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10. Japan: An Island Nation
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Japan's location just off the fringe of continental Asia made it an ideal place for its unique culture to develop. The islands are situated close enough to China and Korea to benefit from the cultural and technological innovations of those great civilizations, but far enough removed across perilous seas to resist significant political and military domination from the two powers.

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Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
10c. Feudal Japan: The Age of the Warrior
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Being a warrior in feudal Japan was more than just a job. It was a way of life. The collapse of aristocratic rule ushered in a new age of chaos — appropriately called the Warring States period (c.1400-1600) — in which military might dictated who governed and who followed.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
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02/15/2018
10e. Life During the Edo Period
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For the first time in centuries, Japan was relatively peaceful. The strict political and social policies of Ieyasu and subsequent shoguns ushered in a golden age of economic and cultural prosperity.

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Ancient History
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02/15/2018
11. Central and South American Empires
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In the 1500s, when Spanish conquistadors appeared, two vast empires, those of the Aztecs and the Incas, dominated Central and South America. Both possessed divine kings, both were fractured by internal dissent, and both quickly succumbed to the Spanish onslaught. The physical remains of all these cultures lay dormant for centuries, until science and curiosity demanded their exploration.

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Ancient History
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02/15/2018
11a. Blood of Kings: The World of the Maya
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The Maya were a collection of people clustered in city-states. What united them was an idea. For the Maya the world of ordinary living and the Otherworld populated by gods, ancestors, and monstrous things, were equally real. There existed three regions, intricately bound together: the heavens, the earth, and the waters of the Underworld.

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Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
11b. Deciphering Maya Glyphs
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In the past 25 years archaeologists have learned to read what the Mayas wrote. Today we know the names of kings and queens, how they lived, and when they died, transforming our view of Maya culture.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
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02/15/2018
11c. The Inca Empire: Children of the Sun
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The Inca called their empire Tahuantinsuyu, or Land of the Four Quarters. It stretched 2,500 miles from Quito, Ecuador, to beyond Santiago, Chile. Within its domain were rich coastal settlements, high mountain valleys, rain-drenched tropical forests and the driest of deserts. The Inca controlled perhaps 10 million people, speaking a hundred different tongues. It was the largest empire on earth at the time. Yet when Pizarro executed its last emperor, Atahualpa, the Inca Empire was only 50 years old.

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Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
Provider Set:
Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
11d. The Aztec World
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Huitzilopochtl, God of the Sun, was the Aztec principal god. He had an insatiable appetite for blood. Under his urging, the Aztecs rose from a band of primitive farmers to become the bloodiest civilization of the early Americas. Many Central America cultures indulged in human sacrifice. The Aztec practiced it on an industrial scale, sacrificing tens of thousands of victims each year.

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World Cultures
Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
11e. Clash of Cultures: Two Worlds Collide
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In the wake of Columbus' historic voyage in 1492, expeditions, especially from Imperial Spain, swarmed into Aztec territory. They came in search of gold and souls — gold to enrich the coffers of the Spanish king (and their own), and heathen souls to rescue for Christianity. Within a generation, America's ancient civilizations were crushed. Both the Aztec and Inca Empires collapsed after campaigns lasting just a couple of years. How did they fall so fast? Historians suggest many causes.

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World Cultures
Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
1c. Historians and Their Time
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Herodotus, the first historian, claimed modest goals for his work: "that the doings of men may not be forgotten." On the title page he wrote Historia, Greek for "inquiries" or "researches." Inquiring into the past has been called history ever since.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
1d. Geographers and Their Space
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Humans are curious creatures, always wondering what lies beyond the horizon. Lewis and Clark did not describe themselves as geographers, but they might well have. Geography is the study of the surface of the earth. It is about people and places. It is about the physical character of a country, its climates and landscapes, and its biological environment.

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Ancient History
Physical Geography
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
2. Prehistoric Times
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Digging into our ancestors' past is hard work. Records of human life were not kept millions of years ago. What was life like for cavepeople in the Stone Age? Did Fred Flintstone actually wear leopard skin suits and eat brontosaurus burgers?

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Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
2a. "I Love Lucy"
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Lucy belonged to genus Australopithecus and the species afarensis, but she also belonged to the the hominid family (hominidae) to which humans belong. Although humans are of the family hominidae, we are not of Lucy's genus or species. We are Homo sapiens. How then, can Lucy be our ancient ancestor if we belong to a different genus and species? It's because humans and Lucy share a taxonomy up to the point of genus and species; there are many shared characteristics, but there are differences and these differences place humans in our own genus and species.

Subject:
Ancient History
Archaeology
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Provider Set:
Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
2c. A Page Right Out of History
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Because there was no written language 50,000 years ago, we do not have much information on how a "modern stone age family" lived, what they ate, where they lived, what they wore, or even what they looked like. Like Fred Flintstone, did they have leopardskin suits, go barefoot, and use a boulder for a bowling ball?

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Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
2d. First Technologies: Fire and Tools
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People of the Stone Age did not have the luxury of turning on the TV and watching Tim "Rock" Taylor host "Tool Time" or Bob Vilastone giving home-building tips in "This Old Cave." Nor could they dial 911 when a fire threatened them. Rather, they had to invent tools and harness the power of fire. But it was their experiments in tool-making that ultimately led to TV, cell phones, and computers.

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Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
3. Ancient Egypt
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The sands of the Nile River Valley hold many clues about one of the most mysterious, progressive, and artistic ancient civilizations. A great deal of evidence survives about how the ancient Egyptians lived, but questions remain. Even the wise sphinx would have trouble answering some of them. How were the pyramids built? Who came up with the idea for mummies and why? What was a typical day like for a pharaoh?

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Ancient History
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02/15/2018
3a. Life along the Nile
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None of the achievements of the remarkable ancient Egyptian civilization would have been possible without the Nile River. There is always a connection between landscape and how a people develop. It does not take the wisdom of a sphinx to understand why.

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Ancient History
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02/15/2018
3b. Egyptian Social Structure
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Egyptian society was structured like a pyramid. At the top were the gods, such as Ra, Osiris, and Isis. Egyptians believed that the gods controlled the universe. Therefore, it was important to keep them happy. They could make the Nile overflow, cause famine, or even bring death.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
3e. Pyramids
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One of the Seven Wonders of the World, the pyramids defy 21st-century humans to explain their greatest secrets. How could a civilization that lacked bulldozers, forklifts, and trucks build such massive structures? Why would anyone have spent the time and energy to attempt such a task? What treasures were placed inside these monuments?

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Ancient History
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Date Added:
02/15/2018
3f. Women of Ancient Egypt
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Egyptian women could have their own businesses, own and sell property, and serve as witnesses in court cases. Unlike most women in the Middle East, they were even permitted to be in the company of men. They could escape bad marriages by divorcing and remarrying. And women were entitled to one third of the property their husbands owned. The political and economic rights Egyptian women enjoyed made them the most liberated females of their time.

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Ancient History
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02/15/2018
4. The Early Middle East
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In the ancient Middle East, many great civilizations rose and fell. The religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam each trace their origins back to this part of the world. All of these civilizations arose in the area known as the Fertile Crescent. The Fertile Crescent stretches from the Mediterranean Sea in the west to the Zagros Mountains in the east. It is bordered in the north by the Taurus Mountains and in the south by the Persian Gulf and the Arabian Desert. Its shape resembles a crescent moon.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
4a. Life in Sumer
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Located in what the ancient Greeks called Mesopotamia, which literally means "the land between the rivers," Sumer was a collection of city-states that occupied the southernmost portion of Mesopotamia. Most were situated along the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, lying just north of the Persian Gulf.

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Ancient History
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Date Added:
02/15/2018
4b. Babylonia
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The Babylonians used the innovations of the Sumerians, added to them, and built an empire that gave the world, among other things, codified laws, a tower that soared above the earth, and one of the Seven Wonders of the World.

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Ancient History
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02/15/2018
4c. Hammurabi's Code: An Eye for an Eye
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Hammurabi is the best known and most celebrated of all Mesopotamian kings. He ruled the Babylonian Empire from 1792-50 B.C.E. Although he was concerned with keeping order in his kingdom, this was not his only reason for compiling the list of laws. When he began ruling the city-state of Babylon, he had control of no more than 50 square miles of territory. As he conquered other city-states and his empire grew, he saw the need to unify the various groups he controlled.

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Ancient History
Law
General Law
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Date Added:
02/15/2018
4d. Assyrians: Cavalry and Conquests
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Much of Assyria's history is closely tied to its southern neighbor, Babylonia. The two Mesopotamian empires spoke similar languages and worshipped most of the same gods. They were often rivals on the battlefield for influence in the ancient Middle East.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
4e. Persian Empire
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Rather than destroy local economies for their own selfish gain, the Persians worked to increase trade throughout their kingdom. They standardized weights, developed official coinage, and implemented universal laws.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
4f. Phoenicians: Sailing Away
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The Phoenicians lived along the Mediterranean coast in what is now Lebanon. They inhabited a number of different city-states, the most famous of which were Tyre, Byblos, and Sidon. These Phoenician places were often in conflict with each other for domination of the region. Because of this lack of cooperation, the Phoenicians were conquered and forced to pay tribute to the virtually every empire in the region, including the Egyptians, Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, and Greeks.

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Ancient History
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4g. Hebrews and the Land of Milk and Honey
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The Hebrew's early contribution to humankind was not wealthy empires or groundbreaking technology. Rather, it was the revolutionary idea that there was only one god, a belief known as monotheism. This one Hebrew god was called Yahweh. To the Hebrews, Yahweh was all powerful and all knowing, yet beyond human understanding. The religion based around this god influenced the founding of Christianity and Islam.

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Ancient History
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018
4i. Muhammad and the Faith of Islam
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A man meditating alone in a cave near Mecca received a religious vision. This vision laid the foundations for a new religion. The year was 610 and the man's name was Muhammad.

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Ancient History
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Date Added:
02/15/2018
5. Ancient Greece
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Democracy. Philosophy. Sculpture. Dramatic tragedies. The Olympic Games. Many of the fundamental elements of Western culture first arose more than 2000 years ago in ancient Greece.

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Philosophy
Ancient History
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02/15/2018
5a. Rise of City-States: Athens and Sparta
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Greece's mountainous terrain led to the development of the polis (city-state), beginning about 750 B.C.E. The high mountains made it very difficult for people to travel or communicate. Therefore, each polis developed independently and, often, very differently from one another. Eventually, the polis became the structure by which people organized themselves. Athens and Sparta are two good examples of city-states that contrasted greatly with each other.

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Ancient History
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Independence Hall Association
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Ancient Civilizations
Date Added:
02/15/2018