Other historical civilizations

   1. The Phoenicians

   Phoenicia is a small strip of land on the eastern Mediterranean coast. They were organized in independent cities, such as Byblos, Tyre and Sidon. They worked in the fishing, in the tool making like fabrics, vessels, glassware and weapons, but they especially worked in the trade.

   With their ships, they went over the Mediterranean, crossed the Pillars of Hercules (Strait of Gibraltar) and arrived with the tin to the current England and to the South African coast of Guinea. In order to trade with other parts of the peninsula, they founded the colonies of Malacca (Malaga) and Gadir (Cádiz) in Spain.

   The greatest cultural contribution of the Phoenicians was the invention of the phonetic alphabet of 22 signs (the Greek and Latin alphabet).


   2. The Hebrew

   They were a nomadic people of shepherd who settled in Palestine. It was the people chosen by God to preserve the monotheism religion (one god, Yahweh) recorded in the holy book, the Bible. One of the Hebrew symbols is the seven-lamp lampstand (see the picture).

   The best time of the Hebrew corresponds to the X century B. C. The King David established the capital in Jerusalem. Solomon was the most important king: he built the great Temple of Jerusalem and stood out because of his wisdom.


   3. Indicate if these sentences refer to the Phoenicians or to the Hebrews:
 

They were traders

They were shepherds

They invented the phonetic alphabet

They preserved the monotheism

Their book is the Bible

They founded colonies in Spain

They built vessels and weapons

It is the people chosen by God

They founded Malacca and Gadir

Their kings were David and Solomon






    4. The Persian Empire

   The Medes and Persians who worked in the shepherding lived on the Iranian plateau in east of Mesopotamia. In the VI century B.C., the Persian King Cyrus unified his people and conquered Asia Minor, Mesopotamia (defeating Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon), Phoenicia and Palestine. His son Cambyses conquered Egypt. Thus, they dominated the entire Middle East.

   The king Darius organized this great empire, but the decline started in the Medical wars against the Greeks. The Persian Empire was defeated by the Greek conqueror Alexander the Great and it broke up quickly.


    5. Achaeans and Cretans

   Crete is a long island, which is located on the Mediterranean Sea in the south of Greece. Around the year 3000 B. C. a thriving civilization appears on this island. They were farmers and sailors who established trade relations with Egypt and Phoenicia in order to sell them oil, wine, pottery and bronze utensils. The king of the island or minos built the palace of Knossos (see the upper picture).

   They adored the bull and hence the Greek legend of the Minotaur (mythological monster with the body of man and the head of bull) emerged.

  In the Peloponnese peninsula in southern Greece, the Achaeans (a warrior people that conquered the island of Crete) appeared in 1400 B. C. The Achaeans built fortified cities like Mycenae and Tiryns.


  6. Indicate if these sentences refer to the Persians or to the Cretans:

They lived in a long island

They work in the shepherding

They work in the trade

They built the palace of Knossos

The King Cyrus unified his people

They adored the bull

They had the King Darius

They were defeated by the Achaeans


    7. India

   An interesting culture developed around the year 3400 B. C. in the valleys of the Indus and the Ganges rivers in India. They worked in the farming and had trade relations with Mesopotamia.

   Later the aryans or indo-aryans arrived. They defeated the indigenous people and imposed the Sanskrit language and the social organization formed by: Brahman or priest, warriors or satriyas, vasiyas or free farmers, slaves or Shudras and Dalit or untouchable.

   The Hindu people provided interesting knowledge of astronomy, mathematics and botany. They developed the philosophical-religious systems such as Buddhism and Hinduism.


    8. China

   The Chinese culture is developed in the valley of the river Yang: they met the silk and cotton and were the inventors of the paper, the porcelain, the compass and the gunpowder.

   To defend against the frequent invasions, they built a great wall in the north of the country. Nowadays, it is one of the greatest works in the history.

   The great religious reformers were Laozi and Confucius.

   The latter developed a morality based on the love of neighbor and on the respect for ancestors and ancient customs.


   9. Indicate if these sentences refer to India or to China:

They lived in the valley Yangtze

In the Indus and Ganges valleys

They commercialized with Mesopotamia

They invented the compass

They invented the paper and the gunpowder

They spoke the Sanskrit language

They followed Confucius

Buddhist religion




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®Arturo Ramo García.-Record of intellectual property of Teruel (Spain) No 141, of 29-IX-1999
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