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Big Era Four: Landscape Unit 4.1

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From the Mediterranean to India:
Patterns of Power and Trade
1200 - 600 BCE

Why This Unit?

In the period from 1200 to 600 BCE, change accelerated. In the Indo-Mediterranean region the introduction of iron technology enabled not only armies to wield an ever more deadly array of weapons. It also gave farmers plows that could tackle hard soils resistant to wooden implements. Iron technology was certainly a factor in population growth during this period. Trade networks also expanded as Phoenician and Greek traders crisscrossed the Mediterranean exporting and importing goods, people, technology, and ideas. The resulting trade network tied into other trade networks that reached deep into northern Europe, Africa, and Asia. It was in this period that the Phoenicians began to use a shorthand system of writing that would eventually become our alphabet. On the political landscape, big states fell and rose, while small states multiplied. Aside from Egypt, none of the powers dominant in the Mediterranean in 1200 BCE were still dominant 600 years later. At the same time, two of the world’s major religions—Judaism and Hinduism— took root.

Unit Objectives

Upon completing this unit, students will be able to:

1. Locate on a map the Iberian Peninsula, Anatolian Peninsula, Levant, Ganges, Tigris, Euphrates, Nile, Red Sea, Aegean Sea, Persian Gulf, Khyber Pass, Nineveh, Babylon, and Jerusalem.

2. Describe the impact that iron technology had on the Indo-Mediterranean region.

3. Identify the Phoenicians and describe the impact of their trade on the Indo-Mediterranean world.

4. Locate the Assyrian empire, and describe the ways in which Assyrians expanded and controlled their empire.

5. Explain the relationship between the Phoenician trade network and the Assyrian empire.

6. Define monotheism and its relationship to the Hebrews and the emergence of Judaism.

7. Define and explain the significance of the caste system in India as it emerged in the first millennium BCE.

8. List some similarities and differences in religious beliefs between Judaism and Hinduism.

Time and Materials

Time:
If all six lessons are used, then approximately 3-4 hours of class time is needed. If the readings are done as homework, then the class time can be cut drastically. If only Lesson 1 is discussed, it can be covered in 30-45 minutes. Lessons 1, 3, 4, 5, and 6 include lessons and Student Handouts that can be mixed and matched to fit instructional needs and time frame.

Materials:

Table of Contents

Why This Unit?

2

Unit Objectives

2

Time and Materials

3

Author

3

The Historical Context

3

This Unit in the Big Era Timeline

5

Lessons

 

Lesson 1: Mapping the Period

4

Lesson 2: Metallurgy: Iron

9

Lesson 3: Urbanization

14

Lesson 4: Trade: Phoenicians

18

Lesson 5: Empire Building: The Assyrians

24

Lesson 6: Religion: Judaism and Hinduism

34

This Unit and the Three Essential Questions

44

This Unit and the Seven Key Themes

44

This Unit and the Standards in Historical Thinking

44

Resources

45

Correlations to National and State Standards and to Textbooks

47

Conceptual Link to Other Teaching Units

48

Complete Teaching Unit in PDF Format

 

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