If a decent faith pantheon and religion isn't an option, shrines should be a lower priority after scouts, monument (if needed), Granary, Worker (if needed), Settlers, etc. Techs that reveal items on map (Animal Husbandry-Horses and Bronze Working-Iron) help identify good locations to found cities and help generate income through trade deals. I would prioritize BW over The Wheel in tech order: roads won't be needed for a while and you are not looking to rush a unit The Wheel unlocks (as Egypt and The Huns might do). Your empire will grow quicker if you get more cities up before building things like a Library or caravan in the capital; typically, grow to ~3 pop while improving relevant production tiles (horses, sheep, hills as terrain, worker availability, and tile expansion allows), then switch to building multiple Settlers, then move on to further infrastructure (Library, caravan, etc.). If you lack a 2nd 2+ food tile, it is okay to build a Settler at 2-pop rather than wait a long, long time before expanding. You can also switch back and forth between different builds, say if you have a worker improving sheep for a 2nd 2-food tile or a tile expansion coming up with another 2+ food tile (or gold to buy it); you could start building a Settler at 2-pop, switch production (Granary?) when you have a 2nd 2-food tile available to grow to 3 pop, and then switch back to Settler(s). If you are really close to finishing the Granary, do so before switching production back to Settlers as certain amounts of food do contribute to Settler production (play around with the tiles to observe and learn about this). ~15 turns out from reaching Philosophy, I would want to have all core expo cities out, with at least 1 worker each, and all currently building Libraries or finishing up Granary and about to start Library. Cutting down a nearby forest to speed up Granary production can *sometimes* be a better use of workers then tile improvements, as a Granary with at least 1 relevant resource gives 3+ value (food) upon completion.