The world is a huge place, and humans have been around for a loooong time. To understand the present, you have to know something about early world history. The world is a huge place, and it’s been spinning for a long, long time. That’s why world history is such a massive subject. It’s daunting for anyone to try to study and understand world history, especially if you’re starting from scratch.
We has identified the most important 10 must-know early world history facts that we think any culturally-literate person should have. Even if you’re not a historian, understanding this stuff helps make sense of the world we live in.
Stone tools give us insight into early human technologies.
Most history education puts a big emphasis on the technological developments of later ages, but it can be equally interesting to study stone-age technologies, such as methods of making friction fire, stone blades, clothing, etc. While these methods are often characterized as primitive, a more keen eye sees these technologies as what they are: exquisitely adapted survival techniques that fit into a given landscape. Arguably the most important development was humankind’s mastery of fire, which dates back to some 100,000 to 400,000 years ago.
We’re all probably more familiar with the Ancient Egyptian civilization than with others on this list. Ancient Egypt (lasting roughly from 3200 B.C. to 330 B.C.) was built around agriculture on the floodplains of the Nile River, which provided a steady supply of food. Known largely for the Great Pyramids of Giza and other monumental architecture, Egyptian society was also characterized by a high level of social stratification (including slavery), warfare, and a highly developed writing system (hieroglyphics).