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AP World History - Unit 0 Review

⏱️  3 min read

written by

Amanda DoAmaral

amanda doamaral

August 28, 2020


Period 1: Technological & Environmental Transformations (up to 600 BCE)

In AP® World History, period 1 spans from 8000 BCE to 600 BCE. The following guide will be updated periodically with hyperlinks to excellent resources. Remember, this time period is only 5% of the exam, so it's best to spend the least amount of time on this material rather than the other periods.

🏫For the 2020-2021 school year, Fiveable is offering semester long AP World History courses online for self-study, homeschool, or supplemental learning. Each course features:

🎒project-based and asynchronous learning

🎒weekly livestream lectures and 24/7 live AP World History chat

🎒FRQ writer's workshops w/ exam readers


Period 1 Essential Questions

STUDY TIP: Use the following essential questions to guide your review of this entire unit. Keep in mind, these are not meant to be practice essay questions. Each question was written to help you summarize the key concept.

  1. In what ways did geography affect human migration and how did humans adapt?
  2. In what ways did agriculture transform human society?
  3. How did early agricultural, pastoral, and urban societies develop and interact?


Period 1 Key concepts - Course Outline

*The following outline was adapted from the AP® World History Course Description as published by College Board in 2017 found here. This outline reflects the most recent revisions to the course.

1.1. Early Humans & Migrations 

  1. During the 🎥 Paleolithic Era humans migrated from East Africa to the rest of the world.

    1. Humans developed diverse tools.
    2. People lived in small groups that exchanged ideas, people, and goods.

1.2. Neolithic Revolution

  1. The Neolithic Revolution made everything more complex.

    1. Agrarian societies emerged around the world.
    2. People domesticated plants & animals.
    3. Pastoralism developed and affected the environment.
    4. Agriculture required adaptations to the environment, which affected diversity.
  2. Agriculture & pastoralism changed human society.
    1. Food surplus led to specialization of labor and social hierarchies.
    2. Technology improved communication, trade, and transportation.
    3. Patriarchal societies formed.

⚡For more on the Neolithic Revolution, watch this 🎥 Live Stream Replay

1.3. Early Agrarian Societies

  1. Core civilization developed where in river valleys, where agriculture flourished.

    1. Mesopotamia, Egypt, Mohenjo-Daro, Harappa, Shang, Olmec, Chavin
  2. States emerged.

    1. States had surpluses of food & labor, rulers that claimed divine right, and armies.

    2. More resources increased populations, which led to conquest and expansion.
    3. Innovation led to new weapons (bows, iron) and new transportation (chariots)
  3. Culture unified states.

    1. States built monumental architecture (Ziggurats, Pyramids, Defensive Walls).
    2. Writing and record-keeping spread (Cuneiform, Hieroglyphs).
    3. Legal codes were developed (Code of Hammurabi, Code of Ur-Nammu).
    4. 🎥 New religions beliefs developed and spread (Judaism, Hinduism, Zoroastrianism).
    5. Trade networks expanded (Mesopotamia-Egypt, Egypt-Nubia, China-Southwest Asia).
    6. Social hierarchies & patriarchies intensified

Live Stream Replay: 🎥 Classical Civilizations

🎥 Further learning about Unit 0 Civilizations:

Comparing Ancient Civilizations 

The Classical Era (600 BC-600 CE)


List of Concepts & Vocabulary from Period 1

STUDY TIP: These are the concepts and vocabulary from period 1 that most commonly appear on the exam. Period 1 is only 5%, so definitely don't spend too long memorizing this list. However, work on matching each term to a region and/or empire. That will help you immensely in multiple choice questions.

🤓Use these concepts and vocabulary terms and test your Period 1 knowledge in 🎮 Early History Trivia with established AP World legend Freemanpedia!

  • Aboriginals

  • agriculture
  • ancestor veneration
  • Aryans
  • Axum
  • Babylonians
  • barter
  • Book of the Dead
  • Carthage
  • Catal Huyuk
  • Chavin civilization
  • city-states
  • civilization
  • cuneiform
  • dharma
  • division of labor
  • domestication
  • Easter Island
  • Fertile Crescent
  • Hammurabi
  • Harappa
  • Hebrews
  • hieroglyphics
  • Homo sapiens sapiens
  • Huang He
  • hunter-forager
  • Indus River Valley
  • Israelites
  • Jericho
  • Jewish Diaspora
  • karma
  • King Menes
  • Kush
  • Mandate of Heaven
  • Mesoamerica
  • Mesopotamia
  • Mohenjo-Daro
  • monotheism
  • Neolithic Revolution
  • Nile River
  • nomadic pastoralism
  • Olmec
  • over-farming
  • Paleolithic Era
  • patriarchy
  • Phoenicians
  • pictographs
  • polytheistic
  • Ramses the Great
  • Rig-Veda
  • Sanskrit
  • Shang Dynasty
  • social stratification
  • specialization of labor
  • Sumer/Sumerians
  • surplus
  • Ten Commandments
  • The Epic of Gilgamesh
  • theocrats
  • Tigris & Euphrates rivers
  • Upanishads
  • Uruk
  • Vedas
  • Xia Dynasty
  • Zhou Dynasty
  • ziggurats

🔥Live Stream Replay: 🎥 Full Period 1 Review, 8000 BCE-600 CE

continue learning

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