Ch 2: Chapter 2: First Civilizations: Africa and Asia (3200 B.C.- 500 B.C.)

About This Chapter

This chapter of the Prentice Hall World History Connections to Today Volume 1 companion course covers all of the information in the First Civilizations: Africa and Asia chapter of the textbook. These simple and fun video lessons are about five minutes long and help you learn the essential lessons about art and the early forms of writing, ancient architecture, and different religious practices.

How It Works:

  • Find the lesson within this chapter that corresponds to what you're studying in the First Civilizations: Africa and Asia chapter of your textbook.
  • Watch fun videos that cover the early African and Asian civilization concepts you need to learn or review.
  • Complete the quiz after watching each video lesson to test your understanding.
  • If you need additional help, re-watch the videos until you've mastered the material, or submit a question for one of our instructors.

Chapter Topics

You'll learn all of the world history topics covered in the textbook chapter, including:

  • The Bronze Age and ancient Egypt
  • Ancient Egyptian art and notable achievements
  • Class, gender roles and social structure of Egypt
  • The Cradle of Civilization and the Fertile Crescent
  • Sumerian architecture, art and religion
  • The Hurrians, Babylonians, Hittites, and Assyrians
  • The architecture and artwork of the Assyrians
  • The transformation of the alphabet
  • Empire creation tools for defense and travel
  • The three main empires during the Iron Age
  • The beliefs of the Hebrew people
  • Monotheistic practices found in Christianity, Islam, and Judaism

Prentice Hall World History Connections to Today Volume 1 is a registered trademark of Pearson Education, which is not affiliated with Study.com.

16 Lessons in Chapter 2: Chapter 2: First Civilizations: Africa and Asia (3200 B.C.- 500 B.C.)
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age

1. 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.

Ancient Egyptian Art: History and Style

2. Ancient Egyptian Art: History and Style

This lesson provides a brief look at the exquisite art of the Ancient Egyptians. Egyptian art contains images of people and deities that represent the culture in which they lived.

Egyptian Achievements: Unification, Pyramids, Hieroglyphics & Calendar

3. 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 Women: Royalty, Privileges & Tradition

4. Egyptian Women: Royalty, Privileges & Tradition

In this lesson, we will study ancient Egyptian women. We will focus especially on the rights and privileges they enjoyed in the legal, economic, and social realms, and we will meet Egypt's most famous female ruler.

Egyptian Social Structure: From Slaves to Pharaoh

5. 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.

The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization

6. 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.

Sumerian Art and Architecture

7. Sumerian Art and Architecture

This lesson explores the artwork of one of the earliest civilizations: the Sumerians. Sumerians created beautiful works of art that inspired other cultures for centuries after their decline.

Religions of Sumer and Akkad: Definition & History

8. Religions of Sumer and Akkad: Definition & History

This lesson will explore the religion of ancient Sumer and its Akkadian empire. In doing this, it will highlight the Sumerian pantheon, their ziggurats, and their belief in the afterlife.

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

9. 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.

Assyrian Art and Architecture

10. Assyrian Art and Architecture

This lesson explores the unique characteristics of a fierce and violent culture: the Assyrians. The Assyrians were a warrior culture living in ancient Mesopotamia who used art and architecture to display their power.

History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

11. History of the Alphabet: From Cuneiform to Greek Writing

This lecture follows the development of writing, from the pictographs of proto-cuneiform to the symbolic phonemes of cuneiform and hieroglyphics. Then from the abjads of the Phoenecians, Minoans, Hebrews and Arabs to the complete alphabets of the Greeks. It explores the limitations and strengths of each development and draws modern parallels.

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.

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

14. 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.

The Hebrews and Their Beliefs

15. 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.

Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity

16. Monotheism: Islam, Judaism & Christianity

In this lesson, we define monotheism and identify three significant monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity, and Islam. We also discuss the ideology of each of these three religions.

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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