A.D.: "Anno Domini." Years since the birth of Christ.

ARTIFACT:  Objects from which we can learn about the past

AKENHATEN:  Pharaoh who converted Egypt from polytheism to monotheism

ASOKA:  Ruler in India who had been very violent but converted to Buddhism and became peaceful

BABYLON: Mesopotamian city-state. For many years it was the most powerful city in the world. Home of the Ishtar Gate, the Hanging Gardens, and a large ziggurat. 

B.C.: "Before Christ." Years before the birth of Christ

B.C.E.: Years before the birth of Christ

BRAHMA: A Hindu god. The creator.

BUDDHA:  Siddhartha Gautama.  Founder of Buddhism

BUDDHISM:  Religion founded in India by Siddhartha Gautama

CARNARVON, LORD:  Wealthy British man who funded the discovery of King Tut's tomb

CARTER, HOWARD:  Archaeologist who discovered King Tut's tomb in 1922

C.E.: "Common Era." Years since the birth of Christ. Non-religious term.

CIRCA: "Approximately." We use this word when we are estimating when an event took place. 

CODE OF HAMMURABI:  Set of laws written by Hammurabi

 COMPASS: Magnetic device that enabled sailors to know in which direction they were traveling. Invented by the Ancient Chinese.

CUNEIFORM: Form of writing used in Mesopotamia

DEAD SEA SCROLLS:  Ancient Hebrew writings discovered in 1947

DHARMA:  The rules a Hindu must follow

DJOSER:  Pharaoh of Ancient Egypt who was buried in the Step Pyramid

DOMESTICATION: Using and adapting animals and plants for human use. Domestication started as a result of the Neolithic Revolution.

EUPHRATES RIVER:  River that supported life in Mesopotamia

FERTILE CRESCENT:  Land on which Mesopotamia was located

FOUR NOBLE TRUTHS:  Main beliefs of Buddhism

GRAND CANAL: Trade route that runs from the north to the south of China.

GUNPOWDER: Explosive powder that was used for religious and military purposes in China.

GREAT WALL OF CHINA:  Defensive barrier in the north of China.  Built by Qin Shi Huangdi to protect against the Mongols.

HAMMURABI: King of Babylon. United the Mesopotamian city-states into one large empire. Wrote the Code of Hammurabi. 

HANGING GARDENS:  Gardens built by King Nebuchadnezzar on the roof of his palace.  One of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World.

HATSHEPSUT:  Pharaoh of Egypt.  Disguised the fact that she was female

HINDUISM:  A polytheistic religion founded in India

HISTORY:  The study and analysis of events of the past

HUNTER-GATHERERS: Paleolithic people who hunted animals and gathered edible plants   

INDUS RIVER: River that supported life in Ancient India

INDUS RIVER VALLEY: The land where people first settled in Ancient India 

IRRIGATION:  Moving water from where its source to where it is needed.  This is usually done through canals

ISHTAR GATE:  Main entrance to the city of Babylon

JEW:  Person who practices Judaism

JUDAISM:  A monotheistic religion founded by Abraham

KARMA:  According to Hindu belief, affects how a living thing will be reincarnated

KHAFRE: Pharaoh whose face was the face of the Great Sphinx

KHUFU: Pharaoh who was buried in the Great Pyramid of Giza 

MENES:  The first pharaoh of Ancient Egypt.  United Upper Egypt and Lower Egypt

MESOPOTAMIA: "The Land Between Two Rivers." One of the River Valley Civilizations. Located on the Fertile Crescent near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers 

MONOTHEISM:  Belief in one  god

NEFERTITI:  Wife of Akenhaten

NEOLITHIC ERA:  Prehistoric period.  People had developed agriculture (farming)

NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION:  When people stopped being hunter-gatherers and started farming

NILE RIVER: River that supported life in Egypt

NILE RIVER VALLEY: Land in which the Ancient Egyptian civilization was located 

NIRVANA:  A state of peace.  The goal for all Buddhists

NOBLE EIGHTFOLD PATH:  The way Buddhists believe they should live their lives

NOMADS: People who migrate from place to place in search of food 

OLD KINGDOM: A very early period of Ancient Egyptian history. Pyramids were built during this time. 

OTZI: Neolithic man whose corpse was found encased in ice. We have learned much about Neolithic life from him. 

PALEOLITHIC ERA: Prehistoric period in which people were nomadic hunter-gatherers

POLYTHEISM:  Belief in more than one god

PREHISTORY:  Period before the invention of writing.  It is divided into the Paleolithic Era and the Neolithic Era

PRIMARY SOURCE:  An account written by someone who witnessed the events

QIN SHI HUANGDI:  First emperor of China.  Built the Great Wall of China and the Terracotta Army

REINCARNATION:  Belief that living things have souls that, after death, are reborn in new bodies

RIVER VALLEY CIVILIZATIONS: Early human settlements, including Mesopotamia, India, China, Egypt 

RUDDER: Small device that enables sailors to steer their boat. Invented by the Ancient Chinese.

SCRIBE:  Person whose job was to keep records and write things down

SECONDARY SOURCE:  An account written about an event by someone who was not an eyewitness to the event

SHANG: The people who first settled in the Yellow River Valley 

SHIVA: A Hindu god. The destroyer. Also spelled SIVA.

SIDDHARTHA GAUTAMA:  Founder of Buddhism.  a.k.a. Buddha

SILK ROAD:  Trade route that connected China with Europe

SMALLPOX INOCULATION: Exposing a person to a weakened form of smallpox so they will develop immunity to the disease 

SPHINX:  Egyptian statue.  Head of a man, body of a lion.

STEP PYRAMID:  The first pyramid built in Ancient Egypt

SURPLUS: When you have more of something than you actually need. A surplus of food allowed some early people to stop being farmers and specialize in other trades. 

TERRACOTTA ARMY:  Statues that "guarded" Qin Shi Huangdi's tomb.  

TIGRIS RIVER:  River that supported life in Mesopotamia

TUTANKHAMUN ("KING TUT"):  Very young pharaoh whose tomb was discovered by Howard Carter in 1922.


VISHNU: A Hindu god. The preserver 

YELLOW RIVER:  River that supported life in Ancient China

YELLOW RIVER VALLEY:  Land on which Ancient China was first settled

ZIGGURAT:  Mesopotamian religious temple