Chapter Study Outline

       I. Snapshot of the city of Uruk

       II. Settlement, pastoralism, and trade

             A. Development of cities (3500 BCE)

                       1. Populations moved close to reliable water sources

                       2. Climate change led to longer growing seasons

                       3. Cities scarce and only in select areas

                             a. Needed stable river system

                             b. Fertile soil

                             c. Access to water for irrigation

                             d. Availability of domesticated plants and animals

                       4. Labor specialization led to trade outside cities

                             a. Raw materials traded for finished goods

                             b. Copper became very desirable for making bronze

             B. Early cities along river basins

                       1. Three areas developed

                             a. Tigris and Euphrates basin (modern Iraq)

                             b. Indus River basin (modern Pakistan)

                             c. Northern Nile River (modern Egypt)

                       2. Changed how humans farmed and fed themselves between 4000 and 2000 BCE

                             a. Intensive irrigation agriculture

                             b. More people moved to cities

                             c. Community organization

                             d. Changed how they worshiped

                                         i. Prayed to many anthropomorphic gods

                                        ii. Kings and priests involved

                             e. Also happened along Yellow River in China

                       3. New technologies

                             a. Wheel for pottery and vehicles

                             b. Metallurgy and stone working

                       4. Urban-rural divide

                             a. Urban life characterized by mass production and specialization

                             b. Rural life characterized by closeness to nature; cultivated land and tended livestock

                             c. Two lifeways codependent

                             d. Closely linked through family ties, trade, politics, and religion

                       5. Intellectual advances in an urban setting

                             a. Writing systems

                                    i. Symbolic, storage of words and meanings

                                    ii. Extended community and memory

                             b. Rise of recordkeeping and epics

             C. Smaller settlements around 3500 BCE

                             a. Most people lived in small, egalitarian village communities

                             b. Organized by clan and family allegiances

                             c. The Americas

                                    i. Environmental factor limited size of settlements

                                    ii. Restricted surpluses of food

                                    iii. Largest population center was the valley of Tehuacán where corn provided surplus

                             d. Sub-Saharan Africa

                                    i. Followed same pattern as Americas

                                    ii. Shifts in population occurred because of desertification of Sahara Desert

            D. Pastoral nomadic communities

                       1. Herding and breeding sheep and goats

                       2. Moved to periphery of settlements for pastures

                       3. About 3500 BCE, nomadic groups moved cyclically from highlands to lowlands

                       4. Small, impermanent settlements

                             a. Afro-Eurasia’s mountains and desert barriers

                             b. Steppe lands from inner and central Eurasia to Pacific Ocean

                       5. Lived next to and traded with settled agrarian people when in the lowlands

                       6. Horses used in the steppe lands of Afro-Eurasia

             E. The rise of trade

                       1. Settled communities increased need for trade

                       2. Luxuries traded

                             a. Obsidian

                             b. Trickle, or down-the-line, trade

                       3. Long-distance trade established by 5000 BCE for raw materials

                             a. Outposts established to coordinate and monitor resources

                       4. Trading stations or entrepôts at borders

                             a. Allowed multiple exchanges

                             b. Pack-animal caravans

       III. Between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers: Mesopotamia

             A. Tapping the waters

                       1. Mesopotamia means country “between two rivers”

                       2. Tigris and Euphrates rivers wild and unpredictable

                       3. Revolutionary irrigation system created

                       4. Area included modern-day Iraq, parts of Syria, and southeastern Turkey

                             a. Varied topography and unpredictable flooding

                             b. Unified by interlocking drainage basin

                             c. Rivers provided irrigation and served as transportation routes

                       5. First settlements in foothills of Zagros Mountains

                             a. Simple irrigation led to higher agricultural yields

                       6. Plains living required more sophisticated waterworks

                             a. Levees, ditches, canals, water-lifting devices, and water storage

                       7. Grew wheat, millet, sesame, and barley

                             a. Barley used for diet staple, beer

             B. Crossroads of Southwest Asia

                       1. Mesopotamia had few natural resources

                       2. Needed to trade with surrounding areas

                             a. Cedar from Lebanon

                             b. Copper and stones from Oman

                             c. Copper from Turkey and Iran

                             d. Lapis lazuli from Afghanistan

                       3. Few boundaries made easy trade

                       4. Good soil, water, and trade led to growth of cities

                       5. Became meeting ground for several different cultures

                             a. Sumerians in the south

                             b. Hurrians in the north

                             c. Semites in west and central areas

                             d. Akkadians in the west

             C. The world's first cities

                       1. Fourth-century BCE migration from rural villages to growing city centers

                             a. Eridu

                             b. Nippur

                             c. Uruk

                       2. Early cities grew gradually

                             a. Buildings of mud brick

                       3. Eridu

                             a. Housed Sumerian water god, Ea

                             b. Sacred site with temples

                             c. Temple rebuilt over twenty times, more elaborate each time

                             d. Over thirty-five cities with major divine sanctuaries throughout Mesopotamia

                       4. Cities were meeting places for peoples and their deities

                             a. Urban design reflected city’s greatness

                                         i. Sheepfolds

                                        ii. Suburbs

                                       iii. Common layout

                       5. City-states developed

                             a. Common culture

                             b. Intense trade

                             c. Shared environment

                       6. Man was created solely to serve the gods

                       7. City design mirrored the society and social hierarchy

            D. Gods and temples

                       1. Sumerian and Akkadian gods shaped worldview

                             a. Epic of Gilgamesh depicted gods’ power

                       2. Each god occupied a major floodplain city

                             a. Each gods’ character shaped city’s society and culture

                       3. Temples were homes of gods and symbols of urban identity

                             a. Altars held cult images

                             b. Stepped platform called ziggurat

                       4. Temple was god’s estate

                             a. Housed priests, officials, laborers, and servants

                             b. Engaged in productive and commercial activities

                             c. Enormous work force

                             d. Workshops produced textiles and leather goods

                             e. Employed skilled craftsmen

             E. The palace and royal power

                       1. Appeared around 2500 BCE

                       2. Defining landmark of city life

                       3. Palace became rival to temple

                       4. Located on edge of city

                       5. Became powerful expressions of secular, military, and administrative authority

                       6. Rulers tied their status to gods through burial arrangements

                             a. Royal cemetery at Ur

                                         i. Sixteen high-status graves

                                        ii. Graves contained bodies of sacrificial victims

                                       iii. Demonstrated elaborate burial festivals

             F. Social hierarchy and families

                       1. City-states run by elders and young men

                       2. Empowered elite became permanent part of society

                       3. Rulers

                             a. Privileged access to economic and political resources

                             b. Used bureaucracy, priesthood, and law

                             c. Priests and bureaucrats served the rulers

                       4. Occupation determined social status

                             a. King and priests

                             b. Bureaucrats

                             c. Supervisors

                             d. Specialized craft workers

                             e. Male and female workers

                       5. Movement between economic classes unusual

                       6. Independent merchants risked long-distance trade

                       7. Family households also hierarchical

                             a. Senior male patriarch dominated

                             b. Single-family household

                                         i. Husband and wife bound by contract

                                        ii. Monogamy the norm

                                       iii. Sons inherited in equal shares

                                      iv. Daughters received dowry gifts

                                        v. Adoption used if no male heir

                             c. Most women lived in contract marriages

                             d. A few women joined temple as priestesses

                                         i. Could own estates and productive enterprises

                                        ii. Father or brothers still responsible for woman

            G. First writing and early texts

                       1. First written history in Mesopotamian cities

                             a. Promoted power of temples and kings

                       2. Writing used to keep track of trade

                       3. Scribes special in Mesopotamian society

                             a. Writing allowed for ideas to be transmitted across time and distance

                             b. Literacy limited to an influential scribe elite

                             c. Top of the social ladder

                       4. Complex societies required a way to communicate between people and over distance

                       5. First record keepers

                       6. Precursor to writing appeared in Mesopotamia

                       7. Rebus: transfer of name of thing to sounds

                       8. Writing: technology of symbols that used marks to record specific discrete sounds

                       9. Ancient cuneiform script reveals Mesopotamian history

                             a. Wrote on clay tablets with reeds

                             b. Wedge-shaped writing: cuneiform

                             c. 2400 BCE political, historical, and economic events

                             d. Cuneiform adapted to different languages

                             e. Literacy spread and gave rise to written narratives

                                         i. The temple hymns (2100 BCE)

                                        ii. Sumerian king list (2000 BCE)

                                              a.  Includes Great Flood story

            H. Spreading cities and first territorial states

                       1. Early Dynastic Age (2850–2334 BCE)

                       2. Akkadian territorial state (2334–2193 BCE)

                             a. Founder King Sargon the Great of Akkad (r. 2334–2279 BCE)

                             b. United southern Mesopotamian cities

                             c. Created first multiethnic collection of urban centers—the territorial state

                       3. Sargon sponsored monumental architecture, art work, and literature

                       4. Sargon increased geographic influence

                       5. Akkad capital conquered in 2190 BCE

       IV. The Indus River valley: A parallel culture

             A. Harappa, on banks of Ravi River

                       1. Urban culture

                       2. Early settlements along foothills of Baluchistan Mountains

                       3. Fertile soils yielded surplus

                       4. Fortified cities established with major public works

             B. Indus Valley boasted many ecological advantages

                       1. Predictable flooding from Himalaya Mountains snow runoff

                       2. No torrential monsoons as on the Ganges River plain

                       3. Wheat and barley planted after waters receded

                       4. Food surplus freed many inhabitants from having to grow food

                       5. Specialization and urbanization led to growing cities

                             a. Two largest cities—35,000 inhabitants

                                         i. Harappa

                                        ii. Mohenjo Daro

             C. Harappan cities two to three times larger than Mesopotamian cultural zone

             D. Harappan city life                 

                       1. Less is known about Harappan culture

                             a. Many sites remain under water

                             b. Cannot identify spoken language

                             c. 400 symbol script; may be a nonlinguistic symbol system

                             d. Only stamp seals found

                             e. Unable to catalog political history

                       2. What is known is through archaeological reconstructions

                             a. Harappan cities and towns followed same general pattern

                                         i. Fortified citadels and residential area

                                        ii. Main street with covered drainage

                             b. Citadels were likely centers of political and ritual activities

                             c. Mohenjo Daro citadel contained a great bath

                             d. Houses for notables, city walls, and water drainage all built from brick

                             e. Well-built houses contained bathrooms, showers, and toilets

             E. Trade

                       1. Along Indus River, into Iranian Plateau to the Persian Gulf

                       2. Traded raw and finished goods for gold, silver, gemstones, and textiles

                       3. Trade towns located in remote but strategic locations such as Lothal on Gulf of Khambhat (Cambay)

                             a. Provided access to the sea and to raw materials

                             b. Precious gemstones such as carnelian were sought after

                             c. Other stones had to be imported

                       4. Metals such as copper and silver were mined

                       5. Used script and weights and measures in trade

             F. Uniformity of Harappan sites suggests a centralized structured state

       V. The gift of the Nile: Egypt

             A. Ancient Egypt was a melting pot

                       1. People came from Sinai, Libya, Nubia, and central Africa

                       2. Blended cultural practices and technologies

                       3. Much in common with Mesopotamia

                             a. Dense population

                             b. Depended on irrigation

                             c. Monumental architecture

                             d. Rulers had immense authority

                             e. Complex social order

                       4. Egypt geography distinct

                             a. Nile River

                             b. Desert

                             c. Limited cultivatable land

             B. The Nile River and its floodwaters

                       1. Longest river in the world (4,238 miles)


                       2. Source in the African highlands

                       3. People migrated to Nile Valley from south

                       4. Two branches: Blue and White

                       5. Annual floods created green belts along the river; away from the river was desert

                       6. Most people lived close to the river

                       7. Most “riverine” of the riverine cultures

                       8. Nile predictable

                             a. Viewed world optimistically

                       9. Early basin irrigation system devised

                             a. Led to new layer of topsoil each year

             C. Egypt’s unique riverine culture

                       1. Geography led to development of Egyptian culture

                       2. Fewer outsiders than in Mesopotamia or Indus River basin

                       3. Some differences between Lower and Upper Egypt

                       4. Pharaoh needed to provide stability—ma’at

                       5. Ma’at allowed all that was good to occur

            D. The rise of the Egyptian state and dynasties

                       1. Egypt developed quickly

                       2. King’s task to control nature, especially the Nile floods and protect his people from invaders

                       3. Egypt had a large clerical class

                       4. Invaders threatened from east and south

                       5. Egyptian history organized by dynasties

                       6. Thirty-one dynasties

                             a. Old Kingdom (2649–2152 BCE)

                             b. Middle Kingdom (2040–1640 BCE)

                             c. New Kingdom (1550–1070 BCE)

                       7. Periods of weak authority between kingdoms

                             a. First, Second, Third Intermediate Periods

             E. Rituals, pyramids, and the cosmic order

                       1. Old Kingdom, the golden age of Egypt

                       2. Ruler as god possessed divine powers

                       3. Rulers built and used impressive architecture

                             a. Sed Festival renewed vitality of king

                             b. Came from need for water

                             c. King Djoser (r. 2630–2611 BCE) celebrated at Saqqara

                             d. World’s oldest stone edifice at Saqqara

                                         i. Began as a mastaba (“bench”)

                                        ii. Imhotep was architect

                                       iii. Six renovations led to step pyramid

                       4. Step pyramid and complex served as a stage for ritual

                       5. Pharaoh, king as god, used tomb to embody the state’s ideology

                       6. Myth of death leading to everlasting life

                       7. Many symbols and special names for power

                       8. Cosmic order as unequal and hierarchical

                       9. Pharaoh’s power derived from his godhood

                             a. Gods were serene, orderly, merciful, and perfect

                      10. Pyramid building evolved rapidly

                             a. Fourth Dynasty kings built Giza pyramids

                                         i. Pyramid of Khufu, largest stone structure in the world

                                        ii. Khafra’s pyramid guarded by Sphinx

                             b. Royal tombs are nearby

                             c. Enormous labor required to build pyramids

                                         i. Peasants and workers

                                        ii. Slaves from Nubia

                                       iii. Captured peoples from Mediterranean

             F. Religion

                       1. Religion played an important role

                             a. World inhabited by three groups

                                         i. Gods

                                        ii. Kings

                                       iii. Rest of humanity

                       2. Cults of the gods

                             a. Each region had different gods

                                         i. Thebes had Amun

                             b. Gods evolved over time and were represented by animal and human symbols

                                         i. Horus, the hawk god

                                        ii. Osiris, god of regeneration and underworld

                                       iii. Hathor, god of childbirth and love

                                       iv. Ra, the sun god

                                        v. Amun, creator, the hidden god

                             c. Official religious rituals took place in temples

                             d. Kings cared for gods in their temples

                             e. Contractual relationship between gods and humans

                             f. Humans had active role in their belief in gods’ powers

                                         i. Cult required rituals and communication with gods

                             g. Most enduring cult was of the goddess Isis

                                         i. Represented sisterhood and motherhood

                                         iI. Wife of Osiris

                       3. The priesthood

                             a. Priesthood responsible for rituals

                             b. Elaborate rules

                             c. Extensive training

                             d. Highly stratified

                             e. Only priests could enter temple

                             f. Gods left temples only in portable shrines

                             g. Helped unify Egypt       

                             h. Unofficial popular religions also existed

                             i. Ordinary people visited local shrines

                       4. Magical powers

                             a. Important to commoners

                             b. Amulets

                             c. Omens and divination

                             d. nimals believed to have supernatural powers

            G. Writing and scribes

                       1. Literacy shaped divisions between rural and urban life

                       2. Scribes held a special place in society

                             a. Recorded trade

                             b. kept religious, historical, and literary records

                       3. Egyptian script complicated

                             a. Became simpler over time

                             b. More Egyptians than Mesopotamians literate

                             c. Most high-ranking Egyptians were trained as scribes

                             d. Worked for king’s court, army, or priesthood

                             e. Sometimes kings and royal family could write

                       4. Two basic forms of Egyptian writing

                             a. Hieroglyphs, “sacred carving”

                                         i. Used in temple, royal, or divine contexts

                             b. Demotic writing, cursive script

                                         i. Most common and practical writing

                                        ii. Administrative records

                                       iii. Private writing

                                      iv. Literature

                                        v. Manuals and other texts

                       5. Training for scribes

                             a. Started young

                             b. Entered bureaucracy

                             c. Literacy high achievement

                             d. Literate people buried with textbooks

            H. The prosperity of Egypt

                       1. Population grew to 5 million by 1500 BCE

                       2. Strong state rooted in bureaucracy

                             a. Maintained records

                             b. Watched over society

                             c. Regulated Nile’s floodwaters

       I. Later dynasties and their demise

                       1. State became more dispersed and outward looking

                       2. Collapse caused by internal weakness

                       3. Expansion and decentralization ended Old Kingdom

                             a. Pepys II last ruler of the Old Kingdom

                       4. Old Kingdom followed by First Intermediate Period (2150–2040 BCE)

       VI. The Yellow and Yangzi River basins in East Asia

             A. The future Chinese state originated along the Yellow River and Yangzi River

                       1. Chinese culture slower to develop than Mesopotamian, Indus River, or Egyptian culture

                       2. Remained a localized agrarian culture

                       3. Lack of domesticated animals and plants

                       4. Geography isolated China

             B. From Yangshao to Longshan cultures

                       1. Yellow River basin evidence challenges traditional history

                             a. 4000–2000 BCE

                       2. China never completely isolated like Americas

                       3. Mongolian steppe allowed new technologies through

                             a. Chariot introduced by nomads

                             b. Bronze

                       4. Nomads eventually settled on the rivers in more complex cultures

                       5. Breakthroughs in communication

                             a. Yangshao pottery showed signs and symbols by 5000 BCE

                             b. Shamans, many of them women, used signs in performing rituals

                       6. Early Chinese riverine societies

                             a. Produced stone and pottery storage vessels

                                         i. Longshan black pottery and town enclosure found

                             b. Contrast with more primitive sites in Yangshao

                             c. Deer scapulas or oracle bones used by diviners

                       6. Longshan people likely migrated from peripheries

                             a. Developed between 5000 and 2000 BCE

                             b. Several regions shared similar pottery and tools

                             c. Likely came into contact with other regions

                             d. No city-states, but agriculture flourished

                       7. Longshan showed beginnings of urban life

                             a. Buried dead in cemeteries outside of village

                                         i. Tombs contain objects

                             b. Shaman performed rituals with jade

                                         i. Jade quarrying required advanced technology

                             c. Organized violence

                                         i. Mass grave with scalped household members

                                        ii. Defensive wall found

                             d. More interregional contact

                                         i. Migration to East Asian coast

                                         ii. Objects show a shared cultural and trading sphere

                             e. Short-lived and scattered political organizations

                                         i. Era of Ten Thousand States (Wan’guo)

             C. Liangzhu culture

                       1. Sophisticated agriculturalists

                             a. Grew rice and fruits along the Qiantang River

                             b. Used tools and domesticated animals

                       2. Familiar with watercraft

                       3. Stone and bone artifacts highly developed

                       4. Produced black pottery

                       5. Created ritual objects from jade

            D. Third-millennium droughts

                       1. Chinese recovered and created elaborate agrarian systems during second millennium BCE

                             a. Yellow River

                             b. Yangzi River

                       2. Similar civilizations to those along Euphrates, Indus, and Nile rivers

                             a. Extensive trade networks

                             b. Highly stratified social hierarchy

                             c. Centralized polity

                             d. Chinese social and political systems diverged

                                         i. Emphasized the past

                                        ii. Tradition-Sage kings

                                       iii. Rising scholarly elite

       VII. Life on the margins of Afro-Eurasia

             A. Outside the river basins       

                       1. Warrior-based ethos

                       2. Chiefs and military men were top social tier

                       3. More egalitarian than urban dwellers

                       4. Politically less centralized

             B. Aegean worlds

                       1. Geography stopped urban development

                             a. Scattered settlements separated by natural obstacles

                                         i. Crete traded with other regions

                                        ii. Communities remained small villages

                                       iii. Knossos of Crete emerged (second millennium BCE)

             C. Anatolia

                       1. Regional cultures emerged because of trade routes

                       2. Small cities emerged around fortified citadels

                             a. Horoz Tepe

                             b. Alaça Hüyük

                       3. Troy important third millennium BCE site

                             a. Famous from Homer’s Iliad

                             b. Modern mound of Hissarlik

                             c. First rediscovered in 1870

                             d. Well fortified with monumental stone gateways

                             e. Troy II had five buildings called megarons

                                         i. Megarons were forerunners of Greek temples

                              f. Artifacts of active trade system linked Aegean and Southwest Asia

            D. Europe: The western frontier

                       1. Early Europeans moved into settlements and created complex societies

                       2. Hierarchies replaced older egalitarian ways

                       3. Warfare dominated social development

                       4. Plowing and clearing woodlands expanded agriculture

                       5. Households and small communities organized irrigation and settlements

                       6. Frequent conflicts over resources

                       7. Flint mining an example of social and cultural change

                             a. Made resources cheaper so more tools available

                             b. More communities flourished

                       8. Large communities by 4000 BCE

                             a. Construction of large fixed monuments

                             b. Megalith, “great stone”

                                         i. Avebury

                                        ii. Stonehenge

                             c. Corded ware pots

                       9. Increased interaction led to more wealth and warfare

                             a. Burials with drinking cups, “bell beakers,” sign of warrior culture

                             b. Agricultural communities produced surpluses

                             c.   Surpluses and desire for land led to more tribal warfare

                    10. Split between eastern and western Europe

                             a. West battled over territory and resources

                                         i. Agriculture and metalworking part of daily life

                             b. Warfare led to need for better weapons

                                         i. Bronze, an alloy of copper and tin

                                        ii. Weapons produced in bulk

                                       iii. Trade network distributed weapons

                    11. Warfare made Europe more innovative

                             a. Fueled demand for weapons, alcohol, and later, horses

       VIII. Conclusion

             A. Near some giant rivers, complex human cultures emerged

                       1. Most densely populated regions

                             a. Occupation specialization

                             b. Social hierarchy

                             c. Rising material standards of living

                             d. Highly developed systems of art and science

                             e. Centralized production and distribution of food, cloth, and other goods

             B. Ceremonial sites and trading entrepôts became cities

                       1. Centralized religious and political systems emerged

                       2. Scribes, priests, and rulers labored to keep complex societies together

             C. Sharper distinction between urban and rural dwellers

             D. Urbanization shaped social and cultural distinctions

                       1. Affected the roles of men and women

             E. Riverine cultures distinct

                       1. Single river such as Nile or the Indus

                       2. Floodplain such as Tigris or Euphrates

                       3. Later, Chinese culture developed along Yellow and Yangzi rivers

             F. Some advancement in trade and agriculture but not so much as in riverine cultures

                       1. Anatolia

                       2. Aegean

                       3. Europe

                       4. Part of China

            G. Climate affected everyone and could slow or reverse development