This section contains information, facts, and worksheets on Ancient civilizations and their impact on modern life.
Before humans, who have uniquely documented their existence, the history of the Earth was captured in rock, sediment and ice. Through science, we’ve been able to decipher this information and look back in time to millions of years ago.
One area of interest in the Earth’s 4,55 billion-year history is the Mesozoic era, some 230 to 65 million years ago. A favorite with children, it played host to extraordinary dinosaurs that ruled land and seas for millennia. With their demise, mammals filled their niche and began to evolve. Some two million years ago, the first modern humans emerged and began colonizing every corner of the world, developing unique cultures, languages, religions, and traditions.
While our history is far younger than that of the Earth’s, it is truly exceptional. Beginning with the Stone Age, some two million years ago, early humans began using stone tools and harnessed fire, a feat that would change the course of our evolution and history.
Fast forward to 10,000 years ago, human history took another giant turn with the advent of agriculture, which allowed hunter-gathering nomads to settle into communities, towns and cities, which would give rise to many ancient and powerful civilizations.
The most commonly known of the ancient world are the ancient Egyptians with their many strange gods and goddesses and mighty pyramids. They were among the first astronomers and accomplished feats of architecture and engineering that still baffle us today. The ancient Greeks, Romans, Indians and Chinese expanded the fields of science, philosophy, art, architecture, arithmetic, commerce and medicine.
With our ability to read, write and record information, the legacies of rulers including Hatshepsut, Cleopatra, Alexander the Great and Kublai Khan are known to us.
Another world away, civilizations in the Americas were also establishing themselves as great powers, including the Aztecs, Mayans, and Incas, while in the Far East, the Silk Road, an ancient trading network, connected China to Europe and allowed for an exchange of knowledge, culture, and treasures. Learn more about the ancient world and its fascinating civilizations with our worksheets.