Foundations covers everything from the Big Bang up until roughly 600 BCE.  Sounds like alot, right? It is.  Like 13.8 billion years.  Such a long time, one might think that this historical era will be the most difficult.  Wrong.  Don't spend too much time here.  It's 5% of the test.  5%... So, don't go overboard.  This era sets the stage for humanity as we know it.  The main ideas are that humans evolved, left Africa, started farming, religion, invention, and social hierarchy.  That's it.  Move on.  Things will get more specific and interesting in the following eras...

Foundations covers everything from the Big Bang up until roughly 600 BCE.  Sounds like alot, right? It is.  Like 13.8 billion years.  Such a long time, one might think that this historical era will be the most difficult.  Wrong.  Don't spend too much time here.  It's 5% of the test.  5%... So, don't go overboard.  This era sets the stage for humanity as we know it.  The main ideas are that humans evolved, left Africa, started farming, religion, invention, and social hierarchy.  That's it.  Move on.  Things will get more specific and interesting in the following eras...

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KEY CONCEPT 1.1: BIG GEOGRAPHY & THE PEOPLING of the EARTH

1. The term Big Geography draws attention to the global nature of world history. Throughout the Paleolithic period, humans migrated from Africa to EurasiaAustralia, and the Americas.

2. Archaeological evidence indicates that during the Paleolithic era, hunting-foraging bands of humans gradually migrated from their origin in East Africa to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas, adapting their technology and cultures to new climate regions.

Humans used fire in new ways: to aid hunting and foraging, to protect against predators, and to adapt to cold environments.

Humans used fire in new ways: to aid hunting and foraging, to protect against predators, and to adapt to cold environments.

Humans developed a wider range of tools specially adapted to different environments from tropics to tundra

Humans developed a wider range of tools specially adapted to different environments from tropics to tundra

Economic structures focused on small kinship groups of hunting-foraging bands that could make what they needed to survive. However, not all groups were self-sufficient; they exchanged people, ideas, and goods

Economic structures focused on small kinship groups of hunting-foraging bands that could make what they needed to survive. However, not all groups were self-sufficient; they exchanged people, ideas, and goods

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KEY CONCEPT 1.2: THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION & EARLY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES
In response to warming climates at the end of the last Ice Age, from about 10,000 years ago, some groups adapted to the environment in new ways, while others remained hunter-foragers. Settled agriculture appeared in several different parts of the world. The switch to agriculture created a more reliable, but not necessarily more diversified, food supply. Agriculturalists also had a massive impact on the environment through intensive cultivation of selected plants to the exclusion of others, through the construction of irrigation systems, and through the use of domesticated animals for food and for labor. Populations increased; family groups gave way to village life and, later, to urban life with all its complexity. Patriarchy and forced labor systems developed, giving elite men concentrated power over most of the other people in their societies. Pastoralism emerged in arts of Africa and Eurasia. Pastoral peoples domesticated animals and led their herds around grazing ranges. Like agriculturalists, pastoralists tended to be more socially stratified than hunter-foragers. Because pastoralists were mobile, they rarely accumulated large amounts of material possessions, which would have been a hindrance when they changed grazing areas. The pastoralists’ mobility allowed them to become an important conduit for technological change as they interacted with settled populations.

1. Beginning about 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic Revolution led to the development of new and more complex economic and social systems.

Pastoralism developed at various sites in the grasslands of Afro-Eurasia.

Pastoralism developed at various sites in the grasslands of Afro-Eurasia.

Agricultural communities had to work cooperatively to clear land and create the water control systems needed for crop production.

Agricultural communities had to work cooperatively to clear land and create the water control systems needed for crop production.

These agricultural practices drastically impacted environmental diversity. Pastoralists also affected the environment by grazing large numbers of animals on fragile grasslands, leading to erosion when overgrazed.

These agricultural practices drastically impacted environmental diversity. Pastoralists also affected the environment by grazing large numbers of animals on fragile grasslands, leading to erosion when overgrazed.

2. Agriculture and pastoralism began to transform human societies.

Pastoralism and agriculture led to more reliable and abundant food supplies, which increased the population.

Pastoralism and agriculture led to more reliable and abundant food supplies, which increased the population.

Surpluses of food and other goods led to specialization of labor, including new classes of artisans and warriors, and the development of elites.

Surpluses of food and other goods led to specialization of labor, including new classes of artisans and warriors, and the development of elites.

Technological innovations led to improvements in agricultural production, trade, and transportation Required examples of improvements in agricultural production, trade, and transportation (Pottery, Plows, Woven textiles, Metallurgy, Wheels, and wheeled vehicles)

Technological innovations led to improvements in agricultural production, trade, and transportation

Required examples of improvements in agricultural production, trade, and transportation (PotteryPlowsWoven textilesMetallurgy, Wheels, and wheeled vehicles)

In both pastoralist and agrarian societies, elite groups accumulated wealth, creating more hierarchical social structures and promoting patriarchal forms of social organization.

In both pastoralist and agrarian societies, elite groups accumulated wealth, creating more hierarchical social structures and promoting patriarchal forms of social organization.

KEY CONCEPT 1.3: THE DEVELOPMENT & INTERACTIONS OF EARLY AGRICULTURAL, PASTORAL, & URBAN SOCIETIES
From about 5,000 years ago, urban societies developed, laying the foundations for the first civilizations. The term civilization is normally used to designate large societies with cities and powerful states. While there were many differences between civilizations, they also shared important features. They all produced agricultural surpluses that permitted significant specialization of labor. All civilizations contained cities and generated complex institutions, such as political bureaucracies, armies, and religious hierarchies. They also featured clearly stratified social hierarchies and organized long-distance trading relationships. Economic exchanges intensified within and between civilizations, as well as with nomadic pastoralists. As populations grew, competition for surplus resources, especially food, led to greater social stratification, specialization of labor, increased trade, more complex systems of government and religion, and the development of record keeping. As civilizations expanded, they had to balance their need for more resources with environmental constraints such as the danger of undermining soil fertility. Finally, the accumulation of wealth in settled communities spurred warfare between communities and/or with pastoralists; this violence drove the development of new technologies of war and urban defense.
1. 
 Core and foundational civilizations developed in a variety of geographical and environmental settings where agriculture flourished.

Students should be able to identify the location of all of the following required examples of core and foundational civilizations (Mesopotamia in the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys, Egypt in the Nile River Valley, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in the Indus River Valley, Shang in the Yellow River or Huang He Valley, Olmecs in Mesoamerica, Chavín in Andean South America)

Students should be able to identify the location of all of the following required examples of core and foundational civilizations (Mesopotamia in the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys, Egypt in the Nile River Valley, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in the Indus River Valley, Shang in the Yellow River or Huang He Valley, Olmecs in Mesoamerica, Chavín in Andean South America)


2. The first states emerged within core civilizations.

States were powerful new systems of rule that mobilized surplus labor and resources over large areas. Early states were often led by a ruler whose source of power was believed to be divine or had divine support and/or who was supported by the military.

States were powerful new systems of rule that mobilized surplus labor and resources over large areas. Early states were often led by a ruler whose source of power was believed to be divine or had divine support and/or who was supported by the military.

As states grew and competed for land and resources, the more favorably situated — including the Hittites who had access to IRON— had greater access to resources, produced more surplus food, and experienced growing populations. These states were able to undertake territorial expansion and conquer surrounding states.

As states grew and competed for land and resources, the more favorably situated — including the Hittites who had access to IRON— had greater access to resources, produced more surplus food, and experienced growing populations. These states were able to undertake territorial expansion and conquer surrounding states.

Early regions of state expansion or empire building were Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and the Nile Valley.

Early regions of state expansion or empire building were Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and the Nile Valley.

Pastoralists were often the developers and disseminators of new weapons(Compound Bows, Iron Weapons) and modes of transportation (Chariots,Horseback riding) that transformed warfare in agrarian civilizations.

Pastoralists were often the developers and disseminators of new weapons(Compound Bows, Iron Weapons) and modes of transportation (Chariots,Horseback riding) that transformed warfare in agrarian civilizations.

3. Culture played a significant role in unifying states through laws, language, literature, religion, myths, and monumental art.

Early civilizations developed monumental architecture and urban planning (Ziggurats, Pyramids, Temples, Defensive walls, Streets and Roads, Sewage and Water systems)

Early civilizations developed monumental architecture and urban planning (ZigguratsPyramids, Temples, Defensive walls, Streets and Roads, Sewage and Water systems)

Elites, both political and religious, promoted arts and artisanship (Sculpture, Painting, Wall Decorations, Elaborate Weaving)

Elites, both political and religious, promoted arts and artisanship (Sculpture, Painting, Wall Decorations, Elaborate Weaving)

Systems of record keeping arose independently in all early civilizations and subsequently were diffused. (Cuneiform, Hieroglyphs, Pictographs, Alphabets, Quipu)

Systems of record keeping arose independently in all early civilizations and subsequently were diffused. (CuneiformHieroglyphs, Pictographs, Alphabets, Quipu)

States developed legal codes, including the Code of Hammurabi, that reflected existing hierarchies and facilitated the rule of governments over people.

States developed legal codes, including the Code of Hammurabi, that reflected existing hierarchies and facilitated the rule of governments over people.

New religious beliefs developed in this period continued to have strong influences in later periods. (Vedic Religion, Hebrew Monotheism, Zoroastrianism)

New religious beliefs developed in this period continued to have strong influences in later periods. (Vedic ReligionHebrew MonotheismZoroastrianism)

Trade expanded throughout this period from local to regional and transregional, with civilizations exchanging goods, cultural ideas, and technology. (Between Egypt and Nubia, Between Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley)

Trade expanded throughout this period from local to regional and transregional, with civilizations exchanging goods, cultural ideas, and technology. (Between Egypt and NubiaBetween Mesopotamia and the Indus Valley)

Social and gender hierarchies intensified as states expanded and cities multiplied.

Social and gender hierarchies intensified as states expanded and cities multiplied.

Literature was also a reflection of culture. (Epic of Gilgamesh, Rig Veda, Book of the Dead)

Literature was also a reflection of culture. (Epic of Gilgamesh, Rig Veda, Book of the Dead)

The information that follows is not specifically mentioned by the College Board.  However, it will make you a more culturally well-rounded person; so... you're welcome.

The information that follows is not specifically mentioned by the College Board.  However, it will make you a more culturally well-rounded person; so... you're welcome.

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Found in 1940 by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat by accident, these 2,000 figures were painted on the walls 17,300 years ago.  Most of the images are animals and most of those are horses. Fossil evidence from the time show that these animals actally existed in this region at this time.  It is easily the most well known Paleolithic Art of all time.

Found in 1940 by 18-year-old Marcel Ravidat by accident, these 2,000 figures were painted on the walls 17,300 years ago.  Most of the images are animals and most of those are horses. Fossil evidence from the time show that these animals actally existed in this region at this time.  It is easily the most well known Paleolithic Art of all time.

Look at these things... The last of the Great Wonders of the World to still exist, the Pyramids of Egypt may be the most iconic architecture on earth.  That big one in the middle (Khufu) is not only the oldest of the big three, but it was also the tallest man made structure on earth for 3,800 years (until several European Cathedrals surpassed it).  Pyramids were used as tombs for Egyptian Pharaohs and are the most recognizable monolithic architecture in the world.

Look at these things... The last of the Great Wonders of the World to still exist, the Pyramids of Egypt may be the most iconic architecture on earth.  That big one in the middle (Khufu) is not only the oldest of the big three, but it was also the tallest man made structure on earth for 3,800 years (until several European Cathedrals surpassed it).  Pyramids were used as tombs for Egyptian Pharaohs and are the most recognizable monolithic architecture in the world.

Ziggurats are awesome.  This is what's left of the Ziggurat of Ur.  It's just the base, so people have speculated that there was more here.  It was built by the Sumerians for their moon god (which was the patron god of Ur).  

Ziggurats are awesome.  This is what's left of the Ziggurat of Ur.  It's just the base, so people have speculated that there was more here.  It was built by the Sumerians for their moon god (which was the patron god of Ur).  

Oracle Bones were used in Shang China (and probably before) to communicate with the gods (aka Divination).  They would ask the gods a question and then heat the Oracle bones until they cracked.  They would then analyze the cracks for messages from the gods.  More importantly, these bones show that China had writing.  Many of these bones were buried in pits like this one.  The picture in the bottom right is a turtle shell.

Oracle Bones were used in Shang China (and probably before) to communicate with the gods (aka Divination).  They would ask the gods a question and then heat the Oracle bones until they cracked.  They would then analyze the cracks for messages from the gods.  More importantly, these bones show that China had writing.  Many of these bones were buried in pits like this one.  The picture in the bottom right is a turtle shell.

This head is about as tall as you are. There are at least 17 of these bad boys along the coast of Meso-America along the Gulf of Mexico.  They all kinda have this look on their face.  Each head has a distinctive headdress leading us to believe that each one is a distinct Olmec ruler. My favorite part? They're all slightly cross-eyed!

This head is about as tall as you are. There are at least 17 of these bad boys along the coast of Meso-America along the Gulf of Mexico.  They all kinda have this look on their face.  Each head has a distinctive headdress leading us to believe that each one is a distinct Olmec ruler. My favorite part? They're all slightly cross-eyed!

  1. HAMMURABI's CODE, 1700 BCE (BABYLON)
  2. EPIC OF GILGAMESH, 1700 BCE (BABYLON)
  3. RIG VEDA, 1700 BCE (INDIA)
  4. BOOK OF THE DEAD, 1500 BCE (EGYPT)
  5. BOOK OF SONGS, 1000 BCE (CHINA)
  1. HUMANS LEFT AFRICA AND BEGAN USING TOOLS & FIRE.

  2. NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION (FARMING) AROUND THE RIVER VALLEYS GAVE WAY TO CIVILIZATION.

  3. CIVILIZATION BROUGHT STRATIFICATION & SPECIALIZATION, 

  4. CIVILIZATION BROUGHT MASSIVE ARCHITECTURE AND WRITING.

  5. TWO EARLY RELIGIONS BEGIN IN THIS ERA (HINDUISM/JUDAISM)