Early Civilizations Sample Essay

Early Civilizations Sample Essay.

Early Civilizations Sample Essay

University of Phoenix Material

Early Civilizations Worksheet

Part I: Timeline

Create a timeline for each of the following civilizations, listing any major events in the civilization’s history:

  • Mesopotamian
  • Egyptian
  • Hebrew
  • Indus
  • Vedic Aryan

You may create your own timeline using Microsoft® Word or you may use any of the timeline creators online. However, if you use an online resource, you must provide a web link to the completed timelines or a screenshot of your timelines. You may also use the University of Phoenix Timeline Builder if this link does not work you can copy the link and paste in your browser.  

Mesopotamia Timeline (2009-2018,) by Ancient History Encyclopedia (2009-2018) Limited, a non-profit organization registered in the UK, Information retrieved from



Timeline charting project details

Indus Valley Civilization Information Timeline retrieved from

Verdas Timeline information retrieved from    

Timeline charting project details

Chinese Timeline information retrieved from

Part II: Cultural Contributions

Complete the following matrix with at least one element for each category. Civilization

 Intellectual ContributionsArtistic Forms or ContributionsArchitectureReligious BeliefsTraditions
MesopotamianThe Mesopotamian civilization created:   Beginnings of Agriculture   Created Ovens to make pottery   Developed an irrigation system to increase food production   Invented Writing   Invented the wheel   Was first to use gold in jewelry   Information retrieved from: Mesopotamia (2009-2018,) by Ancient History Encyclopedia (2009-2018) Limited, a non-profit organization registered in the UK, Information retrieved from  The Mesopotamian artists was a significant part of their culture. They made useful items such as dishes, pots, clothing, baskets, boats, weapons, jewelry and cylinder seals. In addition, they created works of art glorifying their gods and kings.

Information retrieved from: Ducksters Education (2018), Retrieved from  
The Mesopotamians lacked timber and stone, therefore buildings were made from mud bricks held together with plaited layers of reeds. The most available materials were sand and clay and reeds from marshes and the fire-baked bricks deteriorated quickly; that is why only some foundations are found from this period. In addition, the Mesopotamians used asphalt as a building material approximately 5000 years ago and were the first to use petroleum.  They found the sticky black substance preserve structures and was one of the first uses of southern Iraq’s oil fields.   Information retrieved from worshipped a lot of gods and goddesses because they believed the gods affected happened to them.  
Information was retrieved from: Ducksters Education (2018), Retrieved from  
Mesopotamian created an assortment of festivals, ceremonies and traditions that was an important part in their lives.   Many of the rituals and ceremonies were based on specific rites of passage, like birth and marriage was usually celebrated with a banquet included music, dancing and food.      Information retrieved from:
EgyptianEgyptians invented: Glass Linen Paper and ink the calendar the clock Geometry and the alphabet The refinement of dress and ornament Furniture and dwellings Society and life   Information retrieved from  The variety of craftsmen jobs were:   Carpenters Weavers Jewelers Leather workers Potters.   The more skilled the craftsman the greater his success.

Information retrieved from
Two predominant building materials were sunbaked mud brick and granite that was in amble supply.   Ancient Egyptians built pyramids, tombs, temples and palaces from granite stone, the most durable of all building materials.   Information retrieved from religion encompassed an assortment of concepts.  Their religion was very important to the them and was greatly influenced by tradition, that made them resist change.   Information retrieved from (Craig, e.t., 2011) The Heritage of World Civilizations, (9th ed.) Retrieved from The University of Phoenix eBook Collection database  The Ancient Egyptians Civilization was one of the most important civilizations, many of their traditions and practices that is sustained today.
Writing – first people to use pen and sheets of papyrus   First to celebrate Easter using colored eggs
The Calendar – divided the year into seasons that consisted of 365 days.   Invented surgical instruments used in medical procedures   The Wedding Ring – giving a bride a ring on their wedding day was an Ancient Egyptian tradition   Music and dancing to entertain and amuse them.
Beer was the official drink and wine was the drink of Royalties     Information retrieved from  
HebrewThe Hebrews contributed one of the greatest things any ancient society could give – Their religion.   Judaism, was worshiping one God, unlike other ancient societies.   The Hebrew religion became the foundation for Christianity.   Information retrieved from of ancient Hebrews is extremely scanty. Pottery Seal-Engraving Metal-Casting Sculpture Painting Information retrieved from  The ancient Hebrews often lived as nomads in the wilderness.   Most notable Hebrew Architectural structure was in 900 B.C.E. – The Temple of Solomon, was a typical eastern temple and was destroyed (destroyed 586 B.C.E.)   Information retrieved from Hebrew religion was based on worshiping one God,   Information retrieved from Hebrews lived in the wilderness as nomads.  Their lifestyle revolved around their herds and flocks that required constant movement searching for green pastures.   Information retrieved from      
IndusThe Indus civilization developed:   Rule of law – the origins of democracy   Ornamental Button, – used for ornamental purposes attached to clothing   Ruler –Rulers made from Ivory were in use by the Indus Valley   Stepwell: Earliest evidence stepwell is found in the Indus Valley archaeological site   Information retrieved from  Artifacts exposed at Mohenjo-Daro have allowed archaeologists to recreate this civilization. The parallels in both plan and construction between Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa demonstrate they were part of a united government.   Harappa and the city of Mohenjo-Daro indicated the greatest achievements of the Indus valley civilization. They identified impressive building layouts indicating they had plumbing and drainage system, including indoor toilets.   Information retrieved from  The Indus developed irrigation systems to provide food for themselves.   This progress led to carts and early boats that was used mainly for trade and travel.   The Indus also had an early sanitation system using buildings for bathing and as a restroom.   Information retrieved from Harappan people worshipped a Mother goddess symbolizing fertility.   A few Indus valley seals displayed the swastika sign in many religions, especially Indian religions such as Hinduism, Buddhism and Jainism.  The Indus civilization had large and complex citadels housing palaces, warehouses, and baths.    Outside the citadels were well-planned towns,  often with two-storied and  spacious houses with drainage systems leading to brick-lined sewers.   The Indus economy was  based on an organized agriculture,  supplemented by  an active  commerce.   Information retrieved from
Vedic AryanVedic main contributions were raising crops and domestication of animals   The Vedic people created tools and weapons from copper and bronze but not iron.   Cotton was woven and dyed for clothing.
Wheat, rice, vegetables and fruits were cultivated.   Domesticated a number of animals.   Information retrieved from
Vedic texts are dated from the 1300’s B.C., containing mythical poems to Vedic gods.   Later books adapted to melodies as priestly chants for peace and prosperity in their daily life.   Some Vedic artistic contributions were Cremation urns and pottery. civilization dwellings were rudimentary structures of reads and bamboo thatched with leaves, being temporary erections to meet the needs of the forest dwellers.    This is the beginning of Indian Architecture   Around the 12th century BCE the Vedic society changed from a semi-nomadic life to a settled agriculture life.   Information retrieved from forms of belief was a precursor to modern Hinduism, one of sacrifices including chanting Rigvedic verses and singing.   Priests performed these rituals for abundance of rain, cattle, sons, long life and gaining heaven for the three upper classes.   The Vedic Religious Period refers to oldest sacred texts of Hinduism.   Information retrieved from Vedic Period  consisted of three equal classes Brahmins, Kshatriyas, and Vaishyas.   In a later period the Brahmins and Kshatriyas became upper class and the Vaishyas became pastoralists and farmers.   Shudras were lower class artisans meant to serve the upper three classes.   Information retrieved from
ChineseThe Ancient Chinese were famous for their inventions and technology: Beer, Brandy and whiskey Silk Iron and steel smelting Tea Production Mechanical Clock Porcelain Compass Gunpowder Papermaking Information retrieved from China is vast and was an ever-changing political landscape, and art produced was just as varied.   The real arts of merit in China were calligraphy & painting.   The Chinese were the masters of pottery and ceramics, producing everything from heavy and functional storage jars to exquisitely and delicate decorated bowls.   Information retrieved from architecture remained constant. The typical larger structures used for the elite as temples, halls, and gate towers, were built on raised platforms of compacted earth and covered with brick or stone And later became larger with more levels to create a stepped terrace.   Information retrieved from, Confucianism, and Buddhism shaped Ancient China.   Taoism teachings were people should be one with nature and all living things with a universal force flowing through them.   Confucius teachings focused on treating others with respect, politeness, and fairness.   Buddhism was based on Buddha, who believed that Karma and actions have consequences.

Information retrieved from
Chinese Religion, Philosophy and Politics left a lasting impression on Chinese culture and tradition.   Cultural values influencing Chinese people were harmony, benevolence, righteousness, courtesy, wisdom, honesty, loyalty, and piety.   Information retrieved from



Part III: Short Answer Responses

Respond to the following in your own words:

  1. What is culture?

To me, culture has many facets encompassing beliefs, customs, arts, and traditions of a particular group, society, place, or period of time.  No two cultures are the same. 

  • What is civilization?

To me, civilization is a higher degree of society, presenting a greater degree of culture, science, industry and government.  Civilization is where culture and people blend to live together.

  • What is history?

To me, history is a continuous, methodical record of past events that relate to people, places, things, and time periods.  This account is generally a written account related to, arranged in, or determined according to their order in time.

  • Why do you think it is important to study the development of civilizations?

Civilization studies provide an examination of the development and accomplishments of past civilizations with typical types of people or things such as documents and monuments and the study of existing or occurring events at the same time.  Lastly studying past civilizations help current civilizations build on what worked, what was successful and avoid the pitfalls and errors and what didn’t work.

  • What are the Paleolithic, Neolithic, Bronze, and Iron ages? To what dates does each refer?

Paleolithic – was prehistoric: where human history was distinguished by the development of primitive stone tools discovered  from a period about 2.6 million years ago to around 10,000 years ago.

Neolithic Era ( New Stone Age) was a culture period beginning around 10,000 BC and ending between 4,500 BC and 3,000 BC where societies shifted from hunting and gathering to agriculture.

Bronze Age was a period characterized by early man who used bronze to make tools around
ca. 3,000 and ending around 1,150 BC where distinctive art and architecture influenced society.

Iron Age is a time period characterized by the use of iron by early human being to make tools, increased commerce, and infrastructure such as roads were built to transport goods.
The Iron age began around ca. 1,150 BC and continues today.  

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