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Ch 4: AP World History: Ancient Middle East

About This Chapter

The ancient Middle East comes alive in this helpful chapter designed to assist you as you prepare for the AP World History exam. Short, easy-to-follow video lessons cover these subjects while self-assessment quizzes help you identify areas you need to study before test day.

AP World History: Ancient Middle East - Chapter Summary

As you work through this AP World History chapter, you'll review topics related to the ancient Middle East that you'll need to know to do well on the exam. Watch short videos about the wars and expansion of the Old Sumerian Period, the role agriculture played in Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt and how writing was invented. After completing this chapter, you should be able to:

  • Identify the Fertile Crescent, its kingdoms and features
  • Outline the culture, art and technology of the Babylonians, Hurrians and Hittites
  • Detail the importance and implications of Hammurabi's Code
  • Understand Egyptian society during the Bronze Age
  • Detail the Neo-Babylonian, Persian and Neo-Assyrian empires during the Iron Age
  • Discuss Egyptian achievements, including the pyramids, the calendar and hieroglyphics
  • Explain the social structure in Egyptian society
  • Outline key events and facts about Mesopotamia

This expertly taught chapter makes even the toughest concepts easy to understand as you prepare for the AP World History exam. Because these videos are self-paced, you can go back as many times as needed to review the subjects that need more work. One of our experts is available through the Dashboard to answer any questions that come up.

11 Lessons in Chapter 4: AP World History: Ancient Middle East
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization

1. The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization

Complex civilization wasn't always the norm. In this lesson, we are going to check out the origins of civilization as we know it, and see where, when, and how this new system of living first began.

Mesopotamia: Culture, Facts & History

2. Mesopotamia: Culture, Facts & History

Ancient Mesopotamia, a region located in modern day Iraq, was a rich and diverse culture. In this lesson we will explore some of the major events and most interesting facts about Ancient Mesopotamia.

Old Sumerian Period: Wars & Expansion

3. Old Sumerian Period: Wars & Expansion

In this lesson, we explore the Old Sumerian Period, a period of Mesopotamian history where the growth of prosperous city-states led to intermittent periods of warfare.

Heirs of the Sumerians: Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians and Assyrians

4. Heirs of the Sumerians: Babylonians, Hittites, Hurrians and Assyrians

This lecture covers the history of Mesopotamia from the disintegration of the Sumerian Empire to the great Bronze Age collapse. We'll explore the destructive force of the Elamites and the Hittites as well as the imperial ambitions of the Babylonians, the Mittani and the Assyrians.

Agriculture in Ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia

5. Agriculture in Ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia

Both the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians used rivers to develop impressive agricultural systems. However, each culture used rivers differently and, as a result, often had a very different relationship with the waters that nourished their fields.

Hammurabi's Code: The Advent of Law, Prerequisites and Implications

6. Hammurabi's Code: The Advent of Law, Prerequisites and Implications

This lecture discusses the need for law and the benefits of a judicial system. Next, it reviews the history of early law codes, like those of Ur-Nammu and Hammurabi. Finally, we look at the implications of law for kings.

Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age

7. Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age

This lecture first compares the natural features of the Nile valley to those of Mesopotamia, enumerating the advantages that geography offered the Egyptians. This is followed by a brief discussion of why Egyptian material culture survives while so much of Mesopotamian culture has been lost. The lecture ends with a a whirlwind tour through 3,000 years of Egyptian history broken up into traditional historical periods.

Egyptian Achievements: Unification, Pyramids, Hieroglyphics & Calendar

8. Egyptian Achievements: Unification, Pyramids, Hieroglyphics & Calendar

In this lesson, we will discuss some of the major achievements of ancient Egypt, including its unification by King Menes, the pyramids, hieroglyphics, and the Egyptian calendar.

Egyptian Social Structure: From Slaves to Pharaoh

9. Egyptian Social Structure: From Slaves to Pharaoh

In this lesson, we will explore ancient Egypt's social structure. We'll start at the top of this great pyramid with the Pharaoh and work our way to the bottom, where we'll find peasants and slaves.

Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires

10. Iron Age Empires: Neo-Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian and Persian Empires

This lesson is a survey of the three empires that emerged after the Bronze Age collapse. Parts of the survey are viewed from the perspective of the Israelites, who found themselves the playthings of powerful empires. The lecture focuses on a few specific rulers and their impact on their empires. It also traces patterns of imperial tactics throughout this period and region.

How Writing Was Invented

11. How Writing Was Invented

Writing was literally an invention that not only changed history, but made its study possible. The Egyptians and the Mesopotamians were two of the first civilizations to invent writing. Learn how and why in this lesson!

Chapter Practice Exam
Test your knowledge of this chapter with a 30 question practice chapter exam.
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Practice Final Exam
Test your knowledge of the entire course with a 50 question practice final exam.
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