help with early river civilizations?

.)Advanced Cities

.)Complex organizations

.)Specialized Workers

.)Record Keeping

Match with above characteristics


.)Permanent History

.)Everyone having a job

.)Control of people

.)Making life easier

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  • Approximately years ago the first complex, politically centralized civilizations began to crystallize independently along a number of river valleys throughout the southern half of Asia and northern Africa . These civilizations constitute the next step in the organization and centralization of human economic, political, religious, and social institutions and practices.

    Why did the first complex, politically centralized civilizations materialize along rivers? Because rivers supplied a continuous if not always dependable flow and supply of water for farming and human consumption. These rivers along with climate, vegetation, geography, and topography shaped the development of the early river valley civilizations. However, while people of these civilizations were dependent on the rivers, the rivers also inspired new technological, economic, institutional, and organizational innovations and developments.

    Between and B.C.E. such river valley civilizations formed independently of each other along the Indus, the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates, and the Yellow Rivers. These civilizations shared certain characteristics that distinguished them from the collections of Neolithic communities that preceded them.

    The Nile River was the axis of two early African civilizations, Egypt and Nubia . The Nile River shaped the development of both civilizations, providing a reliable source of water for farming and linking them to sub-Saharan Africa and the Mediterranean Sea . Egypt unified politically earlier and more effectively than Nubia . The ruler-conqueror first united Egypt about B.C.E. Subsequently, the institution of the pharaoh as deified ruler developed during a period known as the Archaic Period(- B.C.E.). Ancient Egyptian history is chronologically divided by dynasty and “kingdom”. The three principle periods are the Old Kingdom(- B.C.E.), the Middle Kingdom(- B.C.E.), and the New Kingdom (- B.C.E.). In a number of ways the Old Kingdom is considered the classic era in ancient Egyptian history. This period is marked by the power and influence of the pharaoh being at its height, as manifest in the construction of massive pyramids for burial of the pharaohs.

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    Mesopotamia is a Greek word that means “land between the rivers”, referring to the Tigris and the Euphrates Rivers. These two rivers were the axes of one of the most influential ancient civilizations in history. With the development of irrigation around B.C.E. farming villages appeared and grew into larger communities and then cities along these rivers. Mesopotamia left a number of important cultural legacies for Western civilization. One of these legacies was various legal codes developed by a succession of Mesopotamian rulers. Most notably among these rulers was Hammurabi(r. – B.C.E.), a Babylonian ruler who had various legal codes, guidelines, and precedents compiled.

    From roughly to B.C.E. a complex, urbanized civilization existed along the Indus River in what is today northern India . This ancient Indus River valley civilization was dominated by several large cities, including Harappa and Mohenjo-daro, and today is known by the name of the former. For a number of different reasons we don’t know as much about Harappan civilization as we do about its counterparts along the Nile, the Tigris and Euphrates, and the Yellow Rivers . Unlike these other civilizations the language of ancient Harappan civilization cannot be deciphered.

    Early Chinese civilization developed along the same lines as that of ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia . Between and B.C.E. agricultural villages appeared and grew along the Yellow and Yangzi Rivers . Ancient Chinese history is marked by three successive dynasties that would become the roots of Chinese culture and civilization. Little is known about the Xia Dynasty(- B.C.E.), the first of these dynasties. The Shang Dynasty(- B.C.E.) built on the base established by its predecessor, with the help of various technological advances, including bronze metallurgy and horse-drawn chariots. The Zhou Dynasty(- B.C.E.) expanded upon Shang accomplishments. These three dynasties established many of the threads of Chinese civilization.

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    These civilizations laid the foundations for political centralization and organization upon which nearly all subsequent civilizations are built. They also provided many of the roots of human civilization all the way to the present including the practices of monument building, written articulation of legal codes, and the construction of the legal and political infrastructures necessary to run a central government of a state. If one were transported back in time to one of these early civilizations, one would find much that was familiar.


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