World History 9A, Assignment Two

Assignment Two
Ancient Man and Early River Civilizations

Deadline, 9/2, 120 points

Click here to go back to the
web site for History 9A.









How do historians view the earliest civilizations?

How do historians view the ways ancient man changed from nomadic civilizations to more setted ways of living?

What impacts did the ancient river civilizations have on the world in which we live?



When we discuss ancient river civilizations we generally talk about the Yellow River, the Indus River and the Tigris and Euphrates civilizations. Truly all of these civilizations were great, and their contributions cannot be ignored. At the same time, they all become a bit lost in the shadow of Egypt. As far as time is concerned, Egypt is one of the more recent of the ancient river civilization. It flourished along the Nile River, and its greatness has long dominated the study of ancient cultures. In large part this fascination is closely connected to the abundant artifacts left by the early Egyptians. Egypt has fascinated historians, acheololgists, and the world for thousands of years. Even today we marvel at what the ancient Egyptians accomplished with very basic technology. For this assignment, you will explore one facet of ancient Egypt.


To identify and describe the key characteristics relating to one aspect of ancient man and early river civilizations.


Assignment Questions


Select two questions frome each question group. Create an answer of two well written paragraphs to each of the questions you choose.

You wil want to refer to the online resources on the class web site as you work on this assignment.

And don’t panic! We will discuss most of these topics briefly in class.

You may work with a partner if you choose.


Question Group One

  1. How do scientists see the development of home erectus, Neanderthals, and Cro Magnon man?
  2. How did the Neolithic Revolution affect the human population? Why?
  3. Why was the development of agriculture essential to human health?
  4. What changes were required to move from nomadic to settled existence?
  5. What characteristics define a civilization?
  6. Why did civilization develop along water routes?


Question Group Two

  1. What made Ur unique? What were its great impacts on humanity?
  2. What about Mahenjo Daro? What made it unique in the ancient world?
  3. What can we learn about ancient European civilizations from the Ice Man?
  4. Why did specialized labor develop? How is that similar to today?


Question Group Three

  1. What may have been some of the reasons ancient people developed temples?
  2. How did ancient Sumerian religious beliefs differ from modern ones?
  3. What is an empire? What are its advantages and disadvantages?
  4. What made Hammurabi’s Code unique?


Question Group Four.

  1. What prompted the growth of Egypt? How was geography involved?
  2. Why did Egypt unite into one kingdom?
  3. What characterized the reigns of the Pharaohs?
  4. How did Egyptian religious beliefs differ from the Sumerians?
  5. What do massive projects like the pyramids tell us about the social structure of the societies that created them?
  6. What does mummification tell about Egyptian religious belief, and how did this differ from Sumer?
  7. What caused the rise of new ruling classes in Egypt?
  8. How do the abundant artifacts of ancient Egypt affect our understanding of that society?



Create a meaningful, contextual definition for each of the following.

  1. Fertile Crescent
  2. Hammurabi’s Code
  3. Indus River
  4. Tigris and Euphrates
  5. Nile
  6. Mesopotamia
  7. Huang He
  8. Gift of the Nile
  9. Upper Egypt
  10. Lowe Egypt
  11. Polytheism
  12. Mummification
  13. Neolithic Revolution




To be posted soon.



Printed files

There is no handout for this assignment. The instructions are located on this page.

Online files

Click here to access the Power Point file we used in class at the beginning of the unit.
Here is a link to the notes page that accompanies it.

Click here to view the timeline ancient and classical civilizations we used in class.

Click here to open the online textbook pages that accompany this unit. For this unit we will be using pages 1- 45.