Remember that each week you simply have to read the chapter in the study guide and explore 3-4 of the websites listed in the study guide.  Then you are ready to post.


The following is a SAMPLE INITIAL POST from a student.  It shows you how to use the required discussion form in the STUDY GUIDE to shape your INITIAL discussion post:



PROMPTConsider what causes genuine and long-lasting change in a culture?  In your lifetime what are the biggest changes you have witnessed in our culture and are these changes, in general, positive or negative?  Why?  Are you a lover or hater of cultural change?

I think that change is hard to implement in any setting. For a genuine, long lasting change in a culture, first you need to have the people on board with that change. If there is no unity among people when agreeing to commence a change, the change can simply not be carried out effectively. The basis for the change will not be strong; causing the change to be short lived. Strength is in numbers, so the more people you have that want the change needs to overpower those who oppose it. Eventually the majority will influence the decision of making the change, and others will just have to follow and come to terms with it. Of course, negotiations are also deemed necessary to maintain peace and to keep anger/frustrations at bay. A big change that I have noticed is the dependence on technology. Within the past three decades we have seen a huge shift in the way we interact in this world. I think these changes are positive because technology has made our lives a lot easier and more convenient. Tasks that used to take days can now be accomplished within a matter of hours. People that hadn’t seen their families for years because of travel restrictions (monetary or time related) can now get in touch with people across the world with the click of a button (Skype). I think change is indeed inevitable and I do appreciate change, although it can be hard to adjust to initially.


  1. Discussion Question: Of all the cultural advances in Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt and Ancient China and India, which, in your opinion, is the most important and why?

All though the advances from all cultures have lead to the successful society we have today, I do believe that the Ancient Mesopotamia gave the most important contribution through the means of agriculture, irrigation methods, architecture, and writing. The Mesopotamian first transitioned from having to hunt for meat and fish as a main source of food, to learning to grow their own edible vegetation and its proper management by inventing irrigation techniques. The shift from hunting to cultivating agriculture also led to production of pottery vessels, which were used for water transportation and storage. This was a huge advancement once the idea of agriculture became well spread; people were now able to focus on other issues and projects to make the society more proper and “civilized” so to speak. The Neolithic era gave rise to great architecture, Ziggurat at Ur being a prime example. And let’s not forget that Mesopotamia gave rise to some of the oldest writings and literature. The culture made tablets with literature in the form of poems, pictures, and stories.


III. Textual Evidence that Supports Your Initial Response (Include the full, direct quotation and page number or website address of your evidence)

1) Mesopotamia is described as “cradle of civilization, where farming and writing first developed, where villages first grew into cities, cities into kingdoms, and kingdoms into empires” in the article found on website

2) “One of the great surviving manuscripts of Mesopotamian culture, the oldest story ever recorded, is the Epic of Gilgamesh” – .


The following is a STUDENT SAMPLE, PART II.  It shows you how to use the required STUDY GUIDE discussion form to share with everyone what you have learned from the discussion and from others:


Part 2 – Discussion #1

  1. What You Learned / Your Final Response (At least 4-5 sentences that offer a new insight to the discussion question and how you have changed or modified your original position)

I learned that the Mesopotamians form of writing began with pictures or symbols on clay tablets, and that over the years they made changes to their writing system, and not only did they use it as a form of communication they used this as a form of recording information. I also learned that the people of Mesopotamia believed that their world was controlled by gods and goddesses. I knew they were polytheists, but I didn’t know they also believed in demons and monsters controlling their world. Scribes had also recorded all he names of each god, goddess and demon along with their Sumerian or Akkadian name. I read that the gods and goddesses each protect a city along with their family. This was interesting to me, because I didn’t know how it would work and how they even began to believe in all this. 

  1. Textual Evidence that Supports Your Final Response (Include the full, direct quotation and page number or website address of your evidence)

1) “Farmers brought their barley to the temple stores.  A record was kept of how much barley was received. When some of the barley was given to temple workers this was also recorded on a tablet.” (

2) “Each god and goddess had a job to do. Some dug the fields and planted the crops. Others brought water to the fields in ditches which had to be kept clear of weeds.” (

3)“ Lamashtu is an evil demon who preys upon unborn and newborn children. She had a hairy body, a lioness’ head with donkey’s teeth and ears, long fingers and fingernails and the feet of a bird with shard talons” (


PROMPTConsider what causes genuine and long-lasting change in a culture?  In your lifetime what are the biggest changes you have witnessed in our culture and are these changes, in general, positive or negative?  Why?  Are you a lover or hater of cultural change?  Why?

Referring to what I know, and what I have read in the bible (not for class, just a personal thing) in the book of Job, I considered all he had endured and how it affected him. Never at any moment in time did Job lose his love and faith in God. To him the trails (or changes – just for this discussion) were harsh but in the end it wasn’t long lasting. These “changes” were not intended to be negative but because he wasn’t affected, the people around him were. He stayed positive throughout it all and never once cursed God. He received all he had lost in return and so much more. So I would say changes aren’t necessarily a bad thing, it kind of depends on how you look at it in the long run. How would it affect you later in life, or how can you or your family benefit from it. This still hasn’t changed my views on being a lover or a hater of change, as I’ve said, it all depends on the type of changes being made and how it will benefit my life and my family’s life in the end. Will this change be worth the risk of one’s life? That would be the real question that I would ask when someone tries to propose changes and everyone would have to vote on it to pass or not, which is exactly what happens for elections. What are the real reasons behind the changes why should they be made and is it really going to happen, or do you just want the votes so America can fall even deeper in debt. That’s my reasoning behind being neutral when it comes to change.

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