Ancient civilization vocabulary name: Paleolithic Era
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ANCIENT CIVILIZATION VOCABULARY Name: Paleolithic Era
Paleolithic Era – Time period where people hunted and gathered for food; The Old Stone Age
Nomads People who moved from place to place, hunting and gathering their food.
Hominids Members of the group of the earliest human species or human like creatures
"Lucy" - Skeleton of earliest known hominid (3.1 million years old) found by the Leaky Family in Eastern Africa.
The - Archaeologists who made important discoveries about early humans in Africa
Neolithic Revolution – A major turning point in history, where people began to farm and domesticate animals; the New Stone Age or the Agricultural Revolution
Domesticate – To tame an animal for human purposes
Sedentary - To farm in one place
Traditional Economy – Economy based on past practices, such as farming or hunting and gathering
River Valley Civilizations – An area that provided early civilizations water, farmland, transportation and trade (Ex: The Nile River, Indus River, Yellow River and the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers)
Civilization – An area that has a highly organized social order with systems of religion and government
Empire – A group of states or territories that were conquered and controlled by one ruler
Mesopotamia – “The land between two rivers”; The area between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers that provided fertile land to civilizations such as Sumer, Babylon, Persia and the Phoenicians.
Fertile Crescent – Fertile land that spans from the Mediterranean Sea to the Persian Gulf, in the Middle East.
Ziggurats - Stone temples made out of sun-dried bricks that were used for political and religious purposes
Cuneiform - Sumerian system of writing using wedge shaped markings
Hammurabi – Leader of Babylon who set strict, harsh codified laws; “Eye for an Eye and tooth for a tooth”
Hieroglyphics – Ancient Egyptian writing system using pictures symbols for ideas or sounds
Pharaoh – King of Egypt who was considered a living God
Zhou Dynasty – Dynasty of China that ruled from 1027 BCE to 221 BCE that first claimed the Mandate of Heaven
Mandate of Heaven - Chinese theory that the right to rule came from God/Heaven.
Silk – An expensive material used for clothing that was a valuable Chinese export
Middle Kingdom – An ethnocentric term that the Chinese used to describe their civilization
Qin Dynasty – Dynasty of China that ruled from 221 BCE to 206 BCE
Legalism – Qin Dynasty’s strict set of laws that imposed harsh penalties
Han Dynasty – Dynasty of China that ruled from 206 BCE to 210 CE and experienced a Golden Age
Civil Service Exam – Exams that were based on Confucian principles that Chinese government officials must pass
Compass - Instrument used for determining direction; invented during the Han Dynasty in China
Acupuncture – Medical treatment developed in China that inserts needles under the skin at specific points to relieve pain or treat various illnesses.
Silk Road – Ancient trade route that spanned from China to the Middle East and the Eastern borders of Europe
Maurya Empire – Ancient Indian Empire that ruled from 321 BCE to 185 BCE
Bureaucracy – A system of managing government
Gupta Empire – Ancient Indian Empire that united India from 320 CE to 550 CE and experienced a Golden Age
Decimal System – Number system based on ten that is used today
Arabic Numerals – Number system that we use today (1, 2, 3, 4, 5, etc.); Developed in India but called Arabic numerals because Europeans learned about number system through contact with Muslims via trade
Greek City-States – Politically independent areas in Greece that formed due to mountainous terrain. (ex: Athens, Sparta, Olympia, Delphi)
Athens – Greek city-state that experienced a Golden Age and had many achievements in art, literature, math and government.
Sparta – Greek city-state that set up a totalitarian state based on militarism
Golden Age – Time period of peace and economic prosperity that produces high levels of education, art, and technology
Direct-Democracy – Form of Democracy that was first used in Ancient Athens, Greece.
Philosophers – A term that means “seeker of wisdom.” A person who sought out answers about the world and human behavior by using reason and logic.
Socrates - Greek philosopher who used the question and answer method to encourage young people to come to the absolute truth.
Plato - Greek philosopher who wrote “The Republic” & felt the state was more important than the individual
Aristotle – Greek philosopher who was Plato’s student and wrote about logic and political science; Alexander the Great’s teacher
Parthenon – Famous landmark building in Ancient Athens that used columns and symmetry
Columns - Structures first used Greek architecture that supported large buildings
Sculpture – A form of art that is carved from stone.
Theatre – An art form founded in ancient Greece that includes dramas, tragedies and comedies.
Pythagoras – Greek mathematician who studied geometry and produced the Pythagorean Theorem (A 2 + B 2 = C 2 )
Hippocrates – Ancient Greek doctor who came up with a code for doctors; this code includes the doctor-patient confidentiality.
Hellenistic/Hellenic Civilization– The blending of Persian, Egyptian and Greek culture that formed when Alexander the Great conquered and unified these areas.
Alexander the Great – Emperor from Macedonia who conquered the areas from Greece to Egypt to India
Pax Romana – Time of Roman peace and economic prosperity that produced great works of engineering and educational accomplishments (Rome’s Golden Age)
Republic – Form of democracy where people elect or vote for representatives to make governmental decisions
Patricians – Upper class citizens of Rome who made up the Senate
Plebeians – Roman citizens (farmers, merchants, artisans and traders) who had little political power but fought for the creation of the Twelve Tables
Twelve Tables – Codified laws that guaranteed the rights of Roman citizens and serves as the basis to modern laws systems
Aqueducts – Architectural achievement of Rome that used a system of arches and pipes that brought fresh water from the mountains to the cities of the Roman Empire
Coliseum – Architectural landmark in Rome that was used for Gladiator fights, chariots races and executions (Circuses).
Bread and Circuses – Political idea that gave Rome’s poor population bread and entertainment to keep the citizens distracted from politics
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