AP World History Project

  • Period: 260,000 BCE to 12,000 BCE

    Paleolithic Era (2,600,000 BCE ~ 12,000 BCE)*

    The Paleolithic Era was a period that marks the beginning of human history (including human ancestors). In this era, humans developed into what we call modern humans (see Homo Sapiens) that had specific capabilities (i.e. creating tools) that allowed them to form small societies. Although hunting and gathering societies were the predominant lifestyles in this era, some humans were able to form nonagricultural settlements by the end of this era. *T.toast won't let me enter 2.6M as the start date
  • 200,000 BCE

    Emergence of Homo Sapiens

    Emergence of Homo Sapiens
    Homo Sapiens is the most developed and intelligent hominids, compared to its human ancestors, Australopithecus and Homo Erectus. Using their advanced intellect and skills, they were able to travel to lands previously unpopulated outside of Africa. Because they had the ability to share and pass down important information, they could form societies with developing wealth, culture, and technology.
  • 200,000 BCE

    Hunting and Gathering Societies

    Hunting and Gathering Societies
    Hunting and gathering societies (or foraging societies) are the first forms of "societies", or groups formed of humans designated to specific jobs. While these societies display the first forms of job specialization, they also more importantly display the egalitarian societies where no social distinctions were visible in wealth or gender. As these societies travelled in small groups, various groups covered most of the world through migration, creating diverse cultures.
  • Period: 12,000 BCE to 6000 BCE

    Neolithic Era

    Compared to the Paleolithic era, more advanced (smoother) tools were created in the Neolithic Era. Consequently, in addition to better beneficial climate changes due to the melting ice from the Ice Ages, the Neolithic provided great ground for agriculture. With the surplus of food, Neolithic civilizations accumulated wealth and power, as well as creating social distinctions and classes.
  • 9000 BCE

    Agrarian Revolution

    Agrarian Revolution
    The introduction to agriculture is one of the biggest turning points in history. When the shift from hunting and gathering societies to agricultural societies happened, humans formed permanent settlements. The permanent settlements could then become more strong, more powerful, and more developed, and could trade together. These steps show the increase in human activity, which is why the agrarian revolution is the mark of the beginning of the progress we have made throughout history.
  • 7250 BCE

    Social Distinctions and Inequality

    One key idea that differentiates neolithic societies from paleolithic societies is the emergence of social distinctions, most likely first found in the early settlement of Catal Hüyük. As the nonentity of social distinctions formed egalitarian H&G societies, the existence of social distinctions, created by individuals who seized power and wealth thru agricultural surpluses, created social classes and inequality. Thru time, social distinctions became the base for the caste system, patriarchy, etc
  • 5000 BCE

    Emergence of Nile River Civilizations

    Emergence of Nile River Civilizations
    After Sudanic civilizations fell because of climate change, societies that focused on the benefits of the Nile River arose. The Nile River gave transportation (migration, trade between the Mediterranean and Sub-Saharan societies) and a source of water and natural irrigation, and became the center of Egyptian/Nubian cultures.
  • 5000 BCE

    Emergence of Huang He Civilizations (Yangshao Society and Banpo Village)

    Emergence of Huang He Civilizations (Yangshao Society and Banpo Village)
    The Huang He, or the Yellow River, was the major body of water that allowed growth for Ancient Chinese civilizations, due to its loess, soft soil and constant floods, allowing easy farming. The first agricultural societies that arose in China are the Yangshao Society and Banpo Village, which show the first forms of populated organizations and basis for later dynasties. The Yangtzi River, to the southeast of Huang He, also became a similar center of SE Asian cultures.
  • 4000 BCE

    Emergence of the Bantu People

    Emergence of the Bantu People
    The Bantu People were Sub-saharans (below Egypt) that spoke in the same language but migrated throughout Africa. The Bantu people used iron weapons to expand their territory and iron tools to use for farming. Because farming caused population increase in small areas, the Bantu People were forced to migrate from one place to another, playing a key role in spreading and mixing various cultures throughout Africa.
  • Period: 4000 BCE to 2100 BCE

    Sumer Civilization

    Sumer was one of the first civilizations in Mesopotamia, and was formed of several, small city-states that had political relations with each other. There were many conflicts between these city-states, but, eventually, a united empire arose (by Sargon of Akkad). The Sumerian Civilization maintained as a diverse and developed (politically, militarily, economically) in Mesopotamia until its fall. The Sumerians are also notable for the cuneiform, which was one of the first writing systems.
  • Period: 3500 BCE to 1300 BCE

    Mesopotamian Inventions and Technology

    Technology slowly developed during the time of Ancient Mesopotamia. For example, Sumerians invented and developed in shipbuilding as they wanted to trade with other civilizations overseas, and the wheel in 3500 BCE, to transport heavy objects. Metallurgy also improved, as they changed from bronze to iron tools of weapons (introduced in 1300 BCE), which were more sturdy and common in Mesopotamia.
  • Period: 3100 BCE to 1070 BCE

    Egyptian Kingdoms

    The Egyptian Kingdoms were the dominant societies in the Nile region, gaining power over neighboring societies such as the Nubian civilizations. The Egyptian kingdoms had superior military power (such as owning iron weapons), and they also developed a writing system and advanced religions, which had beliefs and deities that other Nile civilizations could adapt from.
  • Period: 3100 BCE to 30 BCE

    Egyptian Religions

    Egyptian religions are one of the most well-known and significant religions in history, due to their complexity and ties to political power. For example, the Pharaoh, a self-claimed "son of the god/sun" had enough power to create pyramids that signified their supremacy. Furthermore, the Egyptian religions also had great focus on people's morals (Osiris's weighing of the heart), and shaped the Egyptian society this way.
  • 3000 BCE

    Ziggurats

    Ziggurats
    The ziggurats were ceremonial temples that honored the Mesopotamian gods, formed by the Sumerians. The ziggurats were places for supposed rituals, and were built by several thousands of people's hard labor. The ziggurats symbolize the importance of religion and support from the Mesopotamian people during their time.
  • Period: 2500 BCE to 1500 BCE

    Harappan Society

    The Indus Valley, with its greatly fertile land and annual floods allowed the creation of the first Indus civilization, the Harappan Society. Although the language is indecipherable, many artifacts suggest that the Harappan had organized religions, a writing system, standardized units (weight, brick size), complex trade system, specialized jobs and great social distinction, distinguished by the size differences of the residences.
  • Period: 2500 BCE to 539 BCE

    Phoenicians

    The Phoenicians were a group of traders who dominated and lived off of maritime trade. The are most significant in that they created the alphabetic writing system, which was simpler than cuneiform. The alphabetic writing system was adapted by the Romans and Greeks, and have been passed down to the modern world, where it is used in the majority of languages.
  • 2300 BCE

    Pastoralism

    Pastoralism
    No exact date is given for pastoralism, it was practiced by nomads and migrants, and some of the earliest examples in history are the Indo-Europeans migrants who seeked better homes. By feeding their livestock with fresh grass from newly discovered regions, these pastoral nomads migrated from one region to another, surviving off animal products and items acquired through trade. Pastoral nomads left many distinct cultures and languages far different from those of settled societies.
  • Period: 2200 BCE to 1600 BCE

    Xia Dynasty

    Xia was the first acknowledged dynasty of China, as it was comparably more developed, populated, and active compared to earlier Chinese civilizations. Within Xia, considerable technology, such as pottery and bronze metallurgy, and well-established political structures of monarchy existed. The Xia mainly existed to find solutions to catastrophic events, such as the Huang He floods, that happened around the people.
  • 2000 BCE

    Epic of Gilgamesh

    Epic of Gilgamesh
    The Epic of Gilgamesh was one of the first novels, and was created in Mesopotamia. The Epic is about a hero named Gilgamesh and his friend Ekidnu's adventures. The story serves as an example that described the ideas of death, morals, gods, and such to the Mesopotamian people.
  • Period: 1792 BCE to 1595 BCE

    Babylonian Empire (And Hammurabi's Laws)

    One of the Mesopotamian empires was the Babylonian empire, established by Hammurabi. Hammurabi believed that he had the job of being the "judge" of the people of the world. Therefore, he created a law code(both from those that preceded him and from those he created) that was centered around equal treatment for an offense (called "lex talionis"). Why these laws set a path of virtue and justice for the Mesopotamian people, they had some hypocrisy in favoring the nobles of higher class.
  • Period: 1766 BCE to 1122 BCE

    Shang Dynasty

    As Xia slowly lost its power, a new, stronger power took its place. Shang was more militarily focused than Xia, and used bronze to create new military inventions such as the chariot. Although they held great power in China, however, they did not have a proper political structure, and instead depended on various districts with their own rulers that obeyed one king.
  • 1500 BCE

    The Caste System

    The Caste System
    The caste system was an enforced form of social hierarchy, separating one another into four main classes called "varnas". The caste system was effective in motivating each class to gain social mobility and develop as a group, and was also used to separate the unwanted (by using race in order to distinguish between the Aryans (self-proclaimed "superior") and the Dravidians, and remove the unwanted ("untouchables").
  • Period: 1500 BCE to 500 BCE

    Vedic Age

    The Aryans, Indo-European speaking pastoral nomads, migrated to and formed a society in N India with the Dravidians, who had already settled there. The Aryans and Dravidians both helped to form a highly religion-based society (evident by the Vedas, the caste system, beliefs). While they often had conflicts with the "dasas" (outside enemies), they also had internal conflicts, as they were common between the rajas, the kings of small territories that formed the Aryan society during the Vedic Age.
  • 1400 BCE

    The Vedas (1400~600 BCE)

    The Vedas (1400~600 BCE)
    Written in Sanskrit (the Aryans' sacred language), the Vedas are the first four major collections of Aryan poems and songs. Among them, the "Rig Veda" is the biggest and most important, and serves as a source of reflection on Aryan lifestyle during the Vedic Age.
  • Period: 1200 BCE to 400 BCE

    Olmec Civilization

    The Olmec Civilization was one of the first Mesoamerican civlizations, and they had basic requirements for a standard society such as in Afroeurasia. They had ceremonial centers that were important sites for trades and rituals, and supported themselves with basic agriculture. Their inventions (such as the calendar), artistic styles (human heads), and beliefs were passed down to later Mesoamerican civilzations, which is why similar cultures can be found in them.
  • Period: 1200 BCE to 722 BCE

    Early Hebrews (Settled)

    Hebrews are one of the most well known people who believed in monotheism, unlike many other civlizations during its time, which believed in polytheism. Originally pastoral nomads who believed in multiple gods, the Hebrews slowly changed their beliefs as they settled and embraced Mesopotamian cultures. Through time, this monotheism developed into the religion now known as Judaism, which inspiredr later monotheistic religions, such as Christianity and Islam, to rise.
  • Period: 1122 BCE to 771 BCE

    Zhou Dynasty

    As Shang became more corrupt, some of its people defected from it and instead began to support Zhou, which allowed its rise. Because Zhou had a great amount of land, they depended on a system of a decentralized government, which meant that subordinate governments were obliged to pay taxes to the central government. However, the subordinate govs got ahold of iron, they developed powerful weapons to resist the central governments and instead ruling separately, which lead to the Warring States.
  • 800 BCE

    The Upanishads (800~400 BCE)

    The Upanishads (800~400 BCE)
    The Upanishads were a collection of beliefs and traditions from the Vedas that had developed to cover more complex matters. For example, the Upanishads taught the belief in Brahman, the universal soul, and its connection to the real world, which shows thoughts on ideal worlds. Additionally, they also covered the beliefs of samsara (rebirth of the soul), karma (rebirth based on actions in one's life), and moksha (extreme asceticism), all which became key components to Hinduism, a later religion.
  • 800 BCE

    Zhou Literature

    Zhou Literature
    Though a writing system was already established before Zhou, they mainly used it for records or political affairs (and rituals). However, during the Zhou Dynasty, many types of literature were produced, in ways to teach people about the culture and practices of Zhou, mostly recorded in the famous Book of Songs. Despite this, many books during Zhou either decayed or were destroyed by later Qin, in attempts to destroy records of the past.
  • Period: 300 BCE to Jan 1, 800

    Mayan Civilization

    The Mayans took part in the revival of Mesoamerican civilizations a millennium after the Olmecs' fall. The Mayans greatly revolved around their religion (such as the creation myth Popul Vuh), and they also developed calendars and writing systems. The Mayans were also militarily powerful, and used captives in rituals to satisfy their deities.