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Ch 3: AP World History: Ancient Times

About This Chapter

Watch video lessons on ancient times and learn about nomadic tribes, the Bronze Age, the Great Flood, and more. Use this AP World History course to discover how the invention of writing changed the ancient world and the origins of the first cities.

AP World History: Ancient Times - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

The people of ancient times invented many aspects of society that we take for granted today. In this chapter, you'll learn about the societies of old and the things they discovered: agriculture, the wheel, bronze, domesticated horses, and writing. Our lessons each focus on one aspect of ancient times, from religion to the Great Flood. You'll learn about how nomadic tribes transformed into complex societies and the advantages and disadvantages of each. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Explain the causes of the rise of cities
  • Relate population migrations due to flooding
  • Understand how writing and money changed society
  • Talk about ancient religions and their worshipers
  • List important tools of the era

VideoObjective
The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human OpportunitiesLearn about the last ice age and what humans were able to do after the thaw.
Nomadic Societies: Foraging and PastoralExplore how foraging, or gathering, and pastoral, or shepherding, societies functioned.
Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and ImplicationsExamine the effects that the adoption of farming techniques had on early societies.
Technologies of the Neolithic EraTake a look at the stone, pottery, weaving, and wheels used by early people to perform daily tasks.
Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in HistoryDiscover how leaders of small tribes transformed into emperors of large societies in this era.
Mystery Cults and the Early Mother GoddessLearn about the mother goddess and her followers and view some artifacts created by the worshipers.
The Great Flood and Population MigrationsExplore the earliest historical disaster, what may have caused it, and what happened to people afterward.
Rivers and Early CivilizationUnderstand how rivers were a vital part of life in early civilizations.
Villages to Cities: How Cities Were InventedExamine how agriculture, hierarchy, and the end of the ice age contributed to the rise of cities.
Walls, Roads, and Bronze: Tools of Empire CreationTake a look at how these technologies changed civilization and made empires possible.
The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire CreationDiscover the importance of domesticating the horse and how this new transport transformed civilization.
Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?Learn about the horse peoples who would terrorize civilizations for thousands of years.
The Invention of WritingExplore how writing changed society, giving literate people a leg up on the pre-literate.
The History of Money and Rise of Complex EconomiesUnderstand how the increasing complexity of civilization forced the need for a system of payment.
How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze AgeExamine the ways in which religions of the time reacted to the new developments of these eras.

15 Lessons in Chapter 3: AP World History: Ancient Times
The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities

1. The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities

What is an ice age? How did the latest period of glaciation form our species? How has the abundance of this latest period of interglaciation changed our behavior? Watch this lesson to find out.

Foraging & Pastoral Nomadic Societies: Definition & Characteristics

2. Foraging & Pastoral Nomadic Societies: Definition & Characteristics

This lesson will discuss those who practice foraging and pastoralism for survival. We will also define the term 'nomadic' and focus on what it means to be egalitarian.

The Paleolithic Age: Tools & Characteristics

3. The Paleolithic Age: Tools & Characteristics

In this lesson, you will explore the history of the Paleolithic Era and discover how early humans lived and developed stone tools. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

The Mesolithic Age: Tools, Inventions & Archaeology

4. The Mesolithic Age: Tools, Inventions & Archaeology

In this lesson, you will explore the history of the Mesolithic era, one of the greatest transitional periods in human history. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications

5. Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications

A long, long time ago, human beings roamed the earth looking for food. Then the agricultural revolution struck! What are the benefits of an agrarian society, and how have they shaped the way we live today?

Technologies of the Neolithic Era

6. Technologies of the Neolithic Era

In this lesson, we explore some of the technologies invented, innovated, and changed by Neolithic people as well as the way it improved their lives and lessened their workload.

Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in History

7. Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in History

This lesson will explore society's need for hierarchies, as well as kinship as a basis of hierarchical structures. Various forms of hierarchy will be briefly explored and...spoiler alert...they all come back to kinship.

The Great Flood and Population Migrations

8. The Great Flood and Population Migrations

The Great Flood myth has been around for over eight millennia. Could it be more than a myth? What could have caused such a flood, and what effects has it had on humans?

Rivers' Impact on Early Civilizations

9. Rivers' Impact on Early Civilizations

This lesson explains why ancient civilizations developed along rivers. In doing this, it highlights the importance of food supplies, flooding, and the process of irrigation.

A Comparison of Early River Valley Civilizations

10. A Comparison of Early River Valley Civilizations

Where did civilizations first arise? In this lesson, we'll be exploring the early river valley civilizations, some of the oldest settled societies in the world, to see what they have in common and what makes them unique.

Villages to Cities: How Cities Were Invented

11. Villages to Cities: How Cities Were Invented

In this video lesson, you'll meet Uruk, a lone farmer living in ancient Mesopotamia. As Uruk tries to become a successful farmer, he realizes the difficulties in sustaining a fruitful farm without the help of a community. Watch to understand how these difficulties contributed to the creation of villages and cities throughout history.

Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation

12. Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation

Learn some of the tools of the empire creation trade. In this video lesson, we'll explore the wall as a tough nut to be cracked, the strategic importance of roads and the advances made possible by bronze.

The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire Creation

13. The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire Creation

Horses were first used in warfare to pull chariots. Though horses were eventually ridden by cavalry, it was the chariot that first moved soldiers faster than man. In this lesson, you'll learn about the creation of the chariot, and its benefits during wartime.

The Invention of Writing

14. The Invention of Writing

Writing, the original IT: This lecture covers the limitations and obstacles of aural transmission. It describes the invention of Cuneiform in the fertile crescent. Finally, it explains how writing enabled literate societies to dominate their pre-literate neighbors.

The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies

15. The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies

This lecture covers the development of money in response to the needs of complex economies. It begins with a discussion of gift economies. It then examines the factors that led to the growth of commodity economies. Find out how we came to use money, rather than goods, for commerce.

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