CH2 Foundations of World History: Prehistory-300 C.E. Why is it called “Prehistory”? Bell Ringer • What is a nomad? • What is a major benefit of farming? • Can you name an empire? Hunter-Gatherer Societies • The earliest humans (2.5 Million years ago) were Hunter-Gatherers and Nomads. – Hunter-Gatherers: Human who subsisted (survived) by hunting wild animals and gathering wild food – Nomads: A group of people who move from place to place following food supplies. • This was an extremely simple lifestyle, and these groups were self-sufficient (gathered what they needed to survive) • Despite being mobile and following animal herds a number of hunter-gatherer groups maintained “central places” they consistently returned to. • Since most materials from this time were organic based they have deteriorated over time. • Stone has survived the best, and artifacts can still be found today. • Art formed on stone has also survived. Stone Age Tools • How is stone used as a tool? – Smash Things – Cut Things – Dig • Stone can be cracked and “shaped” to form an edge that would be useful in many tasks. • The Knowledge of how to make tools was culturally transmitted. From Hunting-Gathering to Farming • Many hunter-gatherer groups were based on kinship (family) • While these groups could be about 30-50 people large and span up to 100 miles in size, some groups became more developed. • “Central Places” became almost permanent, as all the resources they needed were near by. • Food storage systems were developed • Farming was developed From Hunting-Gathering to Farming • The large majority of early cultures developed near or in river valleys. • Some of the first farmers began to appear in the Fertile Crescent. This is an area of land found in Southwest Asia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. • Part of the reason farming and living a sedentary life became possible was because of domestication. – Sedentary: Settled, non-nomadic – Domestication: A biological process in which the physical characteristics of wild plants and animals is changed as a result of human intervention • Early farmers carefully selected and planted grains and animals which they found desirable. Over time these selected items overtook the majority of other naturally found items. (Grains) • Though farming led to a more sedentary lifestyle, some people still chose to be Pastoral Nomads. – Pastoral Nomads: member of a group whose economy revolves around its herd of domesticated animals, with which the group periodically moves to find new grazing land. • Agriculture would eventually spread from the Fertile Crescent to Egypt , Europe, and India through cultural diffusion. – Cultural Diffusion: spread of ideas, inventions, or other cultural elements from one society to another • Agriculture appears to have risen independently in China, the Americas, and Sub Saharan Africa. Why did agriculture spread by cultural diffusion to Europe, Egypt, and India, but develop independently in the Americas, China, and Sub-Saharan Africa? The Rise of Civilizations • Civilizations: A highly organized and complex society • Why does farming lead to civilizations? The Rise of Civilizations • “Civilization suggests that there is in fact some kind of Quantum Leap in complexity” – Farming (Geography) – Writing – Industrial Production – Higher grade metals – Micro Chip • Civilizations also had a Hierarchy: a ranking of groups of people according to importance. Why Civilizations arose • Access to Water – Access to water made it easier to farm, trade, and get water. • Government – As populations increase you need a way to control them. More complex civilizations have bigger governments • Defense – Increase in size means increase in competition. Large settlements could protect themselves • Specialized Jobs – Now that everyone didn’t need to farm to survive people could go into other jobs: artisan, merchant, soldier, Government, farmer • Trade – Specialized goods and surplus goods could be traded to other communities.