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Ch 26: HiSET: History of the Ancient Near East

About This Chapter

As part of your preparation for the HiSET Social Studies, refresh your understanding of the ancient Near East cultures that led the way to modern western civilization. Watch these lesson videos to review what you know about the inventions, art and ideas from these cultures that still affect society today.

HiSET: History of the Ancient Near East - Chapter Summary

When preparing to take the High School Equivalency Test (HiSET) Social Studies, utilize the lesson videos of this chapter to review the ancient cultures of the Near East that marked the beginning of civilization as we know it. In these videos, professional instructors discuss the inventions, art, architecture and society that came out of the Near East, including the Sumerians, Assyrians, Egyptians, and more. After completing this chapter you should have a better understanding of:

  • Inventions that allowed for the creation of civilization
  • The Cradle of Civilization
  • Ancient civilizations of the Near East
  • Art and architecture of the ancient Near East cultures
  • Different religions and religious systems of the Near East
  • Effects of metallurgy on the development of civilizations
  • Historic rulers of the Near East and their influential policies

In addition to the videos, this chapter also includes lesson transcripts and quizzes to help you gauge your understanding of the material. Use the video tags to return to spots in the lesson videos that cover information you want to review before the exam.

HiSET: History of the Ancient Near East Objectives

HiSET Social Studies is a subtest of the HiSET high school equivalency exam used to measure one's mastery of high school level social studies. It is composed of 50 multiple-choice questions, of which 6% are on geography, 18% are on economics, 38% are on history and another 38% are on civics and government. Understanding the ancient cultures that laid the foundation for modern day society will prove to be beneficial when answering questions on history. This chapter has been assembled to help you review the key contributions of the ancient cultures of the Near East through its series of engaging lesson videos and quizzes.

17 Lessons in Chapter 26: HiSET: History of the Ancient Near East
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
The Invention of Writing

1. 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

2. 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

3. 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.

The Fertile Crescent: Cradle of Civilization

4. 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

5. 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.

The Epic of Gilgamesh

6. The Epic of Gilgamesh

Witness the Epic of Gilgamesh, a story of adventure, love and friendship. This long poem will help us examine the hallmarks of civilization for a Sumerian and the importance of dreams. We'll also cover the Sumerian contributions to the epic form of literature.

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

7. 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

8. 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.

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

9. 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.

What's the Difference Between Polytheism and Monotheism?

10. What's the Difference Between Polytheism and Monotheism?

There have been many religions throughout human history, and each one has had a unique set of beliefs. In this lesson, we're going to look at the two main categories into which most of the world's religions fit and then compare them to each other.

The Hebrews and Their Beliefs

11. 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.

Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy

12. Iron vs. Bronze: History of Metallurgy

This lecture explores the transition from the bronze age to the iron age. The difficulties of working with iron are enumerated. The properties of iron and steel are compared to those of bronze. Finally the implications for this transition on civilization are considered.

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

13. 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.

Ancient Persian Art and Architecture: History & Style

14. Ancient Persian Art and Architecture: History & Style

This lesson explores the artwork of one of the most powerful and expansive empires in history: the Persian Empire. Persian artwork contained vivid imagery that recorded the success of the Persian kings in battle and their cultural tendencies.

Zoroastrianism: Definition, Beliefs & History

15. Zoroastrianism: Definition, Beliefs & History

Major religions, like Christianity and Islam, have been popular since ancient times, but what religion was popular before these belief systems developed? This lesson explores the beliefs of Zoroastrians, one of the earliest forms of organized religion.

Cult of Mithras: Myth & History

16. Cult of Mithras: Myth & History

The Cult of Mithras was a mysterious religion popular in Rome in the 2nd, 3rd, and 4th centuries. This lesson explores the secretive beliefs, practices, and history of the cult and its initiates.

Mesopotamian Kings: History, Politics & Religion

17. Mesopotamian Kings: History, Politics & Religion

Ancient Mesopotamia was a land of chaotic weather and inner turmoil. Religion became a political weapon for fighting among the city-states. This lesson explores the link between religion and politics in the ancient land.

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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Other Chapters

Other chapters within the HiSET Social Studies: Prep and Practice course

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