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Shang Dynasty
Definitionby Emily Mark

Shang Dynasty

The Shang Dynasty (c. 1600-1046 BCE) was the second dynasty of China, which succeeded the Xia Dynasty (c. 2700-1600 BCE) after the overthrow of the Xia tyrant Jie by the Shang leader, Tang. Since many historians question whether the Xia Dynasty...
Brahmi Script
Definitionby Cristian Violatti

Brahmi Script

The Brahmi script is the earliest writing system developed in India after the Indus script. It is one of the most influential writing systems; all modern Indian scripts and several hundred scripts found in Southeast and East Asia are derived...
Chinese Literature
Definitionby Emily Mark

Chinese Literature

Chinese literature is among the most imaginative and interesting in the world. The precision of the language results in perfectly realized images whether in poetry or prose and, as with all great literature, the themes are timeless. The Chinese...
Sumerian Civilization: Inventing the Future
Articleby Joshua J. Mark

Sumerian Civilization: Inventing the Future

Imagine something that has never been thought of before. If one holds a book in one's hands, one can imagine an e-book, a large-print book, a picture book, all kinds of books. But how does one imagine a book in a world where even the concept...
Cylinder Seal
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Cylinder Seal

Cylinder Seals were impression stamps used by the people of ancient Mesopotamia. Known as kishib in Sumerian and kunukku in Akkadian, the seals were used by everyone, from royals to slaves, as a means of authenticating identity in correspondence...
Rosetta Stone
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Rosetta Stone

The Rosetta Stone is an incomplete grey and pink granodiorite stela dating from 196 BCE which presents a priestly decree concerning King Ptolemy V of Egypt. The text is in three different versions: Hieroglyphic, Demotic and Greek, a fact...
Phaistos Disk
Definitionby Mark Cartwright

Phaistos Disk

The Phaistos disk is a fired clay disk, probably of Minoan origin, measuring some 16cm in diameter and impressed on both sides with 242 symbols set in a spiral arrangement. As yet, this unique archaeological find remains an undeciphered enigma...
Daily Life in Ancient China
Articleby Emily Mark

Daily Life in Ancient China

Daily life in ancient China changed through the centuries but reflected the values of the presence of gods and one's ancestors in almost every time period. Villages like Banpo show evidence of a matriarchal society, where there was a priestly...
Nisaba
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Nisaba

Nisaba (also Naga, Se-Naga, Nissaba, Nidaba, and associated with Nanibgal) is the Sumerian goddess of writing, accounts, and scribe of the gods. Although her name is commonly given as Nidaba, noted scholar Jeremy Black points out that "the...
Fertile Crescent
Definitionby Joshua J. Mark

Fertile Crescent

The Fertile Crescent, often called the "Cradle of Civilization", is the region in the Middle East which curves, like a quarter-moon shape, from the Persian Gulf, through modern-day southern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel and northern...