iver Valley Civilizations Part 2 ndus, China, Americas)
iver Valley Civilizations Part 2 ndus, China, Americas) INDUS VALLEY Arose around 2,500 BCE Main Cities Mohenjo Daro Harappa Hundreds of other settlements Independent city-states, strong government Extremely well-planned, coordinated cities Extensive trade network Elaborate writing system (undeciphered)
Religion Worshipped mother goddess Evidence of priestly class and temples Collapse: systems failure Little evidence of warfare until end Devastated by environmental upheavals? Destroyed by Indo-European (Aryan) nomads? Cities abandoned
HUANG-HE (YELLOW) RIVER Developed in isolation Along lower Yellow River Rich loess soil Constantly flooding First Dynasties Control of flooding critical Xia Dynasty (Mythical?) God-like kings Taught irrigation, silkmaking Shang Dynasty (1766 to 1045 bce) Warlike kings, landed aristocracy; few priests Most people worked land as peasants Elaborate bronze workings
hang dynasty bronze ritual vessel. CHINESE WRITING Originated during Shang Ideographic Writing denotes ideas First used on Oracle Bones Priests asked gods questions Wrote questions on bones Tossed into fire
Cracks read by priests (divination) Elitist technique = scholar-bureaucrats Extremely difficult to read Required well-educated class to use Only elite had time to learn Cuneiform, hieroglyphs had similar effects CHINESE BELIEFS Shang dynastys religion Di supreme god Veneration of ancestors (continues in China) Ruler links heaven and earth Social structures
Three-generation family Paternal authority Kongzi (Confucius) - 5th century bce Harmony in human relations through ritual Family relationships are a model for relationship to ruler Compiled in Analects, later basis of Confucianism MANDATE OF HEAVEN Zhou dynasty (1046-256 bce) Developed shi, professional men of service Chinese political idea
Rulers exercise power given by heaven Rulers continue to rule if heaven pleased Heaven will take back mandate to rule Heaven will replace ruling dynasty Indicators of a Lost Mandate Wars, invasions, military disasters Over-taxation, disgruntled peasants
Social, moral decline of elite classes Increased crime, banditry DYNASTIC CYCLE One ruling family replaces another The Dynasty Changes Due to the loss of the Mandate of Heaven Stages in Cycle New dynasty arises, takes control of China Strengthens rule, reestablishes prosperity, peace
Weakens, becomes lazy, problems arise Invasions, revolts toss out reigning dynasty Shang replaces Xia, Zhou replaces Shang MEANWHILE, IN AMERICAS Olmec in Mesoamerica, 1200bce Used rainfall for agriculture Cities are centers of trade, religion Priests and ruling class over others Giant stone heads (as tall as 2 Mr. Storcks!)
Chavin off coast of Peru, 900bce Two major regions: mountains and coast Trade routes running through mountains CONTRAST: Neither are river valleys CIVILIZATION SPREADS Phoenician Sailors in Lebanon City-states traded across Mediterranean Invented 22-letter alphabet Nubia (in modern-day Sudan) Originally, a tributary state of Egypt After Egypt dissolves, forms independent state of Kush
Borrows Egyptian culture, becomes major trading state Meroe and Axum further south in Egypt Hittite Empire Forms northwest of Mesopotamia Copper, silver, iron --> trade, military power Late Bronze Age cosmopolitanism in Middle East Shared cultures and lifestyles from contact between societies HERITAGES First heritages
Passed thru children Writing systems inherited Intellectual systems, art copied Religious, philosophical systems copied Useful inventions rarely forgotten, easily spread River valley civilizations decline by 1000BCE All subject to nomadic invasions Geographical centers shifted (all except China) Political Structures often not continued NOMADS: BARBARIANS? Pastoralism
Domestication of animals Way of life based on herding Often on fringes Bordered settled areas Seen as savages Interaction vs. conflict Nomads traded, coexisted with settled areas Nomads warred on, conquered settled areas Often protected merchants, allowed trade
Prior to 1500 BCE little major threat Chariot Peoples (Central Asian Indo-Europeans) Domesticated horse, invented chariot, iron weapons Pushed into SW Asia, S. Asia, E. Asia, Europe Responsible for spread of ideas, trade
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