Ch 44: Early Human Civilizations

About This Chapter

The short and engaging video lessons found in this chapter on early human civilizations can help middle school students learn about social hierarchies, technologies, forms of communication and the impact of nature on these civilizations. A chapter exam and lesson quizzes are also available to help students better understand the material.

Early Human Civilizations - Chapter Summary

The video lessons in this chapter can help your middle school students explore various aspects of early human civilization. The videos, usually less than 10 minutes, outline the development of various societies along with how they formed hierarchies, interacted with one another and were shaped by science and technology. You'll also find information that your students can explore on the impact of nature, writing and religion of these early civilizations. Self-assessment quizzes can help your students gauge their comprehension of the materials. Also, instructors are available to answer any questions.

Chapter Lessons and Objectives

Lesson Objective
Hunter-Gatherers & the Development of Agrarian Societies This lesson explains to students how hunter-gatherers lived and why some chose to develop agrarian societies.
Foraging & Pastoral Nomadic Societies: Definition & Characteristics Students can study the characteristics of both foraging and pastoral nomadic societies.
Technologies of the Neolithic Era Students can learn about common technologies like hard stone, pottery and weaving used during the Neolithic Era.
Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in History With this lesson, students can take a look at how hierarchical structures ranging from chiefs to emperors developed.
How & Where Empires Were Created & The Factors That Influenced Them Students are able to discover how philosophy, military, politics, technology and trade impacted how empires were created.
The Effects of Contact & Exchange Between Societies Students can explore the social, political and economic effects of the contact and exchange made between societies.
The Environment's Impact on Early Agrarian Civilizations This lesson helps students see how values and institutions in early agrarian civilizations were influenced by the natural environment.
How Science, Technology & Economic Activity Shape Societies Students can read how societies throughout history have developed, changed and been affected by technology, science and economic activity.
Rivers' Impact on Early Civilizations Students can analyze the role of rivers in forming early civilizations.
Locations of the Early River Civilizations Instructors can helps students find on a blank map the early river civilizations and other themes and places.
Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation Students can examine four technologies that impacted the nature of conflict and allowed empires to form.
The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire Creation With this lesson, students explore technologies that changed the nature of conflict and allowed for the creation of empires.
Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization? This lesson can help students learn why Horse People are the apex of Nomadic Pastoralism and what it means to be civilized.
The Invention of Writing Students can discover the invention of writing and its many impacts on early human civilizations.
The History of Money and Rise of Complex Economies This lesson shows why money became a necessity in managing increasingly complex societies.
How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze Age Instructors can explain how religion developed and transitioned from feminine forces to masculine deities during the Stone Age and Bronze Age.

16 Lessons in Chapter 44: Early Human Civilizations
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Hunter-Gatherers & the Development of Agrarian Societies

1. Hunter-Gatherers & the Development of Agrarian Societies

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what a hunter-gatherer was and how and why humans might have given up that lifestyle in favor of an agrarian one.

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.

Technologies of the Neolithic Era

3. 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

4. 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.

How & Where Empires Were Created & The Factors That Influenced Them

5. How & Where Empires Were Created & The Factors That Influenced Them

After watching this video, you will be able to describe how empires are often created, and describe the factors that influence them. A short quiz will follow.

The Effects of Contact & Exchange Between Societies

6. The Effects of Contact & Exchange Between Societies

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what societies are, and describe the effects, both positive and negative, of contact and exchange between those societies. A short quiz will follow.

The Environment's Impact on Early Agrarian Civilizations

7. The Environment's Impact on Early Agrarian Civilizations

After watching this video, you should be able to describe early agrarian civilizations, how they developed in river valleys and how the nature of those rivers affected the development of aspects of those cultures. A short quiz will follow.

How Science, Technology & Economic Activity Shape Societies

8. How Science, Technology & Economic Activity Shape Societies

After watching this video, you will be able to explain how science, technology and economic activity have shaped human societies, from the agricultural revolution to the Industrial Revolution to the digital age. A short quiz will follow.

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.

Locations of the Early River Civilizations

10. Locations of the Early River Civilizations

After watching this video, you will be able to explain what the early river civilizations were, give some examples, and locate them on a map. A short quiz will follow.

Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation

11. 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

12. 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.

Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?

13. Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?

This lecture examines the downsides and limits of settled agriculture and civilization. It then explores how 'civilized' forces are able to displace other systems. Horse people are introduced as a counterpoint to civilization and nomadic pastoralism as a successful alternative method of living. Finally it follows the conflict between nomadic pastoralists and settled agriculturalists throughout history.

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.

How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze Age

16. How Religion Developed in the Stone Age and Bronze Age

Have you ever wondered exactly how religion developed in the ancient world? Check out this lesson to see how the impact of cities, writing and invasion upon religion, the ascent of the sky father and the descent of the mother goddess contributed to the development of religion.

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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