This course presents a comparative overview of the ancient civilizations around the world. It is designed as a gateway course for the many specialized courses available at Penn. Its focus is two fold: first, the various forms that ancient cultures have developed are explored and compared and second, the types of disciplines that study these courses are examined. The course has a number of guest lecturers, as well as visits to museums and libraries to examine original documents. This course meets the requirement for the Ancient Studies Minor.