AP World History Packet
Approximately 5000 years ago, the first civilizations began to evolve. These societies were described as river valley civilizations because they were all built near major rivers so that the civilians could access transportation for trade and commerce, agriculture, and cleanse themselves. The two main civilizations discussed here are Mesopotamia and Indus River Valley. Both of these cultures have differences and similarities in politics, technology, religion, and gender roles. Within these cultures gender roles were consistent but the political hierarchy remained quite different. In Mesopotamia, women were not represented as much as they are today. They were wives, mothers, and housekeepers. They made clothes and kept the fire going for heating and cooking during the day. Being the heads of their households and in charge of the government, men were rule-makers and warriors. They built things like ziggurats. Men also farmed and were responsible for bringing in the food for the family. Indus River Valley was similar to the Mesopotamia as far as gender roles go. Women were responsible for giving birth and maintaining the household. Women had some rights, but only men could own land and become educated. The civilization of the Indus River Valley had little indication of political hierarchy or centralized states. They didn’t have any palaces, temples, elaborate graves, kings, or warrior classes, just small republics ruled by priests and an early form of the caste system. Unlike the Indus River Valley, the Mesopotamia had kings. An assembly of people had a say in the government as well, so if the King was wise, he would listen to the people. They could get rid of laws or even decide whether or not they should go to war.
Although these civilizations did have many