Ancient Civilizations Final Exam Study Guide

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Ancient Civilizations
Final Exam Study Guide

The Elements of Culture - GRAPES



Achievements (Arts/Literature/Technology/Inventions)

Political Systems

Economic Systems

Social Systems/Organization

Five Characteristics of Civilization

Division of Labor

Surplus of Crops

Form of Writing

Bureaucratic Government

Lunar Calendar

Ancient Egypt
Important Terms and People to Know

Rosetta Stone

Pyramid building

Egyptian religion




Agriculture in the Nile Valley

Upper Egypt vs. Lower Egypt

Nile Delta

Gift of the Nile

Amenhotep IV/Akhenaton





Divinity of the Pharaoh Horus and Osiris

Book of the Dead

Nile River and valley


1.  Identify and explain the elements of culture as they relate to Egyptian culture.

2.  Identify and explain the characteristics of civilization as they relate to Egyptian civilization.
3.  What factors allowed Egyptian farmers to grow two or three crops a year?
4.  What did Herodotus mean when he called Egypt the “Gift of the Nile?”  Give some examples of those gifts.
5.  What factors enabled transportation on the Nile River?  What factors made transportation on the Nile more difficult?
6.  Explain the circumstances surrounding Amenhotep IV’s attempts to make Egypt monotheistic.
7.  What did the Egyptians believe would help guide them and protect their soul in the afterlife?
8.  What process was essential to keeping a person’s ka intact for the next life?
9.  Please order (Ramses, Menes, Building of the Pyramids, Akhenaton, Invasion of the Hyksos)

Ancient Mesopotamia
Important Terms and People to Know


Code of Hammurabi


Ethical Monotheism

Persian roads

Fertile Crescent as crossroads of the world

Tigris and Euphrates River valley


Moses and the Ten Commandments

Nebuchadnezzar and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon





Mesopotamian Empires (Organized Chronologically)












1.  Identify and explain the elements of culture as they relate to each of the Mesopotamian empires.

2.  Identify and explain the characteristics of civilization as they relate to the Mesopotamian empires.
3.  Why is the Fertile Crescent referred to as the “crossroads” of the world?
4.  What changes occurred due to the movement of peoples across the Fertile Crescent?
5.  What were the geographic advantages of the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys?
6.  What was the most important Phoenician contribution to the world?
7.  How did the Lydians revolutionize the economy of the ancient world?
8. Who was the Persians’ famous first king who gained independence from the Medes?
9. Who was the “Father of Judaism”?
10. Which civilization was known for great tolerance of their conquered peoples in the areas or religion and culture, and for having the largest empire?
11. What was the Sumerian form of writing called?
12. Who is credited for Babylon’s earliest law codes?
13.  What was the main military contribution of the Hittites?
14.  Which empire was known for its strong military and cruelty to others?
15.  Please order the following: Hittites, Sumer, Persians, Assyrians, Babylonians

Ancient India
Important Terms and People to Know

Caste system, jati




Agriculture and planting of crops


Khyber Pass


Sacredness of the Ganges River

Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa

Hinduism in India

Buddhism in India




Chandragupta Maurya


1.  Identify and explain the elements of culture as they relate to Ancient India.

2.  Identify and explain the characteristics of civilization as they relate Ancient India.
3.  What was the river valley in Ancient India that was the site of the earliest Indian civilizations, as well as the lands that the Indo-Aryans fought for and is still the most populous region in India today?    
4. What river is considered holy and capable of purifying a soul by washing in it?
5. What two citie ruins have provided information about  in the Indus Valley Civilization?
6. What religion was begun by Siddhartha Gautama?
7. Which Mauryan ruler conquered almost all of India and then converted to Buddhism?
8. What are some examples of how women were treated as second-class citizens in Ancient India?
9.  What was the ultimate goal of Buddhism?
10.  Who were the Indo-Aryans and what were their main contributions?
11.  How did Hinduism come to be the main religion of India?
12.  Please order : (Aryan Invasion, Mauryan Empire, Gupta Empire, Vedic Age, Mohenjo-Daro)

Ancient China
Important Terms and People to Know

Civil service system



Wu Di


Gobi Desert

Oracle Bones

Dynastic Cycle

Shi Huang Di


1. Identify and explain the elements of culture as they relate to Ancient China.

2. Identify and explain the characteristics of civilization as they relate Ancient China.  
3. Describe the importance of the Huang He to China?
4. What mountain range forms a natural border with India?
5. Which natural barrier in the north separates China from Mongolia?
6. What was used to foretell the future in Ancient China?
7. Founder of Daoism?
8. Explain what patriarchal means and how it applies to Ancient China?
9. How did people gain civil service positions in Ancient China?
10. Describe the components of Chinese religion during the Shang dynasty.
11.  Why was the establishment of agriculture along the Huang He a challenge?
12.  How did the Himalayas affect life in China?
13.  How did the Chinese expect family life to be organized?
14.  Explain the main teachings  for the four Chinese philosophies:  Buddhism, Confucianism, Daoism and Legalism.
15.  How did the dynastic cycle influence the political history of Ancient China?
16.  Detail and discuss the main personalities and contributions of the Qin dynasty.
17.  How did China’s geography encourage/discourage cultural diffusion?
18.  Detail and discuss the main personalities and contributions of the Han dynasty.
19.  Chronology? (Please order: Han, Shang, Qin, Zhou)

Ancient Greece
Important Terms and People to Know

Minoan civilization

Linear A/ Linear B

Olympian gods/goddesses






Athens vs. Sparta

Peninsula – Balkan Peninsula




Alexander the Great

Direct democracy



1.  What form of writing was utilized by the Minoans?

2.  What contributions did Solon, Cleisthenes, Draco, Pericles and Peisistratus make toward the evolution of Greek democracy?  
3.  Explain the social structure of life in Ancient Sparta.  How did the equals, the half-citizens and the helots contribute to that social structure?  
4.  Why did the Greeks need to import food from outside of Greece?
5.  Why did the Greeks live in small, isolated city-states?
6.  Why did Greece (and Rome) develop into a trading nation?  
7.  What early civilization occupied the island of Crete?  
8.  What epics are attributed to Homer?  
9.  Who was the “father of History”?
10.  Compare and contrast life in Athens and Sparta.
11.  What were the main teachings of the great philosophers of Ancient Greece – Socrates, Plato and Aristotle?
12.  Describe the religion of the Ancient Greeks.  Who was their main god?
13.  What purposes did myths play in the lives of the Ancient Greeks?
14.  How did Pericles help to launch Athens into a “golden age”?  
15.  Describe how Alexander the Great spread Hellenistic culture throughout much of the known world?
16.  How was Ancient Greece an example of a direct democracy?  
17.  Geographically, Rome and Greece are both peninsulas.  What does this mean?  
18.  In which city did the people of Greece begin holding athletic games every four years?
19.  Chronology?  (Please order:  Alexander the Great conquers Persia, Minoan civilization, Persian Wars, Homeric Age, Peloponnesian War)

Ancient Rome
Important Terms and People to Know


First Triumvirate

Pax Romana

Persecution of Christians




1.  What role did the patricians and the plebeians play in the social structure of Ancient Rome?

2.  What type of building projects did the Romans create?  What purposes did these new structures serve?  What element of culture does this best relate to?
3.  How did the concept of paterfamilias relate to the social structure of Ancient Rome?
4.  Describe the rise of Christianity during the period of Ancient Rome.
5.  What economic factors led to the fall of Ancient Rome?
6.  What did the citizens of the Roman Empire find appealing about Christianity?
7.  How did Rome expand as a result of the Punic Wars?
8.  Who were the members of the First Triumvirate?
9.  How did the early Etruscans affect Roman culture and civilization?
10.  Whose teachings were instrumental to the beliefs of Christianity?
11.  From the time of Augustus through the death of Marcus Aurelius, there was an extended period of peace and prosperity.  What was this called?
12.  How were early Christians treated in the Roman empire?
13.  Describe the effects of Constantine’s rule.
14.  How did the Roman gods reflect cultural diffusion from the Greeks?
15.  What new governmental structure was utilized by the Romans?
16.  Which gladiator lead a massive slave revolt and was later caught and crucified with his followers?
17.  What geographic obstacles did Hannibal have to overcome to attack Rome?
11.  What geographic features helped to protect Rome from invasion?  
12.  Chronology?  (Please order:  Augustus Caesar/Octavian becomes first emperor, Christianity becomes the official religion, unification of the Roman Republic in Italy, sack and fall of Rome, Rise of the Latins)

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