Was a Key Ancient Puebloan Society Ruled by Women?

Was a Key Ancient Puebloan Society Ruled by Women?


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Discovering who was a leader, or even if leaders existed, from the ruins of archaeological sites is difficult, but now a team of archaeologists and biological anthropologists, using a powerful combination of radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA, have shown that a matrilineal dynasty likely ruled Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico for more than 300 years.

"We are not saying that this was a state-level society," said Douglas J. Kennett, head and professor of anthropology, Penn State. "But we don't think it was egalitarian either."

Photo of Pueblo Bonito taken from the northern rim of Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, U.S.A. ( Douglas Kennett / Penn State University )

Archaeologists have described the Chaco Phenomenon as anything from an egalitarian society without any rulers at all, to a full-fledged state-level society or kingdom. The researchers now think that Chaco Canyon was much more than a leaderless conglomeration of people, but a hierarchically organized society with leadership inherited through the maternal line.

Typically, the only things found in prehistoric archaeological ruins to indicate elevated status are grave goods -- the artifacts found with burials. Throughout the Southwest it is unusual to find formal burials within structures, because most people were buried with limited grave goods outside housing compounds, but in excavations sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and carried out in the 1890s at Chaco Canyon, archaeologists found room 33 in Pueblo Bonito -- a burial crypt within a 650-room pueblo dating between 800 and 1130 -- that contained 14 burials.

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Pottery and wooden flute found in Room 33 of Pueblo Bonito (Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, U.S.A.). ( Roderick Mickens / ©American Museum of Natural History )

"It has been clear for some time that these were venerated individuals, based on the exceptional treatment they received in the afterlife -- most Chacoans were buried outside of the settlement and never with such high quantities of exotic goods," said Adam Watson, postdoctoral fellow in the American Museum of Natural History Division of Anthropology. "But previously one could only speculate about the exact nature of their relationship to one another."

The researchers note in today's (Feb. 21) issue of Nature Communications , that this 6.5 by 6.5-foot room "was purposely constructed as a crypt for a high-status member of this nascent community and ultimately his lineal descendants." The initial burial was of a male in his 40s who died from a lethal blow to the head. He was buried with more than 11,000 turquoise beads, 3,300 shell beads and other artifacts including abalone shells and a conch shell trumpet originating from the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California far from central New Mexico. This burial is the richest ever found in the American Southwest.

Another individual was buried above this initial interment and a split plank floor placed above them. In the space above, another 12 burials took place over the span of 300 years.

Selection of turquoise and shell artifacts found in Room 33 of Pueblo Bonito (Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, U.S.A.). ( Roderick Mickens / ©American Museum of Natural History )

"We originally worked with Steve Plog (David A. Harrison Professor of Archaeology, University of Virginia) to radiocarbon date these burials," said Kennett. "The results of this work had all the individuals dating to a 300-year period. Then the question came up, are they related?"

Kennett and Plog teamed up with George Perry, assistant professor of anthropology and biology, Penn State and Richard George, a graduate student in anthropology, to first examine the mitochondrial genomes of these individuals."

When the results came back, the researchers found that all the individuals shared the same mitochondrial genome sequence. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited only from an individual's mother, so matching mtDNA indicates that not only where all the individuals from the same family, but the inheritance was matrilineal -- through the mother.

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"First we thought this could be some kind of contamination problem," said Kennett. "We checked for contamination, but found no evidence for it and David Reich's laboratory at Harvard Medical School corroborated our results."

Working with Reich, professor of genetics, the researchers then wondered if they could determine specific relationships among these individuals.

"Using DNA sequences from the nuclear genome combined with the radiocarbon dates, we identified a mother-daughter pair and a grandmother-grandson relationship," said Kennett.
"For the first time, we're saying that one kinship group controlled Pueblo Bonito for more than 300 years," said Plog "This is the best evidence of a social hierarchy in the ancient Southwest."

Photo of room blocks at Pueblo Bonito, Chaco Canyon, New Mexico. ( George Perry / Penn State )


Chaco Culture National Historical Park

Chaco Culture National Historical Park is a United States National Historical Park in the American Southwest hosting a concentration of pueblos. The park is located in northwestern New Mexico, between Albuquerque and Farmington, in a remote canyon cut by the Chaco Wash. Containing the most sweeping collection of ancient ruins north of Mexico, the park preserves one of the most important pre-Columbian cultural and historical areas in the United States. [2]

Between AD 900 and 1150, Chaco Canyon was a major center of culture for the Ancestral Puebloans. [a] Chacoans quarried sandstone blocks and hauled timber from great distances, assembling fifteen major complexes that remained the largest buildings ever built in North America until the 19th century. [2] [4] Evidence of archaeoastronomy at Chaco has been proposed, with the "Sun Dagger" petroglyph at Fajada Butte a popular example. Many Chacoan buildings may have been aligned to capture the solar and lunar cycles, [5] requiring generations of astronomical observations and centuries of skillfully coordinated construction. [6] Climate change is thought to have led to the emigration of Chacoans and the eventual abandonment of the canyon, beginning with a fifty-year drought commencing in 1130. [7]

Comprising a UNESCO World Heritage Site located in the arid and sparsely populated Four Corners region, the Chacoan cultural sites are fragile – concerns of erosion caused by tourists have led to the closure of Fajada Butte to the public. The sites are considered sacred ancestral homelands by the Hopi and Pueblo people, who maintain oral accounts of their historical migration from Chaco and their spiritual relationship to the land. [8] [9] Though park preservation efforts can conflict with native religious beliefs, tribal representatives work closely with the National Park Service to share their knowledge and respect the heritage of the Chacoan culture. [8]


Aspasia of Miletus

Born in Miletus in Asia Minor, Aspasia (470-410 BCE) was an important figure in Classical Athens. While few sources can tell us how she immigrated to the city state, she was known as the partner of Pericles, a local statesman, and mother of Pericles the Younger. Plutarch recounts that her home in Athens was an intellectual center, where prominent writers and thinkers regularly gathered. She is said to have established a girls’ school, surpassing the limitations imposed on women.


How did the lives of Spartan women differ from other Greek states?

The sources of Sparta women are incomplete and scarce. Most of Sparta's works are not the records of Spartan writers and historians but rather of Athenian and other Greek writers. [3] . The rest of Greece was fascinated by Spartan females and the unique freedom they enjoyed.

Typically, in the Hellenic world, women were secluded in the home and expected to concentrate on domestic affairs and could not participate in politics or commerce. Most Athenian women were not educated, and they lived mostly in the houses of their father and husband and were always under the authority of a male. [4] Despite all their radical thinking and cultural achievements, the Greek world repressed women.

But according to the sources, Spartan girls were not confined to the home. Unusual, for a Greek city-state, young females received some education. In Greece, there was a great emphasis on physical exercise and which was viewed as vital for the children's development. [5] Spartan girls received some physical training and even trained in athletics with boys and competed in races and competitions.

As a result of their rigorous physical exercise, the Spartan women were the most beautiful in all of Greece. There is also some evidence that suggests that they were taught to sing, dance, and even possible to read and write, but this is a subject of controversy. [6] It also appears that these girls had the right to go about in public without a male or female guardian.

However, in reality, female Spartans were not as free as presented in the sources, and they were still primarily controlled by their families. The city-state’s elite was obsessed with the physical prowess of their population. They were determined to ensure that Sparta had a capable army, which meant men were required to have physical prowess. Men were expected to be trained so that they could be great warriors.

Alternatively, women were primarily trained to be mothers, who produced strong and healthy male children for the good of the state. [7] The education and freedom that Spartan girls had was limited and designed to ensure that they provided male children who could be trained as warriors. Women did have a defined status in society. Such was motherhood's status that those who died in childbirth were honored like those who fell in battle defending the city-state. [8]


UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Discovering who was a leader, or even if leaders existed, from the ruins of archaeological sites is difficult, but now a team of archaeologists and biological anthropologists, using a powerful combination of radiocarbon dating and ancient DNA, have shown that a matrilineal dynasty likely ruled Pueblo Bonito in New Mexico for more than 300 years.

"We are not saying that this was a state-level society," said Douglas J. Kennett, head and professor of anthropology, Penn State. "But we don't think it was egalitarian either."

Archaeologists have described the Chaco Phenomenon as anything from an egalitarian society without any rulers at all, to a full-fledged state-level society or kingdom. The researchers now think that Chaco Canyon was much more than a leaderless conglomeration of people, but a hierarchically organized society with leadership inherited through the maternal line.

Typically, the only things found in prehistoric archaeological ruins to indicate elevated status are grave goods — the artifacts found with burials. Throughout the Southwest it is unusual to find formal burials within structures, because most people were buried with limited grave goods outside housing compounds, but in excavations sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and carried out in the 1890s at Chaco Canyon, archaeologists found room 33 in Pueblo Bonito — a burial crypt within a 650-room pueblo dating between 800 and 1130 — that contained 14 burials.

"It has been clear for some time that these were venerated individuals, based on the exceptional treatment they received in the afterlife — most Chacoans were buried outside of the settlement and never with such high quantities of exotic goods," said Adam Watson, postdoctoral fellow in the American Museum of Natural History Division of Anthropology. "But previously one could only speculate about the exact nature of their relationship to one another."

The researchers note in today's (Feb. 21) issue of Nature Communications, that this 6.5 by 6.5 foot room "was purposely constructed as a crypt for a high-status member of this nascent community and ultimately his lineal descendants." The initial burial was of a male in his 40s who died from a lethal blow to the head. He was buried with more than 11,000 turquoise beads, 3,300 shell beads and other artifacts including abalone shells and a conch shell trumpet originating from the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of California far from central New Mexico. This burial is the richest ever found in the American Southwest.

Selection of turquoise and shell artifacts found in Room 33 of Pueblo Bonito (Chaco Canyon, New Mexico, U.S.A.).

Another individual was buried above this initial interment and a split plank floor placed above them. In the space above, another 12 burials took place over the span of 300 years.

"We originally worked with Steve Plog (David A. Harrison Professor of Archaeology, University of Virginia) to radiocarbon date these burials," said Kennett. "The results of this work had all the individuals dating to a 300 year period. Then the question came up, are they related?"

Kennett and Plog teamed up with George Perry, assistant professor of anthropology and biology, Penn State and Richard George, a graduate student in anthropology, to first examine the mitochondrial genomes of these individuals."

When the results came back, the researchers found that all the individuals shared the same mitochondrial genome sequence. Mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) is inherited only from an individual's mother, so matching mtDNA indicates that not only were all the individuals from the same family, but the inheritance was matrilineal — through the mother.

"First we thought this could be some kind of contamination problem," said Kennett. "We checked for contamination, but found no evidence for it and David Reich's laboratory at Harvard Medical School corroborated our results."

Working with Reich, professor of genetics, the researchers then wondered if they could determine specific relationships among these individuals.

"Using DNA sequences from the nuclear genome combined with the radiocarbon dates, we identified a mother-daughter pair and a grandmother-grandson relationship," said Kennett.

"For the first time, we're saying that one kinship group controlled Pueblo Bonito for more than 300 years," said Plog "This is the best evidence of a social hierarchy in the ancient Southwest."

Other Penn State researchers on this project are Brendon J. Culleton, research associate, anthropology and Logan Kistler, recent Ph.D. graduate and postdoc and now curator at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

Also working on the project are David Reich, professor of genetics Pontus Skoglund, postdoctoral fellow in genetics Swapan Mallick, bioinformatics director, medical and population genetics Nadin Rohland, lab director, medical and population genetics and Kristin Stewardson, ancient DNA technician, all at Harvard University Medical School Steven A. LeBlanc, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology and Peter N. Whiteley, American Museum of Natural History.

The National Science Foundation, the University of Virginia and Penn State supported this work.


Samacheer Kalvi 6th Social Science Society and Culture in Ancient Tamizhagam: The Sangam Age Text Book Back Questions and Answers

I. Choose the correct answer

Question 1.
Pattini cult in Tamil Nadu was introduced by …………….
(a) PandyanNeduncheliyan
(b) CheranSenguttuvan
(c) IlangoAdigal
(d) Mudathirumaran
Answer:
(b) CheranSenguttuvan

Question 2.
Which dynasty was not in power during the Sangam Age?
(a) Pandyas
(b) Cholas
(c) Pallavas
(d) Cheras
Answer:
(c) Paliavas

Question 3.
The rule of Pandyas was followed by ……………..
(a) Satavahanas
(b) Cholas
(c) Kalabhras
(d) Pallavas
Answer:
(c) Kalabhras

Question 4.
The lowest unit of administration during the Sangam Age was
(a) Mandalam
(b) Nadu
(c) Ur
(d) Pattinam
Answer:
(c) Ur

Question 5.
What was the occupation of the inhabitants of the Kurinji region?
(a) Plundering
(b) Cattle rearing
(c) Hunting and gathering
(d) Agriculture
Answer:
(c) Hunting and gathering

II. Read the statement and tick the appropriate answer

Question 1.
Assertion (A) : The assembly of the poets was known as Sangam.
Reason (R) : Tamil was the language of Sangam literature.
(a) Both A and R are true. R is the correct explanation of A.
(b) Both A and R are true. R is not the correct explanation of A.
(c) A is true but R is false.
(d) Both A and R is not true.
Answer:
(a) Both A and R are true. R is the correct explanation of A

Question 2.
Which of the following statements are not true?
a. Karikala won the battle of Talayalanganam.
b. The Pathitrupathu provides information about Chera Kings.
c. The earliest literature of the Sangam age was written mostly in the form of prose
a. 1 only
b. 1 and 3 only
c. 2 only
Answer:
(b) 1 and 3 only

Question 3.
The ascending order of the administrative division in the ancient Tamizhagam was
(a) Ur < Nadu < Kurram < Mandalam
(b) Ur < Kurram < Nadu < Mandalam
(c) Ur < Mandalam < Kurram < Nadu
(d) Nadu < Kurram < Mandalam < Ur
Answer:
(b) Ur < Kurram < Nadu < Mandalam

Question 4.
Match the following dynasties with the Royal Insignia

Answer:
A) 3 2 1

  1. The battle of Venni was won by ………………
  2. The earliest Tamil grammar work of the Sangam period was ………………
  3. ……………… built Kallanai across the river Kaveri.
  4. The chief of the army was known as ……………….
  5. Land revenue was called ………………
  1. Karikal Valavan
  2. Tholkappiyam
  3. Karikalan
  4. Thanai thalaivan
  5. Irai
  1. Caste system developed during the Sangam period.
  2. Kizhar was the village chief.
  3. Puhar was the general term for city.
  4. Coastal region was called Marudham.

VI. Answer in one or two sentences

Question 1.
Name any two literary sources to reconstruct the history of ancient Tamizhagam?
Answer:
Tholkappiyam, Ettuthogai, and Patthupattu are some of the literary sources to reconstruct the history of ancient Tamizhagam.

Question 2.
What was Natukkal or Virakkal?
Answer:

  1. The ancient Tamils had great respect for the heroes who died on the battlefield.
  2. The hero stones were created to commemorate heroes who sacrificed their lives in war. These hero stones were known as Natukkal or Virakkal.

Question 3.
Name five things mentioned in the Sangam literature.
Answer:

Question 4.
Name any two archaeological sites related to Sangam period.
Answer:
The excavated materials from Adichanallur, Arikamedu, Kodumanal, Puhar, Korkai, Alankulam, Urariyur etc.

Question 5.
Name the seven patrons (KadaiyeluVallalgal).
Answer:
The seven patrons were

Question 6.
Name any three Tamil poetic works of Kalahhra period.
Answer:
Periapuranam, Seevakachinthamani, and Kundalakesi were written during the Kalabhra

Question 1.
Discuss the status of women in the Sangam Society.
Answer:

  1. In the Sangam Society, there were learned and wise women.
  2. Forty women poets had lived
  3. Marriage was a matter of choice.
  4. Chastity (Karpu) was considered the highest virtue.
  5. In their Parents’ property sons and daughters had equal shares.

Question 1.
KarikalValavan is regarded as the greatest Chola king. Justify.
Answer:

  1. KarikalValavan or Karikalan was the most famous of the Chola kings.
  2. He defeated the combined army of the Cheras, Pandyas and the eleven Velir Chieftains who supported them at Venni, a small village in the Thanjavur region.
  3. He converted forests into cultivable lands.
  4. He built Kallanai across the river Kaveri to develop agriculture.
  5. Their port Puhar attracted merchants from various regions of the Indian Ocean.
  6. The Pattinapaalai a poetic work in the pathinenkeezhkanakku gives elaborate information of the trading activity during the rule of Karikalan.

Question 2.
The period ilabhra is not a dark age. Give reasons.
Answer:

  1. Following the Sangam period, the Kalabhras had occupied Tamil Country for about two and half centuries.
  2. There is evidence of their rule in literary texts.
  3. The literary sources for this period include Tamil Navalar Charithai, Yapemkalam and Periapuranam.
  4. Seevakachinthamani and Kundalakesi were also written during this period.
  5. In Tamizhagam, Jainism and Buddhism became prominent during this period
  6. Introduction of Sanskrit and Prakrit languages had resulted in the development of a new script called Vattezhuththu.
  7. Many works under Pathinenkeezhkanakku were composed.
  8. Trade and commerce continued to flourish during this period.
  9. So the Kalabhra period is not a dark age, as it is portrayed.

X. Life skill (For Students)

Collect and paste the pictures of landscape and find out the eco – region to which belongs. Write the important crops grown and occupation of the people there.

Question 1.
Mention two epics of the Sangam period.
Answer:

Question 2.
Name the two groups of officials who assisted the king.
Answer:

Question 3.
Name any two women poets of the Sangam period.
Answer:

Question 4.
Name any three major ports of Sangam age.
Answer:

Question 5.
What constituted Muthamizh?
Answer:

Question 6.
Silapathikaram was written by ……………
Answer:
Ilango Adigal

Question 7.
Talayalanganam is related to whish Pandya king?
Answer:
Nedunchezhiyan

Question 8.
Which ecoregion was called menpulam?
Answer:
Marutham

Question 9.
The lighthouses in the ports are called ……………
Answer:

Samacheer Kalvi 6th Social Science Society and Culture in Ancient Tamizhagam: The Sangam Age Additional Important Questions and Answers

I. Choose the Correct Answer:

Question 1.
According to Prof.George L.Hart Tanial is as old as ……………
(a) Chinese
(b) Greek
(c) Latin
(d) English
Answer:
(c) Latin

Question 2.
The epic character from Silappathikaram
(a) Pallavas
(b) Cheras
(c) Pandyas
(d) Cholas
Answer:
(d) Cholas

Question 3.
…………… is the port of Pandvas.
(a) Puhar
(b) Korgai
(c) Muziri
(d) Tondi
Answer:
(b) Korgai

Question 4.
Bow and arrow as the symbol of
(a) Kalabhras
(b) Cholas
(c) Cheras
(d) Pandyas
Answer:
(c) Cheras

II. Read the statement and tick the appropriate answer

Question 1.
Assertion (A) : The Kalabhra period is not a dark age.
Reason (R) : It is known about the literary sources, new script and flourishing of trade and commerce.
(a) Both A and R are true. R is not the correct explanation of A.
(b) Both A and R are true. R is the correct explanation of A
(c) A is true but R is false.
(d) Both A and R is not true.
Answer:
(b) Both A and R are true. R is the correct explanation of A.

Question 2.
Which of the following statements are not true?
(1) Pandyas garlanded Fig (Athi) flower.
(2) The deity of the kurinji people is Indiran.
(3) The author of ‘Natural History’ is Pliny the younger
(a) 1, 2 and 3
(b) 2 and 3
Answer:
(b) 2 and 3

Question 1.
What were the ornaments made of?
Answer:

  1. Gold
  2. Silver
  3. Pearls
  4. Precious stones
  5. Conch shells
  6. Beads

Question 2.
What were the main imports?
Answer:

Question 3.
What do you know about Indian silk?
Answer:

  1. The silk supplied by Indians, merchants to the Roman Empire was very important. .
  2. The Roman emperor Aurelian declared it to be worth its weight in gold.

Question 4.
What is the Royal Insignia?
Answer:

Question 1.
Explain the Religious Beliefs and Social Divisions in the Sangam Society. The primary deity of the Tamils was Seyon or Murugan.
Answer:

  1. The other worshipped gods were Sivan, Mayon (Vishnu), Indiran, Varunan and Kotravai.
  2. The Hero stone (natukkal) worship was in practice
  3. Buddhism and Jainism also co-existed.
  4. As it did in northern India caste did not develop in Tamizhagam.
  5. Varuna system came to the Dravidian south comparatively late.

Question 2.
What was said by George L Hart about the Tamil language?
Answer:


Key Components of Civilization

Civilization describes a complex way of life characterized by urban areas, shared methods of communication, administrative infrastructure, and division of labor.

Arts and Music, Geography, Human Geography, Social Studies, Civics, World History

Photograph by Thomas J. Abercrombie

Cradle of Civilization
The southern part of the modern country of Iraq is called the "Cradle of Civilization." The worlds first cities, writing systems, and large-scale government developed there.

World Powers
The so-called "Group of 7" (G7) is an organization of the seven wealthiest democracies in the world. Seven of the eight countries are part of Western civilization: the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, France, Germany, and Italy. The only G7 member from outside Western civilization is Japan. Japan is usually considered its own civilization.

Representatives from the G7 usually meet once a year, and discuss international issues, including the spread of disease, economic development, terrorism, and climate change.

to desert or leave entirely.

sudden or quickly changing.

to oversee, manage, or be in charge of.

responsibilities and policies of the executive branch of the United States government, led by a president, his or her cabinet, and his or her advisers.

the art and science of cultivating land for growing crops (farming) or raising livestock (ranching).

system of writing in which each symbol ideally represents one sound unit in the spoken language.

organism from whom one is descended.

civilization founded on the Mediterranean Sea, lasting from the 8th century BCE to about 476 CE.

to add or incorporate land into an existing parcel, state, or nation.

person who studies cultures and characteristics of communities and civilizations.

a pipe or passage used for carrying water from a distance.

numeric symbols 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0, introduced to Western Europe by Arabic scholars in the 12 th century.

style and design of buildings or open spaces.

rectangular reservoir or artificial lake that is a key feature in Khmer architecture.

carving or sculpture in which figures project slightly from a flat background.

statement of money owed for goods or services.

natural or artificial line separating two pieces of land.

time period between the Stone Age and the Iron Age. The Bronze Age lasted between 3000 BCE and 500 BCE.

person who follows the teachings of Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha).

city where a region's government is located.

group of people who travel together for safety and companionship through difficult territory.

program of a nation, state, or other region that counts the population and usually gives its characteristics, such as age and gender.

physical, cultural, or psychological feature of an organism, place, or object.

religion based on the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.

complex way of life that developed as humans began to develop urban settlements.

division in society based on income and type of employment.

all weather conditions for a given location over a period of time.

gradual changes in all the interconnected weather elements on our planet.

dark, solid fossil fuel mined from the earth.

design consisting of a shield, supporters, crest, and motto, representing an individual, family, state, or organization.

sharing of information and ideas.

to work against someone or something else for an award or acknowledgment.

a disagreement or fight, usually over ideas or procedures.

Spanish explorer or conqueror of Latin America in the 16th century.

maintaining a steady, reliable quality.

one of the seven main land masses on Earth.

to prepare and nurture the land for crops.

sharing and communication between cultures, resulting in the adoption of new or borrowed behaviors.

learned behavior of people, including their languages, belief systems, social structures, institutions, and material goods.

written language developed by Sumerians and common throughout ancient Mesopotamia, made up of different collections of wedge or triangle shapes.

money or other resource that can be used to buy goods and services.

having to do with the social characteristics and statistics of a population.

to become smaller or less important.

harmful condition of a body part or organ.

period of greatly reduced precipitation.

possibly fatal disease with severe, bloody diarrhea.

performing a task with skill and minimal waste.

group of nations, territories or other groups of people controlled by a single, more powerful authority.

the art and science of building, maintaining, moving, and demolishing structures.

data that can be measured, observed, examined, and analyzed to support a conclusion.

study and investigation of unknown places, concepts, or issues.

rare and severe events in the Earth's atmosphere, such as heat waves or powerful cyclones.

spread over a great distance.

the art, science, and business of cultivating the land for growing crops.

to overflow or cover in water or another liquid.

to thrive or be successful.

food that can be prepared, stored, and eaten throughout the year.

region at the intersection of four states in the U.S. Southwest: Utah, Colorado, New Mexico, and Arizona.

time between an organism's birth and the time it reproduces.

system or order of a nation, state, or other political unit.

large island in Western Europe consisting of the countries of England, Scotland, and Wales.

food or other goods sold at a general store.

eight wealthiest nations in the world: the United States, Japan, Germany, France, the United Kingdom, Italy, Russia, and Canada. The European Union is also included in the G8.

period in the year when crops and other plants grow rapidly.

sometimes-lethal viral infection (including dengue, Ebola, and yellow fevers) characterized by fever, chills, and malaise followed by bleeding.

written language using images to represent words.

religion of the Indian subcontinent with many different sub-types, most based around the idea of "daily morality."

confrontational or unfriendly.

the study of the way human communities and systems interact with their environment.

science and methods of keeping clean and healthy.

wages, salary, or amount of money earned.

wages, salary, or amount of money earned.

landmass in south-central Asia carried by the Indian tectonic plate, including the peninsula of India.

structures and facilities necessary for the functioning of a society, such as roads.

cleverness or resourcefulness.

starting and stopping, not consistent.

an attack or move to take possession.

watering land, usually for agriculture, by artificial means.

religion based on the words and philosophy of the prophet Mohammed.

(600-1200) time period when science and art flourished in north Africa and the Middle East, where the Islamic religion is widely practiced.

hard, white substance that forms the teeth or tusks of some animals.

group of people selected to determine facts in a specific case.

knotted cord used by the ancient Incan Empire to record events, census data, and accounts. Also spelled quipu.

type of government with a king or queen as its leader, or the land ruled by that king or queen.

language of ancient Rome and the Roman Empire.

material, ideas, or history passed down or communicated by a person or community from the past.

animals raised for sale and profit.

fertile soil rich in sand, silt, and smaller amounts of clay.

region in North Africa made of five countries: Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, Libya, and Mauritania.

having to do with the ocean.

having to do with the Middle Ages (500-1400) in Europe.

land that surrounds the Mediterranean Sea.

person who sells goods and services.

ancient region between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, today lying mostly in Iraq.

people and culture characterized by incomes between the working class and the wealthy.

to move from one place or activity to another.

to move from one place or activity to another.

movement of a group of people or animals from one place to another.

incorrect or ignorant use of resources.

trench around a castle, filled with water, to prevent or delay attack or invasion.

seasonal change in the direction of the prevailing winds of a region. Monsoon usually refers to the winds of the Indian Ocean and South Asia, which often bring heavy rains.

large structure representing an event, idea, or person.

very large, serious, and important.

legend or traditional story.

an event occurring naturally that has large-scale effects on the environment and people, such as a volcano, earthquake, or hurricane.

black glass formed as lava cools above ground.

settlement or station located in a remote area.

layers of partially decayed organic material found in some wetlands. Peat can be dried and burned as fuel.

carving or drawing on rock.

having a belief in many gods and goddesses.

people and culture characterized by very low income.

settlement with many residents, often an urban area.

branch of life science that studies patterns in the size and age of specific populations.

style of loud, energetic music.

three-dimensional shape with a square base and triangular sides that meet in a point.

to stand for a person, community, or idea.

system of government where power rests in citizens who vote and representatives who stand for those citizens. The United States is a republic.

the act of opposing something.

spoken and written forms of communication that share a root in the Latin language: Spanish, French, Italian, Catalan, Portuguese, and Romanian.

legal system of ancient Rome, mostly associated with the emperor Justinian, and adapted by most of Europe through the 18 th century.

regions with low population density and large amounts of undeveloped land. Also called "the country."

promotion of hygiene, health, and cleanliness.

overflowing of a body of water from its banks, usually predicted by yearly rains or storms.

type of slave forced to work on land owned by others in return for protection.

place of worship or spiritual devotion.

soft, strong fiber spun by some moth larvae, spiders, and other animals.

ancient trade route through Central Asia linking China and the Mediterranean Sea.

top layer of the Earth's surface where plants can grow.

to study, work, or take an interest in one area of a larger field of ideas.

tasty and aromatic plant substances used in cooking.

more than what is needed or wanted.

money or goods citizens provide to government in return for public services such as military protection.

the science of using tools and complex machines to make human life easier or more profitable.

land an animal, human, or government protects from intruders.

to develop and be successful.

person who travels for pleasure.

buying, selling, or exchanging of goods and services.

path followed by merchants or explorers to exchange goods and services.

stream that feeds, or flows, into a larger stream.

ocean waves triggered by an earthquake, volcano, or other movement of the ocean floor.

having to do with city life.

developed, densely populated area where most inhabitants have nonagricultural jobs.

seafaring people and culture native to Scandinavia between the 7th and 12th centuries.

having to do with volcanoes.

an opening in the Earth's crust, through which lava, ash, and gases erupt, and also the cone built by eruptions.

armed conflict between two or more groups of people, usually representing different nations or other political organizations.

transported or carried by water.

civilizations of European origin.

area of land covered by shallow water or saturated by water.

location recognized by the United Nations as important to the cultural or natural heritage of humanity.

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Editor

Jeannie Evers, Emdash Editing

Producer

Caryl-Sue, National Geographic Society

Last Updated

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Egypt was a vast kingdom of the ancient world. It was unified around 3100 B.C.E. and lasted as a leading economic and cultural influence throughout North Africa and parts of the Levant until it was conquered by the Macedonians in 332 B.C.E. Today Egyptologists, archaeologists who focus on this ancient civilization, have learned a great deal about the rulers, artifacts, and customs of ancient Egypt. Use these resources to teach your students about the ancient Egyptians.

Ancient Rome

Some say the city of Rome was founded on the Palatine Hill by Romulus, son of Mars, the god of war. Others say that Aeneas and some of his followers escaped the fall of Troy and established the town. Regardless of which of the many myths one prefers, no one can doubt the impact of ancient Rome on western civilization. A people known for their military, political, and social institutions, the ancient Romans conquered vast amounts of land in Europe and northern Africa, built roads and aqueducts, and spread Latin, their language, far and wide. Use these classroom resources to teach middle schoolers about the empire of ancient Rome.

Demographics

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Agricultural Communities

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Mesoamerica

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Ancient Civilization: China

Ancient China is responsible for a rich culture, still evident in modern China. From small farming communities rose dynasties such as the Zhou (1046-256 B.C.E), Qin (221-206 B.C.E), and Ming (1368-1644 C.E.). Each had its own contribution to the region. During the Zhou Dynasty, for example, writing was standardized, iron working refined, and famous thinkers like Confucius and Sun-Tzu lived and shared their philosophies. During the Qin Dynasty, Qin Shi Huang commissioned the Terracotta Army, and the Ming Dynasty refurbished the Great Wall to protect the nation from Mongol attacks. Learn more about the history and rich culture of Ancient China with this curated resource collection.

Hunter-Gatherers

Hunter-gatherer cultures forage or hunt food from their environment. Often nomadic, this was the only way of life for humans until about 12,000 years ago when archaeologic studies show evidence of the emergence of agriculture. Human lifestyles began to change as groups formed permanent settlements and tended crops. There are still a few hunter-gatherer peoples today. Explore the lifestyle of hunter-gatherers in your classroom with these resources.

Ancient Civilizations: South America

Hundreds of years before the arrival of European explorers, the ancient civilizations of South America developed rich and innovative cultures that grew in and amongst the geographic features of their landscape. The most famous of these civilizations is the Incan Empire. Emerging in 1438 C.E., the Incan Empire developed along the west coast of the continent, with the Pacific Ocean forming its western border, and the formidable Andes Mountains to the east, which provided a natural barrier from outsiders. The Inca relied on the Pacific Ocean and major rivers originating in the Amazon Basin for fishing and trade, as well as rich plant and animal life that they supported. The Inca constructed inns, signal towers, roads, and massive forts such as the famous Machu Picchu, the ruins of which continue to teach archaeologists about the Incan Empire. Learn more about the history and rich culture of the Inca and the ancient civilizations of South America with this curated resource collection.

Urbanization

The development of human civilizations was supported by large numbers of people who lived in sparsely-populated rural areas defined by agriculture, fishing, and trade. Over time, as these rural populations grew, cities began to develop. Urban areas are defined by dense populations, the construction of multiple and often large buildings, monuments and other structures, and greater economic dependence on trade rather than agriculture or fishing. Even the ancient Incan, Egyptian, or Chinese civilizations, changed their environment in order to urbanize. Modern urban cities like New York City, Beijing, Dubai, and Paris are bustling centers of business, entertainment, and trade. However, the modifications humans make to their surroundings in order to urbanize such places can impact the environment in negative ways: pollution, disruption of water flow, deforestation, and desertification. Explore the effects of urbanization on the environment and help students explore how human cities impact the world around us with this curated collection of resources.

Rise of Cities

Humans relied on hunting and gathering practices to survive for thousands of years before the development of agriculture. Then arose the &ldquoNeolithic Revolution,&rdquo where crop cultivation and animal domestication began. This more reliable food supply meant humans could stay in one place and gave rise to settled communities and cities. These urban civilizations had larger populations, unique architecture and art, systems of government, different social and economic classes, and a division of labor. Learn more about the rise of cities with these resources.

Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia is thought to be one of the places where early civilization developed. It is a historic region of West Asia within the Tigris-Euphrates river system. In fact, the word Mesopotamia means "between rivers" in Greek. Home to the ancient civilizations of Sumer, Assyria, and Babylonia these peoples are credited with influencing mathematics and astronomy. Use these classroom resources to help your students develop a better understanding of the cradle of civilization.

Silk Road

The silk road was a network of paths connecting civilizations in the East and West that was well traveled for approximately 1,400 years. Merchants on the silk road transported goods and traded at bazaars or caravanserai along the way. They traded goods such as silk, spices, tea, ivory, cotton, wool, precious metals, and ideas. Use these resources to explore this ancient trade route with your students.

Ancient Greece

Ancient Greek politics, philosophy, art and scientific achievements greatly influenced Western civilizations today. One example of their legacy is the Olympic Games. Use the videos, media, reference materials, and other resources in this collection to teach about ancient Greece, its role in modern-day democracy, and civic engagement.

Civilizations

A civilization is a complex human society that may have certain characteristics of cultural and technological development.

Ancient Civilizations: Inca

Test your knowledge of the ancient Inca with this fun Kahoot!

Chimú 101

Once one of the largest cities in the Americas, Chan Chan was the capital city of the ancient Chimú civilization. How long ago did the Chimú people live, and what brought about the fall of their civilization? Learn about the artistry and ingenuity that resulted in countless adobe palaces and how the legacy of the Chimú endures today.


4 Women Were Barely Allowed To Talk

In ancient Greece and Rome, women were forbidden from leaving the home without a male escort. When company came over, they weren&rsquot allowed to speak or to sit down for dinner&mdashthey had to retire to their rooms, out of sight, lest the presence of a woman bother the men.

In Denmark, unruly women who bickered or who openly expressed their anger could end up locked up in a device called a shrew&rsquos fiddle. This was a wooden trap shaped like a violin that bound her hands and her face. The woman would be paraded down the streets, publicly shamed for having openly shown anger.

The English were even worse. They put quarrelsome women in the scold&rsquos bridle, a metal mask with sharp teeth that had a bell attached&mdashto make sure everyone came out and mocked the woman who dared complain.


4 Zoe

Although she formally ruled with a series of husbands, Zoe was unquestionably the true ruler of the Byzantine Empire, which stretched throughout the Balkans and Asia. In fact, her only real rival was her sister Theodora, who eventually claimed the title of co-empress before Zoe could sideline her again.

Zoe and Theodora were the daughters of Constantine VIII. Since the emperor had no sons, Zoe was married to the powerful urban prefect Romanos, who became emperor when Constantine died. Zoe at once exiled her sister, poisoned Romanos, and married her chamberlain, who was put on the throne as Michael IV.

When Michael IV died, his nephew tried to seize the throne and exile Zoe. The palace was immediately attacked by an enraged mob who demanded their empress back. With the citizens of Constantinople behind her, Zoe had the unfortunate usurper castrated, blinded, and exiled to a monastery.

Unfortunately, the mob also demanded Theodora. Zoe was forced to accept her sister as coruler until Zoe outflanked Theodora by marrying Constantine IX Monomachus, who became co-emperor. Zoe dominated the empire until her death in 1050, after which her husband and sister continued to rule.


Find out more

The Queen of Sheba by H St John Philby (Quartet Books, 1981)

From The Beast to the Blonde by Marina Warner (Vintage , 1995)

The Queen of Sheba and her Only Son Menyelek by E Wallis Budge (Oxford University Press, 1932)

The Bible Unearthed by Israel Finkelstein (Simon and Schuster, 2002)

The Queen of Sheba: Treasures from Ancient Yemen edited by John Simpson (British Museum Press, 2002)

Ancient Ethiopia by David Phillipson (British Museum Press, 1998)

The Monuments of Aksum by David Phillipson (British Museum Press, 1998)

Arabia and the Arabs from the Bronze Age to the Coming of Islam by Robert G Hoyland (Routledge, 2001)

The Southern Gates of Arabia by Freya Stark (John Murray, 2003 )

Orientalism by Edward Said (Penguin Books, 1991)


Watch the video: The history of marriage - Alex Gendler


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