FC: Rachael Purvis | Ancient River Cribs
1: Table of Contents | Mesopotamia.......2-5 Egypt.................6-9 Indus...............10-13 China...............14-17
3: The ability to control the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was one of the most important contributions to technology achieved by the Sumerians. They learned to build levees and were no longer dependent on yearly floods. They had a stable food supply, and this resulted in the first civilization. | Schools were attached to temples, and only boys went to school. | There was little wood and stone available, so houses were made of sun dried brick. Most homes were clustered around a zigguraut and shared walls. The doors of the homes led to small family courtyards.
4: The ability to read and write was very important. If you were illiterate, you hired someone who was. You did not have to know how to read and write to sign a contract; they were signed with cylinder seals. | Mesopotamia covered an area 300 miles long and about 150 miles wide between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. The word Mesopotamia means “the land between the rivers” in Greek. | The early settlers realized they could irrigate the land to increase the rate at which crops grew. Wheat, barley, dates, cucumbers, onions, apples and spices were some of the things planted here; the settlers also raised sheep, goats, and cows.
5: The Mesopotamians relied on trade to obtain the goods they needed and wanted because they did not have a lot of natural resources. | The people of Mesopotamia believed that their world was controlled by gods, goddesses, demons and monsters. Cities and kingdoms were believed to be protected by specific gods, and it was the duty of the ruler to act of the god's behalf. Temples were of great importance to cities. | The cities usually had three levels society. At the top, there were the priests, government officials, and soldiers. The next level was made up of the merchants, teachers, laborers, farmers, and craftsmen. | Mesopotamia's richness in food attracted its neighbors. Flax, leeks, onions, wheat and barley are of a few of the crops that were grown here.
7: The Nile River was very predictable but caused damage when not at normal depth. When the river was high, it destroyed property, but when the river was low, the amount of silt was reduced; crops were affected. | The Nile served as a beneficial system of transportation from Upper Egypt to Lower Egypt because it helped unify Egypt's villages and promote trade. | When the Nile River receded in October after the annual precipitation, a rich deposit of fertile mud called silt was left behind by the river. This soil was used to grow wheat and barley. The Egyptians also created irrigation systems by analyzing the river. They worshiped the Nile River because it brought them abundance.
8: Egyptians were polytheistic, and they worshipped more than 2,000 gods. The most important gods were Osiris and Re. | Egyptians believed in an afterlife and that they would be judged for their deeds. Anubis, the god of the underworld, weighed the dead's heart and determined their future. | Superior Egyptians were preserved by mummification. This method involves embalming and drying the corpse to prevent decaying. The brain and intestines were removed. The body was covered with jewels, cosmetics, clothing, and food for the Afterlife. | The staple food of the Egyptians was bread and beer, supplemented by onions or other vegetable and dried fish.
9: The king, queen, and royal family stood at the top of the social class. The upper class were the wealthy landowners, government officials, priests, and army commanders. The middle class was the merchants and artisans. The lower class, which was the largest class, consisted of peasant farmers and laborers. | The Egyptian calendar, the development of a system for written numbers, and Egyptian medicine were some of the advancements of science and technology during this time. | The King of Lower Egypt wore a red crown and the king of Upper Egypt wore a tall white crown. In Egypt, the kings were the gods. These pharaohs were thought to be as splendid as the gods of the heavens, and they stood at the center of Egypt's religion. The resting place for the king after death was an immense structure called a pyramid.
11: The Indus Valley people had remarkable and sophisticated plans for the construction of the cities. Buildings were made of oven-baked, evenly sized bricks. These plans also included detailed plumbing and sewage systems. | The Indus River Valley was protected from invasion by the world's tallest mountains, the Himalayas. The Indus and Ganges rivers served as an important link from the interior of the subcontinent to the city. These rivers and the lands they watered make up a large area called the Indo-Gangetic Plain that stretched 1,700 miles across northern India. These rivers were unpredictable and often changed course, but they provided rich silt. | The Harappan Culture developed a writing system. This language is made of about 400 symbols, but it is very hard to decipher. The symbols depict object and phonetic sounds.
12: The presence of toys suggests that the society was prosperous and could produce nonessential goods. Few weapons were present; this suggests that the people were peaceful. | The cities in the Indus River Valley were supported by agricultural systems that supported wheat, rye, peas, and cotton. The fish caught in rivers were also a staple. | Trade was important to this culture. The Indus River served as a great source of transportation and connected the Indus civilization to distant peoples.
13: Schooling was not that important to this civilization; discipline was. Religion was a big part of school because schooling was related to the government and the government revolved around religion. | Rajahs were the rulers of cities, and religion was a big part of the government. Religious objects show clear links to Hinduism. The major Hindu god is represented in these displays. | Bread served with a side of barley or rice was commonly eaten in the Indus Valley. | The people of the Indus Valley appear to have used cotton and wooden textiles.
15: The Huang He and the Chang Jiang rivers form the China River Valley. It is isolated by natural barriers, such as the Himalayas, Gobi Desert, and Mongolian Plateau. These didn’t completely protect the Chinese from invasions. The river provides yellowish silt when it rises. The floods of the Huang He can be disastrous. Though only 10% of China's land is suitable for farming, settlers had to supply their own goods rather than trade because of the geographic isolation. Family was very important to the Chinese. Respect towards parents and men was also very important. The important family matters and decisions were handled were made by the elder men.
16: A girl was married between 13 and 16. She then moved in with her husband. The only way to improve her social class was to bear sons. Women were treated as inferior and were expected to obey their fathers, husbands, and sons. Society was strictly dived between nobles and peasants. In Chinese writing, the symbols stood for ideas, not sounds. This allowed many different groups to all understand the same writing system though they spoke different languages. | Rice, millet, sorghum, and wheat were native to China. The ancient Chinese also drank tea.
17: In Chinese writing, the symbols stood for ideas, not sounds. This allowed many different groups to all understand the same writing system though they spoke different languages. The Zhou believed that rulers received their authority from heaven, and disaster was the fault of the rulers. Because of this, they were frequently replaced and this led to the rise and fall of dynasties. Zhou improved trade with coin money, improved transportation with canals and roads, and improved the efficiency of the government with trained workers called civil servants. Family was closely link to religion. The Shang dynasty believed their ancestors become gods when they died, and they were worshipped. Families paid respect to their father’s ancestors and made sacrifices in their honor.