River Valley

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WHAT IS CULTURE??? A culture is a particular society at a particular time and place.


WHAT IS THE INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION? Indus Valley Civilization was an ancient civilization that thrived in the Indus and Ghaggar-Hakra river valleys, now in Pakistan, along with the northwestern parts of India, Afghanistan and Turkmenistan. The civilization, which is also known as Harappan Civilization, lasted from 3300 BC to 1700 BC. The discovery of the Ancient Indus River Valley Civilization was made, when the Harappan city, the first city of Indus Valley, was excavated.


THE CULTURE AND SOCIETY OF INDUS VALLEY CIVILIZATION The Indus valley was by main rivers, the Indus River. The Indus River was very important to Indus life. The river provided irrigation, and also created fertile land for farming. In the middle of India is the Deccan Plateau, which might have helped protect the Indus people from foreign invaders. The Himalayas are also located near the Indus Valley, as is the Hindu Kush mountain range. People used camels, oxen and elephants to travel over land. They had carts with wooden wheels. They had ships, with one mast, probably used to sail around the Arabian Sea. Seals with a pictographic script, which has not as yet been deciphered, were found at the Indus Valley sites. Similar seals were found in Mesopotamia, which seems to indicate possible trade between these two civilizations.

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Dinner might have been warm wheat bread served with barley or rice. It would appear they were very good farmers. They grew barley, peas, melons, wheat, and dates. Farms raised cotton and kept herds of sheep, pigs, zebus (a kind of cow), and water buffalo. Fish were caught in the river with fish hooks! Each town had a large central storage building for grain. Crops were grown, and the harvest stored centrally, for all in the town to enjoy.

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It has long been claimed that the Indus Valley was the home of a literate civilization, but this has recently been challenged on linguistic and archaeological grounds. Well over 400 Indus symbols have been found on seals or ceramic pots and over a dozen other materials, including a 'signboard' that apparently once hung over the gate of the inner citadel of the Indus city of Dholavira. Typical Indus inscriptions are no more than four or five characters in length, most of which (aside from the Dholavira 'signboard') are exquisitely tiny; the longest on a single surface, which is less than 1 inch (2.54 cm) square, is 17 signs long; the longest on any object (found on three different faces of a mass-produced object) carries only 26 symbols. It has been recently pointed out that the brevity of the inscriptions is unparalleled in any known premodern literate society, including those that wrote extensively on leaves, bark, wood, cloth, wax, animal skins, and other perishable materials.


WHAT IS THE MESOPOTAMIAN CIVILIZATION? Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization , Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the Akkadian , Babylonian and Assyrian empires. In the Iron Age , it was ruled by the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires . The indigenous Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians & Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire . It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC and after his death it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire


CULTURE AND SOCIETY OF THE MESOPOTAMIAN CIVILIZATION Delahunt believes that cuneiform was the first writing system developed in the world in about 3500 BC. They used wet clay tablets and used sharp reeds to scratch the records onto the tablets. The tablet would dry becoming a permanent record. However, not everyone could read or write therefore, official scribes had that duty. Scribes became important people since even some kings couldn't read. Knowing that the scribes kept all the records, it is logical that the scribe's duty would also included having good math skills just like in Egyptian culture

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It would be common then to make sculptures of their scribes as a tribute to them. One such sculpture that is believed to be a minister of finance is the stone sculpture of Ebi h-Il, the Superintendent of Man. The sculpture found in the Temple of Ishtar is made of a type of stone called alabaster. A closer look at the statuette reveals cheerful optimism by the person and a fur skirt, which tries to portray realism. With clasped hands and wide eyes there is a sense of divinity revealed by this sculpture

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The ziggurats were used as temples for worship of their many gods and goddesses according to Delahunt. Stone figures found in the Abu Temple, from about 27-- 2600 BC, reveal some interesting facts about religious traditions. These Tell Asmar figures were "stand-ins". These figures were part of a religious ritual of leaving stand-ins at the temple when a person was dead. The Sumerians contributed to the development of metalworking, wheeled carts, and potter's wheels. They may have invented the first form of writing. They engraved pictures on clay tablets in a form of writing known as cuneiform (wedge-shaped). The tablets were used to keep the accounts of the temple food storehouses. By about 2500 BCthese picture-signs were being refined into an alphabet.


WHAT IS THE EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION? Ancient Egypt as a general historical term broadly refers to the civilization of the Lower Nile Valley (or the Great Rift Valley) between the First Cataract and the mouths of the Nile Delta, from circa 3300 B.C.E. until the conquest of Alexander the Great in 332 B.C.E.. As a civilization based on irrigation, it is the quintessential example of a hydraulic empire. It was one of the oldest, and the longest, human civilizations. Egypt has been a great source of inspiration and of interest for Europeans especially, who regard it as of almost mysterious significance.


CULTURE AND SOCIETY OF THE EGYPTIAN CIVILIZATION Ancient Egyptian people usually wore white linen tunics, drapes and loin clothes. The clothing style was different for different classes of society. Pharaohs and priests used high quality material. The people from high society used to possess gold jewelery to maintain their status. The life of the ancient Egypt was dependent on Nile river. Nile was as equal to the life for them. The farmers of that age are known for the invention of the first irrigation system. Some scientists also believe that Egyptian farmers were the first farmers to use a plough.

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Ancient Egyptian language was at one point the longest surviving and used language. It was used from 3000BC to 11th century. Their writing system was made up of pictures of the real things like birds, tools, etc. These pictures are known as hieroglyph. This language was made up of more than 500 hieroglyphs and is known as hieroglyphics. On the stone monuments or tombs many forms of artistic hieroglyphics can be found.

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Pharaohs were the rulers of ancient Egypt. The laws were made and maintained by the Pharaohs. The laws of the ancient time were based on common-sense view of right and wrong. The punishments were decided considering the severity of the crime. Tomb robbery was considered as serious crime and tomb robbers were punished by execution. Sometimes criminals' families were also punished. The ancient Egyptian religion was followed for more than ten thousand years until the establishment of Christianity and Islam. Egyptians believed that spiritual part is the integral part of the human body. The beliefs and rituals developed, changed and merged with time depending on the ruling families. Ancient Egyptians were polytheist. Egyptians worshiped vast array of gods with many different powers. The gods were worshiped mainly for protections. Pharaohs were considered as the connections between material and spiritual realms. Priests worshipped gods on behalf of the Pharaohs. Though Egyptians built the temples, they were not open to the public The systems of oracles was used to communicate with gods.


WHAT IS MUMMIFICATION? Mummification is generally considered to be the artificial process by which the bodies of (usually notable) persons, as well as those of sacred animals, are intentionally preserved after death by treating them with various substances such as spices, gums, bitumen or natron.


WHAT IS THE CHINESE CIVILIZATION? In Asia a civilization developed many thousands of years ago, that still endures to this day. This civilization is known as China, or the Chinese Civilization. Like the Indus Valley Civilization, China’s strength lied in the fact that it was cut off from the rest of the world. Surrounded by oceans, mountains, and by the Gobi Desert, their homeland was virtually inaccessible to outside invaders.


CULTURE AND SOCIETY OF THE CHINESE CIVILIZATION Chinese civilization (6000BC)was settled in Huang he valley. •Initially- hunters & gathers, & fishing •Crops grown: millet and vegetables •Domesticated: dogs, pigs (meat) •Oxen & horses (labour) •Social life: •Priestly class assumed political role •Ancestor worship •Closely net family network

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Ancient China is associated with 3 dynasties: •Xia (Hsia)- Yu- great ruler •Shang-Founded by Yu •Zhou (Chou) •Qin dynasty (Chin)

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Chinese civilization, as described in mythology, begins with Pangu, the creator of the universe, and a succession of legendary sage-emperors and culture heroes who taught the ancient Chinese to communicate and to find sustenance, clothing, and shelter. The first prehistoric dynasty is said to be Xia, from about the twenty-first to the sixteenth century B.C. Until scientific excavations were made at early bronze-age sites in 1928, it was difficult to separate myth from reality in regard to the Xia. But since then, and especially in the 1960s and 1970s, archaeologists have uncovered urban sites, bronze implements, and tombs that point to the existence of Xia civilization in the same locations cited in ancient Chinese historical texts. At minimum, the Xia period marked an evolutionary stage between the late neolithic cultures that followed the settlement of nomadic tribes in the fertile valleys of the Yellow Riverand the subsequent first Chinese urban civilization of the Shang dynasty.

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Thousands of archaeological finds in the Huang He (Yellow River), Henan Valley --the apparent cradle of Chinese civilization--provide evidence about the Shang dynasty, which endured roughly from 1700 to 1027 B.C. The Shang dynasty (also called the Yin dynasty in its later stages) is believed to have been founded by a rebel leader who overthrew the last Xia ruler. Its civilization was based on agriculture, augmented by hunting and animal husbandry. Two important events of the period were the development of a writing system, as revealed in archaic Chinese inscriptions found on tortoise shells and flat cattle bones (commonly called oracle bones or), and the use of bronze metallurgy. A number of ceremonial bronze vessels with inscriptions date from the Shang period; the workmanship on the bronzes attests to a high level of civilization.

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