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Into this rich economy and culture writing - the most important invention between the advent of agriculture and the age of the steam engine - was introduced around B.
The Sumerian invention of writing was probably rather sudden, based on new needs for commercial, property, and political records including a celebration of the deeds of proud local kings. Writing was preceded by the invention of clay cylinder seals, on which little pictures of objects could be recorded.
The earliest Sumerian writing simply evolved from these pictures baked on clay tablets, which were turned into symbols and gradually transformed into phonetic elements. The early Sumerian alphabet - set of symbols representing sounds - may have had as many as symbols derived from the early pictures.
Before long writers began to use more abstract symbols to represent sounds which allowed Sumerians and their successors to reduce the alphabet to about symbols. Sumerian writers used a wedge-shaped stick to impress the symbols on clay tablets. The resulting writing is called cuneiform, meaning "wedge shaped," and it was used for several thousand years in the Middle East for many different languages.
Cuneiform writing was difficult to learn, so specialized scribes monopolized most of it, but the Sumerians in fact believed that every object in nature should have a separate name to assure its place in the universe; knowing the name gave a person some power over the object.
Writing, in other words, quickly took on essentially religious purposes, allowing people to impose an abstract order over nature and the social world. Sumerian civilization lasted intact until about B.
Its political organization was based on tightly organized city-states, where the agricultural hinterland was ruled by an urban-based king who claimed great authority.
In some cases local councils advised the king. One of the functions of Sumerian states was to define boundaries, unlike the less formal territories of precivilized villages in the region. The government helped regulate religion and enforce its duties.
It also provided a system of courts for justice.
Kings were originally war leaders whose leadership of a trained army in defense and war remained vital in Sumerian politics where fighting loomed large. Kings, the noble class, and the priesthood controlled considerable land.
Slaves, conquered in wars with nearby tribes, were used to work this land. Sumerian political and social organization set up traditions that would long endure in this region. City-state government established a tradition of regional rule, that would often be overlaid by larger empires but would frequently return as the principal organizational form.
The reliance on slaves was maintained in the economy of many successor civilizations.Unlike many other ancient cultures, China was effectively isolated from many other early civilizations. Geography played a huge role in this isolation - this lesson will help you learn how.
Take a look at these maps of Ancient China and Ancient India to see the geographic location of both civilizations. Videos: Using your Discovery Education login information, watch this brief video on Ancient China . describe and analyze the geographic, political, economic, religious and social structures of the early civilizations in China, to include: a.
location and description of the origins of Chinese civilization in the Huang-He valley, Shang dynasty, geographical features of China that. geographic features influenced the historical and/or cultural development of specific civilizations, empires, countries, or regions • Is more analytical than descriptive (analyzes, evaluates, and/or creates * information), e.g., rivers.
The geography of China impacted the development of early civilizations in China. The best areas to settle were in the areas near the Yangtze River and the Yellow River. A country's geography influences the development of its society and culture in many ways.
Its location in relation to other nations has an effect on intercultural influences; its size affects demography, the development of social structures, and its position in the international community.