The Ancient World

Course Description

Examines ancient world history from 10,000 B.C.E. to 500 B.C.E., including Neolithic revolution; rise of settled agriculture; complex societies and organized states in North Africa, Southwest Asia, South and East Asia, Mesoamerica, and South America; rise and decline of great powers in those areas; formation of Aegean civilization in Greece.

Learning Outcomes

  • Identify the peoples who inhabited different regions of the ancient world.
  • Explain the processes by which settled agriculture, state structure, and civilization arose in different parts of the world at different times.
  • Outline the major similarities and differences between ancient Mesopotamian, Egyptian, Nubian, Indian, Chinese, and Native American civilizations.
  • Elucidate the rise and fall of Babylonian, Hittite, Assyrian, and Egyptian Empires.
  • Analyze the rise and decline of the Xia, Shang and Zhou dynasties in China.
  • Clarify the origins and characteristics of early civilizations in lowland and highland Mesoamerica and the Andes.
  • Analyze primary sources for information, bias, values, and tone.


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We’re proud to be a veteran-founded, San Diego-based nonprofit. Since 1971, our mission has been to provide accessible, achievable higher education to adult learners. Today, we educate students from across the U.S. and around the globe, with over 200,000 alumni worldwide.

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School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences

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School of Arts, Letters, and Sciences
Jackson M., Class of 2021, Military Veteran
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