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Chapter 3 North Africa and Southwest Asia- Early Cultures

Section 1 Part 1 Mesopotamia


A civilization is when a culture reaches a certain level of development. One of the first known civilizations was Mesopotamia. It was located between two rivers, so it used the irrigation system. The irrigation system is a way to control flooding and provide water to farmers. Early villages and towns were known as city states. They had a town and farmland surrounding it. The city state was a theocracy, ruled by an individual who was the religious leader and king. One of the city states was named Sumer. It is located near the Persian gulf and has a writing called cuneiform. It is written on clay with triangle shaped wooden sticks in different wedge shaped markings. Akkad was the first civilization to create an empire, multiple states under 1 ruler. In Mesopotamia there were deltas, rich fertile triangle or fan shaped land

Section 1 Part 2 Egypt


In Africa there was the Egyptian empire ruled by pharaohs. Pharaohs were kings and gods in their polytheistic religion. Polytheistic means more than one god Egyptians believed there was a life after death. So they embalmed the dead people. Embalming requires to preserve the body after death. Rich peoples tombs had been placed with coffins. The biggest tombs were called pyramids. The Egyptian form of writing had 800 picture signs and was called hieroglyphics. The signs were cut in stone, painted on walls and papyrus. Papyrus is a flax like plant in the Nile that can be made into paper. Scribes were royal officers of the pharaoh to record governments business.

Section 2 Part 1 Judaism and Christianity


Judaism, Islam, and Christianity are 3 of the oldest religions. They believe in one god only, monotheism. Judaism is one of the oldest religions. Jerusalem was the holy land there and the scattering of the Jews outside of the holy land is called the Diaspora. Jewish people have been used commonly as a scape goat, or someone to blame upon. Jews suffering torment believed their god will deliver a messiah, or savior to the Jewish people. Christianity sprang out of Judaism. They believed that Jesus was son of god and his followers were disciples.

Section 2 Part 2 Christianity and Islam


Jesus teachings were carried far around the globe to built churches and schools and to minister or take care of young Christians. In Europe were Christianity was known in a different form as Catholicism. They had military campaigns called crusades that took over Jerusalem. The worlds second largest religion is Islam. The holy book is the Quran and has the five pillars of faith, which are the five duties all Muslims must follow. Hajj is the last pillar of faith and the most important. He or she must go on a pilgrimage in Mecca. Mecca is a holy city in Saudi Arabia.