World History — First Civilizations

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Lesson 2 Assignment Instructions:

  • Two written essays and the answers to ten identifications must be submitted for grading for this lesson.
  • Each essay should be 3 double-spaced, typed pages.
  • Be sure you address all aspects of the essay proposal, using information from the text.
  • Also include some analysis and any conclusions you have reached based on what you have read.

Essays (70 points)

  • Essay 1: Compare and contrast the civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. Include in your essay the specific commonalities and differences in political development, religion, social stratification, laws and traditions. How did their location and environment impact their development? What was the role of women in these societies?
  • Essay 2: The story of civilization seems to be dominated by Mesopotamia and Egypt; however, other groups were rising up on the fringes including the rise of new empires. Discuss the role of the other groups in the culture of the area. Include in your discussion the Phoenicians, Hebrews, Assyrians and Persians. What was similar in these cultures and what was different? How were the Assyrians and then the Persians able to create empires?

Identifications (30 points)
Identify and explain the historical significance of the following terms. (Items on the exams will be chosen from these terms.)

  1. Cuneiform writing
  2. Monotheism
  3. Akhenaton
  4. Hyksos
  5. Assyria
  6. Phoenicia
  7. Sargon I
  8. Hebrews
  9. Hammurabi
  10. Babylon


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