Seven Aspects of Civilization

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Seven Aspects of Civilization by Mind Map: Seven Aspects of Civilization

1. Religion

1.1. Sumerians

1.1.1. Religion shaped how citizens lived their life in the city-states.

1.1.2. Sumerians practiced Polytheism (worship of many Gods). For example, Enlil, was the god who ruled over the air and storms.

1.1.3. The Sumerians in each city-state believed that there was a god who protected their individual city-state.

1.1.4. They built ziggarauts and temples. These were places to worship and feed the Sumerian's different gods. They fed the gods and worked hard to please them due to their fear of the gods' power.

1.2. Shang/Zhou

1.2.1. Most of the Shang tombs held valuable objects that were made of bronze and jade.

1.2.2. The religion of the Shang was comprised mostly of ancestral worship. In example, they celebrated meals with their ancestors on their mind often.

1.2.3. Shang people also often asked for advice from their ancestors. They did this through words written on the bones of animals, known as oracle bones.

1.2.4. The Zhou period led to two philosophies that became important in Chinese culture in later years, Confucianism and Daoism. Confucianism was outlined off the knowledge of Kongfuzi, or Confusius. Unlike Cofucianism that aims to improve society, Daoism is geared toward people to stay away from the laws of society and pay more attention to the laws of nature.

2. Geography and Agriculture

2.1. Sumerians

2.1.1. The Sumeians lived between the Tigris and Euphrates River. The land which they occupied was known as Sumer.

2.1.2. The flat, swampy region allowed for soil to be fertile. This made farming easy, aside from the occasional flood.

2.1.3. Irrigation systems were a big part of the farming considering the fact of the changing river conditions. Irrigation allowed the Sumerians to control the water supply even in tough circumstances.

2.1.4. The Sumerians invented the plow, which changed farming forever and made agriculture much more efficient.

2.2. Shang/Zhou

2.2.1. The geography of China was a major part in the success of civilizations there. They used rivers and the soil around them to their advantage.

2.2.2. The early China civilizations settled around two rivers, familiarly known as Yangzi and Yellow River. Both of these rivers flow to the east.

2.2.3. Floods caused from both of the rivers left behind fertile soil that made crop growing easy. The soil is reffered to as "loess" which was brought to China by desert winds and picked up by the rivers.

2.2.4. Due to a steady warm climate and ample amounts of precipitation, Southern China became a hotspot for growing rice.

3. Social Structure and Family

3.1. Sumerians

3.1.1. Because of trade, social structures began to develop. Priests and kings topped the structure followed by large landowners and wealthy merchants. Then came the majority of Sumerians; artists, farmers, and laborers. Slaves lived their lives at the bottom of the structure.

3.1.2. Sumerian men held most of the power politically, such as making new laws.

3.1.3. Women in Sumer developed the role of being the person to look after the children as well as the house. In exception, a select few women did get the chance to serve as priestesses in the various temples.

3.1.4. Most often, a Sumerian family consisted of a husband, wife, and children. While children were loved dearly, they could be sold into slavery to repay debt.

3.2. Shang/Zhou

3.2.1. Their social structure consisted of emperors above all. After that came scholars, farmers, and merchants. The bottom of the structure consisted of slaves and women.

3.2.2. Many scientists believe that the reason they maintained such a strong government was because of their unique social structure.

3.2.3. If you were a ruler in the dynasty, a lot of your respect or the way people viewed you was based on your military success, because armies and battles were a big part in China's society during this time period.

3.2.4. Men were definitely much more valued than women as far as family goes. Women were given almost no respect and were sometimes thought of only to give birth to a boy. Girls were often abandoned in this society.

4. Government and Leaders

4.1. Sumerians

4.1.1. In the beginning, priests were highly ranked and governed the city-states.

4.1.2. Because of battling city-states, warchiefs became prominant leaders.

4.1.3. Dynastic rule by a family became popular in many city-states.

4.1.4. Kings of cities were though of as "God's chief representative".

4.2. Shang/Zhou

4.2.1. The kings ruled in China in a strong monarchy. A king would direct governors to rule different parts of their specific kingdom.

4.2.2. Kings controlled large armies. Armies were used not only for conquering outside territories but also to fight against rebellions within kingdoms.

4.2.3. Agricultural was a major part in society of the Shang dynasty. Farmers were always tending to their crops, but they were sometimes called for military duty. They were also hired to construct various buildings with slaves.

4.2.4. For the Zhou government, they trusted in the concept of "Mandate of Heaven". This was the idea that gods would chose the authority or rulers. The Zhou believed that the reason they overthrew the Shang was because they had become tyrants the gods allowed them to fail.

5. Science and Technology

5.1. Sumerians

5.1.1. Sumerians used a number system with a base number of 60. It is from them why we still divide an hour into 60 minutes.

5.1.2. Sumerians were very smart. They used geometry to build structures and irrigation systems.

5.1.3. Both the plow and the wheel were invented by the Sumerians.

5.1.4. Considering their time, the Sumerians were fairly advanced medicinally. They performed basic surgeries and had a lot of knowledge in the medical field.

5.2. Shang/Zhou

5.2.1. Iron craft led to development and improvement of weapons. Other warfare technology also debuted such as chariots and forts.

5.2.2. Zhou people were very fascinated with the night sky. They observed stars regularly and recorded unusual astronomical events. They made maps of the sky, which were some of the first geographical maps.

5.2.3. The Shang people created a calendar. This calendar was based of lunar cycles.

5.2.4. The Shang people also used bronze in their work. They would use bronze-casting to make bronze tools, musical instruments, and weapons.

6. Arts and Education

6.1. Sumerians

6.1.1. The writing of the Sumerians was called Cuneiform, which was the first developed writing system.

6.1.2. Sumerians used sharp tools (styluses) to create wedge-shaped symbols on clay tablets to serve as their writing.

6.1.3. They used arches and ramps and columns express individual creativity.

6.1.4. Sumerians invented the cylinder-seal. This seal was used to show ownership.

6.2. Shang/Zhou

6.2.1. Bronze-casting led to expression and decorations such as bronze vessels. These vessel were often used in religious rituals.

6.2.2. Art during the Shang dynasty was mostly functional or ritual. Artistic pieces were often found in tombs.

6.2.3. In terms of education, mathematics was fairly advanced in the Zhou dynasty. During the Shang dynasty, they also developed the first form of Chinese writing, found on oracle bones.

6.2.4. Bronze was sometimes used in household items as well such as vases and cups.

7. Economy and Trade

7.1. Sumerians

7.1.1. Sumerians were able to build buildings due to the materials they collected through trade.

7.1.2. Sumerians did not have access to many raw materials that were neccessary such as wood and metals. This is why trade was so important to them.

7.1.3. Much of the trading was done in Southwest Asia. Sumerians traded woven textiles for metals, timber, and stone.

7.1.4. Trade helped shape the social structure in the Sumerian society as well as give men and women their distinct roles.

7.2. Shang/Zhou

7.2.1. The Zhou were able to establish a stable economy after figuring out how to master the use of iron. Iron tools made harvesting easier which led to more food supplies which led to population growth.

7.2.2. Farmers knew how to cultivate the silkworm and weave its tread into cloth. This cloth would be used for clothing and silk wold later become an important export for the Shang dynasty.

7.2.3. New roads and canals developed, which allowed more efficient transportation and more opportunities for communication. These roads and canals led to economy growth and city growth due to the ability to move goods and people to different places.

7.2.4. Weapons were crafted from iron, which gave people specific jobs to make them and also built up the Zhou army.