Our favorite Ancient Civilizations Atlas

Anc Civ atlas image blog

Do your students need a great atlas for Ancient Civilization studies?  Our favorite, hands down, is John Haywood’s The Penguin HISTORICAL ATLAS OF ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS.  It is an inexpensive paperback loaded with maps and information that is clearly organized.  The major categories this fine resource book are:

The Ancient Near East

The African Civilizations

The First Civilizations of Asia 

The first European Civilizations

The Ancient Americas


It is important to capture the imagination of your students so they see the richness of the ancient cultures!  Sometimes finding detailed information about the ancient in general atlases is limited, but not with this book.  Within each of these categories, Mr. Haywood further divides into illustrated sections that break down the history into smaller units.

For instance, the African Civilizations unit includes a rich introduction followed by individual units on Predynastic Egypt, Old Kingdom Egypt (with information about the pyramids!), Middle Kingdom Egypt, The Nubians, and the Carthaginians.   Each of these sections has a clearly defines map and illustrations that reflect art and culture of these early civilizations.

Help your students see where and how the notable ancient people moved and lived within clearly defined areas.


Your students would find this book invaluable when working on our ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS map.  When they are following the Activities for the Egypt section, this book shines a light on those.

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When learning about Mesopotamia, and the Fertile Crescent, this book helps students to learn more about the geography of the areas in its timeline.

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With the history of Alexander and the Roman Empire, this book gives invaluable detail that is hard to find in other student atlases.

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So, when working on our ANCIENT CIVILIZATIONS map, refer to this book.  We highly recommend adding this atlas to your classroom resources or library– it is truly one of the most valuable and interesting books we own here at Maps for the Classroom.

We also offer the useful STEP-BY-STEP-MAPPING file for Ancient Civilizations that break down our map into layers!  This allows your students to see each “layer” or individual civilization’s activities separated– viewable with your smartboard or projector.   You can order this as a CD or an a download.