World History

Web Sites

Prehistory and Beginnings

Click on a skull for facts about early hominids

Building faces of early hominids from fossils

Are Neanderthals human or a different species?

Comparing early skeletons (interactive)

Your inner fish/ Finding Lucy (YouTube clip 5:07)

The riddle of the bones … remains of early ancestors (interactive)

The origins of humankind (interactive) 

The migration of early humans

The journey out of Africa (YouTube clip 8:59)

The Old Stone Age (Paleolithic Era)

Stories from the Stone Age (YouTube clip 9:30)

Stone Age Tool Kit (interactive)

Stone Age throwing spears (video clip 3:00)

Making Stone tools (vide clip 3:00)

A visit to the cave at Lascaux (video)

The new Stone Age

The development of agriculture

The development of agriculture and writing (video lecture 13:03)

The Neolithic agricultural revolution (video clip 8:38)

The domestication of animals (YouTube clip 9:59)

Catal Huyuk (interactive Web site)

Otzi the Iceman

Otzi the Iceman (several videos)

Characteristics of early civilizations

The Ancient Near East 4000 BC(E) - 550 BC(E)

Interactive guide to Mesopotamia

Ancient Sumer (YouTube clip 13:35)

Life in Sumer

Ancient Babylon

Babylonian civilization (YouTube clip 13:30)

The Hittites (brief videos)

The Hittites

The Hittite Empire (YouTube clip 7:48)

The Assyrians

The Assyrians: Masters of War (YouTube clip 25:23)

Fall of the Assyrians and the Chaldean Empire (YouTube clip 10:50)

The Phoenicians

History of the Phoenicians (YouTube clip 24:13)

Get to know the Phoenician Alphabet

The Hebrews and the Land of Milk and Honey

Moses and the Exodus

The origins of the Hebrew Bible (You Tube clip 3:10)

Saul, David, Solomon (interactive)

Ancient Judaism

The Ancient Persian Empire (YouTube Clip, first of 5 parts, about 10:00 each)

The ancient Persian Empire

Darius I of Persia

The culture of the Persian Empire


Brief history of Zoroastrianism (YouTube clip 3:27)

Nile Civilizations 5000 BC(E) - AD (CE) 300

Ancient Egypt

Ancient Egypt - interactive pages 

Egyptian tomb adventure (interactive)

Explore Ancient Egyptian sites (interactive)

Ancient Egyptian map (interactive)

Ancient Egyptian mummy maker (interactive)

Ancient Egypt (YouTube clip 3:08)

Various Ancient Egypt videos (History Channel clips)

Timeline of the Pharaohs (interactive)

Explore tombs and pyramids (interactive)


Ramses II

Egyptian mummies (interactive)

Egyptian hieroglyphic alphabet (interactive)

Pyramids and temples

Egyptian mathematics

Gallery of ancient Egyptian gods

Ancient Egyptian daily life

Map of Ancient Nubia

The story of Nubia (YouTube clip 7:32)

Ancient Kingdom of Kush

Nubian culture (video clip -RealPlayer required)

The Forgotten Kingdom of Kush (YouTube 4:55 - first of 4 parts)

Ancient India and China 2500 BC(E) - 250 BC(E)

Early civilization in the Indus Valley

Early Indus Valley life (interactive)

Illustrated pages in the Indus Civilization (interactive)

Ancient Indus Valley geography

Early Indus Valley civilization (YouTube 9:24)

The Vedic Age in India (video clip 2:53)

Early history of Hinduism

Introduction to Hinduism

Tracking early Hinduism

The history of Hindu Indian (YouTube clip, Part One 23:11)

The Vedas

General facts about Jainism

Birth and youth of Buddha

The Buddha’s life and teaching (PBS video, 1 hr 51:47)

Basic teachings of Buddha

Spread of Buddhism

Interactive tour of the Wheel of Life

The Shang Dynasty in China

The Shang calendar (interactive)

The Shang Dynasty (YouTube clip 6:46)

The Zhou Dynasty

The Zhou Dynasty (YouTube clip 1:27)

The Mandate of Heaven (YouTube 14:34)

Basics of Confucianism

More on Confucianism

Confucianism (YouTube 9:53)

Basics of Taoism/Daoism


Taoist/Daoist ethics

Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism in China (video clip 16:32)

Classical Greece 2100 BC(E) - 150 BC(E)

The Minoans of Crete

Minoan Crete

Mystery of the Minoans (YouTube clip 5:52)

Crete and Minoana (YouTube clip 39:25)

The Mycenaeans

Mysterious Mycenae (YouTube clip 4:10)

Rise of the city-states: Athens and Sparta 

Life in the Polis

Greek city-states (YouTube lecture 12:53)

Origins of Sparta

Ancient Sparta

Ancient Sparta (many links)

Greek mythology (tons of links)

Athenian democracy

Ancient Greek democracy

Ancient Greeks: The Revolution of Athenian Democracy (YouTube clip 54:58)

First Persian invasion: Battle of Marathon (YouTube clip 11:25)

First Persian Invasion of Greece

The Second Persian Invasion of Greece

The Second Persian Invasion of Greece (YouTube clip 6:45)

The Golden Age of Pericles

Age of Pericles

Pericles, Parthenon, and the Golden Age (YouTube clip 14:12)

The Peloponnesian War

The Peloponnesian War (YouTube clip 55:01)

Ancient Greek philosophers

Socrates, Plato, Aristotle (YouTube clip 7:12)

Greek literature

Herodotus and Thucydides

Greek playwrights

An introduction to Greek theatre (YouTube clip 6:53)

Ancient Greek art and architecture

Ancient Greek art and architecture (video clip 2:36)

Overview of Alexander the Great

Interactive map of Alexander the Great’s empire (Flash needed)

Interactive map of the wars of Alexander the Great (Google maps)

Alexander the Great (brief video bio 2:51)

Alexander the Great (YouTube clip 7:00)

The Hellenistic world of Alexander

Alexander and the Hellenistic Age

Hellenistic period overview with Time Maps

Hellenistic expansion and culture (article and video clip 2:36)

The Hellenistic civilization (YouTube clip 2:17)

Rome and Early Christianity 750 BC(E) - AD (CE) 500

The founding of Rome

The Etruscans (lots of links)

The Etruscans: Legacy of a Lost Civilization (YouTube 6:26)

The Roman Republic

The Roman Republic - political structure

Life in Roman times

Roman daily life

The Rise of the Roman Republic (You Tube clip 43:31)

Roman Republic political structure (YouTube clip 24:34)

The Punic Wars

Punic Wars, interactive historical atlas

The First Punic War (YouTube clip 4:36)

The Second Punic War, animated (YouTube clip 7:00)

The Third Punic War - the Siege of Carthage (YouTube clip 7:42)

The Roman conquest of Greece (YouTube clip 1:44)

The fall of the Roman Republic

The transition from Republic to Empire

Julius Caesar

Julius Caesar (YouTube clip 43:31)

Augustus Caesar

The life of Augustus

The Age of Augustus (YouTube clip 43:22)

The Augustan family tree

Achievements of the Augustan Age

Pax Romana

The end of the Pax Romana (YouTube clip 43:29)

Life in Roman times (several links)

Women in ancient Rome

Daily life in Rome (with links)

Rome’s cultural legacy

Architectural and cultural legacy of Rome (YouTube clip 46:18)

Jews in Roman times

Jesus in the context of Rome

Early Christians in Rome

Saint Paul and the spread of Christianity

The rise of Christianity (interactive map)

Paul and the spread of Christianity (video clip 4:00)

The first Christians (YouTube clip 45:08)

Christianity and the Roman Empire

The fall of Rome

The fall of ancient Rome

Diocletian and Constantine

Multiple causes for the fall of Rome

The Roman Empire: The Collapse (YouTube clip 43:17)

The Americas 1000 BC(E) - AD (CE) 1500

Who were the first Americans?

Controversy over who the first Americans were

Interactive map of first Americans

Kennewick Man - Eurasian settlers? (YouTube clip 9:53)

The Hohokam

Hohokam civilization (video clip 7:24)

The Anasazi

The Anasazi civilization (YouTube clip 8:53)

The Mound Builders (YouTube clip 37:32)

The Mound Builders of the Midwest

The Hopewell culture

Cahokia mounds

Cahokia: America’s forgotten city

Cahokia Mounds (YouTube clip 14:04)

The Inuit

Explore the Mesoamerican world (interactive)

Basics of the Olmec civilization

The Olmecs

Secrets of the ancient Olmecs (YouTube 48:47)

The Zapotec civilization

Zapotec ruins (YouTube clip 2:20)

Toltec civilization

The Mayan civilization 

Mayan culture

Mayan religion

Mayan architecture and science

Mayan writing and numbers

Mayan scientific achievements (video clip 1:36)

The rise and fall of the Mayan civilization (YouTube clip 44:28)

Background on the Aztecs

On the Aztecs (lots of links)

Overview of the history of the Aztecs

The Mesoamerican ballgame (interactive)

The fall of the Aztecs

The Conquistadors

How the Aztec Empire was built (YouTube clip 44:26)

The Chavin culture

The Moche culture

Nazca civilization

The Inca Empire

The Lost Inca Empire

The Inca Empire, National Geographic

Inca Empire (interactive map)

An interactive map of the Inca Trail

Daily life in the Inca Empire

Inca empire: Machu Picchu (YouTube clip 45:32)

The Rise of the Incas (video clip 4:00)

Empires of China and India 350 BC(E) - AD (CE) 600

The Qin dynasty

Legalism in ancient China

Impact of the Qin dynasty

Qin dynasty legacy

The Qin dynasty (YouTube clip 2:50)

Xian tombs of the Qin dynasty (video clip 3:40)

The Han dynasty

Han dynasty

More on the Han dynasty

Liu Bang

Empress Lu

Emperor Wudi

Emperor Wudi of the Han dynasty (YouTube clip, first of four, 9:52)

An overview of the Han dynasty (YouTube 2:32)

Daily life in ancient China

Women’s lives in ancient China

The Silk Roads

The Silk Road

The Silk Road (video clip 3:00)

The journey along the Silk Road (video clip 1:47:24)

Buddhism in ancient China

Han dynasty achievements

Cultural achievements of the Han dynasty

Science and technology in the Han dynasty

The Mauryan Empire 

The ancient Indian Mauryan Empire (YouTube clip 25:07)

Chandragupta Maurya

Chadragupta Maurya (YouTube clip 8:31)

Ashoka the Great

Ashoka, the Buddhist emperor

Edicts of Ashoka (video clip 3:51)

Decline of the Mauryan Empire (video clip 4:40)

Gupta period of India

The Gupta Empire and dynasty

The Gupta dynasty (YouTube clip 3:35)

PowerPoint lecture on Mauryan and Gupta empires (YouTube 36:42)

Daily life in the Gupta Empire

A Gupta golden age

The Gupta Empire as golden age (PowerPoint video lecture 7:47)

The Gupta Empire (YouTube clip 8:48)

Achievements of the Gupta Age

Muslim Civilization 550-1250

Timeline of Muhammad’s life

The early years of Muhammad

Muhammad and revelations

Virtual Hajj

Five Pillars of Islam

Sunna in Islam

Sharia law in Islam

Islam after Muhammad’s death (SlideShare)

Abu Bakr

Muhammad’s successors: the four caliphs

Origins of the Sunni-Shiite split

More on the origins of the Sunni-Shiite schism

The Sunni-Shiite schism explained (YouTube clip 5:20)

Umayyad dynasty

The Umayyads

History of the Umayyad Caliphate (YouTube 10:46)

The Umayyad and Abbasid dynasties (YouTube lecture 4:56)

Abbasid dynasty

The Seljuk Turks

The Seljuk Turks (YouTube clip 3:18)

The Mongols and the Mamluks

Islamic society in the early Middle Ages

Intellectual achievements of early Islam

Early Islamic cultural achievements

Muslim learning

Islam Caliphate cultural and intellectua; achievements (YouTube 12:15)

African Kingdoms 100-1500

Early African societies (SlideShare)

Bantu migrations (interactive map)

Causes and effects of the Bantu migrations

The Kingdom of Aksum

More on the Kingdom of Aksum

Aksum (YouTube clip 2:28)

The ancient city of Aksum (YouTube 2:52)

Ancient Kush

Ethiopia and the Zagwe dynasty

The Zagwe dynasty

The rise of east African city-states

The Swahili cities of east Africa (YouTube 7:21)

Great Zimbabwe

The Great Zimbabwe ruins (YouTube 9:55)

The Mutapa Empire

Early kingdoms in west Africa (map)

West African kingdoms of Ghana, Mali, and Songhay (YouTube 28:31)

West African kingdoms

Cultures of East Asia 550-1400

Ancient Chinese history map by dynasty

Time map of ancient and medieval Chinese history

Timeline of Chinese dynasties

Sui and Tang Dynasties

Sui, Tang, and Song Dynasties overview

Political system of the Tang Dynasty

The Tang Dynasty (YouTube 24:58)

Buddhism in the Tang and Song Dynasties (includes video 4:35)

The Song Dynasty with lots of related pages

The Song Dynasty

The Song Dynasty (YouTube 6:20)

China’s Age of Invention

Mongol Empire map

Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire

Interactive timeline of the Mongols

Genghis Khan (video 3:30)

Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire (YouTube 2:20:31)

The Yuan Dynasty (Mongols)

Kublai Khan

Kublai Khan (YouTube 47:18)

Marco Polo in China

Marco Polo (interactive map)

The Marco Polo odyssey (videos)

Kublai Khan - China under the Yuan Dynasty  (video 3:18)

Early Japanese civilization


Introduction to Shinto (YouTube 3:36)

The Yamato Clan (YouTube 3:18)

Korean and Chinese influence on early Japan

The Heian Period in Japan

Heian Period (794-1185)

The Koryo Dynasty in Korea

The Koryo Dynasty (YouTube 3:56)

The Pagan Kingdom

Khmer Empire (interactive site)

The Khmer empire (YouTube 14:58)

Early Vietnam

Kingdoms and Christianity 200-1250

The Byzantine Empire (overview plus videos)

Byzantine Empire map

The Lost Empire of Byzantium (YouTube 3:24:40)

The Byzantines (YouTube 42:59)

Byzantium under Justinian

Emperor Justinian and the Byzantine Empire

Emperor Justinian (YouTube 15:06)

Empress Theodora

The Code of Justinian

Christian culture of the Byzantine Empire

The Great Schism

The Great Schism (video 17:15)

Hagia Sophia

Collapse and Fall of the Byzantine Empire

Decline of the Empire

Medieval Russian rulers

The Kievan Rus

Kievan Rus (map)

Early Russia and Kievan Rus (YouTube 11:49)

Yaroslav the Wise

Early Christian missionaries in Russia

Vladimir the Great

Vladimir adopts Christianity

The Mongol invasion of ancient Rus (YouTube 25:59)

The Mongols conquer Russia

Alexander Nevsky

Early Anglo-Saxon history

Anglo-Saxon England map

Early Anglo-Saxon England

Anglo-Saxons (plus links on their culture)

Alfred and Anglo-Saxon England (YouTube 26:27)

The Anglo-Saxon invasion (YouTube 24:19)

The rule of the Frankish king Clovis (video 4:00)

Pope Gregory the Great and the spread of Christianity

Augustine of Hippo

Augustine of Hippo (YouTube 2:38)

Christian monasticism

Benedictine rule

Early monasticism (video lecture 28:30)

Celtic monasteries

The Early Middle Ages 800-1215

The history of Charlemagne

The reign of Charlemagne (video 4:00)

The Carolingian Empire (map)

Charlemagne: an introduction (YouTube 7:49)

The Dark Ages: the Carolingians (YouTube 37:45)

The Carolingian renaissance

A history of the Vikings

NOVA: who were the Vikings?

What is a Viking?

Viking incursions and expeditions (map)

Various short Vikings videos

NOVA: Did the Vikings discover America? (YouTube 51:25)

The Magyars

The Battle of Tours (YouTube 8:01)

The Middle Ages: Feudal Life

Origins of Feudalism

Feudalism (with links)

Feudalism (chart)

Medieval Feudalism (YouTube 5:08)

The Manor System in the MIddle Ages

The Manorial System

Medieval Manor: a virtual tour

Life on a medieval manor (YouTube 7:17)

Medieval Lives: The Peasant (YouTube 29:08)

Life in medieval Britain

The essential Norman Conquest

The invasion of England, 1066

The Normans

Norman conquest (map)

The Norman Conquest (YouTube 7:33)

The Magna Carta

Magna Carta

Magna Carta and the emergence of Parliament (YouTube 6:29)

Capetian France

The beginnings of the French nation

The Holy Roman Empire

The Holy Roman empire (map)

Islamic Spain and the Reconquista

The Reconquista (YouTube 3:35)

Medieval religion (with links)

Religion in medieval Europe (YouTube 4:27)

The Church in the early Middle Ages

Early medieval monasticism

Medieval monastic clergy (YouTube 5:49)

The High Middle Ages 1000-1500

The Crusades

The Crusades (plus timeline and links)

The Crusades

Crusades (map)

The Roots of the Crusades (video 4:00)

The beginning of the Crusades (YouTube 8:47)

The Crusades: Crescent and the Cross (YouTube 3:00:27)

The effects of the Crusades (YouTube 1:16)

Effects of the Crusades

Middle Ages trade and commerce

The rise of trade and towns in the Middle Ages

Medieval towns

The Hanseatic League

Hanseatic League (map)

The Hanseatic League in Europe (interactive)

Medieval trade fairs and money (YouTube 7:36)

Trading in the Middle Ages

Medieval guilds

Guilds in the Middle Ages

Medieval architecture

Architecture in the Middle Ages

Medieval architecture (interactive)

Medieval art and architecture (YouTube 21:29)

NOVA: Building the Great Cathedrals (YouTube 55:27)

Medieval literature

Brief overview of medieval literature (YouTube 2:06)

Medieval scholasticism

Thomas Aquinas (YouTube 4:05)

Medieval heresy and inquisition

Overview of the Inquisition

History of the Spanish Inquisition (YouTube 1:16:50)

The Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War

The Hundred Years War in 5 Minutes (YouTube 6:00)

1346 Lego Battle of Crecy (YouTube 1:57)

Joan of Arc

Joan of Arc (YouTube 2:08)

Wars of the Roses

Wars of the Roses (plus links)

Battle of Bosworth Field (YouTube 28:22)

The Black Death

The Black Death, 1348

Bubonic Plague in the 14th century

The Mystery of the Black Death (PBS videos)

The Black Death BBC (YouTube 48:50)

Renaissance and Reformation 1300-1650

How did the Renaissance begin?

The Renaissance begins

The beginning of the Renaissance (YouTube 6:36)

History of the Renaissance (YouTube 43:04)

Renaissance and links

Why Florence?

City-states basics

Rise of Italian city-states (YouTube lecture overview 34:11)

The Italian Renaissance, an overview

Renaissance humanism

Renaissance art and ideas (YouTube 23:29)

Humanism in Renaissance art

Humanism triggers the Renaissance (video 2:00)



Machiavelli and his writings

Machiavelli (YouTube 3:20)

Renaissance science

Renaissance science and technology

Copernicus and the scientific revolution (YouTube 16:31)

Galileo and Renaissance science

Anatomy in the Renaissance

The Medici

Renaissance art

Art in the Renaissance

Renaissance art (YouTube 9:17)

Leonardo daVinci

Leonardo daVinci (YouTube 1:30:13)

Michelangelo (YouTube 59:07)

Raphael (YouTube 58:01)

Renaissance architecture

Renaissance architecture (YouTube lecture 1:03:35)

Differences between the Italian and Northern Renaissance (PDF)

The Northern Renaissance

Introduction to the Northern Renaissance

Northern Renaissance (brief overview)

Gutenberg’s invention


Sir Thomas More

Shakespeare and the Renaissance (with links)

Shakespeare and the English Renaissance

Shakespeare’s world (YouTube 7:35)

Northern Renaissance art

Northern Renaissance art

Protestant Reformation

Overview of the Protestant Reformation

Introduction to the Protestant Reformation (video lecture 8:17)

Martin Luther sparks a revolution (video 3:00)

Luther, Calvin, and Zwingli

Reformation and reformers

Martin Luther (PBS YouTube part 1  54:13)

The English Reformation

The Reformation in England

The English Reformation (video 3:00)

The Reformation Parliament

The Counter-Reformation

Council of Trent

The Counter-Reformation (video lecture 9:40)

How the Spanish Inquisition worked

Inside the Spanish Inquisition (YouTube 49:48)

Italian Wars

Early French Huegenots

Exploration and Expansion 1400-1600

Portuguese in the Age of Exploration map

How Portugal became an early global sea power (YouTube 7:38)

Portuguese explorers

Spanish and Portguese explorers (map)

Spanish explorers in the Elizabethan age

The Age of Discovery (animated maps)

Sir Francis Drake and the English exploration

English, French, Dutch exploration (YouTube 12:19)

The Spanish conquest of the New World

A journey through the Spanish conquest

History of the Aztecs

The fall of the Aztecs

Conquistador weapons

The conquest of the Incan empire

Aztec, Incan, Mayan maps

Aztecs, Incans, Mayans (YouTube 59:05)

Portuguese colonixation of Brazil

Dutch exploration and trade

Dutch colonies in North America

British colonies in the New World

France in the New World

Succeeding in the New World (simulation)

Colonial survival simulation

European colonization of North America (map)

The French and Indian war/Seven Years’ War

The Columbian Exchange

The Columbia Exchange (map)

Disease and the Columbia Exchange (YouTube 25:04)

Mercantilism in the New World

Mercantilism (YouTube 7:25)

Mercantilism in North America

The rise of capitalism

Animated map of the Atlantic slave trade

The Trans-Atlantic slave trade

Slave trade (map)

African dispora cultures

New Asian Empires 1200-1600

The Ottoman Empire

The Ottoman Empire (map)

The history of the Turkish and Ottoman Empire (YouTube 1:30:20)

The fall of Constantinople (clip 3:10)

Suleyman the Magnificent

Safavid empire

Safavid empire (map)

Mughal Empire

History of the Mughal Empire

Mughal Empire (map)

The Mughal Empire (YouTube 2:26:45)

Warrior Empire: The Mughals (video clip 19:42)

Akbar the Great

The great Mughal rulers (YouTube 25:24)

The Ming Dynasty in China

Ming Dynasty

Ming Dynasty (map)

Ming Dynasty (YouTube 25:17)

Ancient Chinese explorers

Chinese trade in the Indian Ocean

Qing Dynasty

History and culture of the Qing dynasty

The Qing Dynasty (YouTube 24:16)

Qing Dynasty (map)

Japanese feudalism and European feudalism

Samurai (video clip 2:35)

Feudal Japan’s social hierarchy

Rise of the shoguns

Feudal Japan and Bushido (YouTube 8:35)

Tokugawa shogunate

Tokugawa period and Meiji restoration (video clip 1:34)

Korea’s medieval Choson dynasty

The Monarchs of Europe 1500-1800

Spain and the Holy Roman Empire

Charles V and the Peace of Augsburg

Spanish Golden Age of literature

Spain under Philip II (+ video clip 4:48)

Spanish Armada (video 10:00)

Henry IV of France

The Edict of Nantes

Louis XIII of France

Cardinal Richelieu

Louis XIV

Louis XIV (video 42:54)

War of the Spanish Succession

War of the Spanish Succession (YouTube 1:54)