Babylon The largest and most important city in Mesopotamia. It achieved particular eminence as the capital of the Amorist king Hamburg in the eighteenth century B. C. E. And the Emblazoning king Nebuchadnezzar in the sixth century B. C. E. Civilization An ambiguous term often used to denote more complex societies but sometimes used by anthropologists to describe any group of people sharing a set of cultural traits. Culture Socially transmitted patterns of action and expression. Material culture refers to physical objects, such as dwellings, clothing, tools, and crafts.
Culture also includes arts, beliefs, knowledge, and technology. Cityscape A small independent state consisting of an urban center and the surrounding agricultural territory. A characteristic political form in early Mesopotamia, Archaic and Classical Greece, Phoenicia, and early Italy. Cuneiform A system profiting in which hedgehopped symbols represented words or syllables. It originated in Mesopotamia and was used initially for Sumerian and Skidpan but later was adapted to represent other languages of western Asia.
Because so many symbols had to be learned, literacy was confined to a relatively small group of administrators and scribes. Foragers People who support themselves by hunting wild animals and adhering wild edible plants and insects History The study of past events and changes in the development, transmission, and transformation of cultural practices. Hamburg Amorist ruler of Babylon (r. 1792-1750 B. C. E. ). He conquered many associates in southern and northern Mesopotamia and is best known for a code of laws, inscribed on a black stone pillar, illustrating the principles to be used in legal cases.
Harp Site of one of the great cities of the Indus Valley civilization of the third millennium B. C. E. It was located on the northwest frontier of the zone of cultivation (in modern Pakistan), and may eave been a center for the acquisition of raw materials, such as metals and precious stones, from Afghanistan and Iran Holocene The geological era since the end of the Great Ice Age about 1 1 ,OHO years ago. Hieroglyphics A system of writing in which pictorial symbols represented sounds, syllables, or concepts. It was used for official and monumental inscriptions in ancient Egypt.
Because of the long period of study required to master this system, literacy in hieroglyphics was confined to a relatively small group of scribes and administrators. Cursive symbolisms were developed for rapid composition on other media, such as papyrus Megalith Structures and complexes of very large stones constructed for ceremonial and religious purposes in Neolithic times. Mummy A body preserved by chemical processes or special natural circumstances, often in the belief that the deceased will need it again in the afterlife.
In ancient Egypt the bodies of people who could afford mummification underwent a complex process of removing organs, filling body cavities, dehydrating the corpse with matron, and then wrapping the body with linen bandages and enclosing it in a wooden sarcophagus Memphis The capital of Old Kingdom Egypt, near the head of the Nile Delta. Early rulers were interred in the nearby pyramids. Matt Egyptian term for the concept of divinely created and maintained order in the universe. Reflecting the ancient Egyptians’ belief in an essentially beneficent world, the divine ruler was the earthly guarantor of this order.
Majordomo Largest of the cities of the Indus Valley civilization. It was centrally located in the extensive floodplain of the Indus River in contemporary Pakistan. Little is known about the political institutions of Indus Valley communities, but the largesse of construction at Majordomo, the orderly grid of streets, and the administration of building materials are evidence of central planning Neolithic The period of the Stone Age associated with the ancient Agricultural Revolution(s).
It follows the Paleolithic period. Paleolithic The period of the Stone Age associated with the evolution of humans. It predates the Neolithic period Papyrus A reed that grows along the banks of the Nile River in Egypt. From it was produced a coarse, papergirl writing medium used by the Egyptians and many other peoples in the ancient Mediterranean and Middle East Pyramid A large, triangular stone monument, used in Egypt and Nubian as burial place for the king.
The largest pyramids, erected during the Old Kingdom near Memphis with stone tools and compulsory labor, reflect the Egyptian belief that the proper and spectacular burial of the divine ruler would guarantee the continued prosperity of the land. (See also matt. ) Pharaoh The central figure in the ancient Egyptian state. Believed to be an earthly manifestation of the gods, he used his absolute power to maintain the safety and prosperity of Egypt. Stone Age The historical period characterized by the production of tools from stone and other nonmetallic substances.
It was followed in mom places by the Bronze Age and more generally by the Iron Age Sumerians The people who dominated southern Mesopotamia through the end of the third millennium B. C. E. They were responsible for the creation of many fundamental elements of Mesopotamia culture?such as irrigation technology, cuneiform, and religious conceptions?taken over by their Semitic successors Semitic Family of related languages long spoken across parts of western Asia and northern Africa. In antiquity these languages included Hebrew, Airmail, and Phoenician. The most widespread modern member of the Semitic family is Arabic Scribe