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Showing posts from January, 2017

The Geography of the Nile

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The Geography of the Nile River



Class Notes for World Studies book pgs. 68-75, Questions 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, and 2c:


1a. The Nile River begins in the lakes and marshes of Central Africa. Its true source is Lake Victoria (the largest lake in Africa). The Nile starts as two rivers: the Blue Nile and the White Nile. The beginning part of the Nile cuts through a mountainous area.

      The Blue and White Nile come together in modern day Sudan. The city of Khartoum is built where they intersect. The Nile twists and turns through 1,000 miles of desert. In its course, there are six cataracts (steep rapids or waterfalls). As it gets close to the Mediterranean Sea, it breaks into many little streams that empty into the sea. This creates a large triangular area of rich soil called a delta.


1b. The Ancient Egyptians relied on the Nile River for survival. The Nile gave the Egyptians certain “gifts”: water, silt (mud), food animals (birds, fish, etc.), papyrus, and flax. The Nubians and Egyptians used th…

Ancient Egypt Unit Vocabulary

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Our Ancient Egypt Vocabulary Words

1. Delta
A delta is a triangle-shaped area of rich soil where a river dumps into a larger body of water.


2. Cataract
A cataract is a steep rapids in a river, or a very large waterfall.





3. Mummy
A mummy is a dead body embalmed according to the Egyptians’ religion.



4. Hieroglyphics
Hieroglyphics are the Egyptian writing system in which pictures are used for sounds.


5. Pyramid
A pyramid is a structure built in ancient Egypt as a tomb with four triangular sides and a square base.




6. Pharaoh
The pharaoh was the king of ancient Egypt who believed to be a divine human with magical powers.



7. Dynasty

Ancient Egypt Map

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Here are the places you should be able to locate on a blank map:
Open your atlas to page 115 (Eastern Mediterranean and Middle East) and look closely at the areas of Israel, Egypt, Sudan, Jordan, Syria, Libya, and Lebanon.
Label the following places clearly, then copy the list of places on the back. Be sure your map has your name on it!
The dotted line represents when the Egyptian Empire was at its greatest size, in the time of the Pharaoh Ramses the Great.


Water
Mediterranean Sea
Red Sea
Dead Sea

Nile River
Euphrates River
Jordan River
White Nile
Blue Nile

First, Second, Third, and Fourth Cataracts


Cities
Alexandria
Giza
Memphis
Thebes
Aswan High Dam (modern, on the 1st cataract)
Khartoum


Territories
Anatolia
Palestine
Syria

Lower Egypt
Upper Egypt
Nubia

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day

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This weekend is a long weekend from school, but too many students pause to remember why...



Some resources for finding out more:

The King Center in Atlanta, Georgia
http://www.thekingcenter.org/

Stanford University
http://mlk-kpp01.stanford.edu/

Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service
http://www.mlkday.gov/

Also, just a reminder that Dr. King was a Ph.D. graduate from Boston University.

The Hittites

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Hittites
The Hittites were a fierce and mysterious people who lived in the central and eastern part of Anatolia, in the modern country of Turkey. The Hittites created a strong and important empire in the years between 1900 B.C. and 1100 B.C. (3,000 - 4,000 years ago), often battling or trading with the Egyptians, competing with the pharaoh Ramses the Great for domination over Palestine and the area of today's Syria.

The Hittites had their capital city at Hattusa, and were known in the ancient world for their skill in smelting and metal working, particularly using bronze and iron to make weapons.



Some great sources on the Hittites:

Wikipedia Entry
The British Museum
Archaeological Site of Hattusa














The Persians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Persians
The Persians lived in what is today called Iran. They built the largest land empire of the ancient world, and had a great capital city at Persepolis before its destruction by Alexander the Great. Some people know the Persians as the enemy in the movie 300, but there is so much more. The Persians' most famous leaders were Cyrus the Great, Darius the Great, and Xerxes. At one time, the Persians took over the land of Egypt, and at another challenged the Greeks for domination of the lands east of the Mediterranean.


Sources of information on the Persians:
Wikipedia Entry
History for Kids: Persia








The Babylonians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Babylonians
Based in the ancient city-state of Babylon, the Babylonian empire stretched across the entire region of Mesopotamia and beyond at its height, around the year 1770 B.C. under its most famous ruler, Hammurabi. Hammurabi is most known for being a conqueror and a law-giver.

The Code of Hammurabi set out the concept of a punishment fitting the crime. He had his laws carved into stone and set in the center of the towns he ruled, so that all would know the laws. The thinking behind Hammurabi's laws can be summed up in the phrase, "An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth." This means that if a man injures another by putting out his eye, then that man's eye will be put out as punishment.

The laws were more symbolic since most people in those days were unable to read and write, but Hammurabi created the concept of the rule of law, and the idea of fairness in the justice system.

The interesting thing about the Babylonian E…

The Assyrians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent: The Assyrians

The Assyrians began their civilization in the ancient city-state of Assur over 3,000 years ago, and came to dominate the area of upper Mesopotamia that includes parts of modern day Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Jordan, Egypt, Israel, and Saudi Arabia. The Assyrians were known by the Egyptians for being a fierce warrior race who knew nothing but bloodshed and destruction. Recent archaeology has shown that unlike the image in the Egyptians' propaganda, the Assyrians were actually an advanced civilization who excelled in the arts and the science of astronomy and mathematics.

The Assyrians were rivals of the Babylonians and the Egyptians, and produced strong kings with names like Shamshi-Adad and Tiglath Pileser I. Like the Babylonians, the Assyrians were powerful for a time, then declined, then returned as the "New" Assyrian Empire later. The modern country of Syria traces its name back to the ancient Assyrians.



Here are a few so…

The Phoenicians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Phoenicians
The Phoenicians were known as the greatest sea traders on the Mediterranean, and left their legacy by creating the alphabet we still use today (with a few changes). From their bases in what is today Lebanon, the Phoenicians traveled the entire length of the Mediterranean, setting up far away colonies in places like Spain and North Africa. Their colony of Carthage actually challenges the powerful Roman Republic for dominance of the region in the third and fourth centuries B.C.

The Phoenicians built much of their wealth on selling a very special purple dye made from the shell of the murex, a snail-like creature. This dye was so valuable that in ancient Rome, only the emperor was allowed to wear all purple, and the noble families of Rome marked their togas with a purple stripe.


Sources for information about the Phoenicians:


Wikipedia Entry (a good starting point)
Ancient History Encyclopedia: Phoenicia
History World: Phoenicians
Histo…

The Israelites

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent: The Israelites (Hebrews)
The Hebrews, also called the Israelites, were unique among ancient civilizations because of their monotheistic religion. Much of the information we have about the earliest history of the Hebrews comes from the Old Testament of the Bible. Modern Jews trace their religion and culture back to this ancient civilization.






Sources of information on the Hebrews/Israelites:
Harvard Semitic Museum
Wikipedia Entry
NYU Library Guide


The Sumerians

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Civilizations of the Fertile Crescent:  The Sumerians
The earliest people to grow into a flourishing civilization in the Fertile Crescent (or anywhere) were the Sumerians. Just northwest of the Persian Gulf, between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, the Sumerians built a series of city-states that were later incorporated into an empire. Impressively, the Sumerians invented the wheel, irrigation, writing, trade, the sailboat, organized government, and a number system based on 60 (which we still use to measure time).

The Sumerians were a polytheistic society, believing in a few principal gods and thousands of lesser gods and goddesses. The had one well-known creation myth involving a great flood and a hero named Gilgamesh. This story may have been the inspiration for the Noah's Ark chapter of the Bible.




Some great sources for information about the Sumerians:

BrainPOP
The British Museum
Wikipedia Entry
LookLex Encyclopedia
National Geographic Article