Glossary of AP World History 2

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hypothetical protocontinent proposed by the German meteorologist Alfred Wegener in 1912 as a part of his theory of continental drift
Under Wegener's theory, the rest of the globe was covered by Panthalassa, an enormous world ocean that stretched from pole to pole and extended to about twice the width of the present-day Pacific Ocean at the Equator.
collective name for the islands scattered throughout most of the Pacific Ocean. The term, in its widest sense, embraces the entire insular region between Asia and the Americas.
The name given to Europe and Asia as one continent
Seven continents
Asia, Africa, North America, South America, Antarctica, Europe and Australia, in order of size. Asia also being the most populous.
A subcontinent in the northern half of Asia, consisting of a massive forest (taiga), and north of that, a permanently frigid tundra
World's largest desert in the northern third of Africa
the Himalayas
Great mountain system of Asia forming a barrier between the Tibetan Plateau to the north and the alluvial plains of the Indian subcontinent to the south. The Himalayas include the highest mountains in the world, with more than 110 peaks rising to elevations of 24,000 feet.
Oceans of the world
In order of size, the Pacific Ocean, the Atlantic Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. The Pacific Ocean also being the deepest.
Mediterranean Sea
An intercontinental sea that stretches from the Atlantic Ocean on the west to Asia on the east and separates Europe from Africa. It has often been called the incubator of Western civilization.
Caribbean Sea
Sea that is point of connection between North and South America, resource rich, and first territories reached by European settlers in 15th and 16th centuries
Panama isthmus and canal
Land link extending east-west about 400 miles from the border of Costa Rica to the border of Colombia. It connects North and South America and separates the Caribbean Sea (Atlantic Ocean) from the Gulf of Panama
Suez Isthmus and canal
Narrow strip of land connecting Asia and Africa. Canal is sea-level waterway running north-south across the Isthmusof Suez in Egypt to connect the Mediterranean and the Red seas. It provides the shortest maritime route between Europe and the lands lying around the Indian and western Pacific oceans, and is one of the world's most heavily used shipping lanes.
Nile River
The father of African rivers and the longest river in the world. It rises south of the equator in Uganda and flows northward through Sudan to Egypt, where it drains into the Mediterranean Sea. It has a length of about 4,132 miles.
Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
Rivers that run from Turkey through Iraq and to the Persian Gulf. They irrigate the desert reaches of the Middle East, and allowed the emergence of the oldest civilizations.
the Indus and Ganges Rivers
Part of network of rivers running through lush forest and jungles of Indian subcontinent. Indus, in modern Pakistan, gave birth to world's first civilized societies. Ganges is not longest of India's rivers, but has tremendous cultural and religious significance.
Volga River
European continent's longest, and the principal waterway of western Russia and the historic cradle of the Russian state. Its basin, sprawling across about two-fifths of the European part of Russia, contains almost half of the entire population of the Russian Republic, and has immense economic, cultural, and historic importance.
Danube River
Second longest river in Europe after the Volga, which rises in the Black Forest mountains of western Germany and flows for some 1,770 miles to its mouth on the Black Sea. Along its course, it passes through nine countries: Germany, Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro, Bulgaria, Romania, and Ukraine.
Rhine River
Waterway of western Europe, which is culturally and historically one of the great rivers of the continent and among the most important arteries of industrial transport in the world.
Mississippi/Missouri River system
Major river system of North America, which runs from Minnesota and North Dakota to Gulf of Mexico. Played central role in American economy, military strategy and culture.
Amazon River
Greatest river of South America and the largest drainage system in the world in terms of the volume of its flow and the area of its basin. Total length of the river—measured from the headwaters of the Ucayali-Apurímac river system in Peru — is about 4,000 miles, which is slightly shorter than the Nile River. Its westernmost source is high in the Andes Mountains, within 100 miles of the Pacific Ocean, and its mouth is in the Atlantic Ocean.
Yangtze and Yellow (Huang Ho) Rivers
Two giant rivers that are crucial for movement of goods and people through China. Huang Ho was where China's first civilized societies emerged. Both rivers are joined by human-made Grand Canal not far from Pacific Ocean.
history v. prehistory
History goes back to a little more than 5000 years ago.
Prehistory refers to the vast expanse of time that precedes the birth of civilized societies
Features of civilization
(1) Economic system able to make basic goods and services available; (2)Form of political organization capable of governing, creating social institutions, enforcing laws, and protecting people from outside threats, (3) Moral code in the form of a shared religion, and (4) Intellectual tradition that includes a written language and encourages the pursuit of knowledge, science and the arts.
Genus of extinct hominids that lived in Africa from the early Pliocene Epoch (beginning about 5.3 million years ago) to the beginning of the Pleistocene (about 1.6 million years ago), and believe to be ancestral to modern human beings. The australopithecines were distinguished from early apes by their upright posture and bipedal gait.
Homo habilis
Extinct species of early hominid that inhabited parts of sub-Saharan Africa about 2 million to 1.5 million years ago, and generally accepted as the earliest member of the genus Homo, following Australopithecus and preceding H. erectus. Remains of H. habilis were first discovered in 1959 and 1960 at Olduvai Gorge in northern Tanzania. Name, by Leakey, refers to able or "handy" man.
Homo erectus
Extinct species of early hominid that is thought to be the direct ancestor of modern Homo sapiens. Flourished from the beginning of the Pleistocene epoch to sometime in the Middle Pleistocene, about 1,600,000 to 250,000 years ago. Fossil remains of H.erectus were first found in the 1890s. Stone axes, basic wooden tools, clothing of skin and furs, and larger brain than H. erectus
Homo sapiens - Neanderthal
Early form of Homo sapiens that inhabited much of Europe and the Mediterranean lands during the late Pleistocene Epoch, about 100,000 to 30,000 years ago. Neanderthal remains have also been found in the Middle East, North Africa, and western Central Asia. Name derives from the discovery in 1856 of the first remains of the type in a cave above the Neander Valley in Germany, not far from Düsseldorf. Advanced tools, clothing, semi or permanent dwellings and social groups.
Cro-Magnon man
Anatomically modern Homo sapiens dating from the Upper Paleolithic Period (c. 35,000 to 10,000 years ago). Skeleton found in 1868 in a shallow cave at Cro-Magnon in the Dordogne area of southern France. Human bones found in the topmost layer proved to be between 10,000 and 35,000 years old. Considered, along with Neanderthals, to be representative of prehistoric humans at that time.
Homo sapiens sapiens
Genus and species to which all modern human beings (Homo sapiens sapiens) belong and to which are attributable fossil remains of humans 100,000 to 200,000, and perhaps as much as 400,000 years old.
"Out of Africa" thesis
Theory, which most scientists believe, that H. sapiens sapiens emerged in Africa and migrated outward. Implies that Africa is source of features of human behavior such as complex social networks, economic strategies, personal adornment, and use of symbols and rituals in daily life.
Multiregional thesis
Theory, held by a minority of scholars, that modern humans appeared simultaneously throughout world, descending from earlier hominid groups that had already left Africa.
Stone Age
Prehistoric cultural stage, or level of human development, characterized by the creation and use of stone tools. The Stone Age is usually divided into three separate periods—Paleolithic Period, Mesolithic Period, and Neolithic Period—based on the degree of sophistication in the fashioning and use of tools.
Paleolithic Era
Ancient cultural stage, or level, of human development, characterized by the use of rudimentary chipped stone tools, 2.5 million to 10,000 years ago. Use of fire and tools for making shelters.
Neolithic Era
5,000 or 6,000 to 10,000 years ago. Also called New Stone Age. Final stage of cultural evolution or technological development among prehistoric humans, it was characterized by stone tools shaped by polishing or grinding, dependence on domesticated plants or animals, settlement in permanent villages, and the appearance of such crafts as pottery and weaving. Preceded the Bronze Age, or early period of metal tools.
Mesolithic Era
10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Also called Middle Stone Age. Ancient cultural stage, or level of human development, that existed between the Paleolithic Period, with its chipped stone tools, and the Neolithic Period, with its polished stone tools. Mesolithic usually refers specifically to a development in northwestern Europe that began about 8000 BC, after the end of the Pleistocene Epoch, and lasted until about 2700 BC. Although culturally and technologically continuous with Paleolithic peoples, Mesolithic cultures developed diverse local adaptations to special environments. The Mesolithic hunter achieved a greater efficiency than did the Paleolithic and was able to exploit a wider range of animal and vegetable food sources.
Family unit
Social unit resulting from ability to choose sexual partners, emotional bonding, and length of time needed to raise human offspring.
Groups of extended families which tended to cluster together, bound together by ties of kinship
Bands or tribes
Social group which resulted from clans becoming larger and mixing with neighboring groups
Hunting and gathering societies
Also called foraging societies. Living off resources that could be taken directly from land. When resources grew scarce, they moved on to another area.
Gender division of labor
Feature of Stone Age society. Due to basic physical differences, various food-gathering tasks and everyday activities tended to be assigned by sex. Did not necessarily mean men's roles were superior to women. Over time, gender division of labor led to inequality of sexes, despite technological advances that have made physical differences less important.
Neolithic revolution
10,000 to 12,000 years ago. Marked by end of Ice Age and warmer temperatures. Population growth. Certain groups developed new skills, such as domestication of plants and animals.
Domestication and raising of animals for companionship, security, help in hunting, and food. Allowed humans to manipulate environment to greater degree
Domestication of plants. Because agriculture required great effort and organization, it encouraged closer social ties and formation of long-lasting settlements.
Herding societies
Social groups that domesticated animals, but not plants. Had to move from place to place on constant basis, in order to obtain grass or fodder. Herding societies were less likely to develop into civilized societies.
Features of the "city"
protection and defense for large numbers of people; points of trade and economic activity; enable exchange of ideas, information, religious beliefs, and cultural values
complex forms of social and political organization; practice of agriculture; advanced tool use; and the rise of cities
protection and defense for large numbers of people; points of trade and economic activity; exchange of ideas, information, religious beliefs and cultural values; specialization of labor
science of extracting and refining metal from raw ore; began in Middle East and China between 4000 and 3000 b.c.e.
craft of shaping refined metal into tools; like metallurgy, a highly advanced skill
Bronze Age
- 3500 to 1200 BCE
- mixture of copper and tin to create bronze
- developed in China and Middle East between 4000 and 3000 BCE
- better quality and adaptibility than stone
- signals end of Stone Age
- enabled people to keep records, pass on learning and transfer information
- allowed people to keep historical records of themselves
- developed by Sumerians between 3500 and 3000 BCE
- 3500 to 2350 BCE
- first society to develop written language - cuneiform
- lower end of Tigris-Euphrates river system delta
- highly developed society
1900 to 1600 BCE;
Tigris-Euphrates river system;
achieved political dominance over region;
highly centralized society
Fertile Crescent (Tigris-Euphrates river system)
Settlement began as early as 8000 BCE.
Large scale agriculture by 5000 BCE.
Sumerian-Babylonian civilizations
System of writing in which wedge-shaped characters were pressed into clay tablets by stick.
Developed by Sumerians.
Epic of Gilgamesh
Sometime before 2000 BCE in Sumeria.
Tells story of a king's quest to achieve immortality.
Hammurabi's Law Code
Developed by Babylonian king Hammurabi (1792-1750 bce)
Very harsh (death & mutilation)
Favored upper classes
Innovation because it was consistent set of regulations rather than arbitrary will of ruler.
Egypt (the Nile River)
Agricultural settlement emerged 5500 bce.
Egyptian religion and Egyptian Book of the Dead
Part of elaborate religion in which chief god was Re, the sun god.
Gigantic tombs designed to provide resting place for pharoahs after they died.
Written script made of pictorial characters developed by Egyptians around 3100 bce.
Indus valley civilization (Indus River)
Arose around 2600 bce.
early China (Yellow River)
Also known as Huang Ho River.
Shang Dynasty
Yellow River valley civilization.
Zhou Dynasty
2d Yellow River Valley civilization.
First ethnic group widespread in Europe.
Hittites and iron weapons
Appeared in Mesopotamia around 1700 bce.
World’s first true empire (large state created by conquest of neighbors)
cavalry warfare
New skill of warfare developed by Assyrians.

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