Civilizations of the Ancient World

    Week 2: The Origins of Civilization

    Meeting Day: Thursday, September 2


  1. Watch the video lectures.
  2. Do the readings.
    •  MATHISEN “The Neolithic World (8000–5500 BCE)” (pp. 13-24)
    •  MATHISEN “The Origins of Mesopotamian Civilization (6000–3000 BCE)” (pp. 37-45)
    •  GILGAMESH Tablets 1 and 2


  3. Post in the discussion area below.
  4. Join the discussion on Thursday morning at 9:30, where we’ll all respond to and discuss the readings and lecture.

Week 2 Discussion Area

Meeting time: Thursday morning at 9:30

Respond to and discuss the readings and lecture. Also try to react to what other students are saying. This is where we get at what these readings and ideas are all about, so discussing and interacting here is absolutely vital.

  • Your comments should include your reactions to the arguments made in the readings, both specific points made by the writers and their overall claims, assumptions, and biases, as well as responses to comments made by other students.
  • Your participation grade will be derive not only from the fact that you have posted, but on how well you contribute to the discussion of that day’s topic.
  • If your comment is flagged as spam, let me know so that I can release the comment and whitelist your account.
  • Make sure to include a question that arose for you from today's readings or lecture. It can be any kind of question, but ideally something that provokes more discussion.
  • You can test your Disqus login on the Disqus test page.

Important: Please treat this as an in-class discussion, not like an internet comment board. What I'm asking for is reaction, discussion, and real questions about the material, as a part of your weekly participation in the course.