Enduring Understandings

  • Scholars study artifacts and other evidence to learn more about the lives of our ancestors.
  • Human life changed dramatically after the Neolithic Revolution, when people learned to farm and to domesticate animals, allowing them to settle in permanent villages.
  • The earliest civilizations developed in fertile river valleys and the rise of cities was their main feature.
  • Early civilizations all had certain basic features in common, including organized governments, complex religions, job specialization, and social classes.
Video screenshot with play button centered over a woman pointing at an object off screen and a man looking in the same direction. Caption reads: watch the my story video to experience an archeological dig at an ancient Mayan site in Mexico, Pearson realize, N B C learn.

Watch the My Story Video

to experience an archaeological dig at an ancient Mayan site in Mexico.


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Table of Contents

World History Topic 1 Origins of Civilization (Prehistory–300 B.C.) Topic 2 The Ancient Middle East and Egypt (3200 B.C.–500 B.C.) Topic 3 Ancient India and China (2600 B.C.–A.D. 550) Topic 4 The Americas (Prehistory–A.D. 1570) Topic 5 Ancient Greece (1750 B.C.–133 B.C.) Topic 6 Ancient Rome and the Origins of Christianity (509 B.C.-A.D. 476) Topic 7 Medieval Christian Europe (330–1450) Topic 8 The Muslim World and Africa (730 B.C.-A.D. 1500) Topic 9 Civilizations of Asia (500–1650) Topic 10 The Renaissance and Reformation (1300–1650) Topic 11 New Global Connections (1415–1796) Topic 12 Absolutism and Revolution Topic 13 The Industrial Revolution Topic 14 Nationalism and the Spread of Democracy (1790–1914) Topic 15 The Age of Imperialism (1800–1914) Topic 16 World War I and the Russian Revolution (1914–1924) Topic 17 The World Between the Wars (1910–1939) Topic 18 World War II (1930–1945) Topic 19 The Cold War Era (1945–1991) Topic 20 New Nations Emerge (1945–Present) Topic 21 The World Today (1980-Present) United States Constitution Primary Sources 21st Century Skills Atlas Glossary Index Acknowledgments