Each civilization that you will study in this unit made
important contributions to history.
The Mesopotamians developed writing.
The Egyptians created papyrus.
The Israelites’ scripture influenced the religions of Europe.
8000 B.C. 5000 B.C. 2000 B.C.
8000 B.C. 5000 B.C. 2000 B.C.
Hammurabi stands
before a god
c. 1790 B.C.
Hammurabi intro-
duces code of laws
c. 5000 B.C.
Hunter-gatherers settle
Nile River valley
c. 2540 B.C.
Egyptians complete
building of Great
c. 1500 B.C.
c. 2000 B.C.
enters Canaan
Pyramids at
Giza, Egypt
c. 8000 B.C.
Farming begins in
southwest Asia
Abraham leads
Israelites to Canaan
c. 3200 B.C.
Sumerians in
develop writing
(t)Reunion des Musees Nationaux/Art Resource, NY, (c)John Heaton/CORBIS, (b)Tom Lovell/National Geographic Society Image Collection
000-003 UO1-824133 4/3/04 4:02 PM Page 22
1000 B.C. 750 B.C. 500 B.C. 250 B.C. A.D. 100
1000 B.C. 750 B.C. 500 B.C. 250 B.C. A.D. 100
1,000 km
Mercator projection
1,000 mi.
Black Sea
Caspian Sea
Chapter 2
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Chapter 3
Chapter 1
Chapter 1
c. 1000 B.C.
King David rules Israel
c. 612 B.C.
Chaldeans capture
Assyrian capital
c. 1000 B.C.
Kush breaks
free of Egypt
728 B.C.
Kush conquers
168 B.C.
Maccabean revolt
A.D. 70
destroy temple
in Jerusalem
Jews led
into exile
Kushite king Taharqa
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3
Ancient Jerusalem
c. 744 B.C.
Assyria expands
into Babylon
Hanging gardens of
586 B.C.
Lion statue honoring
Kushite king Aspalta
(tl)Brooklyn Museum of Art, New York/Charles Edwin Wilbour Fund/Bridgeman Art Library, (bl)Erich Lessing/Art Resource, NY, (others)SuperStock
000-003 UO1-824133 8/3/04 4:03 PM Page 1
Ruled c. 1792–1750 B.C.
Babylonian king
Chapter 1, page 22
Ruled c. 1473–1458 B.C.
Egyptian pharaoh
Chapter 2, page 63
c. 3300 B.C.
Iceman found in
the Alps
Chapter 1, page 12
Mediterranean Sea
Ishtar Gate
See First Civilizations
Chapter 1
Sumerian figures
See First Civilizations
Chapter 1
2–3 ©Worldsat International Inc. 2004, All Rights Reserved, (t)S. Fiore/SuperStock, (c)Scala/Art Resource, NY, (bl)Giansanti Gianni/CORBIS Sygma, (bc)Louvre Museum, Paris/Bridgeman Art Library, (br)Metropolitan
Museum of Art, Rogers Fund and Edward S. Harkness Gift,1929 (29.3.3)
000-003 UO1-824133 3/17/05 11:34 AM Page 2
Ruled c. 1279–1213 B.C.
Egyptian ruler
Chapter 2, page 66
Ruled c. 1000–970 B.C.
King of Israel
Chapter 3, page 88
c. 1100 B.C.
Israelite women
Chapter 3, page 99
Egyptian sphinx
See Ancient Egypt
Chapter 2
Kushite pyramids
See Ancient Egypt
Chapter 2
Western Wall
See Ancient Israelites
Chapter 3
(t to b)Sylvain Grandadam/Getty Images, Timothy Kendall/Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, Gary Cralle/Getty Images, (l to r)O. Louis Mazzatenta/National Geographic Society Image Collection, SuperStock,
000-003 UO1-875047 9/7/06 7:09 PM Page 3
c. 3000 B.C.
Bronze Age
c. 1792 B.C.
612 B.C.
Nineveh captured;
Assyrian Empire
3000 B.C. 2000 B.C. 1000 B.C.
3000 B.C. 2000 B.C. 1000 B.C.
Ruins of a ziggurat in Iraq
The First
Georg Gerster/Photo Researchers
004-007 CO1-824133 3/8/04 9:29 PM Page 4
Chapter Preview
Some of the first civilizations arose in southwest Asia. The
people of these civilizations gradually learned how to farm
and developed systems of government, writing, and religion.
View the Chapter 1 video in the World History: Journey
Across Time Video Program.
Chapter Overview Visit
jat.glencoe.com for a preview
of Chapter 1.
Compare and Contrast Make this foldable to help you compare and contrast
the ancient civilizations of Mesopotamia.
Reading and Writing
As you read the chapter,
write notes under each
appropriate tab of your
foldable. Keep in mind
that you are trying to
compare these
Step 1 Fold a sheet of paper
in half from side to side.
Fold it so the left
edge lies about
inch from the
right edge.
This will make
three tabs.
The First Civilizations
Early Humans
The earliest humans hunted animals and gathered
plants for food. When farming developed, people
settled in towns and cities.
Mesopotamian Civilization
In early Mesopotamian civilizations, religion and
government were closely linked. Kings created
strict laws to govern the people.
The First Empires
New empires arose in Mesopotamia around 900 B.C.
These civilizations included the Assyrians and the
Chaldeans. They used powerful armies and iron
weapons to conquer the region.
Step 2 Turn the paper and
fold it into thirds.
Step 3 Unfold and cut
the top layer only along
both folds.
Step 4 Label as shown.
004-007 CO1-824133 3/8/04 9:31 PM Page 5
Early Humans
Paleolithic people adapted to
their environment and invented many tools
to help them survive.
Reading Focus What do you view as the
greatest human achievement? Sending people to
the moon, perhaps, or inventing the computer?
Read to learn about the accomplishments of
people during the Paleolithic Age.
History is the story of
humans . . .
Tools of Discovery
the main
in large red
type. They
show the
main topics
covered in
the section
or chapter.
4–Under each main
head, read the sub-
heads in blue type.
Subheads break down
each main topic into
smaller topics.
helps you to
make a connection
between what you
might already
know and what you
are about to read.
under each main
head tells you the
“big picture.” It
summarizes the
main point of
what you are
about to read.
As you skim, also
look at pictures,
maps, and charts.
Get Ready to Read!
Before you read, take time to preview the chapter. This will give you
a head start on what you are about to learn. Follow the steps below
to help you quickly read, or skim, Section 1 on page 9.
004-007 CO1-875047 10/2/06 2:27 PM Page 6
Skim Section 2 on your own. Write
one thing in your notebook that you
want to learn by reading this chapter.
Use each main head,
the main ideas, and the
subheads in Section 2
of this chapter to create
a study outline.
Read to Write
Preview by Skimming
First Empires
Skim all of the main heads and main ideas in Section 3
starting on page 26. Then, in small groups, discuss the
answers to these questions.
Which part of this section do you think will be most
interesting to you?
What do you think will be covered in Section 3 that
was not covered in Section 2?
Are there any words in the Main Ideas that you
do not know how to pronounce?
Choose one of the Reading
Focus questions to discuss
in your group.
004-007 CO1-824133 3/8/04 9:36 PM Page 7
What’s the Connection?
Today people live in towns and
cities of various sizes and make their
living in different ways. Read to find
out how early humans lived by
moving from place to place, forming
settlements, and exploring different
ways to provide for themselves and
their families.
Focusing on the
Paleolithic people adapted to their
environment and invented many
tools to help them survive.
(page 9)
In the Neolithic Age, people started
farming, building communities,
producing goods, and trading.
(page 13)
Locating Places
Jericho (JEHRihKOH)
Çatal Hüyük
(chahTAHL hooYOOK)
Building Your Vocabulary
historian (hihSTOHReeuhn)
artifact (AHRtihFAKT)
fossil (FAHsuhl)
(ANthruhPAH luhjihst)
nomad (NOHMAD)
technology (tehkNAHluhjee)
domesticate (duhMEHStihKAYT)
Reading Strategy
Determine Cause and Effect Draw
a diagram like the one below. Use it
to explain how early humans adapted
to their environment.
c. 8000 B.C.
c. 6700 B.C.
Çatal Hüyük
c. 3000 B.C.
Bronze Age
8000 B.C. 6000 B.C. 4000 B.C. 2000 B.C.
8000 B.C. 6000 B.C. 4000 B.C. 2000 B.C.
8 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
008-015 C1S1-824133 3/8/04 10:15 PM Page 8
Archaeologists may use plaster
to make a form or an imprint of
something they have found.
Layers of soil are
deposited one on
top of another. In gen-
eral, the farther the
layer is below the sur-
face, the older its soil
and artifacts are.
Artifacts must be handled and
cleaned carefully, often with soft
brushes or other instruments.
This scientist uses a wire mesh
screen to sift the soil to
discover small fragments
of artifacts.
Grids like these help archaeologists
record and map any artifacts found.
Early Humans
Paleolithic people adapted to their
environment and invented many tools to help them
Reading Focus What do you view as the greatest
human achievement? Sending people to the moon,
perhaps, or inventing the computer? Read to learn
about the accomplishments of people during the
Paleolithic Age.
History is the story of humans in the
past. It tells what they did and what hap-
pened to them. Historians (hihSTOHRee
uhns) are people who study and write about
the human past. They tell us that history
began about 5,500 years ago, when people
first began to write. But the story of people
really begins in prehistory—the time before
people developed writing.
Tools of Discovery What we know about
the earliest people comes from the things
they left behind. Scientists have worked
to uncover clues about early human life.
Archaeologists (AHR kee AH luh jihsts)
hunt for evidence buried in the ground
where settlements might once have been.
They dig up and study artifacts (AHR tih
FAKTS)—weapons, tools, and other things
made by humans. They also look for fossils
(FAH suhls)—traces of plants or animals
that have been preserved in rock.
Anthropologists (AN thruh PAH luh jihsts)
focus on human society. They study how
humans developed and how they related
to one another.
Historians call the early period of
human history the Stone Age. The name
comes from the fact that people during this
time used stone to make tools and weapons.
Archaeological Dig
Archaeological Dig
Archaeologists use special techniques and tools when carrying
out a dig. Artifacts are photographed or sketched and their
locations are mapped and noted. Soil is passed through a mesh
screen to collect small fragments of tools or bone. What types
of artifacts do archaeologists look for?
008-015 C1S1-824133 3/8/04 10:17 PM Page 9
Cave Paintings
The oldest examples of Paleolithic art are
cave paintings found in Spain and France.
Most of the paintings are of animals.
The paintings show that Paleolithic artists
often used several colors and techniques.
They sometimes used the uneven surface of
the rock to create a three-dimensional effect.
What does this cave painting tell us about
life in the Paleolithic Age?
10 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
Painting of bison in Spanish cave
who regularly move from place to place.
They traveled in bands of 30 or so members
because it was safer and made the search
for food easier.
Men and women did different tasks
within the group. Women stayed close to the
campsite, which was typically near a stream
or other water source. They looked after the
children and searched nearby woods and
meadows for berries, nuts, and grains.
Men hunted animals—an activity that
sometimes took them far from camp. They
had to learn the habits of animals and make
tools for the kill. At first, they used clubs or
drove the animals off cliffs. Over time,
Paleolithic people invented spears, traps,
and bows and arrows.
Adapting to the Environment The way
that Paleolithic people lived depended on
where they lived. Those in warm climates
needed little clothing or shelter. People in
cold climates sought protection from the
weather in caves. Over time, Paleolithic
people created new kinds of shelter. The
most common was probably made of ani-
mal hides held up by wooden poles.
Paleolithic people made a life-changing
discovery when they learned to tame fire.
Fire gave warmth to those gathered around
it. It lit the darkness and scared away wild
animals. Food cooked over the fire tasted
better and was easier to digest. In addition,
smoked meat could be kept longer.
Archaeologists believe that early humans
started fires by rubbing two pieces of wood
together. Paleolithic people later made drill-
like wooden tools to start fires.
What Were the Ice Ages? Fire was a key
to the survival of Paleolithic people during
the Ice Ages. These were long periods of
extreme cold. The last Ice Age began about
100,000 B.C. From then until about 8000 B.C.,
The earliest part of the period is the
Paleolithic or Old Stone Age. Paleolithic
means “old stone” in the Greek language.
Paleolithic times began roughly 2.5 million
years ago and lasted until around 8000
Who Were the Hunter-Gatherers? Try to
imagine the world during the Stone Age,
long before any roadways, farms, or vil-
lages existed. Early humans spent most of
their time searching for food. They hunted
animals, caught fish, ate insects, and gath-
ered nuts, berries, fruits, grains, and plants.
Because they hunted and gathered,
Paleolithic people were always on the move.
They were nomads (NOH MADS), or people
Michael Holford
008-015 C1S1-824133 3/8/04 10:20 PM Page 10
thick ice sheets covered parts of Europe,
Asia, and North America.
The Ice Age was a threat to human life.
People risked death from the cold and also
from hunger. Early humans had to adapt
by changing their diet, building sturdier
shelters, and using animal furs to make
warm clothing. The mastery of fire helped
people live in this environment.
Language, Art, and Religion Another
advance in Paleolithic times was the devel-
opment of spoken language. Language made
it far easier for people to work together and
to pass on knowledge.
Early people expressed themselves not
only in words but in art. They crushed yel-
low, black, and red rocks to make powders
for paint. Then they dabbed this on cave
walls, creating scenes of lions, oxen, pan-
thers, and other animals.
Historians are not sure why these cave
paintings were created. They may have had
religious meaning. Early people also might
have thought that painting an animal would
bring good luck in the hunt.
The Invention of Tools Paleolithic people
were the first to use technology (tehkNAH
luhjee)—tools and methods to help humans
perform tasks. People often used a hard
stone called flint to make tools. By hitting
flint with a hard stone, they could make it
flake into pieces with very sharp edges. To
make hand axes or hunting spears, they
tied wooden poles to pieces of flint that
were the right shape for the tool.
Over time, early people grew more
skilled at making tools. They crafted smaller
and sharper tools, such as fishhooks and
needles made from animal bones. They
used needles to make nets and baskets and
to sew hides together for clothing.
How are fossils
and artifacts different?
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 11
Tools One of the most important
advances of prehistoric people was the
creation of stone tools. Tools made
hunting, gathering, building shelter,
and making clothing much easier.
The first tools were made of
stones. Early humans quickly learned
that grinding, breaking, and shaping
the stones to create sharp edges
made them more useful.
As technology advanced, people
began making specific tools such as
food choppers, meat scrapers, and
spear points. In time, people learned
that hitting a stone in a particular
way would produce a flake—a long,
sharp chip. Flakes were similar to
knives in the way they were used.
Flaking tools from
a larger stone
Connecting to the Past
1. Why do you think early people chose
stones to make their first tools?
2. How were flakes created?
American Museum of Natural History
008-015 C1S1-824133 3/8/04 10:24 PM Page 11
c. 3300
. 1991 two hikers near the border between
Austria and Italy discovered the frozen body of a man.
The man was called “Ötzi” after the Ötztal Alps, the
mountains where he was found. Scientists studied
Ötzi’s body, his clothes, and the items found with him
to uncover clues about his life and death. One of the
first amazing facts scientists learned was that Ötzi
lived 5,300 years ago, during the Neolithic Age.
Ötzi was dressed warmly because of the cold
climate. He was wearing a fur hat and a long grass cloak.
Under the cloak was a leather jacket that was well-made but
had been repaired several times. To keep his feet warm, he had
stuffed grass in the bottom of his leather shoes. Scientists studied the tools and supplies
Ötzi was carrying and decided that he planned to be away from home for many months.
A bow and arrows, copper ax, and backpack were among the supplies found near Ötzi’s
body. Experts believe Ötzi was a shepherd who traveled with his herd. Ötzi probably
returned to his village only twice a year.
From recent tests, scientists have learned more about the last hours of Ötzi’s life.
Shortly before he died, Ötzi ate a type of flat bread that is similar to a cracker, an herb or
other green plant, and meat. Pollen found in Ötzi’s stomach showed that he ate his last
meal in the valley, south of where he was found.When Ötzi finished eating, he headed up
into the mountains. Eight hours later, he died. Scientists
believe that Ötzi’s last hours were violent ones. When
found, he clutched a knife in his right hand. Wounds on
his right hand suggest that he tried to fight off an
attacker. His left shoulder had been deeply pierced by an
arrow. Some scientists think Ötzi may have wandered
into another tribe’s territory. Ötzi is now displayed at
the South Tyrol Museum of Archaeology in Bolzano, Italy.
Scientists created this
reproduction to show what
Ötzi may have looked like.
If scientists 5,300 years from now discovered
the remains of someone from our time, what
might they conclude about our society?
This copper ax, along with the
bow and arrows that you can see
above, were Ötzi’s main weapons.
(tr)Giansanti Gianni/CORBIS Sygma, (bl)Kenneth Garrett
008-015 C1S1-875047 9/7/06 7:14 PM Page 12
Neolithic Times
In the Neolithic Age, people started
farming, building communities, producing goods,
and trading.
Reading Focus Did you know that, today, more than a
third of the world’s people work in agriculture? Read to
learn how farming began and how it changed the world.
After the last Ice Age ended, people
began to change their way of life. They began
to domesticate (duhMEHStihKAYT), or tame
animals and plants for human use. Animals
provided meat, milk, and wool. They also
carried goods and pulled carts.
In addition, people also learned how to
grow food. For the first time, people could
stay in one place to grow grains and vegeta-
bles. Gradually, farming replaced hunting
and gathering.
This change in the way people lived
marked the beginning of the Neolithic Age,
or New Stone Age, which began about
B.C. and lasted until about 4000 B.C.
Why Was Farming Important? Historians
call the changes in the Neolithic Age the
farming revolution. The word revolution
refers to changes that greatly affect many
areas of life. Some historians consider the
farming revolution the most important
event in human history.
Farming did not begin in one region and
spread. People in different parts of the
world discovered how to grow crops at
about the same time. In Asia, people grew
wheat, barley, rice, soybeans, and a grain
called millet. In Mexico, farmers grew corn,
squash, and potatoes. In Africa, they grew
millet and a grain called sorghum.
Farming developed in many regions of the world.
1. According to the map, what crops were grown
in North America?
2. On which two continents did barley and
wheat grow?
Find NGS online map resources @
Sweet potatoes
Early Farming 7000–2000 B.C.
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 13
008-015 C1S1-875047 9/12/06 4:16 PM Page 13
Paleolithic Age
People hunted animals and
gathered nuts, berries, and grains.
Neolithic Age
of Art and
How Humans
Obtained Food
How Humans
Paleolithic people painted cave
walls. They usually painted
People learned to make fire,
created a language, and
made simple tools and
People began to farm in permanent
villages. They continued to raise
and herd animals.
Neolithic people made pottery and
carved objects out of wood. They
also built shelters and tombs.
People built mud-brick houses and
places of worship. They specialized
in certain jobs and used copper and
bronze to create more useful tools.
Work of Women
and Men
Women gathered food and cared
for children. Men hunted.
Women cared for children and
performed household tasks.
Men herded, farmed, and protected
the village.
Comparing the Neolithic and Paleolithic Ages
Comparing the Neolithic and Paleolithic Ages
14 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
Humans made great advances from the
Paleolithic Age to the Neolithic Age.
1. How did the work of men change from the
Paleolithic Age to the Neolithic Age?
2. Describe What advances were made in
toolmaking between the Paleolithic and
Neolithic Ages?
The Growth of Villages People who
farmed could settle in one place. Herders
remained nomadic and drove their animals
wherever they could find grazing land.
Farmers, however, had to stay close to their
fields to water the plants, keep hungry ani-
mals away, and harvest their crops. They
began to live in villages, where they built
permanent homes.
During the Neolithic Age, villages were
started in Europe, India, Egypt, China, and
Mexico. The earliest known communities
have been found in the Middle East. One of
the oldest is Jericho
(JEHR ih KOH) in the
West Bank between what are now Israel and
Jordan. This city dates back to about 8000
Another well-known Neolithic commu-
nity is Çatal Hüyük (chah TAHL hoo
YOOK) in present-day Turkey. Little of it
remains, but it was home to some 6,000 peo-
ple between about 6700
B.C. and 5700 B.C.
They lived in simple mud-brick houses that
were packed tightly together and decorated
inside with wall paintings. They used other
buildings as places of worship. Along with
farming, the people hunted, raised sheep
and goats, and ate fish and bird eggs from
nearby marshes.
(l)Michael Holford, (r)Ron Sheridan/Ancient Art & Architecture Collection
008-015 C1S1-824133 3/8/04 10:31 PM Page 14
Reading Summary
Review the
Early humans were nomads who
moved around to hunt animals
and gather food. They built
shelters and used fire to survive.
In time, they developed language
and art.
During the farming revolution,
people began to grow crops
and domesticate animals,
which allowed them to settle
in villages.
1. Who are archaeologists and
what do they study?
2. How did domesticating animals
help the Neolithic people?
Critical Thinking
3. Determine Cause and
Draw a diagram like the
one below. List some of the
effects that farming had on
people’s lives.
Why were Paleolithic
people nomads?
Compare Compare the tech-
nology of the Paleolithic Age
with that of the Neolithic Age.
Analyze Why was the ability
to make a fire so important?
Create a three-column chart.
In the first column, write what
you knew about early humans
before you read this section.
In the second column, write
what you learned after reading.
In the third, write what you
still would like to know.
What Did You Learn?
Study Central™ Need help with the
material in this section? Visit jat.glencoe.com
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 15
The Benefits of a Settled Life The shift
to settled life brought Neolithic people
greater security than they had ever known.
Steady food supplies meant healthy, grow-
ing populations. With a bigger population,
there were more workers to produce a
bigger crop.
Because villagers produced more than
enough to eat, they began to trade their
extra foodstuffs. They traded with people
in their own communities and also with
people who lived in other areas.
People began to practice specialization
(SPEH shuhluhZAYshuhn), or the develop-
ment of different kinds of jobs. Because not
everyone was needed for farming, some
people had the time to develop other types
of skills. They made pottery from clay to
store their grain and other foods. They used
plant fibers to make mats and to weave
cloth. These craftspeople, like farmers,
also took part in trade. They exchanged
the things they made for goods they did
not have.
In late Neolithic times, people contin-
ued to make advances. Toolmakers created
better farming tools, such as the sickle for
cutting grain. In some places, people began
to work with metals. At first they used cop-
per. They heated rocks to melt the copper
inside and then poured it into molds for
tools and weapons.
After 4000
B.C., craftspeople in western
Asia mixed copper and tin to form bronze.
Bronze was harder and longer lasting than
copper. It became widely used between
3000 B.C. and 1200 B.C., the period known as
the Bronze Age.
How did the
Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages differ?
008-015 C1S1-824133 3/17/05 11:17 AM Page 15
16 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
What’s the Connection?
In Section 1, you learned about
early humans settling in towns.
Some settled in Mesopotamia, an
area called the “cradle of civilization.
Focusing on the
Civilization in Mesopotamia began
in the valleys of the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers.
(page 17)
Sumerians invented writing and
made other important contributions
to later peoples.
(page 20)
Sumerian city-states lost power
when they were conquered by
(page 23)
Locating Places
Tigris River (TYgruhs)
Euphrates River (yuFRAYteez)
(MEHsuhpuhTAY meeuh)
Sumer (SOOmuhr)
Babylon (BAbuhluhn)
Meeting People
Hammurabi (HAmuhRAHbee)
Building Your Vocabulary
irrigation (IHRuhGAYshuhn)
cuneiform (kyooNEEuhFAWRM)
scribe (SKRYB)
empire (EHMPYR)
Reading Strategy
Sequencing Information Use a
diagram to show how the first empire
in Mesopotamia came about.
3000 B.C.
arise in Sumer
c. 2340 B.C.
Sargon conquers
c. 1792 B.C.
Hammurabi rules
3000 B.C. 2250 B.C. 1500 B.C.
3000 B.C. 2250 B.C. 1500 B.C.
city-states formed
016-023 C1S2-875047 9/7/06 7:23 PM Page 16
Ancient Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia’s Civilization
Civilization in Mesopotamia began in
the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
Reading Focus Do you live in a region that receives
plenty of rain or in a region that is dry? Think about
how that affects you as you read how the Sumerians’
environment affected them.
Over thousands of years, some of the
early farming villages developed into civi-
lizations. Civilizations (SIH vuh luh ZAY
shuhns) are complex societies. They have
cities, organized governments, art, religion,
class divisions, and a writing system.
Why Were River Valleys Important? The
first civilizations arose in river valleys
because good farming conditions made it
easy to feed large numbers of people. The
rivers also provided fish and freshwater,
and made it easy to travel and to trade.
Trade provided a way for goods and ideas to
move from place to place. It was no accident,
then, that cities grew up in these valleys and
became the centers of civilizations.
As cities took shape, so did the need for
organization. Someone had to make plans
and decisions about matters of common
concern. People formed governments to do
just that. Their leaders took charge of food
supplies and building projects. They made
laws to keep order and assembled armies to
fend off enemies.
With fewer worries about meeting their
basic needs, people in the river valleys had
more time to think about other things. They
developed religions and the arts. To pass on
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 17
A number of great civilizations
developed in Mesopotamia.
1. Into what body of water do the
Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers flow?
2. Why do you think the region of
Mesopotamia was so well suited
for the growth of civilization?
Sculpture of chariot
from Mesopotamia
Fertile Crescent
Hirmer Verlag
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information, they invented ways of writing.
They also created calendars to tell time.
Early civilizations shared another fea-
ture—they had a class structure. That is,
people held different places in society
depending on what work they did and how
much wealth or power they had.
The Rise of Sumer The earliest-known civ-
ilization arose in what is now southern Iraq,
on a flat plain bounded by the Tigris River
(TY gruhs) and the Euphrates River (yu
FRAYteez). Later, the Greeks called this area
Mesopotamia (MEH suh puh TAY mee uh),
meaning “the land between the rivers.”
Mesopotamia lay in the eastern part of the
Fertile Crescent, a curving strip of land that
extends from the Mediterranean Sea to the
Persian Gulf.
Mesopotamia had a hot, dry climate.
In the spring, the rivers often flooded,
leaving behind rich soil for farming. The
problem was that the flooding was very
unpredictable. It might flood one year, but
not the next. Every year, farmers worried
about their crops. They came to believe
they needed their gods to bless their
Over time, the farmers learned to build
dams and channels to control the seasonal
floods. They also built walls, waterways,
and ditches to bring water to their fields. This
way of watering crops is called irrigation
(IHR uh GAY shuhn). Irrigation allowed the
farmers to grow plenty of food and support
a large population. By 3000 B.C., many cities
had formed in southern Mesopotamia in a
region known as Sumer (SOO muhr).
Sumerian Ziggurat
Sumerian Ziggurat
The top of the ziggurat was considered to be a holy place, and the area around
the ziggurat contained palaces and royal storehouses. The surrounding walls
had only one entrance because the ziggurat also served as the city’s treasury.
How did people reach the upper levels of the ziggurat?
Statues of Sumerians
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CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 19
These ruins are from the
Sumerian city-state of Uruk.
What was a city-state?
What Were City-States? Sumerian cities
were isolated from each other by geography.
Beyond the areas of settlement lay mudflats
and patches of scorching desert. This terrain
made travel and communication difficult.
Each Sumerian city and the land around
it became a separate city-state. It had its
own government and was not part of any
larger unit.
Sumerian city-states often went to war
with one another. They fought to gain glory
and to control more territory. For protec-
tion, each city-state surrounded itself with a
wall. Because stone and wood were in short
supply, the Sumerians used river mud as
their main building material. They mixed
the mud with crushed reeds, formed bricks,
and left them in the sun to dry. The hard
waterproof bricks were used for walls, as
well as homes, temples, and other buildings.
Gods and Rulers The Sumerians believed
in many gods. Each was thought to have
power over a natural force or a human activ-
ity—flooding, for example, or basket weav-
ing. The Sumerians tried hard to please the
gods. Each city-state built a grand temple
called a ziggurat (ZIH guh RAT) to its chief
god. The word ziggurat means “mountain of
god” or “hill of heaven.”
With tiers like a giant square wedding
cake, the ziggurat dominated the city. At
the top was a shrine, or special place of
worship that only priests and priestesses
could enter. The priests and priestesses
were powerful and controlled much of the
land. They may even have ruled at one time.
A portion of the Royal
Standard of Ur, a deco-
rated box that shows
scenes of Sumerian life
(l)Nik Wheeler/CORBIS, (r)Michael Holford
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A Skilled People
Sumerians invented writing and made
other important contributions to later peoples.
Reading Focus Do you like to read? If so, you owe a
debt to the Sumerians, because they were the first to
invent writing. Read about this achievement and others.
The Sumerians left a lasting mark on
world history. Their ideas and inventions
were copied and improved upon by other
peoples. As a result, Mesopotamia has been
called the “cradle of civilization.”
Why Was Writing Important? The people
of Sumer created many things that still affect
our lives today. Probably their greatest
invention was writing. Writing is impor-
tant because it helps people keep records
and pass on their ideas to others.
People in Sumer developed writ-
ing to keep track of business deals and
other events. Their writing was called
cuneiform (kyoo NEE uh FAWRM). It
consisted of hundreds of wedge-
shaped marks cut into damp clay
tablets with a sharp-ended reed.
Archaeologists have found thousands
of these cuneiform tablets, telling us
much about Mesopotamian life.
Only a few people—mostly boys from
wealthy families—learned how to write.
After years of training, they became scribes
(SKRYBS), or record keepers. Scribes held
honored positions in society, often going on
to become judges and political leaders.
Sumerian Literature The Sumerians also
produced works of literature. The world’s
oldest known story comes from Sumer. It is
called the Epic of Gilgamesh (GIHL guh
MEHSH). An epic is a long poem that tells the
story of a hero. The hero Gilgamesh is a
king who travels around the world with a
friend and performs great deeds. When his
Later, kings ran the government. They
led armies and organized building projects.
The first kings were probably war heroes.
Their position became hereditary. That is,
after a king died, his son took over.
What Was Life Like in Sumer? While
Sumerian kings lived in large palaces,
ordinary people lived in small mud-brick
houses. Most people in Sumer farmed. Some,
however, were artisans (AHRtuh zuhns), or
skilled workers who made metal products,
cloth, or pottery. Other people in Sumer
worked as merchants or traders. They trav-
eled to other cities and towns and traded
tools, wheat, and barley for
copper, tin, and timber—things
that Sumer did not have.
People in Sumer were
divided into three social
classes. The upper class
included kings, priests, and
government officials. In the
middle class were artisans,
merchants, farmers, and fish-
ers. These people made up
the largest group. The lower
class were enslaved people
who worked on farms or in
the temples.
Enslaved people were
forced to serve others.
Slaveholders thought of them as property.
Some slaves were prisoners of war. Others
were criminals. Still others were enslaved
because they had to pay off their debts.
In Sumer, women and men had separate
roles. Men headed the households. Only
males could go to school. Women, however,
did have rights. They could buy and sell
property and run businesses.
How did Mesopo-
tamians control the flow of the Tigris and
Euphrates Rivers?
20 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
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Today, both boys and girls
go to school. They study reading,
writing, and mathematics, but also
many other subjects. As students
advance in their education, they have
a great number of career choices and are
able to choose the career that fits their talents.
In what way is education different today than
it was in Mesopotamia?
In ancient Mesopotamia, only boys from
wealthy and high-ranking families went to the
edubba, which means “tablet house.” At the
edubba—the world’s first school—boys
studied reading, writing, and mathematics
and trained to be scribes. For hours
every day, they copied the signs of the
cuneiform script, trying to master
hundreds of words
and phrases.
Mesopotamian cuneiform tablet
Students today
friend dies, Gilgamesh searches for a way to
live forever. He learns that this is possible
only for the gods.
Advances in Science and Math The
Mesopotamians’ creativity extended to
technology too. You read earlier about
Sumerian irrigation systems. Sumerians
also invented the wagon wheel to help
carry people and goods from place to place.
Another breakthrough was the plow, which
made farming easier. Still another invention
was the sailboat, which replaced muscle
power with wind power.
Sumerians developed many mathemati-
cal ideas. They used geometry to measure
fields and put up buildings. They also
created a number system based on 60. We
have them to thank for our 60-minute hour,
60-second minute, and 360-degree circle.
In addition, Sumerian people watched
the skies to learn the best times to plant
crops and to hold religious festivals. They
recorded the positions of the planets and
stars and developed a 12-month calendar
based on the cycles of the moon.
What kind of writ-
ten language did the Sumerians use?
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 21
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Reigned c. 1792–1750
Hammurabi was a young man when he succeeded
his father, Sinmuballit, as king of Babylon. When
Hammurabi became king, Babylon was already a
major power in Mesopotamia. During his reign,
however, Hammurabi transformed Babylon from
a small city-state into a large, powerful state.
He also united Mesopotamia under one rule.
Hammurabi called himself “Strong King of Babel.
Hammurabi was directly involved in the ruling of
his kingdom. He personally directed projects, such as
building city walls, restoring temples, and digging and
cleaning irrigation canals. A great deal of planning
went into his projects. City streets, for example, were
arranged in straight lines and intersected at right
angles, much like the way our cities are planned today.
One of Hammurabi’s goals was to control the
Euphrates River because it provided water for
Babylon’s farms and trade routes for cargo ships.
However, other kings also wanted control of the river. One of Hammurabi’s rivals in
the battle for the Euphrates was Rim-Sin of Larsa. During Hammurabi’s last 14 years
as king, he and his soldiers fought against Rim-Sin and other enemies. Hammurabi
actually used water to defeat Rim-Sin and his people. He sometimes did this by
damming the water and releasing a sudden flood, and sometimes by withholding
water needed for drinking and for crops.
After defeating his enemies, Hammurabi ruled briefly over a unified
Mesopotamia. Hammurabi soon became ill, and his son, Samsuiluna, took over
his duties and was crowned king after his death. Because of Hammurabi’s great
efforts, however, the center of power
in Mesopotamia shifted from Sumer
in the south to Babylon in the north,
where it remained for the next
1,000 years.
Do any nations currently have law codes that
resemble Hammurabi’s? Use the Internet and
your local library to identify countries with law
codes that you think are somewhat fair but
somewhat cruel.
016-023 C1S2-875047 9/7/06 7:45 PM Page 22
Reading Summary
Review the
In time, farming villages devel-
oped into civilizations with
governments, art, religion, writ-
ing, and social class divisions.
The first city-states developed
in Mesopotamia.
Many important ideas and inven-
tions, including writing, the wheel,
the plow, and a number system
based on 60, were developed in
the region of Mesopotamia.
Several empires, including the
Babylonian Empire, took control
of Mesopotamia.
1. What is a civilization?
2. What was the Code of
Critical Thinking
Summarize Information
Draw a chart like the one below.
Use it to list the achievements
of Mesopotamian civilization.
Geography Skills How was
the geography of Mesopotamia
suited for the growth of
population and creation of
a civilization?
Science Link
Why did the
Sumerians record the positions
of stars and planets and
develop a calendar?
Persuasive Writing
you are living in a city-state
in ancient Sumer.Write a letter
to a friend describing which
Mesopotamian idea or invention
you believe will be the most
important to humanity.
What Did You Learn?
Study Central™ Need help with the
material in this section? Visit jat.glencoe.com
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 23
Sargon and Hammurabi
Sumerian city-states lost power when
they were conquered by outsiders.
Reading Focus Have you heard of the Roman Empire,
the Aztec Empire, or the British Empire? The rise and fall
of empires is an important part of history. Read on to
learn about the first empires in the world.
Over time, conflicts weakened Sumer’s
city-states. They became vulnerable to attacks
by outside groups such as the Akkadians (uh
KAY dee uhnz) of northern Mesopotamia.
The king of the Akkadians was named
Sargon (SAHR GAHN). In about 2340 B.C.,
Sargon conquered all of Mesopotamia. He set
up the world’s first empire. An empire (EHM
PYR) is a group of many different lands under
one ruler. Sargon’s empire lasted for more
than 200 years before falling to invaders.
In the 1800s
B.C., a new group of people
became powerful in Mesopotamia. They
built the city of Babylon (BA buh luhn) by
the Euphrates River. It quickly became a
center of trade. Beginning in 1792 B.C., the
Babylonian king, Hammurabi (HA muh RAH
bee), began conquering cities to the north and
south and created the Babylonian Empire.
Hammurabi is best known for his law
code, or collection of laws. (See pages 24 and
25.) He took what he believed were the best
laws from each city-state and put them in
one code. The code covered crimes, farming
and business activities, and marriage and
the family—almost every area of life. The
code forced everyone in Babylon to follow
the same laws. It also influenced later laws,
including those of Greece and Rome.
Explain Why was Sargon’s
empire important?
Achievements of
Mesopotamian Civilization
016-023 C1S2-875047 9/7/06 7:53 PM Page 23
Hammurabi’s Laws:
Fair or Cruel?
Around 1750
., King Hammurabi
wrote 282 laws to govern the people of
Babylon. Historians and scholars agree
that these ancient laws were the first to
cover all aspects of society. However,
historians and scholars do not agree
whether Hammurabi’s laws were fair or
Those who see the laws as just and
fair give the following reasons. They
say the laws
stated what all people needed to
know about the rules of their
brought order and justice to society
regulated many different activities,
from business contracts to crime.
King Hammurabi wrote an intro-
duction to his list of laws. In that
introduction, he says that the laws
were written to be fair. His intention
was “to bring about the rule of
righteousness in the land, to destroy
the wicked and evil-doers, so that
the strong should not harm the
Some of the laws reflect that
Law 5: If a judge makes an error
through his own fault when trying
a case, he must pay a fine, be
removed from the judge’s bench,
and never judge another case.
Law 122: If someone gives some-
thing to someone else for safe-
keeping, the transaction should
be witnessed and a contract
made between the two parties.
Law 233: If a contractor
builds a house for
someone and the
walls start to fall,
then the builder
must use his
own money
and labor to
make the
walls secure.
Stone monument showing
Hammurabi (standing)
and his code
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Some historians and scholars think
Hammurabi’s laws were cruel and
unjust. They say the laws
called for violent punishments, often
death, for nonviolent crimes
required different punishments for
accused persons of different social
allowed no explanation from an
accused person.
Some of the laws reflect this cruelty.
Law 3: If someone falsely accuses
someone else of certain crimes, then
he shall be put to death.
Law 22: If someone is caught in the
act of robbery, then he shall be put
to death.
Law 195: If a son strikes his father,
the son’s hands shall be cut off.
Law 202: If someone strikes a man
of higher rank, then he shall be
whipped 60 times in public.
Cuneiform tablet with the text of the
introduction to the Code of Hammurabi
Checking for Understanding
Why do some people think
Hammurabi’s laws were fair?
2. Why do others think the laws
were cruel?
3. Were the laws fair or cruel? Take
the role of a historian.Write a
brief essay that explains how
you view Hammurabi’s laws.
Be sure to use facts to support
your position. You can compare
Hammurabi’s laws to our
modern laws to support your
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First Empires
26 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
What’s the Connection?
In Section 2, you learned about the
empires of Sargon and Hammurabi.
Later empires—those of the Assyrians
and the Chaldeans—used their
military power in new ways.
Focusing on the
Assyria’s military power and well-
organized government helped it
build a vast empire in Mesopotamia
by 650
B.C. (page 27)
The Chaldean Empire built important
landmarks in Babylon and developed
the first calendar with a seven-day
(page 29)
Locating Places
Assyria (uhSIHReeuh)
Persian Gulf (PUHRzhuhn)
Nineveh (NIHnuhvuh)
Hanging Gardens
Meeting People
Building Your Vocabulary
province (PRAHvuhns)
caravan (KARuhVAN)
Reading Strategy
Compare and Contrast Complete
a Venn diagram like the one below
listing the similarities and differences
between the Assyrian Empire and the
Chaldean Empire.
Assyrians Chaldeans
c. 900 B.C.
Assyrians control
612 B.C.
Nineveh captured;
Assyrian Empire
539 B.C.
Persians conquer
900 B.C. 700 B.C. 500 B.C.
900 B.C. 700 B.C. 500 B.C.
026-030 C1S3-824133 7/14/04 6:38 PM Page 26
The Assyrians
Assyria’s military power and well-
organized government helped it build a vast empire
in Mesopotamia by 650
Reading Focus Today, many countries have armed
forces to protect their interests. Read to find out how
the Assyrians built an army strong enough to conquer
all of Mesopotamia.
About 1,000 years after Hammurabi, a
new empire arose in Mesopotamia. It was
founded by a people called the Assyrians
(uhSIHReeuhns), who lived in the north
near the Tigris River. Assyria (uhSIHRee
uh) had fertile valleys that attracted outside
invaders. To defend their land, the Assyrians
built a large army. Around 900 B.C., they
began taking over the rest of Mesopotamia.
Why Were the Assyrians So Strong? The
Assyrian army was well organized. At its
core were groups of foot soldiers armed
with spears and daggers. Other soldiers
were experts at using bows and arrows. The
army also had chariot riders and soldiers
who fought on horseback.
This fearsome and mighty force was the
first large army to use iron weapons. For
centuries, iron had been used for tools, but
it was too soft to serve as a material for
weapons. Then a people called the Hittites
HIHTYTZ), who lived northwest of Assyria,
developed a way of making iron stronger.
They heated iron ore, hammered it, and
rapidly cooled it. The Assyrians learned
this technique from the Hittites. They pro-
duced iron weapons that were stronger
than those made of copper or tin.
The Assyrians at War
The Assyrians at War
When attacking a walled city, the Assyrians used massive war machines.
The wheeled battering ram was powered by soldiers. It was covered to
protect the soldiers inside, but it had slits so they could shoot arrows out.
What other methods did Assyrian soldiers use to attack cities?
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28 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
east to Egypt’s Nile River in the west. The
capital was at Nineveh (NIHnuh vuh) on
the Tigris River.
Assyrian kings divided the empire into
provinces (PRAHvuhn suhs), or political
districts. They chose officials to govern
each province. These officials collected
taxes and enforced the king’s laws.
Assyrian kings built roads to join all
parts of their empire. Government sol-
diers were posted at stations along the
way to protect traders from bandits.
Messengers on government business used
the stations to rest and change horses.
Life in Assyria The Assyrians lived much
like other Mesopotamians. Their writ-
ing was based on Babylonian
writing, and they worshiped
many of the same gods. Their
laws were similar, but lawbreak-
ers often faced more brutal and
cruel punishments in Assyria.
As builders, the Assyrians
showed great skill. They erected
large temples and palaces that
they filled with wall carvings
and statues. The Assyrians also
produced and collected litera-
ture. One of the world’s first
libraries was in Nineveh. It held 25,000
tablets of stories and songs to the gods.
Modern historians have learned much about
ancient civilizations from this library.
Assyria’s cruel treatment of people led
to many rebellions. About 650
B.C., the
Assyrians began fighting each other over
who would be their next king. A group of
people called the Chaldeans (kahl DEE
uhns) seized the opportunity to rebel. They
captured Nineveh in 612 B.C., and the
Assyrian Empire soon crumbled.
Why were the
Assyrian soldiers considered brutal and cruel?
The Assyrians were ferocious
warriors. To attack cities, they tun-
neled under walls or climbed
over them on ladders. They
loaded tree trunks onto mov-
able platforms and used them
as battering rams to knock
down city gates. Once a city was captured,
the Assyrians set fire to its buildings. They
also carried away its people and goods.
Anyone who resisted Assyrian rule was
punished. The Assyrians drove people from
their lands and moved them into foreign
territory. Then they brought in new settlers
and forced them to pay heavy taxes.
A Well-Organized Government Assyrian
kings had to be strong to rule their large
empire. By about 650 B.C., the empire stretched
from the Persian Gulf (PUHRzhuhn) in the
300 km
Lambert Azimuthal Equal-Area projection
300 mi.
Se a
The Assyrians conquered lands
from Mesopotamia to Egypt.
1. What major rivers were part of
the Assyrian Empire?
2. What geographical features may
have kept the Assyrians from
expanding their empire to the
north and south?
Assyrian Empire
winged bull
Assyrian Empire
Boltin Picture Library
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The Chaldeans
The Chaldean Empire built important
landmarks in Babylon and developed the first calen-
dar with a seven-day week.
Reading Focus What landmarks exist in your town
or the nearest city? Read to learn some of the special
landmarks that made the Chaldean capital of Babylon
The Chaldeans wanted to build an
empire. Led by King Nebuchadnezzar (NEH
byuhkuhdNEHzuhr), they controlled all of
Mesopotamia from 605 B.C. to 562 B.C.
The City of Babylon Most of the Chaldeans
were descendants of the Babylonian people
who made up Hammurabi’s empire about
1,200 years earlier. They rebuilt the city of
Babylon as the glorious center of their
Babylon quickly became the world’s
largest and richest city. It was surrounded
by a brick wall so wide that two chariots
Hanging Gardens
Hanging Gardens
Web Activity Visit jat.glencoe.com and click
on Chapter 1—Student Web Activity to learn
more about the first civilizations.
could pass on the road on top. Built into the
wall at 100-yard (91.4-m) intervals were
towers where soldiers kept watch.
Large palaces and temples stood in the
city’s center. A huge ziggurat reached more
than 300 feet (91.4 m) into the sky. Another
marvel, visible from any point in Babylon,
was an immense staircase of greenery: the
Hanging Gardens at the king’s palace.
These terraced gardens showcased large
trees, masses of flowering vines, and other
beautiful plants. A pump brought in water
from a nearby river. Nebuchadnezzar built
the gardens to please his wife, who missed
the mountains and plants of her homeland
in the northwest.
The Hanging Gardens of Babylon were
considered one of the Seven Wonders of
the Ancient World. A complex irrigation
system brought water from the Euphrates
River to the top of the gardens. From there,
the water flowed down to each of the
lower levels of the gardens. What other
sights made Babylon a grand city?
Ruins of the
Hanging Gardens
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Reading Summary
Review the
Using cavalry and foot soldiers
armed with iron weapons, the
Assyrians created a large empire
that included all of Mesopotamia
and extended into Egypt.
The Chaldeans built a large
empire that included Babylon,
the largest and richest city in
the world at that time.
1. Why was the Assyrian army
a powerful fighting force?
2. What were some of the
accomplishments of Chaldean
Critical Thinking
3. Summarize Information
Draw a chart like the one
below. Use it to describe
the city of Babylon under
the Chaldeans.
Analyze How did the
Assyrians set up a well-
organized government?
Conclude Why do you think
the Assyrians took conquered
peoples from their lands and
moved them to other places?
Science Link What different
types of knowledge and skills
would the Babylonians need
to build the Hanging Gardens?
Descriptive Writing Write a
paragraph that might be found
in a travel brochure describing
the beauty of ancient Babylon.
What Did You Learn?
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30 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
Babylon under Chaldeans
the Persian Gulf and the Mediterranean
Sea, it became rich from trade.
Babylon was also a center of science.
Like earlier people in Mesopotamia, the
Chaldeans believed that changes in the
sky revealed the plans of the gods. Their
astronomers (uh STRAH nuh muhrs)—peo-
ple who study the heavenly bodies—
mapped the stars, the planets, and the
phases of the moon. The Chaldeans made
one of the first sundials and were the first to
have a seven-day week.
Why Did the Empire Fall? As time passed,
the Chaldeans began to lose their power.
They found it hard to control the peoples
they had conquered. In 539 B.C. Persians
from the mountains to the northeast cap-
tured Babylon. Mesopotamia became part
of the new Persian Empire.
Identify What were the
Hanging Gardens of Babylon?
One Greek historian in the 400s
described the beauty of Babylon. He wrote,
“In magnificence, there is no other city that
approaches it.” Outside the center of
Babylon stood houses and marketplaces.
There, artisans made pottery, cloth, baskets,
and jewelry. They sold their wares to pass-
ing caravans
(KARuh VANZ), or groups of
traveling merchants. Because Babylon was
located on the major trade route between
The Ishtar Gate was at the main entrance
to ancient Babylon. Describe the wall that
surrounded Babylon.
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The First Empires
Mesopotamian Civilization
Early Humans
Focusing on the
Paleolithic people adapted to their environment and invented many tools
to help them survive.
(page 9)
In the Neolithic Age, people started farming, building communities, produc-
ing goods, and trading.
(page 13)
Focusing on the
Civilization in Mesopotamia began in the
valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
(page 17)
Sumerians invented writing and made other
important contributions to later peoples.
(page 20)
Sumerian city-states lost power when they
were conquered by outsiders.
(page 23)
Focusing on the
Assyria’s military power and well-organized government helped it build a
vast empire in Mesopotamia by 650
B.C. (page 27)
The Chaldean Empire built important landmarks in Babylon and developed
the first calendar with a seven-day week.
(page 29)
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 31
Sumerian figurines
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Download quizzes and flash cards
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031-033 C1CRA-875047 9/7/06 8:05 PM Page 31
32 CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations
Get Ready to Read!
Choose the best answer.
15. In this textbook, to make a connection
between what you know and what you are
about to read, you should look at the ___.
a. Reading Tip
b. Reading Focus
c. main head
d. subhead
16. What is the purpose of a subhead?
a. to break down a large topic into
smaller topics
b. to show the main topic covered in
a section
c. to summarize the “big picture”
d. to help you study for a test
To review this skill,see pages 6–7.
Section 2 • Mesopotamian Civilization
7. Where were the first civilizations in
8. How did Sumerian city-states lose power?
Section 3 • The First Empires
9. What helped Assyria build an empire in
10. What scientific advancement did the
Chaldeans make?
Critical Thinking
11. Explain Why do you think Mesopotamia
is sometimes called the “cradle of
Analyze Why was the switch from hunt-
ing and gathering to farming important
enough to be called the farming
Describe What rights did women have in
the city-states of Sumer?
Predict How successful do you think the
Assyrian army would have been if it had
not learned how to strengthen iron?
Review Vocabulary
1. Write a brief paragraph that describes and
compares the following terms.
historian archaeologist artifact
fossil anthropologist
Indicate which of the following statements are
true. Replace the word in italics to make false
statements true.
___ 2. An artisan kept records in cuneiform.
___ 3. Assyrian kings divided their empire
into political districts called provinces.
___ 4. A civilization is a group of many differ-
ent lands under one ruler.
Review Main Ideas
Section 1 • Early Humans
5. How did Paleolithic people adapt to their
6. What were the major differences between
people who lived in the Paleolithic period
and those who lived in the Neolithic
031-033 C1CRA-824133 3/9/04 12:33 AM Page 32
Mercator projection
2,000 km
2,000 mi.
years ago
years ago
years ago
years ago
years ago
Spread of Early Humans
CHAPTER 1 The First Civilizations 33
Geography Skills
Study the map below and answer the follow-
ing questions.
Location On what continent was the
earliest fossil evidence of humans found?
Movement Based on fossil evidence,
where did early humans go first, Europe
or Australia?
Analyze Which three continents are not
shown on this map? How do you think
early humans reached those continents?
Read to Write
20. Persuasive Writing Suppose you are a
merchant in Çatal Hüyük. A new group of
people wants to trade with you and the
other merchants in the village. You think
trading with them is a good idea, but other
merchants are not so sure. Write a short
speech you could give to convince them.
Using Your Use your Chapter 1
foldable to create an illustrated time line.
Your time line should extend from the
date Jericho was founded to the fall of
the Chaldean Empire. Create drawings or
photocopy maps, artifacts, or architecture
to illustrate your time line. Use your time
line as a study tool for the Chapter Test.
Using Technology
22. Using the Internet Use the Internet
to locate a university archaeology
department Web site. Use the information
on the site to create a summary that
describes current research. Include
location of archaeological sites and
relevant discoveries.
Linking Past and Present
23. Analyzing Information Imagine you are a
nomad who travels from place to place to
hunt and gather food. What things would
you carry with you to help you survive?
Make a list of items to share and discuss
with your classmates.
The following passage is from a poem
called “The Mesopotamian View of
Death” that was written by an unknown
Mesopotamian mother.
Hark the piping!
My heart is piping in the wilderness
where the young man once went free.
He is a prisoner now in death’s kingdom,
lies bound where once he lived.
The ewe gives up her lamb
and the nanny-goat her kid.
My heart is piping in the wilderness
an instrument of grief.
—”The Mesopotamian View of Death,
Poems of Heaven and Hell from Ancient
Mesopotamia, N.K. Sanders, trans.
24. To what does the mother compare
death’s kingdom?
25. What is the “instrument of grief”?
Self-Check Quiz To help you prepare for
the Chapter Test, visit jat.glencoe.com
Movement of
early humans
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