ACADEMY: School founded by Plato. Located in Athens
ACROPOLIS: High, rocky hill above Athens. The Parthenon was located there
A.D.: "Anno Domini." Years since the birth of Christ.
AGORA: Town square and marketplace in Athens
AKENHATEN: Pharaoh who converted Egypt from polytheism to monotheism
ARISTOTLE: Ancient Greek philosopher. He had been a student of Plato at the Academy. He also was the teacher of Alexander the Great
ARTIFACT: Objects from which we can learn about the past
ARISTOCRATS: People of a very high social class
ASOKA: Ruler in India who had been very violent but converted to Buddhism and became peaceful
ASSEMBLY: Legislative body in some civilizations. Assemblies make laws.
ATHENS: Ancient Greek city-state known for its love of beauty, learning, and philosophy. It was a democracy.
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.
COUNCIL OF ELDERS: Group of older men who suggested laws for Sparta
CIRCA: "Approximately." We use this word when we are estimating when an event took place.
CLEOPATRA VII: Last pharaoh of Ancient Egypt. Her actions led to the end of Egypt as an independent nation in the ancient world
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
DEMOCRACY: Form of government in which the people make laws directly. Athens was a democracy
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
HELOTS: Slaves in Sparta
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
LYCEUM: School founded by Aristotle
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
PARTHENON: Temple to Athena located on the Acropolis
PELOPONNESUS: Peninsula in southern Greece. Many Ancient Greek city-states, including Sparta, were located there
PERIOECI: Merchants who provided goods to Sparta
PLATO: Athenian philosopher who was the student of Socrates. He wrote more than 30 books, including "The Republic," "The Apology," and "The Phaedo"
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
SOCRATES: Athenian philosopher who tried to teach people how to think. Known as the "Gadfly of Athens." He was the teacher of Plato.
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.
VEDIC RELIGION: See Hinduism
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