What Time Period Is Unit 1 of AP World History?

When it comes to AP World History, Unit 1 covers a vast period that spans from the emergence of early humans to the rise of civilizations. This unit is crucial as it sets the foundation for the rest of the course, providing students with an understanding of how societies developed and evolved over time. In this article, we will take a closer look at what time period Unit 1 covers and why it is important for students to study.

The Time Period

Unit 1 of AP World History covers the period from approximately 8000 BCE to 600 BCE. This era is commonly referred to as the Prehistoric Era or the Ancient Near East. The era includes several significant events and developments in human history that laid the groundwork for modern civilization.

Early Humans

The first humans emerged in Africa around 2 million years ago. They were hunters and gatherers who lived in small groups and relied on their surroundings for survival. Over time, these early humans developed tools and language, which allowed them to communicate and interact with each other more effectively.

The Agricultural Revolution

Around 10,000 BCE, humans began to transition from hunting and gathering to farming and agriculture. This shift led to a significant increase in population as people settled in one place and developed more complex societies.

The Rise of Civilization

By 3000 BCE, several civilizations had emerged around the world, including Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, China, and Mesoamerica. These civilizations were characterized by their complex political systems, social hierarchies, advanced technologies, arts, literature, religions, and economies.

Why is Unit 1 Important?

Unit 1 is essential because it provides students with a fundamental understanding of human history’s earliest periods. It lays out a timeline of crucial events that shaped human development while highlighting the significance of agriculture, language, and civilization’s emergence. It also sheds light on the diversity of human cultures and societies, providing students with a global perspective.


In conclusion, Unit 1 of AP World History covers a significant period in human history that is crucial for students to understand. From the emergence of early humans to the rise of civilizations, this unit provides a comprehensive overview of how societies developed and evolved over time. By studying this unit, students gain a deeper understanding of human history’s roots and how it continues to shape our world today.