What is this civilized thing called writing? Modern linguists define writing as a system of human communication by means of conventional, agreed-upon signals that represent language. The signs must be capable of being sent and received, mutually understood, and they must correspond to spoken words. Each written means began with simple pictures and plain strokes or dots - adequate for recording objects and numbers. Of all the creation of man, writing is our most exquisite intellectual accomplishment. Contrary to a popular belief ,writing was invented not once but possibly as many as six separate times, in very distant places. Man approached writing by lengthy stages: the development of speech; the invention of pictures; the need to reinforce memory by storing information; the realization that pictures could be used for purpose; and finally, the difficult trial and error process of adapting pictures so that they represented the sounds of speech. The Origin of writing is seen through the development of civilizations over certain periods of historical times and places. Though writing developed not much more than 5000 years ago-----only yesterday in the long calendar of man's emergence------its roots, like those of so many other inventions, lie further back in the past. (Clairborne, p.11) Writing was invented in order to record business activities. Certain people needed to be able to keep track and records of various things. It was impossible to rely on a man's memory for every detail, a new method was needed to keep reliable records. As cities grew more complex, so did writing. Over 500 years of evolution the outward appearance and internal structure of writing changed. The social conditions that gave rise to writing are described as a phenomenon called the urban revolution. (Clairborne, p 20). Like speech, of which it is an extension, writing requires the capacity to make mental...
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The Mayan Empire was one of the most innovative and interesting civilizations. It was an ancient civilization that was one of the most advanced and innovative ones. They inhabited the Yucatan peninsula and the empire lasted for about 3500 years ending around the year 1500 AD. It is considered the greatest civilization among the original cultures of the western hemisphere. The empire was located in what is now known as Central America. They lived in the area that is now Belize, Honduras, Mexico, and Guatemala. The whole are lies south of the tropic of cancer, and north of the equator. It contained over 120,000 sq miles, which is the about the size of Great Britain, or a little bit smaller than California. It is believed that the Mayan empire contained over one million people. It is mainly hot, and a large rainforest has developed there. The main basis of the economy was agriculture with most people being farmers. The primary crop was maize. Other crops raised were cotton, beans, squash, and cacao. The cotton was used to make clothing since the Mayans had superior skills in spinning, weaving, and dyeing. They made major farming innovations such as irrigation systems. The climate is very hot from May to August and rainy through the rest of the year, so the farmers have a lot of free time to serve the king. This serving time helped make the amazing developments from the Maya. By far, the major innovations and skills were in astronomy. Mayan priests would consistently take measurements using tools such as a forked stick. Using their amazing astronomical knowledge, they were able to predict future eclipses. They were also able to chart the complex motions of the sun and other astronomical bodies. Using this knowledge, they designed a calendar that was the most complex...
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The Aztec Nation A distant sound is heard. It sounds like a deep drum being hit with a heavy instrument. You hear it again and strain your eyes in the direction of the sound. All around you is dense jungle. Snakes slither between your legs. You hear the sound once again. In front of you is a dense stand of ferns. You part them and look down into a wide open valley. The valley gets so wide and it is so green that it takes your breath away. But that is not what you are looking at. You are staring at a huge city with glittering buildings shining in the spring sunlight. Smoke rises up from some of the many houses. You can see and hear children playing in the wide open fields in front of the shining buildings. Lamas and chickens are being bought and sold. You see bags of gold jewelry being bought and sold. Beyond the market place you can watch a religious ceremony. You hear the scream of a person being sacrificed to one of the gods. Beyond the city there are roads made of stone and canals full of pedestrians and canos. Who are these people and what are they doing here you wonder? The above paragraph describes what an early explorer in Mexico might have seen between 1400 and 1500 AD. The Aztec nation is one of the largest and most advanced Indian nations to ever exist on earth. Just about every part of the Aztec life was advance to such a state that at that time of the world the people were living better than many European nations. The Aztec nation is unique in its history, economy, environment, and way of life then any other nation at that time. Perhaps three to four thousand...
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Born Gaius Octavius, Augustus was born in September of 63 B.C. Octavius' father, Gaius Octavius, was a praetor for two years until he died in 58 B.C. Therefore, Octavius grew up without a father for most of his life. Through Octavius' long life of seventy-seventy years, he accomplished a great deal. He reduced the size of the Senate, he was an integral part of the second triumvirate, and he was elected the Pontifex Maximus, just to name a few of these accomplishments. Octavius received the name Augustus by holding the consulship and receiving various awards. This title was not given out to just anyone. In order to receive this title, one must be a large contributor to the city (Boardman 533-534). Octavius Caesar was related to the famous Julius Caesar through Octavius' mother. Atria was Octavius' grandmother and Julius Caesar's sister, therefore making Octavius his great-nephew. When Julius Caesar was murdered in 44 B.C., his will read that Octavius was to be adopted by him, making Octavius his son and heir to the Roman Empire. Also, in his will it stated that every citizen of Rome would receive a cash gift. Octavius rushed to Rome to take his throne, but when he arrived in Rome, he realized the Antony had already taken control of the city. He could not persuade Antony to release the money in Julius Caesar's treasury so he had to borrow all the money he could to give the gifts to the citizens. Julius Octavius Caesar was only eighteen when he was thrust into the world of hate and greed. Even though he was supposed to be the ruler of Rome, he had to march on Rome in order to get any respect from Cassius and Brutus. Cassius and Brutus were the head of the conspiracy to kill...
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The Aztec Indians, who are known for their domination of southern and central Mexico, ruled between the 14th and 16th centuries. Their comes from from Azatlan, the homeland of the north. The Aztecs also call themselves Mexica and there language came from the Nahuatlans wich is branch of the Uto-Aztecan family. The Aztecs were formed after the Toltec people occurred when hundreds of civilians came towards Lake texcoco. Late families were unfortunate and were forced to go to the swamp lands. In the swamp lands there was only one piece of land to farm on and it was totally surrounded by more marshes . The Aztec families some how converted these disadvantages to a might empire known as they Aztec Empire. People say the empire was partially formed by a deeply believed legend. As the the legend went it said that Aztec people would create a empire on in a swampy place where they would see an eagle eating a snake while perched on a cactus which is growing out of a rock in the swamplands. This is what priests claimed they saw while entering the new land. By the year 1325 Their capital city was finished. They called it Tenochtitlan. In the the capital city aqueducts (piping) were constructed, bridges were built, and chinapas were made. Chinapas were little islands formed by pilled up mud. On these chinapas Aztecs grew corn, beans, chili peppers, squash, tomatoes, and tobacco. Tenochtitlan (the capital city) was covered in giant religious statues in order to pay their respects to the gods. In the Aztec religion numerous gods controlled an Aztec's daily life. Some of these gods include: Uitzilpochtli (the sun god), Coyolxauhqui (the moon goddess), Tlaloc (the rain god), and Quetzalcoatl (the inventor of the calendar and writing). Another part of the Aztec religion was...
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The ancient civilization of Rome was far superior to ancient China in many ways, government and leadership being the two most important ways. Rome's government was more detailed and left no room for error. It was well thought out and the structure was very defined all though out Roman history, while the Chinese government changed every time a new ruler came to power. Rome also produced better leaders like Caesar and Augustus. China's government lacked the essential parts needed to make a great government and leaders; neither was as great as the Rome's. The structure of the Roman government was far better than China's government because the Chinese lacked many things the Roman government had. The Roman government was made up of the Senate, Emperor, the Consul and Proconsul, the assemblies, priests, and other Roman officials. The Senate was originally a board of elders who advised the king. Later it became comprised of ex-office holders and its decrees developed the force of law. Often it was understood that a measure had to be approved by the Senate before it could be voted on in the Assembly. The Emperor was like a president. A dictator was put in control over the state only for extreme emergences. The dictator could only hold office for up to six months and while in charge he had absolute power. This allowed the ruler deal with what ever emergences were at hand without having to wast time and go threw the government to get stuff done. The Consul, chief executive officer, could only (theoretically) hold office for one year, and couldn't be consul for another 10 years. Eventually proconsuls were created, men who were given some of the powers of a consul, especially for commands far from Rome, such as being governors of provinces. The assemblies were...
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The issue of happiness reoccurs constantly in Greek and Roman mythology. Among this is the right to bear arms when attacked. Yet David Strussel brings an important issue in this discussion, namely that in order to fully understand the theological repurcussions of these events in light of later religious underpinnings, we must look at the theoretical implications of the Rosetta Stone. The links of this isn't limited to the Aegean Sea, far from it. Traces of fragments can be seen all the way in India. What does this mean? It suggests that plausibility that the "Stone" was actually fabricated years later. In order to fully understand, we must understand the game of cricket. In a highly controversial action, six top Indian players, including skipper Sourav Ganguly and master batsman Sachin Tendulkar were handed down harsh punishments by the match-referee for the second India-South Africa Test. Virender Sehwag was suspended for the third Test to be played at Centurion Park from November 24 on the charge of excessive appealing. This means that Sehwag, who made a century on his debut in the first Test, will miss the final match of the series. Sachin Tendulkar was found guilty of tampering with the ball and handed down a suspended one-match sentence and fined 75 per cent of his match-fee. He will, therefore, be able to play in the third Test but would be banned for one match if he repeats the offence. Former England captain Mike Denness, who is the match referee for the series, is believed to have conveyed these decisions to the Indian team management this evening after two meetings with Tendulkar, who had been accused of tampering with the ball during a three-over spell yesterday. Denness summoned Ganguly, who was accused of failing to control his players, as also four other Indian players -- Sehwag, Harbhajan...
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The mysterious culture of ancient Maya once covered a vast geographic area in Central and South America. Their civilization extended to parts of what are now Mexico, Honduras, and El Salvador, and most of Guatemala and Belize. The Mayans first settled in 1500BC. The Mayans environment consisted of tropical rainforests, which was also one of their main sources of resources, they turned the jungles into great cities. The rainforest would provide them with food, clothing, weapons, tools, and many more useful items. It rained almost everyday, but the temperature was not cold at least in the daytime. The environment played a major role in what the Mayans culture became, they needed rain and heat to survive both the humans and the animals. The Mayans learned the methods of doing things like planting crops, making clothing, jewelry etc. The Mayans grew mainly maize (corn), beans, and squash together with yucca, manioc, and sweet potatoes. APPEARANCE Beauty was very important to the Mayan people. Though beauty through the Mayan eye was very unusual from today's definition of the word. To make their heads longer, Mayan babies heads were squeezed between two pieces of wood. Another thing they did was to break their nose and reshape it, to make it look more hooked. Body Piercing and body painting was one of the major parts of how Mayans looked. Most Mayans were tanned and had black hair and eyes. Both men and women had long hair, which was braided into two or four braids. They wore very little clothing but it was very decorative, with the fanciest piece of clothing being headdresses worn by nobles. Their bodies were painted differently according to tradition and occasions. Priests wore blue, warriors wore red and black, and teenagers wore white. Jewelry was a very important part of appearance. LANGUAGE, EDUCATION, ASTRONOMY The...
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Analysis of Ancient Israeli Tunnels One of the latest findings in the archeological world was recently revealed to the public on March this year in the village of Kfar Kana, North of Israel. Several subterranean galleries, passageways and pits were discovered leading scholars to believe that they were used as hiding places during the first Jewish war in the middle of the first century A.D. At a first assumption, the tunnels seem they were very well planned in advance. One hypothesis could be that the Hebrews built those tunnels not only as a place of safety but also for protecting their belongings and to preserve their history, similar to the Dead Sea scrolls found in caves. I also believe they were not specifically there for a war against the Romans. The Jewish people have been persecuted since the beginning of times of their history. In some regions of our modern world, they are still not welcome. The hebrews were very protective of their culture, so is more likely that the galleries were constructed to shield themselves not only from Romans but from anyone that could rise against or persecute them any given time. Throughout the excavations areas, archeologists found several pits not only on the ground but inside homes too. I presume the pits located inside the dwellings were there probably for easier transportation of supplies such as food and household materials, and for a more secure escape in case of a sudden enemy attack. Archeologists also found several jars inside the chambers, commonly used to store food at that time. Yardenna Alexandre, the archeologist in charge of the excavations, said "The pits are connected to each other by short tunnels, and it seems that they were used as hiding refuges—a kind of concealed subterranean home—that were built prior to the Great...
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MESOPOTAMIA, EGYPT AND THE HEBREWS RESEARCH PAPER MESOPOTAMIA Mesopotamia was the land of four primary civilizations: the Sumerian, the Akkadians, the Babylonian and the Assyrians. The Hebrews, like the Akkadians, belong to a group of people known as Semites and from there we can see the influence of Mesopotamian culture in some of the Hebrews traditions. During the same time, civilization began in Egypt, and there can be seen a distinct difference in the social, religious and political system from Mesopotamia; that the link between the two civilizations are the Hebrews, and although no historical records are available aside from the Holy Scriptures, it is believed that the Hebrews settled in Egypt during the era of Hyksos domination in the seventeenth century B.C.E. These three civilizations to be discussed were the foundation of today's society and provided the common era with concrete religious beliefs still practiced today. Evidence of the mechanics on the evolution of social, religious and political values, as well as the fluctuating development of the role of women then and now, are present in these documents, beginning with the oldest document which is most likely the Epic of Gilgamesh, first passed on by word of mouth and later recorded by the Sumerians around the third millennium and finally edited and written down in cuneiform by the Babylonians. This legend appears to have been used by all the civilizations in Mesopotamia in order to satisfy the need to know why we die and to justify the instincts that drove the people of these societies to war, to kill and to control as a must for survival. The gods were the only outlet available to justify such behavior to grant permission to rule, to kill and subdue the weak. The Epic of Gilgamesh does just that: It serves as a model for the warrior,...
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Persepolis was rediscovered in A.D 1620, after being hidden by its own ruins since 330 B.C. Many people came to visit Persepolis in the next centuries, but the excavation of the ruins did not begin until 1931, when the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago sponsored the excavation of the ancient site. The first excavation was conducted by Ernst Herzfeld and Friedrich Krefter which led to the onsite reconstruction of the 'Harem'. In 1932 and 1937 the oriental Institute excavated two low mounds south-east of Persepolis, The first mound contained four levels of prehistoric houses dated from about 4000 B.C. On the first floor some of the walls where preserved well and on them where huge yellow and red geometric wall paintings, on the floor there where knives, cooking pots that still contained the bones of meat that was being cooked, along with beautiful and sophisticated hand painted pottery. Because the main level of the house was preserved so well, it suggests that the settlement had been abandoned. The Second mound was comprised of earlier remains from about 4600 B.C, nothing of significance was found. Shortly afterwards In 1934 Erich F. Schmidt took charge, he continued very large scale excavations until 1939 when his excavations where stopped suddenly at the outbreak of World War two in Europe. Over this eight year period, excavation worked not only in the centre of Persepolis, but also on a number of other site that where within a radius of 10km The Persian Expedition worked in the royal centre of Persepolis and also at a number of sites that fell within a radius of 10 km. During the last years of excavating, the University Museum in Philadelphia, and the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston had joined the Oriental Institute in order to cope with the huge excavation. The...
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The Roman Army 93 CE The Roman Army's organization was far more sophisticated than the armies of the world in which it faced in battle. The Roman Army operated its campaigns with such organization and structure; it is almost as though you were looking at a modern day military. The term household servants, as referenced by Josephus, it nothing less than the volunteer of the modern day. In Roman times, it was the household servants' duty to bear arms in its homeland defense. The Roman Army operated its campaigns with the upmost preparedness in order to defeat their enemy. They were well equipped, well nourished and well sheltered to establish stamina. Josephus provides with great detail the lengths the Romans went to, in order to establish discipline within its ranks to have a successful campaign. The Romans never attacked first, for they would always have the enemy attack with aggression first. This was their way of justifying the necessary means of opposing aggressive forces and eventual victory. The Romans not only used their campaigns to conquer land or destroy their enemies, but used their campaigns as training exercises for future campaigns. By learning new tactics, techniques and procedures the enemy was using, the Romans were able to counter every move the enemy made. The Romans never left a battle like a bottle half empty, they finished the battle to ensure future battles would never exist. The Romans never over worked their soldiers, by allowing them the maximum allowed time for rest, to ensure 100% full capabilities on the battlefield. They also used primitive measures for obtaining intelligence on their enemies before engaging them in battle. Intelligence preparation of the battlefield was means to all the military campaigns under Roman rule and their success. The Romans established camps as though they were cities....
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Hammurabi's Laws One could guess that the laws enacted by Amorite King Hammurabi to Babylonians during the 1700's B.C. what the Holy Scriptures are to Christians today. Hammurabi was chosen by King Anum and Illil lord of heaven and earth to "destroy the evil and the wicked that the strong might not oppress the weak... to give light to the land." Since Hammurabi was chosen to represent their god Marduk, to establish laws in the best interest of the people, it is understandable why one would think of Moses the "law giver" from the Holy Bible in contrast. While it was originally thought that Hammurabi created the laws that became known as the "Code of Hammurabi," no such claim to power or fame is given to Moses in the Bible. Hammurabis' laws were found to have their origin from a body of long-standing Sumerian laws that he used to summarize the code of laws he enacted. The Code of Hammurabi was an "attempt to incorporate every phase of life into law, covering topics like: commerce, trade, parental and domestic relations, slavery, libel, slander, theft, marriage, adultery, divorce, property rights and ownership, and employer-employee regulations". Hammurabi like his predecessors attempted to appease the deities, while protecting the people through alliances and war. He managed to have a peaceful reign until the last decade of his life when he fought with his enemies and expanded his empire. He combined the newly acquired territory with his inherited lands to form a United Kingdom and his codes were enforced there also. Although Hammurabis' reign was conquered and declined after his death, his set of laws promulgated to unify his diverse subjects and became an enduring legacy. The code of Hammurabi was inscribed on a seven-foot stele (pillar) and glorified in the temple of Marduk. This stele...
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The Process of Building Stonehenge There are probably hundreds of myths and legends about Stonehenge. Various people have attributed the building of this great megalith to the Danes, Romans, Saxons, Greeks, Atlanteans, Egyptians, Phoenicians Celts, King Aurelius Ambrosious, Merlin, and even Aliens. One of the most popular beliefs was that Stonehenge was built by the Druids. These high priests of the Celts, constructed it for sacrificial ceremonies. It was John Aubrey, who first linked Stonehenge to the Druids. Additionally, Dr. William Stukeley, another Stonehenge antiquary, also claimed the Druids were Stonehenge's builders. Stukeley studied Stonehenge a century later than Aubrey and became so involved in the study of the Druid religion that he himself became one. Through his work he was very instrumental in popularizing the theory that Stonehenge was built by Druids. Unfortunately researchers have proven this age-old theory linking Stonehenge's construction to the Druids impossible. Through modern radio carbon dating techniques, scientists have discovered that its builders completed Stonehenge over a thousand years before the Celts ever inhabited this region, eliminating Druids from the possibilities. Usually Druids worshipped in marshes and forests, but it has been verified that they did use Stonehenge occasionally as a temple of worship and sacrifice when they moved into the region. Modern Druids, formally named the Grand Lodge of the Ancient Order of Druids, still congregate at Stonehenge on the midsummer solstice, clad in white robes and hoods. As recently as 1905, the Druids initiated 258 novices inside these stones on midsummer solstice. Today, for fear of its desecration, Stonehenge is usually shut off to public access on midsummer's eve. Most scientists agree on the modern theory that three tribes built Stonehenge at three separate times. In approximately 3000 B.C., it is believe the first people to work on the site were Neolithic agrarians. Archaeologists named them...
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