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The Earth and Its Peoples: A Global History, Second Edition
Richard W. Bulliet, Pamela Kyle Crossley, Daniel R. Headrick, Steven W. Hirsch, Lyman L. Johnson, David Northrup
History WIRED

Chapter 4: New Civilizations in the Americas and Western Eurasia, 1200-250 B.C.E.



Mesoamerica: Preclassic Period, 2000 B.C.E.- 250 C.E.

Chavín de Huántar: Location, Geography, and Climate The Ancient Celts

The Assyrians

Ancient Near East Empires, 700-300 B.C.E.
Palestine under the Judges and Kings

Judea and Israel

Levant Map Site

The Phoenician Empire

Greeks and Phoenicians: Colonization in the Tenth through Sixth Centuries B.C.E.

Western Mediterranean: Natural Resources

The Carthaginian Empire, Third Century B.C.E.


Click on the links on the left-hand side of the page for images of Olmec and Chavín culture.  The Olmec links provide several images of Olmec heads.
Images from Olmec culture including a nice image of an Olmec head.

Preceramic Society in the Central Andean Highlands
This site includes good images of the natural terrain at the "Panaromas" link to the left on your screen.

Exploring Chavín de Huántar 
By downloading the necessary software, you can observe an interactive and panoramic view of these South American ruins.

Chavín de Huántar, 800-400 B.C.E.
This site offers numerous images of the ruins of this culture including the remains of underground chambers.

Celtic Art and Cultures
This unique site allows you to design your own search of Celtic art.  Be sure to choose the proper time period when initiating your investigation.

Photo Gallery of Ancient Mesopotamia
This site includes several examples of Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian art and architecture.

Oriental Institute: Assyria
This collection provides images from the excavation of the "Fortress of Sargon," built by the Neo-Assyrian ruler Sargon the II in the eighth century B.C.E.

The Learning Sites: The Northwest Palace of Ashur-nasir-pal II at Nimrud, An Interactive Publication
A great source for artifacts and unique computer generated images of this famous Assyrian palace.

Art Images for College Teaching: Ancient Near East
Within this collection you can locate multiple images pertaining to the Neo-Assyrian empire.

The Metropolitan Museum of Art: Ancient Near East Collection
This comprehensive collection offers fifty images from ancient Mesopotamia and the surrounding regions.  Be sure to locate the images of artifacts that relate to the civilizations and cultures explored in this chapter

The Detroit Institute of Art: Ancient Art, Mesopotamia
This site offers several images of artifacts from the Neo-Assyrian Empire.

Activity One:

This chapter explores the rise of new societies in both the Western and Eastern Hemispheres between 1200 and 250 B.C.E.  With the emergence of Olmec and Chavín societies in the Western Hemisphere, for the first time, complex societies like those you studied in previous chapters emerged in what we now call the Americas.  The conclusion of the chapter on pages 110-111 of The Earth and Its Peoples (Second Edition), offers an explanation as to why civilizations appeared in the Western Hemisphere much later than in the Eastern Hemisphere.  The argument reflects the work of Jared Diamond and his book, Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies, which appeared in 1997.  For an interview with Diamond about his work, go to Online Newshour: "Guns, Germs, and Steel."  Also read the brief interview at Guns, Germs, and Steel: An interview with author Jared Diamond..  Explain Diamond's argument on why civilizations emerged in Eurasia earlier than the Americas, and why they evolved at a more rapid pace.  What role did geography (particularly the East-West axis of Eurasia and the North-South axis of the Americas) play?  What about plant and animal evolution in each region?  Why does he argue that it was impossible for an indigenous civilization to emerge in places such as Australia?

Activity Two:
One major theme in this chapter is the impact of migrations in this period.  Go to Ancient Phoenicia: History and read the brief essay located at this site. The last paragraph discusses the impact of the Phoenicians on the Mediterranean region of the world.  For a map from this period, see The Reluctant Empire (scroll down for the map).  Why did the Phoenicians explore and colonize this area?  What special skills and technology allowed them to accomplish this feat?  Considering what you learned in Activity One, how did geography influence this development?  In other words, how did the location of the Phoenician homeland help them develop such a complex situation?  Why was it so easy for them to transmit their way of life to these other areas?  Hint: Why did they not expand to the North or the South?  Why was it so easy to expand in the areas they did?

Activity Three:

Compare and contrast the ability of the Olmec and Chavín societies in the Americas to spread their influence to the Phoenicians.  First analyze the Map of North America, and be sure that you can locate the Olmec homeland on it by using the Maps above or in your textbook.  Now analyze a Map of South America and locate the Chavín homeland on it by using the Maps above or in your textbook.  After doing so, explain why it would take longer for these complex societies to expand their influence through the Americas compared to those in Eurasia such as Phoenicia.  Be sure to consider Diamond's argument about the importance of latitude found in Guns, Germs, and Steel: An interview with author Jared Diamond.

Activity Four:

The Olmec and Chavín societies evolved in relative isolation, unlike the societies of the Eastern Mediterranean.  To examine the impact of extensive contact between various complex societies, go to The Jerusalem Mosaic: Jerusalem in the First Temple Period (1006-586 BCE).  Be sure to visit the hyperlinks with the text of this essay and those links at the bottom of the page.  While exploring this site create a list of the means through which the ancient Israelis sustained contact with their neighbors in the Eastern Mediterranean.  After finishing the site, make a list of the ways in which foreign cultures influenced the ancient Israelis.  Be exhaustive.  Consider food, knowledge, technology, etc.  Also, think of ways in which Israelis influenced their neighbors.  Remember, Judaism evolved during this time period and would eventually have a strong influence on other religions in this area.