How did the Olmecs influence the civilizations to come after them? How did religion play a role in their society? Why do you think there is so little evidence of their civilization available?
2) How did the Mayan religion influence their development of science and technology? How did those advances and beliefs lead to the growth of Mayan influence? What do you think led to their eventual decline?
3) Why was there so many differences in the types of settlement in North America? How did the Mississippian and Hopewell cultures foster trade and connections between different groups? Why do you think the mound-building culture came to dominate the southeast?
4) How did the religion of the Mexica or Aztec people influence the development of their society? What was Aztec daily life like? Why do you think they combined religion and warfare together?
5) How did the Inca rise to power? What methods did they employ to unify their growing empire? What problems did their rapid expansion bring to the stability of the Inca? Do you think the strict social controls the Inca placed on their society helped to create a strong empire?
6) How did the Turks rise to power in Inner Asia? What caused the division between Eastern and Western Turks? How did they eventually gain the upper hand over the Abbasid Caliphate? Why do you think they came to dominate such a wide area from India, to Persia, to Anatolia?
7) How did the Mongol lifestyle help to create a formidable military force? Why were the various clans willing to unite themselves under Chinggis Khans leadership? Why do you think he was able to create a strong and lasting empire?
8) How did Chinggiss successors continue with his goals for expansion? How were they able to administer such a large and diverse area? What do you think led to the eventual decline of the khanates?
9) How did India respond to the threat posed by the growing power of the Mongols, Turks, or Muslims? How did Muslim leaders deal with the diversity of religious belief in India? How did the influence from these outside groups change Indian society in the Medieval period?