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Ch 4: Early Civilizations of the Ancient Near East

About This Chapter

Watch this chapter's video lessons to discover characteristics of ancient Near East civilizations, such as Harrapa and the Kingdom of Kush. Take the self-assessment quizzes that follow to see how well you're absorbing the material.

Early Civilizations of the Ancient Near East - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives

Use this chapter to explore the belief systems, agricultural practices, trade routes and infrastructures of the earliest Near East civilizations. Begin with an examination of ancient Kush before discovering the Indus Valley civilization and the influences of invading tribes from the West. You'll also learn who, exactly, the Phoenicians were and get an introduction to Judaism and the 12 tribes of Israel. Listed below are just some of the topics covered in this course:

  • The development of the Kingdom of Kush
  • Characteristics of the Indus Valley civilization
  • Hebrew beliefs and the 12 tribes of Israel

Video Objective
The Kingdom of Kush: Location, Events & Leaders Identify the geographical features influencing Kush's location and survey significant periods in this ancient kingdom's development.
Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro Trace the rise and decline of the Indus Valley civilization and explore characteristics of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro.
The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs Explore the Aryans' social and religious influences on the Indus Valley. Get a brief introduction to Hindu texts, such as the Vedas and Upanishads.
Impact of the Nomadic People on Civilization Centers Study the effects of nomadic people on the centers of ancient civilizations.
The Hebrews and Their Beliefs Identify the central beliefs of Judaism and get a historical interpretation of the Torah and Nevi'im.
Israel: From Tribes to Kingdom Discover the origins of the 12 tribes of Israel and trace their history under kings Saul, David and Solomon.

6 Lessons in Chapter 4: Early Civilizations of the Ancient Near East
The Kingdom of Kush: Location, Events & Leaders

1. The Kingdom of Kush: Location, Events & Leaders

Often relegated to second-class status after their powerful neighbors to the north, Kush was able to survive as a culture that dated back more than 10,000 years and existed until the fall of the Roman Empire.

Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro

2. Indus Valley Civilization: Harappa & Mohenjo-Daro

In this lesson, we will explore the mysterious Indus Valley civilization, which was located in modern Pakistan and reached its high point between about 2500 BCE and 1900 BCE.

The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs

3. The Aryans in the Indus Valley: Texts, Castes & Beliefs

In this lesson, we will explore the Aryans of the Indus Valley. We will learn about their arrival in the valley, their social customs, their major texts, and their religious beliefs.

Impact of the Nomadic People on Civilization Centers

4. Impact of the Nomadic People on Civilization Centers

The transition from being nomads to being farmers was full of surprises, from beer to a sudden drop in health, but the tensions between nomads and farmers was no less uneventful.

The Hebrews and Their Beliefs

5. The Hebrews and Their Beliefs

This lesson covers the Hebrews and their beliefs. We look at the core tenets of Judaism and explore some of the stories from the Torah. Finally, we see how the Hebrews' history of oppression impacted their religion and the world today.

Israel: From Tribes to Kingdom

6. Israel: From Tribes to Kingdom

Within generations, the Israelites went from being sons of the same person, Jacob, to a kingdom with some of the greatest rulers in history. This lesson details how that transformation happened.

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