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a form of culture characterized by cities, specialized workers, complex institutions, record keeping, and advanced technology

Bronze Age

a period in human history, beginning around 3000 B.C. in some areas, during which people began using bronze, rather than copper or stone, to fashion tools and weapons


the bringing of water to crop fields by means of canals and ditches


the development of skills in a particular kind of work, such as trading or record keeping


a form of trade in which people exchange goods and services without the use of money


a skilled worker, such as a weaver or potter, who makes goods by hand


one of the professional record keepers in early civilizations


a system of writing with wedge-shaped symbols invented by the Sumerians around 3000 B.C.


a long-lasting pattern of organization in a community


a tiered, pyramid-shaped structure that formed part of a Sumerian temple


a belief in many gods

Fertile Crescent

an arc of rich farmland in Southwest Asia, between the Persian Gulf and Mediterranean Sea


the fine soil carried in the water of rivers


a city and its surrounding lands functioning as an independent political unit


a series of rulers from a single family


a political unit in which a number of peoples or countries are controlled by a single ruler

cultural diffusion

the spreading of ideas or products from one culture to another


a region the size of Massachusetts that was the site of the first civilization


a legendary king of Mesopotamia whose adventures are detailed in one of the world's earliest works of literature


were used in Egypt as tombs


along the Nile, most similar to rapids


Egyptian king


process that the Egyptians used that was connected to the belief in an afterlife


Egyptian writing system


king of Egypt famous for being the first ruler to unite all of Egypt

Indus Valley

the buildings were constructed of oven-baked bricks, "Harrapan civilization"


a large landmass that forms a distinct part of a continent


seasonal winds that occur within regularity and have a great affect on India

Indus River

flooded unpredictably and sometimes changed its course

Peking man

the age of this refers to the time that established that there were people in northern China 500,000 years ago

Huang He River

China's first cities arose along this


yellow silt found in Huang He River

Shang dynasty

largely shaped the Chinese civilization and this ruled for 500 years and was the first family of rulers to leave written records

Shang Di

a supreme Chinese god during China's first several hundred years as a civilization

oracle bones

one of the animal bones or tortoise shells used by ancient Chinese priests to communicate with the gods

Zhou dynasty

after an invasion of nomads from the north, this dynasty fell from power but pretended to rule from the city of Luoyang for another 500 years, overthrew Shang dynasty around 1027 B.C.

dynastic cycle

the rise, decline, and replacement of families of rulers


a political system in which nobles are granted the use of lands that legally belong to their king, in exchange for their loyalty, military service, and protection of the people who live on the land


the process by which people or groups of people move from their home area to a new area


group of people who settled in what is now India


a group undefeated by the Egyptians but unable to defeat them so they made peace with them


people who spoke related languages that form the basis of a family of languages spoken by half of the current world population


the name of sacred literature of the Aryan people, for many years only existed in oral form


a poem with 106,000 verses and is the longest poem ever composed, tells the story of a great battle between two groups of cousins


a huge peninsula also known as Asia Minor


a member of the highest Indian social class and a Hindu priest


the name for the dry grasslands north of the Caucasus


names someone so lowly that he or she exists outside the caste system


what Hindus believed is the good and bad deeds that a person engages in over one or more lifetimes


circumstances of one's life are largely reflected by this, one is born into this


Siddhartha Guatama was called this after 49 days of meditation


the state of perfect contentment that results from perfect understanding frees one from all suffering in the Buddhist faith


the Hebrews' belief that their was the one and only God


the man who got the Ten Commandments from Mt. Sinai

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