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A History of World Societies, Sixth Edition
McKay/Hill/Buckler/Ebrey
Web Exercises
Chapter 1: Origin of Civilizations in West Asia and North Africa

Activity One:

For most of human history, men and women did not practice the art of writing. Without any written records, historians have had to search for other evidence that can illuminate the lives of prehistoric humans. Fortunately, these men and women left behind many clues. Activity Two:
  • Review pages 6–8 in McKay, A History of World Societies (Sixth Edition). In your own words, define the terms "Paleolithic Age" and "Neolithic Age." Be sure to include dates. What are the distinguishing features of the two periods?
  • Compare and contrast artifacts from each era that you observed at the Paleolithic Art Page and The State Hermitage Museum: Neolithic Art. How do these artifacts exemplify the basic features of the two ages?  Write a paragraph explaining your answer. If you can do so, you might print out some of the images to enhance your argument.
Activity Three:
  • Review pages 5–6 in McKay, A History of World Societies ( Sixth Edition). In your own words, define the term "civilization." How does civilization differ from other types of human organization in the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods? When did civilization emerge?
Activity Four: Activity Six:

One important theme in this chapter is the influence that the civilizations of Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Hittite Empire had on other areas of West Asia and North Africa.
  • Review pages 25–26 in McKay, A History of World Societies (Sixth Edition). Then go to Poppa's Ancient World: The Near East, 2000 BC–1200 BC, paying special attention to the maps. This site examines the wars and diplomacy between ancient Egypt, the Hittite Empire, and various Mesopotamian kingdoms. According to this information, did any one civilization dominate the entire region during this period? How common was warfare among the three civilizations? Did they ever form alliances with one another? Can you think of ways in which this warfare and diplomacy might have affected other peoples in the region?
  • After reviewing this link and the related information in Chapter 1, make a list of the various means through which ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Hittite Empire affected one another and West Asia. Give examples for each method you list.


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