In This Chapter

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Chapter Study Outline

  1. Introduction
    1. Çatalhöyük—seven thousand to nine thousand years ago (south central Turkey)
      1. A "city" of eight thousand living in two thousand homes
      2. An organized and technologically sophisticated society
      3. Religious rites and burial of the dead
      4. Domesticated plants and animals
      5. Little division of labor
      6. How do we explain the emergence of Çatalhöyük?
  2. The Stone Age Background
    1. Prehistory: before written records appeared (c. 3000 B.C.E.)
    2. Early man and archaeological evidence
      1. Tool-making hominids appear about 2 million years ago
      2. Paleolithic man (Old Stone Age)
      3. Heidelberg man (three hundred fifty thousand years ago)— deliberately buried their dead
      4. Neanderthal (thirty thousand to two hundred thousand years ago)—abstract thought?
      5. Upper Paleolithic Age, c. 40,000 B.C.E.
        1. Homo sapiens sapiens
        2. Finely crafted tools
        3. Cave paintings at Lascaux
    3. Hunters and gatherers constantly on the move (c. 11,000 B.C.E.)
    4. Social, economic, and political consequences
      1. Without domesticated animals, there were no significant material possessions
      2. Disparities in wealth unlikely to occur
      3. Hierarchical structures of leadership unknown
      4. Undeveloped division of labor
      5. Acquiring food and tools the top priority
      6. No storable surpluses
  3. The Neolithic Revolution: New Stone Age, c. 11,000 B.C.E.
    1. Major characteristics
      1. Development of managed food production
      2. Permanent settlements
      3. Intensification of trade
      4. More complex society
      5. Specialization
      6. Social distinctions
    2. The origins of food production in the ancient Near East
      1. Domestication of plants and animals
      2. A gradual process with revolutionary consequences
      3. The Fertile Crescent (ancient western Asia/ancient Near East)
      4. Population increase
      5. Surplus and storage
      6. Why did the agricultural revolution take place?
    3. The emergence of towns and villages
      1. Emergence of villages
      2. Jericho (c. 9000 B.C.E.)
        1. Grain-producing settlement
        2. Massive building program (walls and a tower)
        3. Supported three thousand inhabitants
        4. Pottery used for storage
      3. Food storage
        1. Led to inabilities of wealth
        2. Tied people to a specific community
      4. The rise of a priestly class
        1. A bridge to political forms of authority
      5. Trade and the exchange of commodities
        1. Accelerated exchange of commodities and new ideas
        2. Increasing social stratification
        3. Social elites
  4. The Development of Urban Civilization in Mesopotamia
    1. Mesopotamia ("the land between the rivers")
      1. The Tigris and Euphrates
      2. Irrigation
    2. Ubaid culture
      1. Sophisticated irrigation systems
      2. Temple-building
      3. Religious structure
        1. Rise of a priestly class
        2. Managing economic resources
    3. Urbanism in the Uruk Period (4300- 2900 B.C.E.)
      1. Transition to Sumerian city-states
        1. Temple architecture
        2. Urbanization and expansion of trade routes
    4. The development of writing
      1. Record-keeping
      2. Pictographs
      3. Cuneiform ("wedge-shaped writing")
      4. Scribal schools ("Houses of the Tablet")
  5. The Sumerians Enter History
    1. Sumerian writing
    2. The first historical society
    3. Sumerian cities: Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Eridu, and Kish
    4. Religion
      1. Pantheon of Sumerian gods (around fifteen hundred of them)
      2. Each city-state protected by its own patron god
      3. Economic, political, and religious competition
    5. Redistributive economy and the temple/warehouse complex
    6. Slavery
      1. Prisoners of war
      2. Slaves as forms of property
    7. The Early Dynastic Period begins (2900-2500 B.C.E.)
      1. War leadership and kingship
      2. Conflict between city-states
      3. Lugal (big man)
        1. God's representative on earth
      4. The Epic of Gilgamesh
        1. Legendary king of Uruk
        2. Military conquest and heroism
        3. Gilgamesh versus Enkidu—city versus wilderness
        4. Pessimistic toward natural environment
    8. Sumerian religion
      1. Uruk period—Sumerian gods identified with hostile forces of nature
      2. Early Dynastic period—Sumerians saw gods in more human terms
      3. Humans exist to provide the good life for their gods
      4. A reciprocal relationship between humanity and divinity
      5. Divination and astrology
      6. Kings ruled by divine sanction
        1. But still had to serve the gods
        2. Offerings, sacrifices, festivals, building projects
        3. Even Gilgamesh could not escape his fate
    9. Science, technology and trade
      1. High degree of self-reliance and ingenuity
      2. Produced copper weapons and tools
      3. Invention of the wheel (chariots and carts)
      4. Mathematics
        1. Lunar calendar
        2. Divided time into multiples of sixty
      5. Sailboats, textiles, paints, perfumes, and medicines
      6. Trade
        1. Acquired raw materials
        2. Interacted with Egyptians and Persians
    10. The end of the Early Dynastic Period (2500-2350 B.C.E.)
      1. Intensification of intercity warfare
      2. Politically and religiously unified elite
      3. Commoners fell into debt slavery
      4. Royal Tombs of Ur
        1. Increased power of the lugal
        2. Lugal perhaps had better afterlife
      5. Sumerian warfare grew as population increased
      6. Sumer remained a collection of independent city-states
  6. The Akkadian Empire (2350-2160 B.C.E.)
    1. Sargon of Akkad—aided Sumerian unification
      1. Lived north of Sumer
      2. Program of conquest—conquers Sumer in 2350 B.C.E.
      3. A new capital at Akkad
      4. From city-states to a kingdom united under Sargon
      5. Naram-Sin—extended Akkadian empire
    2. The Dynasty of Ur (2100-2000 B.C.E.)
      1. Sumer and Akkad under attack—empire dissolves into rival city-states
      2. Ur-Nammu and Shulgi
        1. Pursued military conquests
        2. Commercial expansion
      3. A dying empire
      4. Ibbi-Sin and Ishbi-Irra
        1. Losing control of the empire
        2. Incessant warfare
      5. The Sumerian renaissance and the rise of the Amorites
  7. The Old Babylonian Empire
    1. Hammurabi
      1. Ascends throne in 1792 B.C.E.
      2. Used writing as a weapon
      3. Elevated Marduk, patron deity of Babylon
    2. Religion and law
      1. Interweaves political power with religious practice
      2. Wars of aggression
      3. United his people politically
      4. Ruled as king of Babylon, the city of Marduk
      5. Ritual intercourse and fertility
      6. The Code of Hammurabi
        1. Actual rulings of Hammurabi
        2. The code was probably never intended to be a code of laws in the modern sense
        3. The code as propaganda, used to publicize the king's devotion to justice
    3. Old Babylonian society
      1. Upper class nobles controlled large estates and wealth
      2. Below the nobles, an enormous class of legally free individuals
        1. "Dependents" of the palace or temple
        2. Laborers, artisans, small merchants, farmers, and officials
      3. At the bottom were the slaves
        1. In general, the slaves were treated harshly
        2. Slaves acquired through trade or captured in war
      4. Punishments for crimes varied according to one's social class
      5. The treatment of women
    4. Hammurabi's legacy
      1. The creation of a durable state
      2. Helped establish a conception of kingship
      3. The importance of religion
  8. The Development of Civilization in Egypt
    1. General observations
      1. Geography and the Nile
      2. Black Land-Red Land
      3. Egypt as center of the cosmos
      4. Powerful, centralized state controlled by pharaohs
      5. Kingdoms and periods
    2. Predynastic Egypt (c.10,000-3100 B.C.E.)
      1. Hunters and gatherers
      2. Increased population
      3. First settlement at Merimde Beni Salama (4750 B.C.E.)
      4. Upper Egyptian towns (3200 B.C.E.): Nekhen, Naqada, This, and Abydos
        1. High degrees of social specialization
        2. Sophisticated fortifications
        3. Elaborate temples
        4. Attracted industry and travelers
    3. The unification of Egypt: the Archaic Period (3100-2686 B.C.E.)
      1. Manetho's dynastic categorization
      2. "King Scorpion"
      3. Egypt unified by Narmer (legendary King Menes or Min)
      4. Administrative capital at Memphis (Lower Egypt)
      5. Pharaoh
        1. Pharaoh as divine
        2. Earthly manifestation of Horus (falcon-god)
    4. Language and writing
      1. Hieroglyphs ("sacred carvings")
      2. Champollion and the Rosetta Stone
      3. Writing as tool for Egyptian government and administration
      4. Hieratic scrip—used for everyday business of government and commerce
      5. Papyrus
    5. The Old Kingdom (c. 2686-2160 B.C.E.)
      1. Difficulty of interpreting records
      2. Centralized power of pharaoh—pharaoh was Egypt
      3. Appointed local governors (nomarchs)
      4. Extensive bureaucracy
      5. Imhotep—the greatest administrative official
        1. Right-hand man to Djoser (Third Dynasty pharaoh)
        2. Learned medicine, astronomy, theology, mathematics, and architecture
        3. "Step-pyramid"
        4. Built west of Memphis
        5. Based on the mastaba, stacked one on top of the other
        6. The symbol of pharaonic power
      6. Fourth Dynasty (2613-2494 B.C.E.)
        1. Great pyramids of Giza
        2. The account of Herodotus
        3. Pyramids built not by slaves, but by tens of thousands of peasant workers
        4. Tensions increase between pharaonic religion and local gods and leaders
    6. Society in Old Kingdom Egypt
      1. The elite: royalty and nobility
      2. The poor: everyone else
      3. Women in the Old Kingdom
        1. High degrees of legal status
        2. Rigidly patriarchal society
        3. Barred from state office
    7. Science and Technology
      1. Lagged far behind Sumerians and Akkadians in science and math
      2. Significant advances in calculation of time
        1. Solar calendar based on close observations of the sun
      3. Effective irrigation and water control systems.
      4. Did not develop the wheel until after Sumerians
    8. Egyptian religion and world view
      1. The uniqueness of the Egyptians
      2. "Egyptian-ness"
      3. Life, re-creation, and renewal
      4. The myth of Osiris and Isis—life from death
      5. The Egyptian death cult
        1. Osiris as central deity
        2. Death was unpleasant but a necessary part of the cycle
        3. Ka (otherworldly existence) and Duat (the underworld)
        4. Embalming and mummification
        5. Coffin texts and "Books of the Dead"
        6. Ma'at—binding together the endless cycle of life, death, and the return of life
        7. Confidence and optimism
    9. The end of the Old Kingdom
      1. Fifth and Sixth Dynasties (2494- 2181 B.C.E.)
      2. Less monumental architecture
      3. Nomarchs evolved into a hereditary nobility
      4. Nubian restrictions on the Egyptian economy
      5. Pharaoh's link to ma'at diminished
      6. Central authority of Memphis collapses
      7. Rapid diffusion of cultural forms throughout Egyptian society
      8. Mentuhotep II declares himself ruler of a united Egypt
    10. Middle Kingdom Egypt (2055-c. 1650 B.C.E.)
      1. Unified government at Thebes
      2. Amenemhet (Twelfth Dynasty)
        1. Exploitation of trade to the south
        2. Nubia under Egypt's control
      3. Viewed world beyond Egypt's borders with suspicion and fear
      4. Changing position of pharaoh
        1. Having ma'at was not enough
        2. Pharaoh had to protect his people
  9. Conclusion
    1. From hunter-gatherers to permanent settlements
    2. Sumerian advances
    3. Mesopotamian and Akkadians
    4. Egyptians
    5. Ancient Near Eastern kingdoms and empires