1) Ancient History


The Great Sphinx in front of Khafre's Pyramid in Giza Plataeu. (Public Domain photo. Info can be found here)

In the first chapter of this course we cover the vast majority of the history of humanity, starting from the earliest humans and moving (pretty quickly) on to the first civilizations of the world. A great deal of the time period of the stone age is trying to help students see how similar these people are to themselves in an attempt to let students see that humans have had quite similar issues over time despite the technological changes. After this initial conversation we move on to many of the early civilizations from around the world prior to 600 BCE. All attempts are made to cover different parts of the world during this era, but some civilizations are given slightly more time due to either historical significance or student interest. Students automatically find themselves interested in Ancient Egypt, but will often find civilizations that they are as interested in as the Egyptians as the chapter moves on. In the end the students learn a great deal about the Sumerians, Early Americans, Pre and Post Vedic India, the Early Chinese Dynasties and a handful of other groups.

This chapter is one that I am still in the process of developing from the content I have in other formats. Until I am able to make this a Web-based content structure (like that of Ch. 11) I have provided a link below to my class notes. This is only accessible to students in my course, but this will change soon.

Essential Questions

  1. Explain how and why the rights of women changed from the Paleolithic Era through the era of Ancient Civilizations?
  2. How was power acquired in early societies and in what way did they use social systems to keep this power in place?
  3. Explain the rise and fall of dynasties in China and how leaders justified their rule using concepts associated with this?
  4. How did geography limit people in the ancient world? And how did this limitation become a blessing in disguise?

Chapter Resources

Chapter Notes

Review Assignment

Review Material