOD SURPLUS
The pharoahs who ruled Egypt were the most powerful in the world.
GOVERNMENT
Around 3200 BCE, metalworkers discovered that copper became much stronger when it was melted and mixed with another metal, tin. The resulting alloy, bronze, was stronger than either metal in its pure form.
TECHNOLOGY
The Egyptians' main opponents, the Hittites, were experts with the bow and arrow, pairing one or two archers with a driver in a horse-drawn chariot beginning in the eighteenth century BCE.
ARMIES
The biggest enemy facing early civilizations was nature itself, which operated at the will of invisible gods.
RELIGION
Egyptians bartered with their precious resources, including gold, papyrus, linen, and grain. Sometimes, they even traded decorative artifacts, and some people stole them out of the pharaohs' tombs! For these goods, they received items not commonly found in Egypt in return.
TRADE NETWORKS
Ziggurats were massive structures built in the ancient Mesopotamian valley and western Iranian plateau, having the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels. Each ziggurat was part of a temple complex which included other buildings.
MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE
Memphis was the capital of lower Egypt. According to legend, it was founded by the pharaoh Menes.
CITIES
Building large-scale defensive walls has a long history in China. Walls often surrounded an entire city to protect against marauding nomads and enemies. One of the earliest dates way back to the Shang Dynasty, which built a tall earthen-wall that enclosed an area of three square kilometers around their capital.
MONUMENTAL ARCHITECTURE
The Uruk culture of the fourth millennium BCE was the first to mass-produce pottery on a wheel. The production of pottery moved from the household into the hands of professional artisans, who turned out storage vessels by the thousands for the use of traders and merchants.
TECHNOLOGY or SPECIALIZATION
Egyptian paintings are painted in such a way to show a profile view and a side view of the animal or person. Their main colors were red, blue, green, gold,and black .
CREATIVITY
In the Fertile Crescent, grain, oils and textiles were taken from Babylonia to foreign cities and exchanged for timber, wine, precious metals and stones.
TRADE NETWORKS
Women in Shang civilization were subservient to men, with aristocratic women enjoying a greater freedom and equality than common women.
PATRIARCHY