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vocabulary terms for AP World History Chapter One

Hunting & Gathering

means of obtaining food by humans before the mastery of sedentary agriculture


societies that rely on sedentary agriculture, have the ability to produce a food surplus, have cities and job specialization.


The Old Stone Age. Use of stone tools and hunter gatherer societies.


New Stone Age. adaptation of sedentary agriculture and domestication of plants and animals


cattle and sheep herding societies dwelling at the "fringes" of civilized societies. sometimes called "barbarians" by the civilized societies


combination if ideas, objects, and patterns of behavior that result from human social interaction

Homo Sapiens

human species that emerges at the end of the paleolithic era. our closest relatives.

Agrarian Revolution

transition from hunter gatherer to sedentary agriculture


nomadic agricultural lifestyle based on herding domesticated animals. no sedentary agriculture

Catal Huyuk

early urban culture based on sedentary agriculture; located in modern southern Turkey; larger in population than Jericho, had greater degree of social stratification.

Bronze Age

from 4000 to 3000 B.C.E.; increased use of plow, metalworking; development of wheeled vehicles, writing.


first civilization located between the Tigris & Eurphrates Rivers in present day Iraq; term means "land between the rivers"

Potter's Wheel

a technological advance in pottery making; invented circa 6000 B.C.E.; encouraged faster and higher quality ceramic pottery products.


people who migrated into Mesopotamia ca. 4000 B.C.E.; created the first civilization within region; organized area into city-states.


a form of writing developed by the Sumerians using a wedge-shaped stylus and clay tablets


a form of political organization typical of Mesopotamian civilizations. consisted of agricultural areas ruled by an urban-based king


Massive towers usually associated with Mesopotamian temple complexes.

Babylonian Empire

unified all of Mesopotamia circa 1800 B.C.E.; collapsed due to foreign invasion circa 1600 B.C.E.


the most important Babylonian ruler; responsible for codification of the law.


term used to denote a King of Ancient Egypt.


monumental architecture typical of Old Kingdom Egypt; used as burial sites for pharaohs.


form of writing developed in ancient Egypt; more pictorial than Mesopotamian cuneiform.


An African state that developed along the upper reaches of the Nile c. 100 B.C.E.; conquered Egypt and ruled it for several centuries.


exclusive worship of one God; introduced by the Hebrews in Middle Eastern civilization


seafaring civilization located on the shores of the eastern Mediterranean; established colonies throughout the Mediterranean. Cross-Cultural Exchanges

Harappa and Mohenjo Daro

major urban complexes of Harappan civilization; laid out on planned grid pattern.


Indo-European nomadic, warlike, pastoralists who replaced Harappan civilization.

Huanghe (Yellow) River Basin

site of the development of sedentary agriculture in China.


1st known dynasty in China, produced 1st Chinese writing


shamans or priests in Chinese society who foretold the future through interpreting animal bones cracked by heat; inscriptions on bones led to Chinese writing.

Ideographic Writing

pictograph characters grouped together to create new concepts; typical of Chinese writing.

What are the basic characteristics of a civilization?

cities, government, religion, job specialization, social classes, art, architecture, public works, writing.

What are the 4 river valley civilizations and their rivers?

Mesopotamia ( tigris & euphrates), Egypt (nile), India (indus), China (yellow)

What major transition allows civilizations to occur?

sedentary agriculture

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