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Graded Assignment: Civilization Begins

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Complete this teacher-scored portion of the Unit Test, and submit it to your teacher by the due date for full credit.
1. How did the geography of China affect the development of early civilization there? Be sure to include details about China’s geography and their specific influence on the way people in China lived. Answer: Geography actually had a really big effect on the lives of the residents of Ancient China because the mountains and plateaus on the west side enabled people to live only in the east of China where there is fertile soil. The mountains and deserts also isolate it from the rest of Asia. It also provided a natural security system for China. It has also required traders to travel over very dangerous terrain.

2. There were many empires that rose and fell between 2300 B.C. and 334 B.C. Write a brief essay that compares and contrasts the Babylonian and Hittite empires. In what ways were they alike, and how were they different? Answer: Babylonia was an ancient cultural region in central-southern Mesopotamia (present-day Iraq), with Babylon as its capital. The founder and first king of an independent Babylon was a certain Amorite chieftain named Sumuabum who declared independence from the neighboring city-state of Kazallu in 1894 BC, and was a contemporary of Erishum I of Assyria. Babylonia emerged as a powerful nation when the Amorite king Hammurabi (fl. ca. 1792 – 1750 BC) created a short lived empire out of the territories of the former Akkadian Empire.

Babylonia adopted the written Semitic Akkadian language for official use, and retained the Sumerian language for religious use, which by that time was no longer a spoken language. The Akkadian and Sumerian traditions played a major role in later Babylonian culture, and the region would remain an important cultural center, even under outside rule, throughout the Bronze Age and the Early Iron Age. Babylon as an independent state was founded by and rose to prominence under non native Amorites and spent the most part of its history ruled by their fellow Mesopotamians, the Assyrians or by foreign dynasties such as Kassites, Elamites, Hittites, Arameans, Chaldeans, Persians, Greeks and Parthians.

The earliest mention of the city of Babylon can be found in a tablet from the reign of Sargon of Akkad, dating back to the 23rd century BC. Approximately one hundred years or so after the collapse of the last Sumerian “Ur-III” dynasty at the hands of the Elamites (2002 BC traditional, 1940 BC short), the Amorites gained control over most of Mesopotamia, where they usurped the thrones of Assyria, Mari, Eshnunna Ur, Isin, Larsa and other already long established states in Mesopotamia and formed a series of small kingdoms. During the first centuries of what is called the “Amorite period”, the most powerful city states in the south were the former Sumerian cities of Isin and Larsa, although Shamshi-Adad I of Assyria united the more northern regions around Ashur and Mari. One of these Amorite dynasties established the city-state of Babylon in the 19th century BC, which would over a hundred years later briefly take over the others and form the first Babylonian empire, during what is also called the Old Babylonian Period

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