Theme 2: Asia & Americas

Chapter 6: Early Civilizations: Mesopotamia & Indus

Shelley Rose


Societies in ancient Asia did not develop in isolation, they interacted with nomadic groups and along trade routes. Indeed, artifacts and documents created by settlers in the Indus River Valley, the Phoenicians, and the peoples of Mesopotamia (see the BBC Objects below) all suggest rich connections between groups in ancient Asia. Where societies are more isolated, as in the case of the Jomon Pot and Japan, it is often because the physical geography limited access to them in the ancient world.


After completing this chapter, you will be able to:

  • Identify and apply the key steps of historical thinking
  • Analyze the conceptual framework of world history narratives.
  • Identify and analyze primary and secondary sources
  • Evaluate interactions between ancient societies in Asia
  • Understand the relevance of physical geography to the formation of early societies

Section 1: Context

Read: The Ancient Near East: A Very Short A Brief Introduction to the Ancient Indus Civilization”, Metropolitian Museum of Art, “The Phoenicians (1500-300 B.C.E.)”

Section 2: Primary Sources

Listen: BBC History of the World in 100 Objects, “Flood Tablet,”Indus Seals,” “Jomon Pot” (You may also read the transcript if you are unable to listen to the podcasts)


Epic of Gilgamesh links & resources:

N.K. Sandars, trans. Epic of Gilgamesh. The Internet Archive.

Joshua Mark, “Gilgamesh,” Ancient History Encyclopedia.


Share This Book