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Social Studies Tutorials

Rob Curry
IISME Intern 2007
Chapter 1: The First Civilizations
Chapter Overview

• Historians define history as the period of time that began
about 5,500 years ago when people first began to write.
The period before this, or prehistory, is called the Stone
Age. Archaeologists have studied artifacts and fossils to
learn more about the people from this earlier period.
During the Paleolithic, or Old Stone Age, people were
nomads who adapted to their environment. They were
the first people to use tools, technology, and fire for
survival. The farming revolution occurred during the
Neolithic Age, or New Stone Age, when people learned
to domesticate animals and plants. These early farmers
settled villages in Europe, India, Egypt, China, and
Mexico.
Chapter 1: The First Civilizations
Chapter Overview

Civilization in Mesopotamia arose on a flat plain
bordered by the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
Farmers developed methods of irrigation, which
allowed more than enough crops to support the
population. City-states developed in the region
of Mesopotamia known as Sumer. Around 2340
B.C., the Akkadian king Sargon conquered all of
Mesopotamia and created the world's first
empire. Power in the region continued to switch
hands as the Babylonian king Hammurabi took
control and established the Babylonian Empire.
He is best known for his code of laws.
Chapter 1: The First Civilizations
Chapter Overview

• About 1,000 years after Hammurabi's rule,
Assyria's military power and well-
organized government helped it establish
a new empire in Mesopotamia. Despite
their strong government, rebellions against
the Assyrians led to fighting. The
Chaldeans seized the opportunity to rebel
and captured Nineveh, the capital, in 612
B.C.
Ch 1 Quiz
• People who study and write about the human past are called _____. A) teachers 
B) fossils C) anthropologists D) historians

•  Paleolithic is a term meaning _____. A) new stone B) old stone C) Ice Age D) 
new technology 
• ____ is a period known as the New Stone Age. A) Paleolithic B) Ice Age C) 
Neolithic D) Jericho 
• Groups of people who move from place to place are called _____. A) historians 
B) anthropologists C) nomads D) astronomers 
• Mesopotamian farmers developed a system of __________ to control the flow of 
the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. A) flooding B) irrigation C) cuneiform D) city-
states 
• Sumerians developed a number system based on __________, which we still 
use today. A) 4 B) 12 C) 60 D) 100 
• Around 2340 B.C., Sargon conquered all of Mesopotamia and established the 
world's first __________. A) city-state B) civilization C) farming village D) empire 
• The Assyrian army was the first to use __________, which made it a fearsome 
and mighty force. A) copper B) iron C) tin D) steel 
• The Assyran Empire was divided into political districts called __________. A) 
provinces B) city-states C) states D) caravans 
• Babylon's location on the major trade route between the Persian Gulf and the 
__________ helped it become a wealthy city. A) Red Sea B) Arabian Sea C) 
Mediterranean Sea D) Atlantic Ocean