Ch 16: Geography & Ancient Civilizations

About This Chapter

Watch the video lessons to pick up useful information about geography and ancient civilizations. The videos also help you explore the different ages and empires throughout the world.

Geography & Ancient Civilizations - Chapter Summary

Going through this chapter gives you the chance to review ancient civilizations that shaped the world as it is today. Some of these civilizations thrived in ancient Egypt, Africa and Mesopotamia.

You'll also get to review geography content regarding early civilizations. As you progress through this chapter, stating attributes of different civilizations will get easier. After you finish the chapter, you can:

  • Identify the major river systems of Mesopotamia and Egypt
  • Describe the ancient Nile Valley
  • Detail specifics of the Bronze Age in ancient Egypt
  • Explain the geography of civilizations in early India
  • State the contributions of the Olmecs
  • Determine what the Kush civilization is
  • Recognize important events during the Persian Empire

The videos utilized in this chapter feature a video format, which makes learning about ancient civilizations a little more fun and engaging. Watch a lesson and then take a quiz, seeing how much information you retained. If you feel the need to review a topic again, just use the video tags. They are located in the timeline of each video, and help you navigate quickly to certain sections in a video.

11 Lessons in Chapter 16: Geography & Ancient Civilizations
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Agriculture in Ancient Egypt & Mesopotamia

1. 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.

Major River Systems of Mesopotamia & Egypt

2. Major River Systems of Mesopotamia & Egypt

Without rivers, the civilizations of Egypt and Mesopotamia might have never existed. Learn more about the role that the Nile River played in Egypt and the Tigris and Euphrates rivers played in Mesopotamia.

The Ancient Nile Valley: Civilizations, Region & Facts

3. The Ancient Nile Valley: Civilizations, Region & Facts

In this lesson, we explore the ancient Nile Valley and the Nile River, which is its lifeline. Arguably the longest river in the world, the Nile supported some of humankind's first complex civilizations.

Ancient Egypt in the Bronze Age

4. 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 West Africa: Bantu Migrations & the Stateless Society

5. Ancient West Africa: Bantu Migrations & the Stateless Society

In this lesson, we will discuss some of the characteristics of ancient West Africa. We will focus especially on the Bantu migrations, the stateless society, and the city of Jenne-jeno.

Geography of Early Indian Civilization

6. Geography of Early Indian Civilization

India stretches from alpine glaciers to the hottest rainforests on Earth. Such a diverse group of landforms heavily impacted early civilization, starting with the very first settlements on the Indus and Ganges Rivers.

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

7. Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

This lesson focuses on the early cultures of Mesoamerica. The Olmec, Maya, and Aztecs developed great civilizations in Mesoamerica over millennia. Then, after all of this development and the building of a great empire, the Aztec were quickly defeated by Hernando Cortes.

Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & Inca

8. Ancient Andean Peoples: Chavin & Inca

In this lesson, we will explore the Chavin and Inca civilizations of South America. We will study the rise and fall of these two cultures, as well as their major characteristics.

Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?

9. 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.

What Is the Kush Civilization?

10. What Is the Kush Civilization?

While they may not get all the attention of other Egyptian neighbors, such as the Persians or Hittites, the Kush were a major factor in many of Egypt's decisions, both regarding trade and warfare. Learn about the Kush in this lesson.

History of the Persian Empire

11. History of the Persian Empire

The Persian Empire has all the great aspects of an amazing story - an unlikely rise to power against an evil king, a ruler who is beloved by his people, and a military that was centuries ahead of its time.

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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