Unit 2 Key Concepts

  • Neolithic Revolution—The Neolithic Revolution refers to a time period when humans began to farm and domesticate animals. This led to permanent settlements, job specialization, changing gender roles (women's role diminishes), and, eventually, the rise of civilizations.

    Job Specialization—Due to the development of farming and domestication of animals it took far fewer humans to produce enough food to feed a society. As such, people began to take on other jobs. These jobs could include masonry, textile production, weapon production, cobbler, etc. 

    River Valley Civilizations—The earliest civilizations developed in river valleys. There were four main river valleys; Nile, Indus, Huang He, and the Tigris/Euphrates. River valleys offered fertile soil, hunting grounds, transportation, and trade.

    River Valley Location Achievements
    Nile Egypt Hieroglyphics, Pyramids
    Tigris/Euphrates Mesopotamia Cuneiform (first writing system), Ziggurats, City-States
    Huang He China Mandate of Heaven
    Indus India Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa (complex cities)


    Code of Hammurabi—First known set of codified (written) laws. It is best known by the phrase "an eye for an eye", although this is only true if the survivor and criminal belonged to the same social class. Created by Hammurabi, the first king of the Babylonian Empire.