Art History: Ancient Civilizations

Art History: Ancient Civilizations


About this course

Ancient Civilizations Art History is a focused course designed to pair with the course An Introduction to Ancient Civilizations also in the Next Level Homeschool Western Civilization Series. They do not have to be taken together, but it really enhances the learning!

This class is only offered once per year. It is part of the full year of Art History. You do not have to take this classes in any specific order, but it is recommended that students take the Intro to Art course before beginning the Art History series. Other classes in this series include:
Intro to Art
Art History: Indigenous Americans
Art History: Middle Ages
Art History: Renaissance Masters


Recommended Ages: This class is ideal for students ages 10-17. Younger academically gifted students will be accepted.

Start Date:  Fall 2022. Course consists of 8 lesson plans. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete the course. No live classes- view the lessons on YOUR schedule.

Price: $120

Space Available: This class is not currently open for enrollment. Join our mailing list to be notified when enrollment opens again.

Ancient Civilizations Art History is a focused course designed to pair with the course An Introduction to Ancient Civilizations also in the Next Level Homeschool Western Civilization Series. This course will act as an introductory course into the art and architecture of first major human civilizations in Europe, Asia, and North Africa. These civilizations make up the foundation of early history and Western Civilization, and therefore make up the foundation of art and architectural history. Knowledge of the art and artistic processes of these civilizations is necessary for further study of art history into the modern age.

This 8 week class will start with prehistory and the first peoples. From there we will move through the civilizations in the “Fertile Crescent” and ancient Egypt. The art of ancient China, Japan and India will also play parts in this class. The last portion of the class will cover the two major ancient civilizations that make up the foundation of culture in the West: Greece and Rome, both major influences on the future of art and architecture. This class will serve as a base for students to build future explorations into western and more modern civilizations artistic practices and famous works. Students will gain a better understanding for how to discuss art through the perspective of an art historian. An Introduction to Ancient Civilizations is a recommended (not required) prerequisite for this course as it directly relates to knowledge about ancient civilizations covered in that course. However, this class is not a prerequisite for other classes in the Western Civilization series. It is also recommended for any art history courses that students first take Introduction to Art.

This is class is not recommended for most children under 10 (but we trust that you know your child’s abilities better than we do!). There will be only one level for this course.

LESSON PLANS: This is an 8 week class. Students have 2 weeks after the last class is posted to complete all work. Weekly lesson plans are posted on Tuesdays by 5pm Pacific Time. There is no “live” component to this class, which allows students to work at their own pace. This is a great option for busy students who need to work on their own schedule, and students who live all over the world and can’t easily coordinate time zones.

Lesson plans are a combination of power point, graphics, video, and audio. Each slide is fully narrated for students who prefer to hear material read to them. There is no textbook for this course.

DISCUSSION:There are weekly discussions about the lesson plan with the instructor. We also offer an “open talk” forum where students can have fun getting to know their classmates!

ASSIGNMENTS: Most weeks, students get to choose from a list of exciting and fun hands on projects to let them really dig deep into topics in the lesson plan that interest them the most! The goal is to allow students to explore the topic while allowing their creativity to flow. We encourage out of the box thinking! Generally projects can be submitted in any format of the student’s choosing…written, presentation, poster, stop motion animation, minecraft, song, skit…we’ve seen it all!! Check out our facebook page for examples of student projects. All students receive instructor feedback on submitted work.

QUIZZES: Online quizzes are available each week as a tool for students to see how well they understand the material. Format is generally multiple choice, matching, true/false, and fill in the blank.

GRADES: All students will have access to our online learning system where they can view their lesson plan and assignments, take optional quizzes, access our discussion boards, submit assignments, and view instructor feedback on those assignments. You have the option of having your student’s assignments graded or not. In a given semester, you choose whether you want all or none of that student’s classes to receive grades (for example, if they are taking 3 classes, all 3 classes must be either graded or not graded). You can change the option the following semester. Graded students will be required to take the weekly quiz and will receive a number grade for their assignments in addition to feedback. They will also receive a final report card that you can print and keep for your records. Please note: All quizzes and some homework assignments that require an online “quiz” like entry will receive a grade.

TIME: In general, expect 1-1.5 hours to work through the lesson plan each week, and an additional 2-5 hours working on assignments (it really depends what assignment your child chooses to do and how they manage their time).

Week 1: Prehistoric Peoples

This week will introduce the first groups of people, those before any major civilization. First, we will examine the first humans and primitive art — such as cave art, the oldest sculptures, and the beginning of pottery. We will also be looking into the beginnings of architecture with the first urbanized settlements. This week will make up the foundation upon which we can build these ancient civilizations.

Week 2: The First Civilizations

Week 2 will cover the first major civilizations, most of which fall around the “Fertile Crescent.” These civilizations provide the model for art and architecture for which most of the rest discussed in this class build upon. The fertile area allowed them to build the major cities like Sumer, Mesopotamia, Babylon, and others whose art and architecture will make up this week’s focus. This week will lead into our first major ancient civilization.

Week 3: Ancient Egypt

This week introduces our first “core” civilization. Egypt set a model for civilization that many others would follow, especially with their art and architecture. It is most easily broken down into its distinct periods and their interims: The Old Kingdom, the Middle Kingdom, the New Kingdom Egypt. Week 3 will cover the Old and Middle Kingdoms. It will cover art of ancient Egyptian mythology, burial and religious art and artifacts, the art of the first dynasties of the Pharaohs, and the pyramids.

Week 4: Ancient Egypt (cont)

This week will begin with the New Kingdom period of Ancient Egypt. We will study the art and architecture of certain dynasties of the New Kingdom, including King Tutankhamen and Akhenaten.

Week 5: Ancient China, Japan and India

While the majority of this course follows western civilizations, this week will jump over to the eastern side of the world, and see what these early civilizations were doing. The study of ancient India will focus on the art of early Hinduism and Buddhism. From there we will look into ancient China and Japan, including art from the ancient Chinese dynasties, including sculptures, scrolls, and the invention of ink.

Week 6: Ancient Greece

We will begin by examining the art of cultures around the peninsula: the Minoans and the Mycenaeans. After that, we will transition into the Greek Archaic and Geometric Period, with an introduction to Greek sculpture, pottery, and architecture.

Week 7: Ancient Greece (cont)

This week we will move onto the Classical Period of ancient Greece, broken down into its four distinct periods and their interims: Early, High, and Late Classical Greece. We will also cover the Hellenistic Period in this week. We will focus primarily on the major sculptures and significant architecture of such city-states like Athens, including the structures like the Parthenon.

Week 8: Ancient Rome

Week 8 we will explore the art and architecture of ancient Rome, which will bring us to the end of our class as the fall of Rome marks the end of antiquity. From the Republic Period through the Late Roman Empire, this week will focus on some of the most famous ancient architectural structures in history, including the Colosseum and the Pantheon.


Our course begins with the first step for generating great user experiences: understanding what people do, think, say, and feel. In this module, you’ll learn how to keep an open mind while learning.

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