Ancient World & The First System – History

Trade Networks, The First System, Civilization, Culture, Ancient World History

The key terms in these history chapters include Trade Networks, The First System, Civilization, Culture, Empire, Government, Ancient World, History, East African, System, Religion.



The Hittites

-Conquered much of Asia Minor and Northern Mesopotamia (2000-1200 B.C.)
-A major contribution included the invention of iron smelting, which revolutionized warfare


The Assyrians

-Warrior nation; created an empire based on military superiority, conquest, and terrorism (911-550 B.C.)
-Empire origniated in the highland region of the upper Tigris rRiver but grew to encompass the entire area of the Fertile Crescent
-Military techniques included siege warfare, intimidation, and the use of iron weapons
-Created a centralized government, a postal service, an extensive library, and a system of highways


The Chaldeans

-Established the new Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar (605-538 B.C.)
-Conquered Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine
-Developed astrology, astronomy, advanced government bureaucracy, and architectural achievements such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon


The Persians

-Attempted to unify the entire Near East under one rule (500s B.C.)
-Established an international government
-Zoroastrianism, an ethical religion based on concepts of good and evil
-Failed to conquer the Greeks; Persia was eventually conquered by Alexander the Great (334-331 B.C.)


Smaller civilizations of the Near East

-The Phoenicians
-The Lydians
-The Israelites


The Phoenicians

-Became the first explorers, traders, and colonizers of the ancient world; their civilization reached its peak in 1000 B.C.
-Greatest seafaring civilization in the ancient world
-Developed extensive trade networks throughout the Mediterranean and set up distant trade networks and trading colonies such as Tyre and Sidon
-Invented the first true alphabet
-Dominated the Mediterranean commerce and exported manufactured glass and purple dye (royal purple)


The Lydians

-Occupied western Asia Minor (500s B.C.)
-Their culture reached its zenith under King Croesus (Golden King)
-Were responsible for the first coinage of money


Africa’s geological diversity

-Four rivers (Nile, Congo, Niger, and Zambezi) were important to Africa’s economic history
-Egyptian civilization developed in the Nile Valley
-Africa above the Sahara (Northern Africa) is often associated with Arab influence
-The irregular coast line (no natural harbors) of the African continent restricted European exploration


Ancient Africans’ advances in their societies and cultures

-Lineage was the basis of tribal organization
-Religion, politics, and law became the focus of African culture
-Art and sculpture were emphasized


Famous empires that grew in the West African savanna

Ghana, Mali and Songhai


The East African Coast

-Saw the development of city-states
-East African civilization was based on international trade and seaport cities
-Swahili culture developed its own language and thrived in the city-states
-The Portuguese destroyed much of the East African trade after 1500


The Kingdom of Zimbabwe

-Developed in the interior of the continent
-Grew from an iron-working settlement
-Huge stone structures were constructed
-Economy was based on the gold trade


Islam in Africa

Stimulated new states of West Africa and spread Islamic culture and religion


The forest states

-Developed strong governments
-Benin grew wealthy and powerful until European contact threatened society
-Slave trade produced wealth for the cities and the expansion of the slave trade extended into Africa’s interior
-Trade, taxes, and a powerful government resulted in Asante becoming a strong state


Origins of people in America

-20,000-30,000 years ago, during the last Ice Age, the first humans crossed over the Bering Sea land bridge into the Americas
-As they migrated southward, they inhabited the hemisphere from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego
-Their widespread dispersion led to a diversity of languages and cultures, the most advanced of which were located in Mesoamerica and South America


Ganges River

-In eastern India
-Sacred to Indians but was not the geographical river area that led to the development of Indian civilization
-Associated with the rise of the Mauryan Empire in 322 B.C.


Indus River

The earliest Indian civilization, the Harappa culture, developed around the Indus River Valley in 2500 B.C.


Mesopotamia: developments

-Writing (cuneiform)
-Organized government
-Written law code (Hammurabi’s Code)
-Systematized religion (Zoroastrianism)
-Astronomy; astrology


Egypt: developments

-Complex religion of gods, rituals, and governance (pharaoh)
-Writing (hieroglyphics)
-Engineering and building (pyramids)
-Mathematics


India: developments

-Urban culture
-Planned cities (i.e. citywide sanitation systems)
-Metallurgy (gold, copper, bronze, tin)
-Measurement (weight, time, length, mass)


China: developments

-Writing
-Commerce
-Government


The ancient Near East: geography

Comprised the Tigris and Euphrates Valley, the Fertile Crescent, and the Nile Valley.


The ancient Near East: cultural contributions

-The first system of independent states
-The first system of writing (cuneiform and hieroglyphics)
-The first massive architectural achievements (ziggurat and pyramid)
-The first lasting monotheism
-The beginning of science, mathematics, and astronomy
-The first codification of law


Mesopotamian civilizations

-The Sumerians
-The Babylonians
-The Hittites
-The Assyrians
-The Chaldeans
-The Persians


The Sumerians

-The creators of Mesopotamian civilization (3500-3000 B.C.)
-Used Tigris and Euphrates rivers for trade and commerce, as well as areas surrounding the Persian Gulf
-Material progress included large-scale irrigation projects, an advanced system of mathematics, and the invention of the wheel
-The ziggurat was the center of community life and served as a temple, storehouse, and treasury
-Sargon established the first empire (c. 2371 B.C.)


The Babylonians

-Conquered Sumeria and established a new empire (2300-1750 B.C.)
-The code of Hammurabi was the first universal written codification of laws in recorded history (c. 1750 B.C.)
-Ahievements included a centralized government and advancements in algebra and geometry


The Hittites

-Conquered much of Asia Minor and Northern Mesopotamia (2000-1200 B.C.)
-A major contribution included the invention of iron smelting, which revolutionized warfare


The Assyrians

-Warrior nation; created an empire based on military superiority, conquest, and terrorism (911-550 B.C.)
-Empire origniated in the highland region of the upper Tigris rRiver but grew to encompass the entire area of the Fertile Crescent
-Military techniques included siege warfare, intimidation, and the use of iron weapons
-Created a centralized government, a postal service, an extensive library, and a system of highways


The Chaldeans

-Established the new Babylonian Empire under Nebuchadnezzar (605-538 B.C.)
-Conquered Mesopotamia, Syria, and Palestine
-Developed astrology, astronomy, advanced government bureaucracy, and architectural achievements such as the Hanging Gardens of Babylon


The Persians

-Attempted to unify the entire Near East under one rule (500s B.C.)
-Established an international government
-Zoroastrianism, an ethical religion based on concepts of good and evil
-Failed to conquer the Greeks; Persia was eventually conquered by Alexander the Great (334-331 B.C.)


Smaller civilizations of the Near East

-The Phoenicians
-The Lydians
-The Israelites


The Phoenicians

-Became the first explorers, traders, and colonizers of the ancient world; their civilization reached its peak in 1000 B.C.
-Greatest seafaring civilization in the ancient world
-Developed extensive trade networks throughout the Mediterranean and set up distant trade networks and trading colonies such as Tyre and Sidon
-Invented the first true alphabet
-Dominated the Mediterranean commerce and exported manufactured glass and purple dye (royal purple)


The Lydians

-Occupied western Asia Minor (500s B.C.)
-Their culture reached its zenith under King Croesus (Golden King)
-Were responsible for the first coinage of money


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