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Course Overview

Whether you are taking an independent study course for the first time or returning to independent study after successfully completing World History 11W (the first semester of world history), welcome! You are about to explore a gift that has been left for you by people of the past. Your textbook calls it our “human legacy.”

About 5,000 years ago (3000 BC), people in an area we now know as the Middle East began to keep records. They wrote down transactions, lists, and information about the life and times of their people. These are stories of our human experience, our legacy. The field of archaeology expands our knowledge about life before the written word, but it is the stories of our shared past that make up world history. Writing provides us with humankind’s first ever “time machine.” Reading the stories of the past enables us to take a journey in our time machine through the human experiences of those who wrote them.