Spread of Civilization

3000-1450 BC

Civilization spreads to rain watered lands
• Ideas spread by trade and war. • Plow enabled farming away from rivers. • High culture spread across Europe megalith religion- built Stonehenge in England. • Minoan Civilization (3000- 1400 BC) on Crete and other Mediterranean Islands.

Spread of Civilization
Farming Farming Nomads Goats/horses



Nomads Goats/ sheep

Persian Gulf Nubia

Spread of Ideas
• By 2000 BC Mesopotamia was ringed by new civilizations or developing civilizations like the Hatti in Asia Minor and Canaanites in what is today Syria, Lebanon and Israel. • To develop civilization people needed to produce a surplus of food and a way to transfer the food surplus from the farmers to specialists. • Not having to spend most of their time working in the fields, specialists could develop skills needed to produce writing, art, architecture, religion and government.

Northern Europe
• First settlers were hunter-gatherers migrating out of Africa. • Knowledge of farming spread from Fertile Crescent to Europe. • Complex civilizations slower to develop in Europe than in Fertile Crescent because plentiful rainfall made large-scale irrigation projects unnecessary. • European farming communities remained small for a long time before complex urban civilizations developed. • Megalith stones set up during Neolithic period in Europe beginning about 4500 BC.

Carnac stones, Brittany France (Standing Stones)

Dolman, Ireland


Two views of Stonehenge Salisbury Plain England Built about 1650 B.C.

The Pastoralists
• Some peoples only adopted some aspects of civilization. • Some cared for domesticated animals but did not settle down and plant crops. They were often nomads. • Pastoralists: like hunters lived off plant eating animals could be shepherds or cattle herders. • Pastoralists required larger “Carrying Capacity” than farmers. Needed more land to feed themselves. Usually very war like. Fought over best pasture land.

Some people left civilization to become pastoralists

Abraham and his family left Sumerian city of Ur about 1900 BC.

The Family of Abraham
• Abraham’s wife was Sarah • Sons Isaac and Ishmael • Jacob was son of Isaac (Also known as Israel) • Jacob had 12 sons. • Joseph sold as slave by his brothers. • Family settles in Egypt (c1850 BC)

Out on the Steppes
• Horse herders of steppe learned to use wheel and developed light chariot. • Combined chariot with composite bow and bronze weapons and became deadly fighters. • Rivalry between farmers and herdsmen: nomads superior fighters but many more farmers. • Chariot barbarians swarmed out of steppes (1700- 1400 BC) and over ran the civilized lands. • Conquered civilizations in Mesopotamia (Kassites) , Egypt (Hyksos), Indus Valley (Aryans) and Yellow River (Shang) • Many invaders spoke Indo European Languages the same as we do.

The Eurasian Steppe
Northern Forests Asia Minor Egypt Mesopotamia IRAN Himalaya Mountains China Indus Valley THE STEPPE Siberia




Where horses were first domesticated.

A Deadly Combination
Large Horse breeds not yet developed Most horses like large ponies, to small to carry a large man especially if he was wearing bronze armor.

Light Chariot and Composite Bow. Chariots carried a driver and a shooter.

The Indo European Invaders



Latins Myceneans

1700-1400 BC



• Northern Asia Minor (now Turkey) • Imported ideas from Mesopotamia; like Cuneiform writing. • Civilization began during the 19th and 20th centuries BC. • Several different ethnic (language) groups together known as the Hatti. • Indo-Europeans arrived and took over about 1700 BC. Became one people known as the Hittites. • Hittite leaders then organized projects to mine metals and cut timber to trade with other Civilizations.

Hittite Empire >

Empire of Hammurabi >


Hittite and Babylonian Empires about 1760 BC

The Aegean Sea Region
• New crops, olives and grapes introduced by farmer tribes about 5000 BC. • Minoan civilization centered in Crete controlled islands of Aegean from 2100arround 1500 BC.

The Minoans
• Minoans named for their ruler, King Minos. • Lived mainly on island of Crete (south of Greece in eastern Mediterranean Sea) many think the Minoans represent the legend of Atlantis • Because of their island location, they had easy access to trade by sea. Became traders with networks around the Aegean Sea. • Seem to have been more peaceful than most. Few fortifications in their ruins. No images of war in their art. May have relied on a strong navy for protection. • Civilization influenced most by geographical position & trade with Egyptian empire & Mesopotamian lands. • Decline of Minoan civilization: Earthquakes & tidal waves, followed by attacks from Greece.

Palace of Minos, Knossos Crete c.1500 B.C.

Queen’s Room Palace of Minos, Crete

Minoan Art

Queen’s room

Wall painting Vase c.1500 B.C.


Snake Goddess, Crete c.1600 B.C

Harvester Vase c. 1500 B.C. Aside from images of bulls, the only Obvious deity from ancient Crete is the Snake Goddess, holding two snakes

Minoan Bull

Minoan double axe “labrys”

Labyrinth means Hall of the Double Axe. Palace was huge with many winding halls and passageways where people could get lost.. Labyrinth legend. – minotaur in maze beneath Knossos palace killed by hero Theseus.

Fresco wall painting of bull leapers Knossos c. 1500 B.C.

In legend young men and women were sacrificed to the Minotaur.