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 Global Citizenship - Homework 1

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Mimosa Harrington
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PostSubject: Global Citizenship - Homework 1   Sun Jan 14, 2018 8:15 am

Choose from one of the following Ancient Civilizations and compose an essay three feet long (three hundred words) answering the following questions. How did this civilization came to be? Where can it be found in accordance with modern Geography? What was the role of magic and magical people in this civilization and how was it carried out? Notes on the end of the civilization and whether it could have been prevented or not?


1. Mesopotamia
2. Ancient Greeks
3. Harappan Civilization
4. Ancient China
5. Mesoamerica


Your homework is due by the end of this month (31st January) and will be graded for a total of ten points to your respective houses. All essays are to be left here as responses to this prompt. No late entries will be entertained. If you have questions, kindly read the homework prompt once more before trying to secure an appointment with the Headmistress.

Good luck!

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Dominique Greene
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PostSubject: Re: Global Citizenship - Homework 1   Thu Jan 18, 2018 7:55 pm

Dominique Grey
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The first civilization of the Mesoamerica was the Olmec civilization. The Olmec were the first complex civilization to develop. This was  in the central and north America and developed in about 1200BC. They inhabited the gulf coast region of Veracruz . The main sites of the Olmec include San Lorenzo Tenochtitlán, La Venta, and Tres Zapotes. Father  south the Aztec would develop. But the Mayans were controlling what is now Mexican states of Chiapas, Tabasco, and most of the Yucatan. Their empire stretched through northern Central America, including Guatemala, El Salvador, western Honduras, and Belize.

The different groups living in Mesoamerica are the Aztec , the Maya, the Mixtec, the Olmec, the Toltec, the Zapotec, and the ancient inhabitants of Teotihuacan, though many other complex cultures also thrived in the area (including the Pipil, Huastecs, and Totonacs. MesoAmerica is located is what is called middle America. But also extends  from south-central Mexico southeastward to include the Isthmus of Tehuantepec, the Yucatán Peninsula, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador, and the Pacific coast of Honduras, Nicaragua, and Costa Rica down to the Gulf of Nicoya.

The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs are the three well known that became great civilizations in Mesoamerica. The Maya is a Mesoamerican civilization, noted for Maya script, the only known fully developed writing system of the pre-Columbian Americas, as well as for its art, architecture, and mathematical and astronomical systems. As for the magic part, they were praying to their gods. Which they were told that they need to have sacrificed. To make things like rain or maize, which is corn. But in reality it was actually magic. Muggles just didn’t understand it and was confusing it with mythology. But also the Mayans had a calendar. Which muggles thought that it was predicting the end of the world. As the Mesoamericas had a thing with the meaning of numbers. This was actually Arithmancy.

One by one, the Classic cities in the southern lowlands were abandoned, and by A.D. 900, Maya civilization in that region had collapsed. The reason for this mysterious decline is unknown, though scholars have developed several competing theories. Although the Mayan people never entirely disappeared their descendants still live across Central America—dozens of core urban areas in the lowlands of the Yucatan peninsula, such as Tikal, went from bustling cities to abandon ruins over the course of roughly a hundred year.

I don’t believe that this civilization ended or even disappeared. I believe that it just has to evolve with time. Adapting to whatever was thrown at them. As everything was changing, they had to move with time. Muggles will believe tell you that this ended. But I think in South America, they are still there. Maybe no longer practicing what they did in the Mesoamerica time period. But they are still using their magic.

Headmistress Goshawk wrote:
While your essay lacks firm structure and could benefit from more conventional laws of grammar, it is well researched and well thought out. I would suggest a few lessons from our Librarian Mr. Hughes to round off the technical aspects of your academic writing. It appears you were paying attention in class after all, Ms. Grey.

7/10

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Elenore Clement
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PostSubject: Re: Global Citizenship - Homework 1   Sun Jan 21, 2018 1:18 pm

Elenore Clement
Hufflepuff



Harappan Civilization


How did this civilization come to be?
The Harappan Civilization, also known as the Indus Valley Civilization, came to be in the third millennium BCE. This time is denoted as the Early Harappan phase, which lasted until two thousand eight hundred BCE. At this time, there were villages being set up around the Indus River by the first farmers because the River made the land around it fertile. The villages grew with time in to large cities – the two most notable being Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro by two thousands six hundred BCE.

The Harappan Civilizations grew from being small villages of farmers to building walled settlements, which thrived on trade of raw materials in the area. During this time, historians believed that the civilization was a peaceful one, due to few weapons being found and very little evidence of an army.

The Mature Harappan era saw the urbanisation of the area on a vast scale that has been – in recent excavations – likened to the impressive nature of Egyptian and Babylonian settlements of the time. Trade continued to grow, with most of the civilisation becoming traders or artisans within the walls. In this time, the civilization also worked on their irrigation systems, and how to keep the area around the Indus River from flooding. This gave them the advantage when it came to the farming of the area.

However, as with any mass urbanisation, a problem arose for the civilization, which will be explored later under how the civilization ended.

Where can it be found in accordance with modern Geography?
The Harappan Civilization, or the Indus people, lived along the Indus River. The Indus River is the longest river in Pakistan and was the focal point of the civilization in question. However, the Civilization branched out in to Western India, and North-eastern Afghanistan, too.

What was the role of magic and magical people in this civilization and how was it carried out?
The Harappan Civilization is known for its affinity with Astronomy. Three notable findings have been set out to show the importance of astronomy in the civilisation:

1. The straight streets in the city were all orientated towards the cardinal direction. This shows how the Civilization were intent on using their astronomical observations to aid them in their trading – after all, if you did not know the hour of the day in which you were working, you may miss out on the timings of deliveries and dispatches from the city.

2. The Harappan civilization created the star-calendar used by the Vedic ritualists. This was later adopted by the Aryans in India. No note has been made of when this was applied, but it has been supposed that it was created in the twenty third century BCE. Which, was the height of the civilizations’ achievements.  

3. Where historians have been able to translate Harappan scripts and early Vedic scripts, it has been said that the priest-astronomers were able to track the movements of Venus, Mercury and Saturn.

What is not known is how they used their knowledge gathered from astronomical research due to the lack of ability to translate the Indus script. Work on such areas is ongoing, and have many links to later Indian Astronomy.

It would be assumed the Harappan Civilization had not advanced to reading their future from the stars, or else the Civilization would likely have carried on for many more generations before it fell apart.

Notes on the end of the civilization and whether it could have been prevented or not?
By nineteen hundred BCE, historians believe that many of the Indus valley cities had been abandoned. One idea for such things is because the cities were so overcrowded the infrastructure that had been created in these areas was not sufficient enough to house so many people. The drains were not being correctly maintained, and often blocked, which led to the increase in disease spreading through the cities.

As many of the cities had been forced to build on top of buildings, putting a vast number of people in a very small space, the spread of disease was easy, quick and deadly.

It is difficult, in this instance, to say whether this could have been stopped. If the drains were maintained, this would have led to less means of disease being airborne, perhaps. Or, if numbers were held at a sustainable level, with excess immigrants being sent to other, less populated cities, this may have resulted in fewer problems. However, due to the overwhelming number of problems that have been assessed above, simply solving one would not have stopped the Indus civilisation from ending.

Other historians stipulate that the trade in the Harappan Civilization was put under threat by the Mesopotamia civilization of the Middle East having major political problems. These problems led to the collapse of the trade network between the countries which had a large impact on the Indus cities.

This could have been prevented if the Indus cities were not heavily reliant on another civilization. The reliance on just one source of trade led to a number of traders losing their livelihood, which would cause them to leave the city – likely looking for other work in the area. More than one trade route would have been better optimisation of resources, however, we must remember this was in nineteen hundred BCE, much before the introduction of fast, easy transportation across continents.

In Hindu poetry, another idea was that there was a war in Indus valley cities, with northern invaders conquering the cities. However, archaeologists now believe that this is not true, due to there being little evidence of violence in the area from the excavations they have carried out.

If this were the case – even though it has been disproved, but for the sake of answering the question posed – the Indus cities should have recruited an army to defend the cities, and also to keep order within. Whilst we know the civilization to be peaceful on the whole, it would be impossible to say there were no problems, because human nature would dictate not everyone can live peacefully. An army would, therefore, reduce the risk of an invasion, and if an invasion did occur, it would protect the people from the attackers.

Another theory was that the river moved – due to the flooding of the plains surrounding the river, it is possible the river changed course through the floods. At the same time, it is said the Ghagger Hakra River had dried up, so it is highly likely this would also have an impact (an increase in water in the Indus River would mean faster flows, which would cut through any meanders in the river, causing Ox-Box lakes, and eventually leading to the ‘straightening’ of the River’s course).

As this is a natural problem, it would be very hard for the Harappan Civilisation to control this. They could have tried to reinforce banks to ensure that the river stayed its course, however, it is not clear whether they would have had the methods to succeed in doing such things.

Many of the problems outlined above are very difficult to control, though magic could have been used to aid such situations, it would not be wise to say it would have been enough to stop such things from happening.


Headmistress Goshawk wrote:
Well researched and well elaborated upon, this was a commendable effort Ms. Clement. however your essay would have benefited from an explanation of what magical roles precisely came into play with the Harappans. You mentioned broad strokes where the question demanded specifics.

9/10

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PostSubject: Re: Global Citizenship - Homework 1   Mon Jan 22, 2018 3:00 am




Tess M. Holmes
Slytherin



Global Citizenship, Lesson 1 -- Homework 1

Subject: Ancient Greeks



How did this civilization came to be?

Much like other ancient civilizations, the true foundation of Ancient Greece came when hunter-gatherer groups began to domesticate animals, farm and settle down, which is called its Neolithic era (7000–6500 BC.). Following their matters in agriculture then came the Bronze age, where metal-based economy took other bartering.  All in all, the true time period that comes to mind when Ancient Greece is spoken about is the Archaic period. By this time Greece was divided into many small self-governing communities, a pattern largely dictated by Greek geography: every island, valley and plain is cut off from its neighbors by the sea or mountain ranges.

Where can it be found in accordance with modern Geography?


Ancient Greek societies, ranged from a large period of time. Unlike others it was not a whole region as it ranged from the eastern coast of Spain (Valencia), Southern Coast of France (regions like Nice), Southern Italy (Napoli), to of course modern places Greece, Turkey, Bulgaria, Lebanon, Israel, Lisbon and even some parts of Northern Africa.

There is much debate as to where the region actually ended, but what can be confirmed is that they worked together and by the Adriatic and Tyrrhenian seas. As other ancient civilizations, the water was a good resource in terms of food and continuous travel and expansion.

What was the role of magic and magical people in this civilization and how was it carried out?


Magic and Myth went hand in hand in these society. Due the large influence of paganism, much of the work of charms, spells and magic was assumed to be the work of the Gods. If there was any question in terms of certain people connected to the Gods, they were considered practicing Mageia or Goeteia. By this time, magic spread in terms of Ancient Runes (called katademoi - curse tablets or periapta - amulets), hexes were deemed (epoidai), and potions were deemed (pharmaka). In the ancient world there was no division as to muggle, magical, medicine or religion. Rather they all encompassed it as a whole under polytheism.

In terms of gender normals, magic was practiced by both genders, but they worked under apothecaries more than wizarding. They worked to get potions and charms into the everyday lives of both muggle and magical and found that they were safe so long as they based it under their Gods, and brought them gifts. Many witches and wizards even believed that should they forget an offering, the gods would remove their magical cores, for they were chosen people.


Notes on the end of the civilization and whether it could have been prevented or not?

To say that Ancient Greece as a civilization fell, I would think is up to debate. Considering that the history ranched from 13th - 9th century BC to the the end of antiquity (c.600AD), I do not think it fell. Instead, based on the multiple articles of research, since Greece is the foundation of all western culture, so much so that we used the phonetics in our everyday world, they did not falter, but rather integrated into the world around them.

Via the Roman Empire, Greek culture came to be foundational to Western culture in general. The Byzantine Empire inherited Classical Greek culture directly,  and the preservation of classical Greek learning in medieval Byzantine tradition further exerted strong influence on the Slavs and later on the Islamic Golden Age and the Western European Renaissance. A modern revival of Classical Greek learning took place in the Neoclassicism movement in 18th- and 19th-century Europe and the Americas. So to say that ancient Greece fell, would be a disservice to every person that uses language, mathematics, and history.


Headmistress Goshawk wrote:
A somewhat exceptional piece with a strong structure and particularly sound conclusion. It appears the subject matter inspires you, Ms. Holmes.

10/10
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PostSubject: Re: Global Citizenship - Homework 1   Mon Jan 29, 2018 11:38 pm

Alexei Blackthorn
Slytherin


Ancient China


How did this civilization came to be?
There are many speculations as to how the Ancient Chinese civilization came to be. Many of these prove to be false within years of being voiced while others are more believable and with no way of debunking them, they are believed to be true. At first, it was believed that Ancient China started with the Shang Dynasty, yet recent research and excavations speculate that in fact it was the Xia dynasty that gave a start to Ancient China. The Xia Dynasty (2070-1600BC) is one of the first Dynasty's to be recorded in China.

Where can it be found in accordance with modern Geography?
There are many speculations as to where Ancient Greece started and ended in terms of Modern Geography. What is known though is that the China of today is much bigger than what Ancient China used to be. Places like Shanghai, Beijing, Jinan and Wuhan are only small parts of Ancient China that had been absorbed into Modern China.

What was the role of magic and magical people in this civilization and how was it carried out?
From as early as 1600BC, many feats of magic were documented by the people of Ancient China. It mainly centred around divination and astrology but alchemy was also a frequent documentation in those days. It was practised by both men and women though naturally, women had more luck with magic than men as they were more in tune with the nature of the land than anyone else.

Notes on the end of the civilization and whether it could have been prevented or not?
Personally, I don't actually believe that Ancient China just ended like that. Despite many beliefs and 'research' that has been done towards it, I think that Ancient China has just decided to move away from their ancient beliefs and decided to evolve into the modern China that it is today. The years of dynasties couldn't disappear just like that. I believe that even though we think that Ancient China has ended, it is still, up to this day, around like everyone else.

However, if it had ended I believe that yes, it could've been prevented just like every other end of civilization could've been prevented.


Headmistress Goshawk wrote:
Your essay paints a broad picture that looks presentable upon first glance but obviously lacks details in certain key areas such as the very specific role of magic, witches and wizards within Ancient China. I would have also liked to see your claims of how all ends can be prevented justified by more textual evidence. Lastly, it never hurts to proof read a piece of work before submission.

7/10

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