World History– Early Civilizations

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Fertile Crescent
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— the region within the Middle East where “civilization” began
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other names for the Fertile Crescent
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Mesopotamia, the Tigris and Euphrates river valleys
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Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
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the two rivers around which the first civilizations emerged
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Sumerians
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the first people to become “civilized”– settling down around an agricultural economy, building cities,developing complex institutions and specialized labor, trade and a written language
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the key elements of a “civilization”
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an agricultural economy, cities,monumental building, complex institutions (government, military, religion), specialized labor, trade, and a written language
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cuneiform
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the FIRST written language, using only a single signe, grouped and patterned in various combinations
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wet clay tablets and reed styli
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the “technology” used by the first written language, cuneiform
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ziggurat
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literally, a “mountain of god”– a multi-tiered pyramid built as a home to a god, used for defensive, religious, and socio-economic purposes
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warfare, internal weakening, conquest
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the manner in which Sumerian civilization (and many other civilizations throughout Mesopotamia and the world) ended
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polytheists
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describes the vast majority of peoples of the ancient world– people who believe in numerous gods, goddesses, spirits, demons, etc.
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monotheists
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people like the early Jews of the ancient world, and (later) Christians and Muslims– those who believe in a single god
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Babylonians
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the people of the Fertile Crescent region who conquered and absorbed Sumerian civilization around 2000 B.C.
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WRITTEN code of laws
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the innovation often associated with Hammurabi and the early Babylonians– an essential prerequisite to our ideas about “justice”
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Hammurabi
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the early Babylonian king most often credit with promulgating the first written code of laws
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Early Mesopotamian/ Fertile Crescent civilizations
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Sumerian, Babylonian, Phoenician, Hittite, Hebrew, Assyrian, Chaldean, Medean, Persian
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the Phoenicians
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the early civilization along the eastern edge of the Mediterranean around 2000 BC
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Phoenician innovations
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purple, sailing ships and wideranging sea trade, a phonetic alphabet
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Abraham
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the man associated with the first historical record of the Jewish people in the Fertile Crescent
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Canaan
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the name for the land the Jews first settled in, believed by them to be their “promised land” from God
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Moses
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(1) leader of the Jewish people during time of their flight from Egypt , and (2) the man who returned from Mt. Sinai with the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments
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Ten Commandments
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the “laws” given to Moses by God on Mt. Sinai– they become the basis for the laws of the Jewish people
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covenant
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an “exchange” of promises– for example, the Ten Commandments represent a “covenant” between God and the Jews, his “chosen people”
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the Ark of the Covenant
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the special box made to hold the stone tablets containing the Ten Commandments– once house in the Temple built in Jerusalem by Solomon
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Saul, David, and Solomon
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the “kings” of Israel under whom Israel reached its height of power and prominence
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“the prophets”
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term for the numerous men who appear at one or another time in the period of the Old Testament, predicting gloom and doom for the Jewish people for breaking the Commandments, and thus their covenant with God
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silt
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A mixture of fertile soil and tiny rocks that can make land ideal for farming
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polytheism
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Belief in many gods
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sargon of Akkad
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A conqueror from Akkad, north of Sumer, who took over all of Mesopotamia and created the world’s first empire.
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cataract
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A large waterfall
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Menes (Narmer)
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1st dynasty pharaoh- united upper and lower egypt
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theocracy
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A government controlled by religious leaders
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hieroglyphics
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An ancient Egyptian writing system in which pictures were used to represent ideas and sounds
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Rames II
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the strongest of the pharaohs at his time, ruled from 1279 B.C. to 1213 B.C. ( he may have dealt with mosses)
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Minoans
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A Neolithic people that started around 3000BC, supposedly the earliest people on the island of Crete. They were excellent sailors & traded w/ Egypt & the Fertile Crescent. Were conquered by mainland Greece.
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colonization
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A physical process whereby the colonizer takes over another place, putting its own government in charge and either moving its own people into the place or bringing in indentured outsiders to gain control of the people and the land
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Hewbrews
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•develop the first known system of ethical monotheism which is defined as faith in a single all powerful God that is the creator and ruler of the universe
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Torah
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A Hebrew word meaning “law,” referring to the first five books of the Old Testament.
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Exodus
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David
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(Old Testament) the 2nd and greatest king of the Israelites; he united the tribes into a single nation.
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Mandate of Heaven
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Chinese religious and political ideology developed by the Zhou, was the prerogative of Heaven, the chief deity, to grant power to the ruler of China.
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Feudalism
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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
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Mohenjo-Daro
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Indus Valley city laid out in a grid pattern. Had a complex irrigation and sewer system., One of the first settlements in India
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Irrigation
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A way of supplying water to an area of land
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empire
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A group of states or territories controlled by one ruler
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cultural diffusion
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The expansion and adoption of a cultural element, from its place of origin to a wider area.
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cunieform
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a system of writing with wedge-shaped symbols invented by the sumerians around 3000 B.C.
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centralized government
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A government in which power is concentrated in a central authority to which local governments are subject
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delta
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A landform made of sediment that is deposited where a river flows into an ocean or lake
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pyramid
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papyrus
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A reed that grows along the banks of the Nile River in Egypt. From it was produced a coarse, paperlike writing medium used by the Egyptians and many other peoples in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East.
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Akhenaton
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early ruler of Egypt who rejected the old gods and replaced them with sun worship (died in 1358 BC)
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Book of the Dead
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Collection of religious spells which were thought to be helpful to the deceased in the afterlife.
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Phoenicians
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A maritime civilization of the Mediterranean that developed extensive trade and communication networks as well as an early alphabetical script (1500 B.C.E).
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Knossos
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An ancient Minoan city on the island of Crete
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Monotheism
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Belief in one god
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Abraham
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Ten Commandments
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A set of laws for responsible behavior, which, according to the Bible, were given to Moses by God.
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Solomon
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(Old Testament) son of David and king of Israel noted for his wisdom (10th century BC)
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loess
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Deposits of silt laid down by aeolian processes over extensive areas of the mid-latitudes during glacial and post glacial times also called humus.
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orcale bone
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a shell or bone used to predict he future
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subcontinent
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city-state
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Epic of Gilgamesh
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A famous poem that describes ancient Sumerian life. It is also called the “oldest story in the world”
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Hammurabi’s Code
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A legal code developed by King Hammurabi of Mesopotamia. The code was influential in the establishment of Hebrew and Islamic law and in the U.S. judiciary system. It specified crimes and punishments to help judges impose penalties.
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Nebuchadnezzar
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A Babylonian king who conquered Jerusalem,and built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon
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Pictogram
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the earliest forms of writing in which pictures represent words or ideas
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pharaoh
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A ruler of ancient Egypt.
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mummification
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embalmment and drying a dead body and wrapping it as a mummy
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Kush
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African state that developed along the upper reaches of the Nile ca. 1000 B.C.E.; conquered Egypt and ruled it for several centuries.
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Tutankhamen
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…, Pharaoh of Egypt around 1358 BC, youngest pharoh, restored old gods, died at an early age
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Imhotep
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alphabet
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A set of symbols that represent the sounds of a language
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King Minos
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a king of the Minoans who legend has it owned a half-human, half-bull monster called the “Minotaur”
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Covenant
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(Bible) an agreement between God and his people in which God makes certain promises and requires certain behavior from them in return
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Moses
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(Old Testament) the Hebrew prophet who led the Israelites from Egypt across the Red sea on a journey known as the Exodus
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Babylonian Captivity
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Ancestor worship
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Belief that dead ancestors can influence one’s fortunes in life. Those who practice often conduct rituals and ceremonies to the memory or remains of their ancestors.
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dynasties (Shang and Zhou)
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Harappan Civilization
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AN ANCIENT CIVILIZATION THAT DEVELOPED ALONG THE INDUS RIVER
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Monsoons
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Major winds in the Indian Ocean that blew into India for half the year, and blew away from India for the other half. Helped facilitate trade in the Indian Ocean.

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