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Ancient Near East


The answers to the following questions may be obtained by accessing the websites listed below. Other sites may be utilized.

 Theme: (1)  Near Eastern Origins

Pivotal Questions  Websites
What do we need to know about the origins of the human species?
human origins
What is the Paleolithic Age? What kind of economy was involved? What do cave paintings reveal about Paleolithic People? Paleolithic Age
cave paintings Why did they paint
What is the Neolithic Age? What kind of economy was involved? How did the food-producing economy lead to the first civilization? Neolithic Age: Site 1    


Theme: (2) Mesopotamian Civilization

What was the site of development of the first civilization? 
Why did civilization develop there? What were the
positive and negative effects of geography?


Why was writing invented? What forms did it take? Invention of writing:       Site (2) : Same as Sumeria above
What were the main characteristics of Sumerian religion?
How had religion evolved since the Paleolithic era?
What role did mythology play in religion?

Sumerian religion

also see Sumeria above

What were the physical manifestations ofreligion in Sumeria? How was the class structure organized? How was the political system organized?


see Sumeria above

In the city of Akkad, what role did the ruler Sargon play in spreading Sumerian culture? What civilization followed the Akkadians? Akkadians and Amorites:
What were the outstanding features of Hammurabi's Code? What were examples of penalties?
What was the Gilgamesh myth?
What was the Flood myth?

Hammurabi's code of laws
Epic of Gilgamesh
Summary of Gilgamesh
Noah's Flood


Theme: (3) Egypt: the Land of the Pharaohs (3100-1200) B.C.

What role did the Nile play in the history of Egypt?
How did it differ from the role of the Tigris-Euphrates in Mesopotamia?
Ancient Egypt: the importance of geography:
Why did Egypt develop as a unified empire and the Pharaoh as a centralized ruler? What were the characteristics of Egyptian religion? How was the Pharaoh related to the religion? How were the pyramids built? What was the religious significance of the pyramid? Political development of Ancient Egypt: 
Religion: Under "List of Gods" take note of "Amon-Re" "Isis" & "Osiris"                 Pyramids
What were the periods of strong stable rule, and periods of chaos in Egyptian history?

Periods of Egyptian history: 
   Secrets of the Pharaohs: Scroll to "Timeline of the Pharaohs"

Who were the Hyksos? What effect did they have upon Egyptian civilization? Hyksos: 
What was the impact of Egyptian imperialism upon Egypt? What was significant about the religious belief of the Pharaoh Akhenaton? What achievements in art and architecture occurred during the New Kingdom?

New Kingdom (1570-1200 B.C.)

How did the rise of the Hittite Empire affect the pattern of expanding civilization? The Hittites
Describe what occurred in Egypt after the collapse of the New Kingdom? What effect did the invasion of various peoples have upon the continuation of Egyptian civilization? Same site as "New Kingdom" above


Theme: (4) The Hebrews and Phoenicians

How did geography influence the course of Hebrew history? What circumstances allowed the small kingdoms of Israel, Judah, and Phoenicia to emerge? What were the achievements of the Phoenicians? Hebrews 
What type of economy did the early Hebrews develop? What characteristics mark the reigns of Saul, David, and Solomon? See "Hebrews" above
What are the major features of  Judaism? How does it differ from Mesopotamian religions? The Evolution of the Jewish religion


Theme (5): Assyria: the Military Monarchy; the Persian Empire

What factors enabled Assyria to develop its military culture?
What were the reasons for Assyrian success in warfare?
What was the extent of Assyrian conquests?
When did the Assyrian empire reach its greatest height?
The Power of Assyria
What type of economy did the Medes and Persians develop? What historical role did the Medes have in regard to the Assyrian Empire? The Coming of the Medes and Persians
What were the accomplishments of Cyrus the Great? Describe the characteristics of the Persian Empire under Darius and Xerxes.What was the geographic extent of the Persian empire? 

Cyrus the Great,

Darius, Xerxes

What were the essential beliefs of the Zoroastrian religion?
To what areas of the ancient world did it spread?
The Zoroastrian religion: Site(1)

Maps of Antiquity


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