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Noah Swan

Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1

Notes Ancient Middle East


Unit 1
1. Civilization
a. As we are taking a course on history, when should we start
defining History
i. We decide to start at around 5,000 B.C.E
ii. Anything before that is defined as Pre-history
iii. At around 5,000 B.C.E, the idea of Civilization
formed
b. Civilization
i. Civilization is defined as A complex structure in
which large numbers of people share a number of
common elements such as social structure, religion
and art
ii. People in the same Civilization live together in
settlements, towns and cities.
c. Neolithic (Neo New, Lithic Stone) Revolution
i. At approximately 5,000 B.C.E, another idea formed
ii. This was the idea of Systematic Agriculture, or
farming
d. Systematic Agriculture
i. The idea of systematic agriculture made it so that we
had a large renewable supply of food. This was made
possible by planting and harvesting these crops.
ii. Animals were also domesticated (Made into pets) at
this time
iii. One of the first places that these ideas took hold
were in ancient Mesopotamia
e. Mesopotamia
i. Mesopotamia was a civilization in the Middle East
ii. Between the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1
iii. No one civilization in this area, but many small city-

states
iv. They were the first ones to master agriculture
f. Specialization/ Division of Labor
i. As not everyone was needed to farm, it enabled
people to, for the first time, have different Jobs
then getting food
ii. Some of the jobs were
1. Artisan
2. Government Official
3. Priest/ Religious Figure
4. Soldier
iii. Due to this division of labor, it became evident that
men were being given the more physical jobs,
leaving the women to cook,. Raise children, and help
out with more of the minor agricultural tasks.
iv. This division led to more visible roles in history for
men for thousands of years to come.
g. Civilization
i. There are certain aspects that most civilizations
share, these include:
1. Government
2. Language
3. Cities
4. Social Structure/ Economy
5. Culture
a. Religion
ii. Social Structure
1. Social Structure is the idea that some people
have higer ranking jobs then others
2. Some of those would include:
a. Religious Official
b. Government Official
2. Mesopotamia
a. Geography
i. SW Asia
1. Tigris and Euphrates rivers

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1
2. The rivers are both good and bad
a. They are good because
i. They provide the soil with nutrients
ii. Good irrigation for crops
b. They are bad because
i. They flood, destroying property.
3. Very Flat Land
a. Good for transportation and trade
b. Bad for invasions

b. Politics
i. City-States
ii. Lots of farms outside of cities
iii. Wars between city-states create empires
iv. First large empire was united by Sargon The Great
c. Sargon
i. Sargon was from Akkad, a city state in modern-day
Iraq
ii. He conquered lots of other city states all the way to
the Mediterranean Sea
iii. His rule was a theocracy
1. He believed that he was half god, and he ruled
with divine power
d. Religion
i. What
1.
2.
3.

is religion?
Set of common beliefs and practices
Worship
There is a larger power(s) and an explanation

to life
4. Sacred Text (Koran, Torah, Bible)
5. Spiritual Leaders
6. Ethics and Obligations
7. Community / Place of worship
8. Goal
9. Sacred Land
ii. Mesopotamian Religion
1. Polytheistic
2. Ziggurats
a. Large Building
b. Tiered
c. Almost like a man-made mountain
d. Mesopotamia was flat
e. Had a very large plane of view

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1

3. What you need to build a Ziggurat


a. People
b. Stone
c. Mud
d. A religion
e. Land
f. Labor
e. Technology
i. Construction
ii. The Wheel + Other Simple Machines
iii. Plow
iv. Irrigation
v. Writing
vi. Number System/Mathematics
vii. Astronomy
viii. Bronze
3. Egypt
a. Geography
i. Nile River
1. Transportation
a. Flows South To North
b. Wind Goes North To South
c. Easy to move either way
2. Floods
a. Floods very predictably
b. Egyptians are not as scared of floods as
the Mesopotamians are
ii. Desert
1. Protection
iii. Mediterranean Sea
1. Good for trade
2. Will meet other civilizations quickly
b. Religion
i. Polytheistic
ii. Afterlife
iii. Pharaohs
c. History
i. 1st King = King Menes
1. United Upper and Lower Egypt
2. 3100 B.C.
3. Dynasty
ii. Old Kingdom
1. 2700 B.C.E 2200 B.C.E
2. Pharaoh
3. Pyramids

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1
iii. Middle Kingdom
1. Stability
2. Golden Age
3. Trade Routes
iv. Hyksos Invade 1652 B.C.E
1. Hyksos Had Chariots
2. Beat Egyptians Easily
3. Left After 150 Years
v. New Kingdom
1. Powerful Army
2. Akhenaten
a. Tried to switch Egyptian Religion from
Polytheistic to Monotheistic
b. He attempted to have them only worship
the sun disk (Aten)
c. His name means Servant of Aten
d. Moved capital to new city named after

Aten
3. Hatshepsut
a. Female Pharaoh
i. One of only few
4. Ramses II
a. Was a good general
b. Conquered much for Egypt
c. His expansion was stopped by Hittites
d. Technology
i. Iron
1. Used in tools and weapons
2. Writing
a. Hieroglyphics
b. Hieratic Script
c. Papyrus
3. Weapons
a. Chariots
4. Construction/ Simple Machines
5. Mathematics
6. Canals/ Irrigation
7. Anatomy/ Medicine
e. Kush/ Nubia
i. Trade with Egypt
ii. Egypt Conquers Nubia
iii. Kush Conquers Egypt
iv. Capital at Mero

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1

v. Agricultural Society Urban, Trading Society


1. Ebony
2. Gold
3. Iron
4. Ivory
vi. Politics
1. Divine Kingship
2. Matrilineal
f. Instruction Of Ptahotep
i. List of instructions written by an Ancient Egyptian
ii.
iii.
iv.
v.
vi.
vii.
viii.

Adviso to the King Named Ptahotep


His list was very lengthy
It included:
Dont be mean
Dont gossip
When In line, wait your turn
Listen to your parents
When you get old, pass your knowledge on to your

children
ix. When you dont listen to your parents, your children
can suffer.
4. Israel
a. Geography
i. Near the Mediterranean Sea
ii. In between Egypt and the Fertile Crescent
b. History
i. Biblical vs. Archaeological accounts/evidence
ii. Abraham
1. Moved the Israelites from the Middle East to
then Palestine
2. Was known as the father of Judaism,
Christianity, and Islam
3. Moses
a. Moved the Israelites out of Egypt
b. Supposedly wandered in the desert for
40 years
c. Tried to get them to the Promised Land,
or Israel
4. King David

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1
a. King of Israel
b. Ruled from 1000 B.C.E 970 B.C.E
5. King Solomon
a. King Davids Son
b. United Israel
c. Reached its largest extend under his rule
d. Ruled from 970-922 B.C.E
e. Built The Temple
f. Solomon and The Baby
6. Divided Kingdom
a. After Solomons Death, the Kingdom
Splits in two
b. Conquered by the Assyrians in 722 B.C.E
7. They eventually get moved to Babylon
a. Called the Babylonian Captivity
8. Persians Then conquer Babylon, and let the
Jews move to Palestine again

c. Religion
i. Covenant
1. A Deal with God
2. The 10 Commandments
ii. Monotheism
1. One God
5. Persia
a. Geography
i. Present-Day Iran
ii. Plateau
iii. Minerals
b. History
i. Cyrus The Great 559-530 B.C.E
1. Conquers a lot of territory
2. Was known as very lenient
ii. Cambyses II
1. Strengthened Govt
2. Conquered Egypt
iii. Darius I
1. Expands The Territory Even More
2. Towards India and on the other side, towards
Greece
iv. Alexander the Great overthrows Darius III
v. Three Capitals
1. Persepolis
2. Susa

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1

3. Ectbana
c. How To Control
i. Roads
1. Can move troops
2. Unity
3. News
ii. Satrapies
1. 20 Different Districts
2. Governors
3. Left Natives In Power
iii. Army
1. Very Large
2. Immortals
iv. Respectful to Conquered People
1. Creates Happiness
2. Uniform Legal Code
d. Zoroastrianism
i. Zoroaster
1. Codified This religion
2. Unclear What Time He Lived
ii. Ahura Mazda
1. Good Spirit In The World
2. Constantly Fighting Battle
3. Against Evil, or Angra Mainyu
iii. Judgement Day
1. The world will end
2. Good will eventually defeat evil
3. Everyone will be judged
4. If you helped good, you would be rewarded
5. If you helped evil, your soul got lost in an abyss
of badness
6. Studying Table

Noah Swan
Class Notes

Civilizatio
n
Mesopotami
a

Egypt

9_11_13
Unit 1

People In That
Civilization
-

Hammurab
bi
Sargon

Akhenaten
Menes
Hatshepsut
Khufu
Ramses

Religion
-

Mesopotami
an
Polytheism
- Many Gods
Marduk =
Chief
- Egyptian
Polytheism

Famous
Documents
-

The Epic Of
Gilgamesh
Hammurabis
Code
The
Instruction Of
Ptahotep
Kingship
Document
Negative

Noah Swan
Class Notes

9_11_13
Unit 1
Confession

Israel

Persia

Abraham
Moses
David
Solomon
Herod
Cyrus
Cambyses
Darius
Zoroaster

Civilization Important
Events
Mesopota
mia

Egypt

Israel

Persia

Invasion Of
Hyksos

- Judaism

- Zoroastrianism

- Kingship
Document
- Ten
Commandments
- Struggle Between
Good/Evil

Technology Geography

Government

- Tigris And
Euphrates
Rivers
- Modern
Iraq

- City-State Empire
- Theocracy
- Monarchy

- Nile River
- Africa

- Palestine
Mediterrane
a

Pharaoh
Bureaucracy
Theocracy
Judges -> Kings

- Monarchy
- Satrapies
- Buraucracy