Cities that Sprouted from Water

Taeeun Kim, Shawn Huang, Jaimee Nguyen, Mariana Bulgarelli

Yellow River Valley Civilization


-Characterized by large administration cities (five successive capitals within the Shang dynasty).

-Built around a central palace, altar, temple, etc.

-Surrounded by industrial areas, residential homes, and graveyards.


-The emperor is the ultimate leader, both politically and religiously, of the entire kingdom.

- Assigned warlords ruled over certain areas of land.

Social Structure

- King

- Military Nobility (warlords)

- Priests

- Merchants

- Farmers


-Worshipped deceased ancestors.

-Making the deceased ancestors happy was a good sign.

-Worshipped a god named “Shang Ti” (a god that could provide the link between the living and the dead) with rituals, sacrifices, and offerings.


-Very skilled with bone, jade, ceramics, stone, wood, shells, and bronze.

-Most notably, bronze was carved and made into beautiful sculptures and vessels.


-Used tortoise shells, bones, and stones as the “paper” for writing on.

-Beginnings of the early Chinese writing system.

-Examples: ”Book of History”, “Book of Change”, “Book of Rites”, and “Book of Songs”

Nile River Valley Civilization


-Old Kingdom: This was the period of time when there was a major advance in technology, art, and architecture due to increased agricultural productivity. This was also when the justice system was created to promote peace and when the power of the Pharaoh started to diminish slowly.

-Middle Kingdom: This was the time period when the Twelfth Dynasty was created, and the civilization started prospering due to a stable economic and political base. Under these circumstances, Egypt was able to develop their arts.

-New Kingdom: Political bonds with other countries were strengthened by the pharaohs to secure safety of country, but religious conflicts started to occur within the country.


-Very centralized and controlled under the Pharaoh.

-Pharaohs were viewed as Gods.

Social Structure


-Ruling Class



-Marginalized Groups



-Polytheistic religion

-Lineage of Gods extended to the Pharaoh.


-Used stone and wood to carve statues.

-Made paint from ores, soot, limestone, etc.

-Funerary art and pyramids

-Made wooden and clay models to depict scenes in daily life.



Mesopotamia Civilization


  • Sumerian city-states were based on farming and trade.

  • Centered around temples dedicated to the gods/goddesses of the city.


  • Bureaucracy; A King who ruled and Priests and leading officials who justified the rule of the king.

  • Collected taxes, kept records, and had armies.

Social Structure:

  • 3 major social classes: nobles, commoners, and slaves

    • nobles: royal & religious officials

    • commoners: palace & temple workers, merchants, farmers, craftsmen

    • slaves belonged and worked for palace officials

  • Greatly associated with religion


  • No direct religion.

  • There were gods/goddesses of elements, objects, and certain cities.

  • Each city had a god or goddess, so the Sumerians mainly worshipped them and gods/goddesses of important things (mother earth-goddess, god of heaven, air-god, water-god).


  • Most known for metalwork, woolen textiles, and pottery.

  • Jewelry made of gold, colorful mosaics, vases that kept water cool, and harps.


  • Invented the earliest known writing system.

  • Documents were written into soft clay using pictograms.

Indus River Valley Civilization


  • -The two major cities in the beginning were Harappa and Mohenjo- daro.

  • -Both cities had citadels which rested on raised areas.

  • -Both cities had overpopulation problems; Mohenjo- Daro had more of a problem than Harappa.

  • -Mohenjo- Daro soon vanished. Many believe that the city was invaded by the Aryans, and all were killed, but it is just a theory. The Aryans, though, did settle in this area.

  • -In Mohenjo- Daro, the people created multiple things such as house dividing walls and their own plumbing system.
  • Government

    The government was somewhat controlled by priests because they were the highest people in the social system. The government though was mostly ruled by Rajahs and was a central government.

    Social Structure

  • This social structure system was very closely related to the caste system.

  • -Gods and Goddesses

  • -Priests and Scholars

  • -The Rajas and Their Noblemen

  • -Merchants, Farmers, Land owners, and Craftsmen

  • -Servants, Workers, Wage earners
  • Culture-Religion
  • -Religion was everything. The two religions that represented this region were Hinduism and Buddhism. Hinduism started first and was followed by Buddhism in 365 BCE.
  • -Priests were highly respected in this region because they taught Vedas to people and were the ones who made the offerings to gods.
  • Culture-Art
  • The best known artifact of this region is the multiply seals, which displayed pictures of both realistic and of nonfiction things such as animals and opposite animals.
  • Writing

    -The Vedas was the writing for the Aryans. These books kept track of everything.

    -The script, for the older civilizations, have about 250 to 500 characters and has been partly deciphered.