No Bull Economics Lessons

Macroeconomics & Microeconomics Concepts You Must Know

Review: River Valley Civilizations (Chapter 2)

Early River Valley Civilizations in Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China

  • Prehistoric - Before invention of writing
  • Neolithic Revolution - Agriculture begins
  • Slash-and-Burn Farming - Clearing land for farming
  • Cultural Diffusion - Process by which ideas, beliefs, and products of one people are are shared with and accepted by another people
  • Ziggurat - Sumerian temple used for government, religion, record keeping, and storage of grain.
  • Natural Barriers - Geographic features that keep a civilization protected or isolated; Deserts, mountains, etc.
  • Tigris & Euphrates Rivers - Unpredictable flooding
  • Mesopotamia - Land between Tigris and Euphrates
  • Empire - One ruler over several peoples and areas
  • Sargon of Akkad - Established the first empire in Southwest Asia
  • Hammurabi's Code - First written code of laws; by Hammurabi under the Babylonian Empire
  • Nile River - Predictable flooding allows Egyptian civilization to thrive; flows south (high elevation) to north (low elevation) toward the Mediterranean Sea
  • Nile River Delta - Where the Nile River meets the Mediterranean Sea
  • Cataracts - Rapids
  • Menes (Narmer) - Unified Upper and Lower Egypt into one kingdom
  • Polytheism - Belief in many gods
  • Old Kingdom - Period after the unification of Egypt; Pharaohs build pyramids
  • Pharaoh - Divine ruler; Believed by the Egyptians to be a god
  • Pyramids - Tombs for Old Kingdom Pharaohs; Shows mathematical and engineering skills, a powerful economy, and access to large amounts of stone.
  • Mummification - Shows a belief in the afterlife
  • Theocracy - Civilization governed by religion and a divine ruler
  • Hieroglyphics - Egyptian writing system; often done on papyrus; pictures representing ideas
  • Indus & Ganges Rivers - River valley civilizations in modern day India, Pakistan, and Bangladesh
  • Mohenjo-daro - Little is known about this Indus valley civilization; can't decipher written language; evidence of urban planning and plumbing!
  • Gobi Desert - Natural barrier in China
  • Himalaya Mountains - Natural barrier between India and China
  • Huang He (Yellow) & Yangtze Rivers - Chinese river valley
  • Shang Dynasty - One of the first Chinese dynasties; family of rulers
  • Zhou Dynasty - Overthrows the Shang Dynasty
  • Dynastic Cycle - Explains how dynasties rise, fall, and are replaced
  • Mandate of Heaven - Power leader gains this divine approval to rule China
  • Oracle Bones - Chinese priests write questions into these bones, touch them with a red hot poker, and read/interpret the cracks
  • Chinese System of Writing - Thousands of Chinese characters; People can read the language but don't have to speak it.