Book Cover The Western Experience 7e Chambers/Hanawalt/Rabb/Woloch/Grew
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Chapter 1: The First Civilizations

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  1. The Earliest Humans
    1. Why was the development of agriculture so crucial for the establishment of civilization? What advantages do food producers have over food gatherers?
    2. What is known about gender roles during the Paleolithic and Neolithic Ages, and what is speculation?
  2. The First Civilizations in Mesopotamia
    1. In what ways was the rise of Sumerian cities a significant development in Western history? Describe the characteristics of Sumerian civilization.
    2. How has analysis of cuneiform inscriptions and codes revealed much about Babylonian politics, society, and culture?
  3. Egypt
    1. Compare Egyptian civilization with Mesopotamia. What role did geography play in the different development of the two civilizations?
    2. What do Egyptian attitudes toward life after death reveal about the Egyptian religion and attitudes toward life in general?
  4. The Early Indo-Europeans
    1. Why was the introduction of iron so important?
  5. Palestine
    1. What explains the extraordinary influence of the Canaanites and Phoenicians?
    2. w useful is the Old Testament as a historical document? Explain.
    3. What were the major innovations of the Hebrew religion? How did older civilizations contribute to them? Why did they exert such a lasting impact on Western Civilization?
  6. The Near Eastern Empires
    1. Using examples from the Assyrians and Persians, explain how Near Eastern kings were able to hold their vast empires together.
    2. What were the tenets of Zoroastrianism? What did it contribute to the Christian religion?


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