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Library & Innovation Centre


Core Ancient Civilisations

The Persian Empire - The Rise and Fall of one of the Greatest Empires in History


John Green teaches you about the Indus Valley Civilisation, one of the largest of the ancient civilisations. John teaches you the who, how, when, where, and why of the Indus Valley Civilisation.


One of the earliest urban civilisations in India and in fact, in the world, was the Indus Valley Civilisation, also called the Harappan Culture. About 5000 years ago, a group of nomads traveling from Sumeria (present-day Iran) entered North Western India, near present day Karachi. These nomads found a land so richly fertile by the banks of the river Indus that they settled there without hesitation. This area was abundant with water, fodder and fuel. Over the next thousand years, the immigrants spread over an area of half a million square miles. Excavations prove that the level of urban planning and architecture prevalent here was incomparable. The anchor for this civilisation lay in the beautiful twin cities of Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa. The name Mohenjo-Daro means ‘Mound of the Dead’ in Sindhi. The city was built around 2600 BC and abandoned around 1700 BC. Evidence suggests that the city was highly prone to floods.

For as long as people have been talking about history there has been a China. So how did China become the world's oldest continuous civilisation. What's a dynasty, who's Confucius, and is it ever ok bury people alive.



With their impressive city structures and advanced astronomical understanding, the Maya civilisation once dominated Mesoamerica. Learn about the Maya's influence in mathematics, how their cosmic calendars advised agricultural matters, and how the legacy of this ancient civilisation endures through Maya people today.


In this video, we discuss the history of the Minoans, the first civilisation to arise in Europe, and take a look at some other related topics, like the myth of the Labyrinth and the lost city of Atlantis.


In this program, we'll take a look at the coastal Canaanite people whom the Greeks called the Phoenician. Though the Phoenicians left behind many inscriptions, few of them give any details with regard to their long and illustrious history.


The Hittites were a people whose kings at one time ruled unchallenged in Anatolia and large swaths of the ancient Near East. They were so powerful that they destroyed sacked the great ancient states of Yamhad and Babylon and destroyed the once-mighty Kingdom of the Mitanni. However, they're fortunes rose and fell like the tides with their successes often being fleeting due to internal infighting and spreading their forces too thin.


From the Arabian Peninsula, we look at an ancient caravan route through the desert to Syria. ; Along the way, several lush oases in the otherwise barren Syrian desert come to our rescue in the form of Marib and Petra, cite of the great tomb of Aaron that is carved out of a rock face, along with the beautiful city of Palmyra in Syria.


More than 3,000 funerary portraits from ancient Palmyra survive in museums around the world, bringing us face to face with people who lived in Syria almost two millennia ago.

This video goes into the history of the ancient city and why even thousands of years later, we still remember and are fascinated with it.


Hammurabi was a Amorite king who rose to great prominence during the 18th century BCE. A fearsome ruler and military commander, Hammurabi conquered all of Mesopotamia, with Babylon serving as the heart of his powerful new empire.

The Aztecs are famous for their clash with Cortes during the discovery of the New World. However for many this is where their story begins and ends. As such they are terribly misunderstood.


You may have heard of their calendars, seen their temples, or admired one of their cool looking sculptural artifacts in a museum, but chances are you have no idea what life was really like for the Aztecs.

Compiled and created by Luciana Cavallaro August 2022