The Start of Civilization
Christian S., Luke C., Sujay A., and Rudy R.
Mesopotamians were people who based their religion based on animist ideas.
The Mesopatamian Social Structure is as follows:
4. Specialized workforce (artists, merchants, blacksmiths, ect)
5. Common workforce
Mesopatamia was a large civilization that contained numerous cities. Notable civilization towns include Babylon, Ur, and Larsa.
Because mesopatamians were ruled by a king, their government fell under a monarchy.
Mesopatamians wrote in cuneiform, a pictogram language that was written on clay tables. This writing was well known, and allowed for the exchange of personal and business correspondence adn everyday items.
Anciet Eygpt contained many cities. Those noteworthy include Thebes, Karnack, and Giza.
The people of anciet Egypt were ruled under a monarchy.
The social structure in Egypt want the most organized or fair. It basically fell in this order: The king (pharaoh), those who worked for the king, and everybody else.
Anciet Egyptians were animist who believed in many gods. For example, there was Anubis, the god of the dead. A half man, half jackle creature that watched over those who passed.
Egptians wrote in hieroglyphics. A writing that was solely dependent on pictures that made communcating that mcuh easier.
The first kind of art in Eygpt were life sized satues. This art form had 2 purposes:
1. To ensure an ordered existence.
2.To defeat death by preserving life into the next generation.
Indus Valley (2500 - 1700 BCE)
There were more than 100 civilization towns discovered in the Harrapan settlement. Notable towns include Mohenjo-Daro, Lothal, and Dholavira. An extremely organized city structure and very fertile soil allowed for a very stable food supply. Also, this civilization had one of the most hygienic and organized sewage system.
Because the type of government is so unclear, historians arn't too sure what the social structure looked like either. On the opposite side however, historians have a wealth of knowledge reagrding this structure post-invasion. The aryans originally had a structure where at the top where priests, next were warriors, following were the merchants/artisans, and at the bottom where the laborers. This then later involved into the groundwork for what would be the caste system today.
The native harappan's art lived in all of the crafts made they made in this era. Archaeological evidence has shown all the fine ceramics, jewelry, and fashion that was crafted and evntually traded for necessary goods.
Before the Aryan invasion, the harappan civilization natives used a writing heavily dependent on pictures. Historians describe it as a mixture between hieroglyphics and cuniform. After the invasion however, the aryans introduced sanskrit as the dominant language and their writing conformed to that.
Shang Dynasty (1722-1122 BCE)
The Shang Dynasty ruled during the Bronze Age of China. The craftsmen used bronze to make weapons, chariots, vessels. These vessels were mainly used for religious and sacrificial purposes. The Bronze Age shaped the culture of the Shang Dynasty.
The king was at the top followed by the aristocrats, religious leaders, and nobles. Then came the farmers and the common people. Your social class would determine many things including how you got buried. The king and the nobles would be buried in elaborate tombs with objects of wealth surrounding them, but a commoner would have been buried in a normal pit.
During the Shang Dynasty Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism did not exist. Instead the people believed in folk religion. They believed in many gods, but the main god was Shang Ti who was the link between people and heavenly beings.
The cities were surrounded by walls for protection, and were divided in neighborhoods by social class. The nobles would live with each other, the aristocrats would live in a different area, and the farmers would live outside the city walls because that was where their crops were located.
The Zhou Dynasty was apart of the Bronze Age as well, and their art was very similar to that of the Shang's. Though, after the start of Confucianism and Daoism unique local traditions and artwork became common.
The social structure of the Zhou's was similar to the Shang's. The kings were at the top with all the nobles, then came the commoners. However in the Zhou dynasty with the start of all the philosophies, scholars became apart of the higher class, and were more respected.
The Zhou Dynasty brought with it the start of Confucianism, Daoism, and many other philosophies. These ideas greatly shaped the Zhou Dynasty. Confucius taught many Zhou kings about how to rule. His teachings were similar to the mandate of heaven, which was created by the Duke of Zhou. The mandate of heaven stated that heaven gave a mandate to a worthy ruler. In order to remain worthy, the king would have to care about the people.