~The Aztec “empire” was more of a collection of city-states than an empire.
~Mexico City today is built on the ruins of Tenochtitlan, which was the capital of the Aztec empire.
~Agriculture played a key role in the Aztec civilization. Irrigation and floating garden beds allowed people to grow several crops a year.
~Centered in Cusco, the Inca Empire extended from modern-day Chile to modern-day Colombia.
~Inca society was sophisticated, and boasted around seventy different crops across the empire’s various climates.
~The Inca considered finely woven textiles to be an essential commodity, and spun various grades of cloth from llama and vicuña wool.
~Early Nazca society was made up of local chiefdoms and regional centers of power centered around the ritual site of Cahuachi.
~The Nazca are known for their Nazca Lines—geometric shapes, lines, and animal figures carved into the desert floor.
~Like the Moche, the Nazca decline was likely due to environmental changes.
~The Mali Empire, also historically referred to as the Manden Kurufaba, was an empire in West Africa that lasted from c. 1230 to 1600. It was the largest empire in West Africa and profoundly influenced the culture of the region through the spread of its language, laws, and customs along lands adjacent to the Niger River, as well as other areas consisting of numerous vassal kingdoms and provinces.
~Modern oral traditions recorded that the Mandinka kingdoms of Mali or Manden had already existed several centuries before unification. This area was composed of mountains, savanna, and forest providing ideal protection and resources for the population of hunters. Those not living in the mountains formed small city-states.
~The combined forces of northern and southern Manden defeated the Sosso army at the Battle of Kirina in approximately 1235. This victory resulted in the fall of the Kaniaga kingdom and the rise of the Mali Empire.
~The Mali Empire covered a larger area for a longer period of time than any other West African state before or since. What made this possible was the decentralized nature of administration throughout the state. Its power came, above all, from trade.
~The Mali Empire reached its largest size and flourished as a trade and intellectual center under the Laye Keita mansas (1312–1389). The empire’s total area included nearly all the land between the Sahara Desert and the coastal forests.
~The 1599 battle of Djenné marked the effective end of the great Mali Empire and set the stage for a plethora of smaller West African states to emerge.
Strong people create good times, good times create weak people, weak people create bad times, bad times create strong people, strong people create good times..
~The Mongol Empire existed during the 13th and 14th centuries and was the largest land empire in history.
~The empire unified the nomadic Mongol and Turkic tribes of historical Mongolia.
~The empire sent invasions in every direction, ultimately connecting the East with the West with the Pax Mongolica, or Mongol Peace, which allowed trade, technologies, commodities, and ideologies to be disseminated and exchanged across Eurasia.
~The Mongol raids and invasions were some of the deadliest and most terrifying conflicts in human history.
~Ultimately, the empire started to fragment; it dissolved in 1368, at which point the Han Chinese Ming Dynasty took control.
~The Indus Valley Civilization (also known as the Harappan Civilization) was a Bronze Age society extending from modern northeast Afghanistan to Pakistan and northwest India.
~The civilization developed in three phases: Early Harappan Phase (3300 BCE-2600 BCE), Mature Harappan Phase (2600 BCE-1900 BCE), and Late Harappan Phase (1900 BCE-1300 BCE).
~Inhabitants of the ancient Indus River valley developed new techniques in handicraft, including Carnelian products and seal carving, and metallurgy with copper, bronze, lead, and tin.
~Sir John Hubert Marshall led an excavation campaign in 1921-1922, during which he discovered the ruins of the city of Harappa. By 1931, the Mohenjo-daro site had been mostly excavated by Marshall and Sir Mortimer Wheeler. By 1999, over 1,056 cities and settlements of the Indus Civilization were located.
~The First Intermediate Period was a dynamic time in history, when rule of Egypt was roughly divided between two competing power bases. One of those bases resided at Heracleopolis in Lower Egypt, a city just south of the Faiyum region. The other resided at Thebes in Upper Egypt.
~The Old Kingdom fell due to problems with succession from the Sixth Dynasty, the rising power of provincial monarchs, and a drier climate that resulted in widespread famine.
~Little is known about the Seventh and Eighth Dynasties due to a lack of evidence, but the Seventh Dynasty was most likely an oligarchy, while Eighth Dynasty rulers claimed to be the descendants of the Sixth Dynasty kings. Both ruled from Memphis.
~The Heracleopolitan Kings saw periods of both violence and peace under their rule, and eventually brought peace and order to the Nile Delta region.
~Siut princes to the south of the Heracleopolitan Kingdom became wealthy from a variety of agricultural and economic activities, and acted as a buffer during times of conflict between the northern and southern parts of Egypt.
~The Theban Kings enjoyed a string of military successes, the last of which was a victory against the Heracleopolitan Kings that unified Egypt under the Twelfth Dynasty.
~The Chavín civilization developed in the northern Andean highlands of Peru between 900-250 BCE.
~There were three stages of development: Urabarriu (900-500 BCE), Chakinani (500-400 BCE), and Jarabarriu (400-250 BCE).
~Chavín had a small, powerful elite that was legitimized through a claim to divine authority.
~The chief example of Chavín architecture is the Chavín de Huántar temple, the design of which displays a complex and innovative adaptation to the highland environment of Peru.
~The Chavín people showed advanced knowledge of acoustics, metallurgy, soldering, and temperature control. One of their main economic resources was ch’arki, or llama jerky.
~Chavín art represents the first widespread, recognizable artistic style in the Andes, and can be divided into two phases: the first phase corresponds to the construction of the “Old Temple” at Chavín de Huántar (c. 900-500 BCE); the second phase corresponds to the construction of Chavín de Huántar’s “New Temple” (c. 500-200 BCE).
Significant pieces of art include the Lanzón, Tello Obelisk, and tenon heads.
~A series of conflicts between the Amorites and the Assyrians followed the collapse of the Akkadian Empire, out of which Babylon arose as a powerful city-state c. 1894 BCE.
~Babylon remained a minor territory for a century after it was founded, until the reign of its sixth Amorite ruler, Hammurabi (1792-1750 BCE), an extremely efficient ruler who established a bureaucracy with taxation and centralized government.
~Hammurabi also enjoyed various military successes over the whole of southern Mesopotamia, modern-day Iran and Syria, and the old Assyrian Empire in Asian Minor.
~After the death of Hammurabi, the First Babylonian Dynasty eventually fell due to attacks from outside its borders.