The Seven Aspects of Civilization

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

1. Government and Leaders

1.1. Sumerians

1.1.1. The priests held a high status in the Sumar society. It was their job to govern the city-states and insure that everything ran well.

1.1.2. The city-states in Sumar would often battle for dominance. Because of this, over time the warchiefs that lead the battles became the Kings of their city-state.

1.1.3. The kings of the city-states served as the gods chief representative and would often perform ceremonies in order to keep their god happy.

1.1.4. Over time, many of the city-states kings formed dynasties where their families would rule for multiple generations. By doing this their family way able to keep control of part of the government.

1.2. Shang/Zhou

1.2.1. The dynasties were based around a monarchy, with a king and a court.

1.2.2. Distant parts of the kingdom were put under the command of goveners.

1.2.3. They had a powerful military (which became more powerful under Zhou command) which served the dual purpose of protecting the kingdom from enemies and quelling rebellions.

1.2.4. The Zhou Dynasty introduced the idea of the "mandate of heaven", the belief that the gods would not let unfit rulers keep the throne, implying that the Shang rulers were unfit to rule, and the Zhou rulers were better.

2. Economy and Trade

2.1. Sumerians

2.1.1. The Sumerian people lacked many of the raw materials due to its location. These material include goods such as wood and metals. Because of their need for these resources in their culture, they ended up depending heavily on trade for them.

2.1.2. The Sumerians were able to trade with people all across southwest Asia which allowed them to receive a large variety of resources.

2.1.3. The Sumerians would often trade woven textiles that they could make for metals, timber, and stone. This shows that these textiles were most likely a large part of their infrastructure, and could have been what the city was known for.

2.2. Shang/Zhou

2.2.1. The Shang/Zhou dynasties were based on agriculture.

2.2.2. Because they were isolated geographically, they didn't trade with other regions.

2.2.3. Archeologists believe the Shang dynasty may have created the first ever currency.

3. Science

3.1. Sumerians

3.1.1. The people of Sumer developed a system of math which was based on the number sixty. Their system of math was able to survive time and is now the reason that the modern world still divides a circle into 360° and divides and hour into sixty minutes.

3.1.2. They developed a very advanced system of geometry which allowed them to build elaborate structures and irrigation systems. With this knowledge, they were able to make their cities a lot more aesthetically pleasing as well as functional.

3.1.3. The Sumerians invented the wheel which had many purposes to both art and science. It allowed them to create vehicles which allowed for a faster means of transportation. This would broaden their range of trade and allow them to more easily expand.

3.1.4. The people of Sumer learned  how to work with and use bronze in a way that allowed them to make stronger tools and weapons. These bronze tools were much more durable and would also give them an advantage in war.

3.1.5. They were able to gain a very impressive amount of medical knowledge which would allow them to preform basic surgerys. This would lead to an increase in lifespans within the sumerian civilization.

3.2. Shang/Zhou

3.2.1. The Shang people learned to work with copper, and used this largely for the creation of religious artifacts.

3.2.2. The Zhou people learned how to use iron, which they used largely for weapons and other military supplies.

3.2.3. Shang astronomers created a precise calendar based on the phases of the moon.

3.2.4. The Shang and Zhou dynasties learned to work with different types of metals, which they used for religious artifacts, weapons, and other tools.

4. Religion

4.1. Sumerians

4.1.1. They built very large temples in the center of each of their cities which were created to honor their cities chief god. In the very center of these temples, there was a pyramid shaped object that was known as a Ziggurat which would raise towards the sky. Its job was to bring the temples closer to the heavens and to god.

4.1.2. The religion of the Sumerian people was a polytheistic one which meant they worshiped many gods. These gods controlled the elements and all natural forces. They beleived that a god protected each city-state.

4.1.3. They believed that the gods were very human in multiple aspects. Their gods would eat, drink, fall in love, get married, and fight. These gods also held enormous allowing them to bring rich harvests or raging floods on merely whim alone.

4.1.4. The Sumerian people worked very hard to please their gods. In their temples, priests and priestesses would offer food and drinks to the gods as well ah hold ceremonies for them. This once again shows the very large impact that the gods had on the people of Sumer.

4.2. Shang/Zhou

4.2.1. They believed in an afterlife, as evidenced by their habit of burying kings with treasures and sacrificed prisoners of war.

4.2.2. During the end of the Zhou period, as the kingdom erupted into revolution and chaos, philosophers created Confucianism and Daoism. Confucianism was centered on the ideas of love and respect for all people, while Daoism was centered on the idea of yielding to nature.

4.2.3. They would often present the ancestors with gifts in hopes that the ancestors would bring them good fortune. They would also sometimes cook for the ancestors, eating the food themselves but hoping the ancestors would feed on the steam.

4.2.4. They had a ritual revolving an artifact called the "Oracle Bone" in which they would right down a question and then heat the bone until it shattered. Religious leaders would then interpret the cracks.

5. Geography and Agricluture

5.1. Sumerians

5.1.1. In the more southern part of Sumer, there was a lack of a consistent supply of water. Due to this problem, they were forced to develop a system of irrigation to survive. This irrigation system allowed them to have a more consistent amount of water in their field, allowing them to have a stronger system of agriculture.

5.1.2. Their civilization formed between the Tigris and Euphrates river in the land that was known as Mesopotamia. They chose to live here because the land was very flat and swampy. This area turned out to be well suited for agriculture.

5.1.3. Due to the Sumerians location between the two rivers, some of the more northern parts in Mesopotamia would receive flooding that would leave behind silt which would fertilize the earth. Comparatively, the more southern would receive a lot less rain and would have to rely on the rain and snow from up north for flooding, which was not very consistent.

5.1.4. The rivers in the southern lands of Mesopotamia were very susceptible to spontaneous flooding what could wash away lots of crops and even villages. Droughts would also often occur leading to the river level falling and crops dying during the long, hot summers. This shows how dramatically the river could effect every aspect of their lives.

5.2. Shang/Zhou

5.2.1. The dynasties were founded in an area of river valleys, and used these rivers (Chang Jiang and Huang He) as their main source of water.

5.2.2. Being surrounded by rivers and mountains kept the region isolated.

5.2.3. They began growing crops around 9,000 years ago.

5.2.4. The two rivers' annual flood brought a dusty but fertile soil called loess to the land. Loess was very helpful for farming.

6. Arts and Education

6.1. Sumerians

6.1.1. The Sumerians were able to develop the first system of writing which was known as Cuneiform. To produce the writing, Sumerians used sharp tools called styluses to make wedge-shaped symbols on clay tablets.

6.1.2. With their newly developed system of writing, they kept business accounts and other records. As time passed, writing began to have other uses. They began to write down laws, grammer, and even works of literature such as stories, poems, and songs.

6.1.3. Sumerians were able to use architecture to create arches, ramps and columns which they often used in their ziggurats. This was a very impressive work of architecture that allowed them to add art into their temples.

6.1.4. They created cylinder seals which were small stone cylinders engraved with detailed designs. The seal was used by rolling it over clay which resulted in the imprint of the design. This allowed Sumerians the be able to "sign" documents and show ownership of the work.

6.2. Shang/Zhou

6.2.1. Shang artist began to work with jade, which was very expensive. It was a sign you were a member of the ruling elite if you owned things made of jade, and for this reason many wealthy people spent time collecting it.

6.2.2. During the Zhou reign farmers began to learn new techniques with which they created a surplus of food.

6.2.3. Shang artists became skilled at working with bronze, and used it to create many religious artifacts.

6.2.4. Questions written to the Oracle Bone were among the first writing.

7. Social Structure and Family Life

7.1. Sumerians

7.1.1. Slowly as time passed in Sumer, a social hierarchy was formed do to trade. At the top was the king of the city-state, the priests, and their principal agents. Next in the hierarchy were large landowners and wealthy merchants. Below them were the artisans, farmers, and laborers. At the very bottom were slaves which were often captured in battles.

7.1.2. The majority of Sumerians lived in the second to last group with the artisans, farmers and laborers. This is most likely because it was the most common and heavily practiced field people were in. Now days they would probably be known as the middle or working class.

7.1.3. The men soon began to hold political power and make laws, while the women would care for the home and the children.

7.1.4. Some of the upper class women would dedicate their time to receiving educations and would work as priestesses in the temple. Most likely these woman had slaves or lower class servants take care of the home and the family while she preformed these tasks.

7.2. Shang/Zhou

7.2.1. The ruling elite owned slaves, who were often used for construction. If there were not enough slaves for a project, farmers would be drafted to help work.

7.2.2. Most people worked in farms and so among peasants there were no "more important/better" jobs.

7.2.3. There was, however, a ruling elite. During the Shang reign they had free time, which they filled mostly with recreational hunting.

7.2.4. One of the main themes of Confucianism was loving and respecting one's family. Children were to respect and love their elders, who must love and respect them in turn, and reward their respect with kindness.