Map Exercise 1: The Ancient Near East, Egypt, and Archaic Greece, c. 10,000-500 B.C.E. to The Persian Empire under Darius I, 521 to 486 B.C.E.

This exercise includes 10 maps.

About ten thousand years ago, humans learned how to domesticate plants and animals and, with improvements to their “tool kit,” were able to reside in permanent settlements in the Ancient Near East and Egypt. In this map exercise, you investigate the movement of peoples and the resultant empires they created in the Ancient Near East and the eastern Mediterranean. Here are some major questions you ought to consider in this exercise:

  • What role did geography play in the formation of primary civilizations in the West?
  • What lines of communication were open between different civilizations?
  • Were some civilizations more predisposed to empire-building than others?
  • What is the legacy of Ancient Near Eastern kingdoms to the West?
  • What exactly do we mean when we use the word civilization? What is a civilization?
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