Riv er Civ il iza tio ns

Eg ypt, I ndi a, and Chi na 3000-1700 BC

Sumer, 3200-2350 B. C.

Egyptian Civilization
• Depended on Nile River, deserts protected against attacks. • Nile floods annually adding silt and water to land. • River valley very good for farming. • Many farm villages by 5000 BC. • Villages conquered by groups with increasingly strong leadership. • Unification of Upper (south) and Lower Egypt 3100 BC under King Menes (also known as Narmer) • Beginning of Old Kingdom (3100-2200 BC) capital Memphis near point of delta. • Population grew by a million people in this period. • Led by God King or Pharaoh who give immortality to faithful servants • Built pyramids as tombs for Pharaohs

Lower Egypt Desert


Upper Egypt


Old Kingdom Egypt

A later Pharaoh wearing the Double Crown of Egypt Palette of King Narmer c. 3100 B.C . Slate, 25” tall

Pharaoh: the God-King

Khufu, builder of the Great Pyramid at Giza. Chefren c.2530 B.C. built the Great Sphinx

Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics

The Age of Pyramids

Step Pyramid of King Zoser about 2650 B.C. The first pyramid tomb. Architect, Imhotep, the first artist recorded in history.

The Pyramids at Giza

Pyramids of Mycerinus (2500 B.C.), Chefren (2530 B.C.) and Khufu or Cheops (2570 B.C.). Cheops’ pyramid is the largest but the pyramid of Chefren looks taller because it was built on higher ground.

The Great Pyramid

Pyramid of Cheops c. 2570 B.C.

The Great Sphinx

One of many smaller Sphinx

Great Sphinx carved into huge rock c. 2530 B.C. at Giza Height 65’

Papyrus Columns

falcon headed god wearing double crown.

Mycerinus and Queen c. 2500 B.C.

Ti watching Hippopotamus Hunt (painted stone relief) c. 2400 B.C.

Rebellion and disorder(c 2200 BC)
Revolts by local officials disrupted government for almost 200 years
mace head of polished stone.

A leader from the south reunited Egypt. Moved capital upstream (south) to Thebes began Middle Kingdom

The Middle Kingdom
2000-1800 BC Local landlords more important than in Old Kingdom, spread culture.

odel Nubian archers from tomb of local ruler. Statue of a vizier: non-royal officials now placing their statues in Temples of gods. >

Other River Civilizations
Indus Valley Civilization (2500-1500 BC) • In present day Pakistan. • Had contact with Sumer • Built large cities along Indus River Yellow River Valley ( 2500 to 1400 BC) • In north east China • High level farming culture developed.

India: Key Ideas
• Indus Valley “Harappan” Civilization (2500-1500 BC) • Built large cities along Indus River • Had contact with Sumer

Indus Valley Civilization: Built well planned cities with advanced sewer systems. Borrowed many ideas from Mesopotamia. Massive walls of fried brick defended by towers are strong evidence life was not peaceful.

toy bull made of clay Stone sculpture clay goddess figures Elephant Seal made of clay

Bronze Dancer 4.5 “ tall

China: Key Ideas
• Civilization began along Yellow River Valley ( 2500 to 1400 BC) in north east China • High level farming culture developed. Tribes then chiefdoms. • China isolated by: Gobi Desert, Pacific Ocean, and Himalayas

Geography of China

Gobi Desert

Indus River

Himalayan Mt.

The Yellow River

• Yellow R. picks up yellow fertile soil called Loess deposits soil onto flat alluvial (flood) plain. Perfect for farming. • Irrigation ditches & transport canals built on plains (to drain swamps & increase food production) • Grew & harvested millet first , then wheat & barley • Rice came later (grew in paddies) • Domesticated pigs, dogs, sheep, oxen.

• • • • • • Chiefdoms developed into State. Dynasty: ruling family whose control continues by passing rule to the next generation. Also found in other Kingdoms. Related to social importance of families. Social pyramid: top was emperor & his family Next came: nobility, priests, merchants, farmers Elite buried in royal tombs with great wealth & artifacts for use in afterlife

The First Dynasty
• Xia Dynasty founded by legendary Emperor Yu (the Great) c. 3000 BC ? • Yu supposedly introduced irrigation canals along Yellow R. to control flooding & increase food production. • Anyang site (NE China) evidence found of Xia dynasty. • Conquered by invaders about 1600 BC.