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Ch 2: NES: Early Civilizations

About This Chapter

Get ready for questions about early civilizations on the National Evaluation Series (NES) Middle Grades Social Science exam with these lessons and quizzes.

NES: Early Civilizations - Chapter Summary

This chapter will help you review everything you'll need to know about early human civilizations for the NES Middle Grades Social Science exam. You'll cover ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, China and much more! Lesson topics in this chapter include the following:

  • Causes and implications of the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution
  • Mesopotamia's four major empires
  • Bronze Age Egypt
  • Egypt's Queen Hatshepsut and Ramses the Great
  • Kush civilization
  • Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires
  • Persian and Maurya Empires
  • Early Chinese civilization
  • Mesoamerican civilations
  • Ghana Empire

Brush up on these important early civilizations with lessons lasting about five to ten minutes apiece. Follow along with the written transcripts or use them to review lesson topics. Assess what you know and what you need to work on with lesson quizzes and the chapter exam.

NES: Early Civilizations - Chapter Objectives

The NES Middle Grades Social Science exam is part of the certification requirements for prospective social science teachers in certain states. This chapter is designed to prepare you for questions on early civilizations in Eurasia, Africa and the Americas in the History portion of the exam, which is worth about half of the total score. The entire test consists of 150 multiple-choice questions on history, geography, culture, government and economics. Get an idea of the types of questions you'll need to answer with the practice quizzes included in this chapter.

13 Lessons in Chapter 2: NES: Early Civilizations
Test your knowledge with a 30-question chapter practice test
Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications

1. Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications

A long, long time ago, human beings roamed the earth looking for food. Then the agricultural revolution struck! What are the benefits of an agrarian society, and how have they shaped the way we live today?

Mesopotamia: The First Civilization

2. Mesopotamia: The First Civilization

In this lesson, we explore the beginning of one of the oldest civilizations in the world, Mesopotamia. We specifically discuss the factors that encouraged settlement in the region.

The Four Empires of Mesopotamia

3. The Four Empires of Mesopotamia

Whereas a number of dynasties ruled Egypt, it was often completely different cultures to rule Mesopotamia. This lesson looks at four of those cultures that were able to build empires.

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.

Queen Hatshepsut & Ramses the Great of Egypt

5. Queen Hatshepsut & Ramses the Great of Egypt

While the pharaohs of Egypt may have ruled the land along the Nile for thousands of years throughout many dynasties, two names deserve special recognition as perhaps the greatest rulers. Learn more about Ramses the Great and Hatshepsut.

What Is the Kush Civilization?

6. 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.

The Neo-Babylonian & Neo-Assyrian Empires

7. The Neo-Babylonian & Neo-Assyrian Empires

With the arrival of iron, the political landscape of Mesopotamia would change forever. Learn how a metal changed the course of history for the Neo-Assyrians and the Neo-Babylonians in this lesson.

History of the Persian Empire

8. 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.

The Growth of the Maurya Empire

9. The Growth of the Maurya Empire

Almost immediately following the collapse of Alexander the Great's empire, the Mauryan Empire stretched from the limits of Alexander's frontiers well into the southernmost parts of India. Learn more about the Mauryan Empire in this lesson.

Early Chinese Civilization in the Huang-He River Valley

10. Early Chinese Civilization in the Huang-He River Valley

Although Chinese civilization developed along rivers much like cultures in Mesopotamia and Egypt, the idea of royal power took a completely different direction. Learn how the Mandate of Heaven ruled all in Ancient China.

The Rise of the Maya Civilization

11. The Rise of the Maya Civilization

In this lesson, you will explore the origins of the great Maya civilization that developed in Central America. Then, you will be able to test your understanding with a brief quiz.

Mesoamerican Civilizations: The Olmecs to Cortes

12. 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.

The Ghana Empire in Africa (830-1235 CE)

13. The Ghana Empire in Africa (830-1235 CE)

This lesson explores the Ghana Empire of West Africa. In doing so, it highlights the gold and salt trade of the region, which made the empire wealthy. It also discusses the importance of iron smelting and taxation.

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.
Not Taken

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Other Chapters

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