Chapter 1 Uncovering the Past

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Chapter 1


Uncovering the Past

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_____ 1. What is History: history - the study of the past (historia - estudio del pasado)
_____ 2. Studying the Past: There are many reasons why people study history. Understanding the past helps us to understand the world today. History can also provide us with a guide to making better decisions in the future.
_____ 3. Values: ideas that people hold dear and try to live by; History teaches us about the experiences we have been through as a people. It shapes our identity and teaches us the values that we share.
_____ 4. Understanding the World: History can help us understand the world around us. For example, why do these buildings in San Francisco look the way they do? The answer is history. These buildings are in a neighborhood called Chinatown, where Chinese immigrants began settling in the 1800s.

_____ 5. Clues from the Past: We must rely on a variety of sources to learn history such as fossils and artifacts.

_____ 6. Fossil and Artifacts: fossil - a part or imprint of something that was once alive (fosil - parte o huella de un ser vivo ya desaparecido); artifacts - an object created and used by humans (artefacto - objeto creado y usado por los humanos)

_____ 7. Primary source vs Secondary Source: primary source - is an account of an event created by someone who took part in or witnessed the event. Treaties, letters, diaries, laws, court documents, and royal commands are all primary sources. An audio or video recording of an event is also a primary source.


A secondary source is information gathered by someone who did not take part in or witness an event. Examples include history textbooks, journal articles, and encyclopedias. The textbook you are reading right now is a secondary source.
_____ 8. Physical Geography and Human Geography: Physical geography is the study of the earth’s land and features. People who work in this field are called physical geographers. They study landforms, the natural features of the land’s surface. Mountains, valleys, plains, and other such places are landforms.

     Physical geographers also study climate, the pattern of weather conditions in a certain area over a long period of time. Climate is not the same as weather. Weather is the conditions at a specific time and place. If you say that your city has cold winters, you are talking about climate. If you say it is below freezing and snowing today, you are talking about the weather.

The other branch of geography is human geography—the study of people and the places where they live. Specialists in human geography study many different things about people and their cultures. What kind of work do people do? How do they get their food? What are their homes like? What religions do they practice?
_____ 9. Environment: all the living and nonliving things that affect life in an area (medio ambiente - todos los seres vivos y elementos inertes que afectan la vida de un area)
_____ 10. Geography Influences History: Geography gives us important clues about the people and places that came before us. Like detectives, we can piece together a great deal of information about ancient cultures by knowing where people lived and what the area was like.

Chapter 2


The Stone Ages and Early Cultures

(5 Million Years Ago – 5,000 Years)
_____ 1. Early Hominid Sites: Donald Johanson discovered the bones of Lucy, an early hominid that lived more than 3 million years ago. Mary Leakey found some of the earliest ancestors of humans in Olduvai Gorge. These sites have all been found in Africa.
_____ 2. Early Hominids: Australopithecus, Homo Habilis, Homo Erectus, Homo Sapiens:

Four major groups of hominids appeared in Africa between 5 million and about 200,000 years ago. Each group was more advanced than the one before it and could use better tools.  (Page 30 shows a comparison of the four.)


_____ 3. Stone Age or Paleolithic Era: The first part of the Stone Age or also called Old Stone Age. It lasted until about 10,000 years ago. During this time people used stone tools. Scientists have found the oldest tools in Tanzania, a country in East Africa. These sharpened stones, about the size of an adult’s fist, are about 2.6 million years old.
_____ 4. Hunter-Gatherers: They hunted animals and gathered wild plants to survive. Life for these hunter-gatherers was difficult and dangerous. Still, people learned how to make tools, use fire, and even create art. Anthropologists believe that most Stone Age hunters were men. They hunted in groups, sometimes chasing entire herds of animals over cliffs. This method was both more productive and safer than hunting alone.

_____ 5. Stone Tools: They made knife blades and arrowheads out of volcanic glass called obsidian. The obsidian blades were very sharp. In fact, they could be 100 times sharper and smoother than the steel blades used for surgery in modern hospitals.

     Today some doctors are going back to using these Stone Age materials. They have found that blades made from obsidian are more precise than modern scalpels. Some doctors use obsidian blades for delicate surgery on the face because the stone tools leave “nicer-looking.” scars.

_____ 6. Cave Paintings: No one knows for sure why people created cave paintings, but many historians think they were related to hunting.
_____ 7. The Iceman: The frozen body of the Iceman was discovered in the snowy Ötztal Alps of Italy in 1991. Scientists nicknamed him Ötzi after this location.
_____ 8. Ice Ages: Most scientists believe that about 1.6 million years ago, many places around the world began to experience long periods of freezing weather. During the ice ages huge sheets of ice covered much of the earth’s land. These ice sheets were formed from ocean water, leaving ocean levels lower than they are now
_____ 9. Early Human Migration: People began leaving Africa and migrated to other parts of the world as the climate changed.
_____ 10. A Mammoth House: Early people used whatever was available to make shelters. In Central Asia, where wood was scarce, some early people made their homes from mammoth bones.
_____ 11. Early Domestication: the process of changing plants or animals to make them more useful to humans
_____ 12. An Early Farming Society: The village of Çatal Hüyük in modern Turkey is one of the earliest farming villages discovered. Around 8,000 years ago, the village was home to about 5,000–6,000 people living in more than 1,000 houses. Villagers farmed, hunted and fished, traded with distant lands, and worshipped gods in special shrines.
Chapter 3

Mesopotamia and the Fertile Crescent

(7,000 – 500 BC)

_____ 1. Rivers Support the Growth of Civilization: The early civilizations of Mesopotamia depended on the region’s two great rivers—the Tigris and the Euphrates. In this photo, two men fish in the Euphrates River in what is now Iraq.

_____ 2. The Fertile Crescent: an area of rich farmland in Southwest Asia where the first civilizations began
_____ 3. Irrigation and Civilization: Since the area of Southwest Asia received little rain, water needed to be transferred from the rivers to inland areas to grow food. People began to dig canals to bring water inland. With controlling the water supply, civilizations developed with the increase in the production of food.
_____ 4. River Valley Civilizations: All of the world’s earliest civilizations had something in common—they all arose in river valleys that were perfect locations for farming. Three key factors made river valleys good for farming. First, the fields that bordered the rivers were flat, which made it easier for farmers to plant crops. Second, the soils were nourished by flood deposits and silt, which made them very fertile. Finally, the river provided the water farmers needed for irrigation.
_____ 5. City-State: a political unit consisting of a city and its surrounding countryside
_____ 6. Sumerian Society – World’s First Advanced Society: In southern Mesopotamia, a people known as the Sumerians (soo-MER-ee-unz) developed the world’s first civilization
_____ 7. Sargon’s Empire, c. 2330 BC: He built a new capital, Akkad (A-kad), on the Euphrates River, near what is now the city of Baghdad. Sargon was the first ruler to have a permanent army. He used that army to launch a series of wars against neighboring kingdoms.

_____ 8. Sumerian Religion – Polytheism: the worship of many gods

_____ 9. The City-State of Ur: Ur was one of the earliest and largest cities of ancient Mesopotamia. This great trading center and port was home to roughly 30,000 people. Located on the Euphrates River near the Persian Gulf, Ur carried on a rich trade with merchants from distant lands like India.
_____ 10. Cuneiform: (kyoo-NEE-uh-fohrm), the world’s first system of writing. Sumerians did not have pencils, pens, or paper. Instead, they used sharp tools called styluses to make wedge-shaped symbols on clay tablets.
_____ 11. Development of Writing – Pictographs: a picture symbol
_____ 12. The Wheel: Do you realize how much the achievements of ancient Sumer affect your life today—and every day? For instance, try to imagine life without the wheel. How would you get around? Look at the streets outside. The cars, trucks, and buses you see are all modern versions of Sumerian wheeled vehicles. Wheelchairs, bicycles, and in-line skates all depend on wheels as well. Even modern air travel owes a large debt to the Sumerians. As impressive as jets are, they could never get off the ground without their wheels!
_____ 13. Sumerian Achievements: The Sumerian’s artistic achievements included beautiful works of gold, wood, and stone. stringed musical instrument is called a lyre. It features a cow’s head and is made of silver decorated with shell and stone. The Sumerians were the first people in Mesopotamia to build large temples called ziggurats. The bull’s head is made of gold and silver.

_____ 14. The Rise of Babylon and a Monarch: Babylon became a new empire after the city of Ur fell to foreign invaders. The city was located on the Euphrates River near what is today Baghdad, Iraq. Babylon had once been a Sumerian town. By 1800 BC, however, it was home to a powerful government of its own. In 1792 BC, Hammurabi (ham-uh-RAHB-ee) became Babylon’s king. He would become the city’s greatest monarch (MAH-nark), a ruler of a kingdom or empire.

_____ 15. Hammurabi’s Code: a set of 282 laws that dealt with almost every part of daily life. There were laws on everything from trade, loans, and theft to marriage, injury, and murder. It contained some ideas that are still found in laws today. Specific crimes brought specific penalties. However, social class did matter. For instance, injuring a rich man brought a greater penalty than injuring a poor man. 

     Hammurabi’s Code was important not only for how thorough it was, but also because it was written down for all to see. People all over the empire could read exactly what was against the law.

     Hammurabi ruled for 42 years. During his reign, Babylon became the most important city in Mesopotamia. However, after his death, Babylonian power declined. The kings that followed faced invasions from people Hammurabi had conquered. Before long, the Babylonian Empire came to an end.
_____ 16. Babylonian and Assyrian Empires: Several other civilizations also developed in and around the Fertile Crescent. As their armies battled each other for fertile land, control of the region passed from one empire to another.
_____ 17. The Assyrian Army: The Assyrian army was the most powerful fighting force the world had ever seen. It was large and well organized, and it featured iron weapons, war chariots, and giant war machines used to knock down city walls.

_____ 18. Phoenicia, c. 800BC and Trading Power: Today the nation of Lebanon occupies most of what was once Phoenicia. Motivated by a desire for trade, the people of Phoenicia became expert sailors. They built one of the world’s finest harbors at the city of Tyre. Phoenicia grew wealthy from its trade. Besides lumber, the Phoenicians traded silverwork, ivory carvings, and slaves. Beautiful glass objects also became valuable trade items after crafters invented glass-blowing—the art of heating and shaping glass. In addition, the Phoenicians made purple dye from a type of shellfish. They then traded cloth dyed with this purple color. Phoenician purple fabric was very popular with rich people.

     The Phoenicians’ most important achievement, however, wasn’t a trade good. To record their activities, Phoenician traders developed one of the world’s first alphabets.
_____ 19. Alphabet: a set of letters that can be combined to form words. This development made writing much easier. It had a major impact on the ancient world and on our own. In fact, the alphabet we use for the English language is based on the Phoenicians’, as modified by later civilizations. Later civilizations, including our own, benefited from the innovations passed along by Phoenician traders. 


Chapter 4

Ancient Egypt

(4500 – 500 BC)
_____ 1. Ancient Egypt and the Nile River: Geography played a key role in the development of Egyptian civilization. The Nile River brought life to Egypt and allowed it to thrive. The river was so important to people in this region that a Greek historian named Herodotus (hi-RAHD-uh-tuhs) called Egypt the gift of the Nile.

_____ 2. Farming in Egypt: Farmers in ancient Egypt learned how to grow wheat and barley. They harvested their crops after the growing season. Farmers in Egypt still use the fertile lands along the Nile River to grow food.

_____ 3. Menes (Pharaoh and Dynasty): (c. 3100 BC) Legendary Egyptian ruler, he unified the kingdoms of Upper and Lower Egypt and built the new capital city of Memphis. Many historians consider Menes to be Egypt’s first pharaoh (FEHR-oh), the title used by the rulers of Egypt. The title pharaoh means “great house.” Menes also founded Egypt’s first dynasty, or series of rulers from the same family.

_____ 4. Menes (Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt): The pharaoh Menes combined the white crown of Upper Egypt and the red crown of Lower Egypt as a symbol of his rule of Egypt as one kingdom.
_____ 5. Old Kingdom: the period from about 2700 to 2200 BC in Egyptian history that began shortly after Egypt was unified . During this time, the Egyptians continued to develop their political system. The system they developed was based on the belief that the pharaoh, the ruler of Egypt, was both a king and a god.
_____ 6. Egyptian Society: (Most powerful to least powerful). Pharaoh – ruled Egypt as a God; Nobles – ran government and temples (from powerful and rich families); Scribes and Craftspeople – wrote and produced goods; Farmers, Servants, and Slaves – did all manual labor in the growing fields and building the pyramids.
_____ 7. Egyptian Gods: practiced polytheism (worship of many gods); Re, or Amon-Re, the sun god; Osiris, the god of the underworld; Isis, the goddess of magic; Horus, a sky god, god of the pharaohs; Thoth, the god of wisdom; Geb, the earth god; Egyptian families also worshipped household gods at shrines in their homes.

_____ 8. Mummies and the Afterlife: Much of Egyptian religion focused on the afterlife, or life after death. The Egyptians believed that the afterlife was a happy place.

The Egyptian belief in the afterlife stemmed from their idea of ka (KAH), or a person’s life force. When a person died, his or her ka left the body and became a spirit. The ka remained linked to the body and could not leave its burial site. However, it had all the same needs that the person had when he or she was living. It needed to eat, sleep, and be entertained.

To keep the ka from suffering, the Egyptians developed a method called embalming to preserve bodies and keep them from decaying. The Egyptians preserved bodies as mummies, specially treated bodies wrapped in cloth. Embalming preserves a dead body for many, many years. A body that was not embalmed would decay quickly in a tomb.

_____ 9. The Process of Mummification: Embalming was a complex process that took several weeks to complete. In the first step, embalmers cut open the body and removed all the organs except for the heart. The removed organs were stored in special jars. Next, embalmers used a special substance to dry out the body and later applied some special oils. The embalmers then wrapped the dried-out body with linen cloths and bandages, often placing special charms inside the cloth wrappings. Wrapping the body was the last step in the mummy-making process. Once it was completely wrapped, a mummy was placed in a coffin.
_____ 10. Building the Pyramids: More than 4,000 years ago, workers near Giza, Egypt, built three massive pyramids as tombs for their rulers. The amount of work this job required is hard to imagine. Tens of thousands of people must have worked for decades to build these gigantic structures. In this illustration, men work to build the pharaoh Khafre’s pyramid.
_____ 11. The Middle Kingdom: the period of Egyptian history from about 2050 to 1750 BC and marked by order and stability
_____ 12. Queen Hatshepsut: (ruled c. 1503–1482 BC) Egyptian queen, she worked to increase trade with places outside of Egypt and ordered many impressive monuments and temples built during her reign. 
_____ 13. Egyptian Trade c.1400 BC: Involved Gold and Cooper. These resources were traded to Northern neighbors for timber.

_____ 14. Daily Life in Egypt: Although Egyptian dynasties rose and fell, daily life for Egyptians did not change very much. But as the population grew, society became even more complex.

     A complex society requires people to take on different jobs. In Egypt, these jobs were usually passed on within families. At a young age, boys started to learn their future jobs from their fathers.

Most Egyptians spent their days in the fields, plowing and harvesting their crops. Servants worked for Egypt’s rulers and nobles and did many jobs, like preparing food.

_____ 15. Ramses the Great: (late 1300s and early 1200s BC) Many people consider Ramses the last great Egyptian pharaoh. He accomplished great things, but the pharaohs who followed could not maintain them. Both a great warrior and a great builder, he is known largely for the massive monuments he built. The temples at Karnak, Luxor, and Abu Simbel stand as 3,000-year-old symbols of the great pharaoh’s power.
_____ 16. Hieroglyphics and Papyrus: (hy-ruh-GLIH-fiks) the ancient Egyptian writing system that used picture symbols; (puh-PY-ruhs) a long-lasting, paper-like material made from reeds that the ancient Egyptians used to wrote on. The Egyptians made papyrus by pressing layers of reeds together and pounding them into sheets. These sheets were tough and durable, yet easy to roll into scrolls. Scribes wrote on papyrus using brushes and ink.
_____ 17. Egyptian Writing: Egyptian hieroglyphics used picture symbols to represent sounds.  The hieroglyphic writing system used more than 600 symbols, mostly pictures of objects. Each symbol represented one or more sounds in the Egyptian language. For example, a picture of an owl represented the same sound as our letter M.

     Hieroglyphics could be written either horizontally or vertically. They could be written from right to left or from left to right. These options made hieroglyphics flexible to write but difficult to read. The only way to tell which way a text is written is to look at individual symbols.

Extra Information…

(Historians and archaeologists have known about hieroglyphics for centuries, but for a long time they didn’t know how to read it. In fact, it was not until 1799 when a lucky discovery by a French soldier gave historians the key they needed to read ancient Egyptian writing.


     That key was the Rosetta Stone, a huge, stone slab inscribed with hieroglyphics.  In addition to the hieroglyphics, the Rosetta Stone had text in Greek and a later form of Egyptian. Because the text in all three languages was the same, scholars who knew Greek were able to figure out what the hieroglyphics said.)
_____ 18. The Temple of Karnak: The Temple of Karnak was Egypt’s largest temple. Built mainly to honor Amon-Re, the sun god, Karnak was one of Egypt’s major religious centers for centuries. Over the years, pharaohs added to the temple’s many buildings. This illustration shows how Karnak’s great hall may have looked during an ancient festival.
_____ 19. Treasures of King Tut’s Tomb: In 1925 the archaeologist Howard Carter discovered the tomb of King Tut. Although the tomb had been robbed in ancient times, it was still filled with treasures, including boxes of jewelry, robes, a burial mask, and ivory statues. King Tut’s treasures have taught us much about Egyptian burial practices and beliefs.

Chapter 5

Ancient Kush

(c. 2300 BC - AD 350)

_____ 1. Ancient Kush: Like all early civilizations, the people of Nubia depended on agriculture for their food. Fortunately for them, the Nile’s floods allowed the Nubians to plant both summer and winter crops. Among the crops they grew were wheat, barley, and other grains. In addition to farmland, the banks of the river provided grazing land for cattle and other livestock. As a result, farming villages thrived all along the Nile by about 3500 BC.

_____ 2. Ebony and Ivory: ebony, a type of dark, heavy wood and ivory, a white material made from elephant tusks.
_____ 3. Kush and Egypt: Early in its history, Egypt dominated Kush, forcing Kushites to give tribute to Egypt. Later, as Kush’s power increased, its warriors invaded and conquered Egypt. This photo shows Kushite and Egyptian warriors. After conquering Egypt, Kush established a new dynasty. This photo shows one of Kush’s pharaohs kneeling before an Egyptian god.

_____ 4. Kush Rules Egypt: a Kushite king, Kashta, took advantage of Egypt’s weakness. Kashta attacked Egypt, and by about 751 BC he had conquered Upper Egypt. He then established relations with Lower Egypt.


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