7 Aspects of the Sumerians and the Shang/ Zhou Civilizations By: Shannon McLaren, Mackenzie Mase,...

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7 Aspects of the Sumerians and the Shang/ Zhou Civilizations By: Shannon McLaren, Mackenzie Mase, and Jacob Maliszewski by Mind Map: 7 Aspects of the Sumerians and the Shang/ Zhou Civilizations By: Shannon McLaren, Mackenzie Mase, and Jacob Maliszewski

1. Government/Leaders

1.1. Sumerians:

1.1.1. The Sumerians organized themselves into city-states. Each of these were independent from each other and self-reliant.

1.1.2. As history went on, the Sumerians government became very complex. The ruler also became the chief priest, leading ceremonies to honor the gods.

1.1.3. Since the form of government for the Sumerians was a monarchy, the king had most of the power. But later they implemented a system of scribes, who helped collect taxes and keep records of the civilization.

1.1.4. Lastly, because each city-state had their own ruler, there was lots of warfare. They fought over fertile land and water supply.

1.2. Shang/Zhou:

1.2.1. The early leaders of the Zhou civilization introduced the idea of " Mandate of Heaven", which meant that the leaders were given all their power from the gods.

1.2.2. The Zhou government was based off a feudal system. This meant the emperor sectioned the land off in estates that were usually controlled by his relatives.

1.2.3. Since the Zhou government was sectioned off into multiple states, there were many different rulers at once which created tension because everyone wanted the power.

1.2.4. The Shang government was based on a centralized system. This means that there is single leader or small group of leaders who take care of the civilizaton.

2. Economy and Trade

2.1. Sumerians:

2.1.1. The Sumerian economy relied heavily on the agriculture. The most important crop to them was the barley.

2.1.2. This civilization had a lot of specialization, meaning different jobs including brick making and baking. The brick making lead to many building projects that helped their economy like temples.

2.1.3. Since Mesopotamia didn't have a lot of natural resources, they needed to trade with neighboring civilizations. They traded their grains, oils, and tools for others wood, metals and precious stones, and wine.

2.1.4. The Sumerians had two different ways for transporting their goods. One was by boat on one of their surrounding rivers. Another was by foot or an animal.

2.2. Shang/ Zhou:

2.2.1. Agriculture and fishing were very important parts to the Shang economy. As their civilization developed, the handicraft industry became huge too.

2.2.2. The Shang and Zhou were apart of the Bronze Age. They made many items out of this metal like armor and weapons. This was an item many other civilizations traded them for.

2.2.3. The Bronze Age helped their economy by showing they were a wealthy strong and respected civilization. This increased the trade for them with other civilizations.

2.2.4. The trade was also increased by the construction of canals. These building projects increased the economy and transportation too.

3. Religion

3.1. Sumerians:

3.1.1. Each city had a temple where a major god in the Sumerian pantheon was seated.

3.1.2. The Sumerians believed that the gods controlled the powerful sources that decided a human's fate.

3.1.3. They believed that mankind was was created for serving the gods and once their life has come to an end, they would go to the underworld.

3.1.4. The Sumerians were one of the first people to record their beliefs. These records later on influenced later religions. This is one of their records of their beliefs.

3.2. Shang/Zhou:

3.2.1. The Shang kings believed that the universe was filled with ghosts, and spirits of good and evil.

3.2.2. The Zhou's believed that there was heavenly spirits, terrestrial forces, and human ancestors.

3.2.3. The four highest priests of the Western Zhou period were the prayers, sacrificers, diviners, and astrologers. This was an item used in the Shang/Zhou sacrificing practices.

3.2.4. The Shang religion was polytheistic which meant they believed in many gods.

4. Science and Technology

4.1. Sumerians:

4.2. The Sumerians had a lot of technological advancements. This included geometry, irrigation systems, boats, calendars, bronze, leather, and glue.

4.3. Geometry was important because it was one of the first times a civilization was able to focus on figuring out complicated things through a system they created.

4.4. The calendar showed they had understanding of time and allowed them to plan for long term things instead of short term things like farming.

4.4.1. Sumerian calender

4.5. Bronze and leather marked the ending of the stone age. They started making weapons and pots out of bronze. Clothes were made out of leather which kept them warmer.

4.6. Shang/Zhou:

4.7. The Shang/Zhou people worked on ships and trade more than anything. Their empire expanded to a larger area so they worked with roads and efficient systems.

4.8. Their ships were massive so they could travel the seas to find resources and trade with other civilizations. They took a lot of wood to make but were long lasting and could take a lot of beating.

4.8.1. Shang ship used for trade

4.9. The next is their roads and communication system . They set up areas where they would have people go on horse back to deliver messages.

4.10. They were also good with math. They set up elaborate systems that they worked very long and hard at and were easy to learn.

5. Geography and Agriculture

5.1. Sumerians:

5.1.1. The Sumerians could be found in Sumeria in Mesopotamia, which was located in the Fertile Crescent. Map of Sumerian location

5.1.2. They were found in between the 2 rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates. This could be a blessing and a curse for them. A blessing because it was a way of transportation. A curse because the rivers flooded at the most inopportune times ruining their food supply.

5.1.3. Unfortunately, Sumeria's climate was very hot and dry. It didn't rain very often and when it did they were usually big storms. The reason the Sumerians were able to survive was because they were flexible.

5.1.4. The Sumerians agriculture revolved around their irrigation systems which consisted of canals and reservoirs. They grew things like wheat, barley, lettuce, and dates.

5.2. Shang/ Zhou:

5.2.1. The Shang/ Zhou were located in what we call China today. They were settled in between the 2 rivers Huang He and Yangtze. Map of Shang/Zhou location

5.2.2. The Himalayan Mountain range was to the South and Southeast of them. This made it easier for the civilization to isolate itself from other civilizations.

5.2.3. The HuangHe River was apart of a drier climate. In order to be able to farm there the Shang/Zhou adapted and grew crops like millet that were able to thrive in these conditions.

5.2.4. On the other hand, the Yangtze river was apart of a warmer climate with rainy weather. This enabled them to grow the crop rice.

6. Arts and Education

6.1. Sumerians:

6.1.1. The sculptures that the Sumerians made were round and soft because they were made of clay. Smooth edged sculpture made of clay

6.1.2. Sumerians wore what were called cylinder seals. They made these out of clay also. The cylinders hung around your neck and were what identified you. They made these complicated so that you couldn't fake who you were. Cylinder Seal

6.1.3. With Sumerians, education was associated with priesthood so all of the learning and teaching was done in temples.

6.1.4. Most of the students were males and their families paid for them to go. They learned complex grammar and practiced writing. They would get praised for being right and if they were wrong then they were normally lashed with a stick or cane.

6.2. Shang/Zhou:

6.2.1. The knowledge was taught orally from the older to the younger people.

6.2.2. The Shang and Zhou people learned how to make bronze out of copper and tin. People started to make jars and plaques made out of bronze to gift to their gods.

6.2.3. They used the method of piece-mold casting. This is where they would take what they want to make out of bronze, cover it in clay to make a cast of it, cut it in pieces to release it, and then reassembled with firing.The bronze was then poured into the vessel. bronze altar set

6.2.4. The Shang and Zhou also learned by forms of reading. They read inscriptions off of bones and tortoise shells

7. Social Structure and Family Life

7.1. Sumerians:

7.1.1. The Sumerian's civilization had four social classes. The nobles, commoners, clients and slaves.

7.1.2. Nobles included the rulers of the civilization, they also were priests, warriors, people who owned a lot of land, or the heads of organizations.

7.1.3. Commoners where a step down from nobles. They still owned land, but not nearly as much and were more of the middle class for the civilization.

7.1.4. Clients/slaves were the low class or poor people of the civilization. They lived in huts that were not well built. They also didn't own land and took care of most manual labor like farming and building. Their family life was okay as they formed close bonds but struggled to get food sometimes.

7.2. Shang/Zhou

7.3. The Shang/Zhou had five social classes the emperor, region rulers, land owners, and slaves.

7.4. The emperor ruled the empire and had complete control over trade. He picked the region rulers who were often his close friends. He was protected by guards was not always seen by the public.

7.5. The next is region rulers they were chosen by the emperor to rule a region. They collected taxes from their people and controlled the economy in that area. They were wealthy but they often got greedy of the emperor and tried to over take him. Sometimes they would but most of the time they would fail.

7.6. Land owners where people who controlled area of land where they usually farmed and collected that areas resources. They usually weren't given this land instead they bought them. They where normally blue collar people who worked hard to keep up their land. they also often owned land

7.7. Slaves where the lowest of the low they usually worked on the fields for farmers/ land owners they weren't paid and if they were it was very low. The often fell sick because of poor living conditions. the did have children either because of want or sometimes the land owners would force them if they were particularly cruel.