River Valley Civilizations

River Valley Civilizations
Governement and Leaders
The Shang Dynasty was ruled by a strong
monarchy, where the kings were surrounded by
a court who performed rituals to keep the
kingdom safe and strong.
The Shang Dynasty had governors along with a
king in hopes of keeping order.
The Zhou Dynasty implemented the Mandate
of Heaven which stated that the gods would
not allow there to be a corrupt ruler.
The Zhou Dynasty used the Mandate of Heaven
to explain the rise and downfall of dynasties in
China. So dynasties that lost power were corrupt.
Religion was the main factor in determining the
structure of the government in Sumer.
Priests originally governed the city-states until
war chiefs transformed into Kings who then
ruled over the community.
Every city-state of Sumer was a separate
political unit, each with an individual
The Kings that ruled in the city-states,
served as the gods' chief
representatives, performing ceremonies
to please the gods.
Economy and Trade
In the Shang Dynasty bronze held an
importance to the economy as their
metalwork relied on it.
Agriculture was a  major influence on the
economy during the Shang Dynasty as the
majority of people spent their time tending
to crops as farmers.
The Zhou Dynasty learned how to use iron in
their metalworking which was cheaper, and
quick to cast.
During the Zhou Dynasty as the population
grew better transportation and
communication allowed better trade
throughout China.
Obtained many of the materials for their
buildings & art through trade, but lacked raw
materials such as wood and metals.
To get resources they would trade with other
people across Southwest Asia.
Their would mainly exchange textiles for
metals, timber, and stone.
Trade vastly enriched Sumer causing distinct
social rankings to develop.
Science and Technology
The Shang Dynasty developed a system
of writing using oracle bones, writing on
the bones themselves.
The Shang Dynasty created a calendar based
on the cycles of the moon along with
potentially one of the first systems of money.
The Zhou Dynasty developed metalwork from
solely bronze to both bronze and iron.
The Zhou Dynasty built more roads, and canals
allowing better transportation and
communication throughout China.
Sumerians used geometry in creating their
building structures and irrigation systems.
Invented the wheel, using it to make pottery and
different vehicles.
Used bronze to improve upon and make
stronger weapons and tools such as the plow.
Further developing their medical knowledge
learning to perform basic surgeries
The Shang Dynasty believed in the afterlife.
The Shang would often make ritual meals for
their deceased ancestors in remembrance, also
believing the steam from the food would nourish
their ancestors spirits.
The Zhou Dynasty believed in two religions,
Confucianism, and Daoism.
Confucianism, the belief that everyone should be
treated humanely. Daoism, the belief that people
shouldn't follow the laws of society, but the laws
of nature.
Practiced Polytheism, which is the worship of
many gods.
Believed that gods controlled all natural
forces, such as the air and weather.
Believed a god protected each city-state.
Believed that gods were like humans in that
they ate, drank, fell in love, married, and
Geography and Agriculture
Two rivers supplied the early Chinese
civilizations with their water, the Yellow River
and the Yangzi River.
The lands between the rivers were very fertile
due to the floods that deposited rich soil into
 the river flood plains.
Due to the rivers, rich soil, and irrigation it was
easy for China's agriculture to flourish.
Farmers during the Zhou Dynasty were able to
 create new techniques in farming allowing
them to obtain food surpluses from the already
fertile land.
Found their rich soil in the fertile crescent
between the Tigris river and the Euphrates river.
In order to alleviate the problems with
flooding the Sumerians would organize
groups of people to solve the issues
that arose.
Began farming very early due to the swampy, flat
region of Mesopotamia that which was suited for
Floods between the two rivers left fertile mud
called silt, which enriched the soil.
Arts and Education
The Shang Dynasty artists created decorative
vessels and objects, to potentially use in
religious rituals.
Religion during the Shang Dynasty led to
advances in working with bronze, especially to
create artwork.
The Zhou Dynasty's education system relied on
two philosophies, Doaism and Confucianism.
During the Zhou Dynasty under Confucianism
it was the duty of educated people to devote
themselves to public service.
Architecture built and developed by the
Sumerians included arches, ramps, columns,
and ziggurats.
Sumerian sculptures were typically statues with
large open eyes, and small objects carved out
of ivory.
They developed cylinder seals to engrave wet
clay with detailed design, also used to show
ownership of  documents.
Applied the use of cuneiform, the Sumerian
wiring system, by using tools called styluses to
make symbols on clay tablets in order to not
only keep records, but to write laws, grammar,
 stories, poems, and songs.
Social Structure and Family Life
During the Shang Dynasty people who were
considered elite had available time to pursue
leisure activities.
The majority of people during the Shang
Dynasty worked in the fields and tended to
In the Zhou Dynasty children were expected to
respect both their parents and elders, and in
return parents were to show their children
lovingness, and kindness.
The structure of the Zhou Dynasty was based
upon two different philosophies, Daoism and
Priests and Kings held the highest status in
Large landowners and rich merchants held the
second highest status.
The majority of sumerians held the
middle class status as artisans, farmers,
and laborers.
Women and men had distinct roles, as women
stayed home and took care of the children and
men held political power and made laws.