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UGC 111 Unit 2

by: Mickey Notetaker

UGC 111 Unit 2 UGC 111

Mickey Notetaker

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This is the note for Unit 2 for UGC 111 class
Undergraduate Course
Class Notes
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This 6 page Class Notes was uploaded by Mickey Notetaker on Sunday January 31, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to UGC 111 at University at Buffalo taught by in Spring 2016. Since its upload, it has received 25 views. For similar materials see Undergraduate Course in History at University at Buffalo.


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Date Created: 01/31/16
Unit 2: Mesopotamia and Egypt 2015 年 9年 14年 8:59 What is a civilization?  Bulliet argues that there are eight key traits that define a civilization 1. Cities as administrative centers 2. A political system based on controlling territory * As opposed to? 3. Specialized trades, professions, etc. 4. Status/ class distinctions based on wealth 5. Monuments/ Symbolism *Why does this matter? Want to be remembered, want people to know this is their land 6. Record-keeping 7. Long-distance trade *How would this indicate sophistication? Transportation and technology 8. Advance in science and the arts Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia 1450 B.C.  What common feature seems to be evident between these two early civilizations? Both built near water * Why? For agriculture Mesopotamia  Envelops and Tigris and Euphrates Rivers Existed in what are today areas of Iraq and Syria  * Area is known as the…?  Earliest archeological evidence ( 5000 B.C) points to the Sumerians as the first civilization to Mesopotamia Mesopotamia Life  Cities evolved from villages and settlements * How does this reflect the Neolithic revolution? The development from gathering and hunting to settlement  City-States - How can we define this term? How is this different from a normal city? Have more function such as government Have more development and function  Agricultural development was the economic centerpiece, but were also people who worked in the city in other crafts and skilled professions * How does this relate back to the 8 key points of civilization? * What key technological development did the Mesopotamians master to enable their civilization to grow? Irrigation 99 problems But a Ditch ain't one  Despite the fact that Mesopotamia was located in the "fertile crescent," the region laced rainfall * Why is this a problem for a Neolithic civilization? Because no water no products * What were some effects of this situation? No products will be produced No trade because no products * How did irrigation resolve these problem? Irrigation -> ??? -> Profit? Historians have argued that the mastery of water systems enabled  the Mesopotamians (and the Egyptians) to become the most controlling water allow for this? * Consider these essential elements of civilization: 1. Cities as administrative centers 2. A political system based on controlling territory 3. Specialized trades, professions, etc. 4. Status/ class distinctions based on wealth 5. Monuments/ Symbolism 6. Record-keeping 7. Long-distance trade 8. Advance in science and the arts Produce more food, feed more people From city-state to conqueror  As city-states grew in sophistication and wealth they also become increasingly aggressive, even within Mesopotamia  Hammurabi, king of Babylon, engaged in warfare across the region to gain territory and resources * Implications for conquered people? Class in Ancient Babylon  How have historians used Hammurabi's law does the determine that there were different classes in Babylon? Lower class has less right  Three different classes existed: * Free landowners - Lived in the cities - Included royalty, government officials, clergy, merchants * Famers - Worked land owned by the upper class - Lived in the outlying areas, near farmlands and plantations * Slaves - Primarily employed in domestic service to the upper class Hammurabi's Code  1900 B.C.  Law code which provided for guidelines, punishments, and order for society  One of the first formal codes of laws  One of the earliest to have a presumption of innocence  Different laws and punishments for different classes of people *Why is this significant? Shows that classes matter Life in Mesopotamia  Most written records come from scribes, who held a special role in Mesopotamian civilization * Primarily males * Their profession placed them solidly in the upper-class *Why would these two traits make it problematic to completely trust historical records of the era?  Paternalistic society * Woman did have some control in Babylon, though this declined over time as laws favored husbands * Some historians trace restrictive domestic and public lifestyles in contemporary Islamic tradition with origins in this era (see Bulliet, pg. 30)  Religion was combined with the city-state governments * What does this mean for religious freedom? * City-states often centered around a ziggurat, a temple-like structure Metalpotamia  Mesopotamians became increasingly adept at using metal * Why is this such a significant development? Take skill, it can last longer, jewelry, currency * How does this represent an evolution from the Paleolithic era? * What can be done with metal that can't be done with previous materials? The Epic of Gilgamesh  Earliest records place its origin at about 2100 B.C.  Depicts Gilgamesh, a kind of Mesopotamia, as he establishes life and civilization through godly intervention Primary Sources - Mesopotamia  Cuneiform was the system of writing using symbols and other designs to create text  Originally limited to commerce, expanded to culture (especially religion) * Why would it have started with commerce?  Can you think of any other ancient form of writing that are analogous (similar) to cuneiform? Egypt  Like Mesopotamia, Egypt was centered around a water source that enabled its civilization to grow * Unlike that Tigris and Euphrates, the Nile did flood at opportune times, which made agricultural development much easier in Egypt * Problem for Egypt was controlling this flooding and preventing too much water from washing away the soil and crops for the next season. - How did the Egyptians solve this problem? Egyptian civilization - Contrast  Hierarchy based upon a divine king known as a pharaoh  Power bases - major cities like Memphis and Thebes - were established as key locations alone trade routes * Why might this be  Most of Egypt's population did not live in the cities, which were reserved for administrative and religious officials * Does the idea of a pharaoh as a divine figure play a role in this  Unlike Mesopotamia, which was aggressive (especially under Hammurabi), Egypt was largely isolationist and was concerned more with defense than offense, at least at this point Primary Sources - Egypt  Like Mesopotamia, Egypt had a symbol-based writing system known as hieroglyphics * How does this compare to cuneiform? Both using symbol describe meaning, use color  Record-keeping was done on a material called papyrus, derived from the fibers of a plant native to Egypt * What advantages were there to having papyrus grown right in Egypt? * What impact did this have on other civilizations? Give Egypt a great tradeship. Life in Egypt  Compare to Mesopotamia, class mattered less in Egypt * Divisions still existed, with a royal/aristocratic class, religious officials and artisans, and then peasants at the bottom * Slavery did exist, and were oftentimes either captured prisoners of war or purchased from merchants * Most peasants were tied to agriculture, but engaged in land ownership and trade  Egyptian women could own and inherit property * Laws allowed for divorce, female clergy * How does this compare with Mesopotamia?


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