World History Unit 1: The Earliest Human Societies Time and Geography SOCIAL The Earliest Human Societies • Hominid (human-like creature) – 4.5 million years ago Hominid The Earliest Human Societies • Homo sapiens (thinking or skillful man) – Originated in Africa – Migrated 100,000 years ago to Middle East, Europe, Asia, and Western Hemisphere – 10,000-15,000 years ago, Homo sapiens were on every continent except Antarctica Male and female Homo sapiens sapiens in Thailand Definition of Terms History - record of human activity based on evidence Historiography - systematic study of history Archaeology - study of past cultures and civilizations Anthropology - study of humans as species rather than studying specific activities Definition of Terms Archaeologists study human societies that existed before recorded history Paleoanthropologists study human evolution Paleoenvironmentalists study ancient natural environments Paleographers study old writing The Evolving Past • Paleoanthropology is advancing our knowledge about the age, nature, and locales of humans Skull of Australopithecus africanus INTELLECTUAL The Evolving Past Stone age tools • Tool-making is a major indicator of human development – Tools date back at least 70,000 years ago – Tools are also a form of art SOCIAL The Evolving Past Paleolithic social unit • Paleolithic Age (Old Stone Age) – Dates roughly from first tools to about 10,000 BCE – The family was the basic social unit, organized into groups of 40 people or fewer Human Development During the Paleolithic Age • Neanderthal Man – Flourished in many parts of Europe until 30,000 years ago – Came to an end with last Ice Age – Disappeared at same time that Homo sapiens appeared How a Neanderthal might have looked Human Development During the Paleolithic Age • Humans - Changed Appearance – – – – – Became upright, walked more erect Skull size and shape changed to encompass larger brain Less hairy bodies, shorter arms Eyesight improved, sense of smell deteriorated Larynx shifted to allow for speech Michelangelo's David is considered by many the perfect human form Human Development During the Paleolithic Age • Lived in semi-permanent shelters for longer periods of time • Mastered their environment – Clothing – Fire – Tools Humans mastered fire ECONOMIC The Neolithic Age Agricultural Revolution - Effect on Society • From gathering and hunting to livestock breeding and herding, sowing, and harvesting for food production • Changes in lifestyle – – – – – Population expanded in permanent settlements Property (land and livestock) privately owned Laws, systematized regulation Specialized labor Greater roles for women – matriarchy and female religious rituals Agrarian and Irrigation Civilizations Population growth: rural and urban (ruling elites) Craft, trade, farming technologies developed Characteristics of Agrarian Lifestyle • Cities controlled rural life: laws, religion, customs, traditions, taxes • Religion: rituals, sacrifices to gods and spirits • Time was cyclic – birth, death, renewal • Social values – kinship and the clan, veneration of elders/ancestors A map showing the earliest river civilizations highlighted in color River Valley Civilizations • Tigres and Euphrates (Mesopotamia), Niger (west Africa), Indus (India), Yellow and Yangtze (China) Rivers and Deserts Benefit and Impact of Rivers • provided crops and essential water • transportation and communication • trade and migration • migration and conquest The benefit and impact of the rivers were great Rivers and Deserts Desert and Steppe Life • Nomadic stockbreeders in search for water and pasture • Warfare: pastoralists and farmers Nomadic stockbreeders pursued water INTELLECTUAL Metal and Its Uses • Soft copper – first metal • Bronze Age – Lead and tin formed bronze • Harder, more resistant to weather • Difficult to make, heavy, expensive – First appeared in western Asia – Lasted from 7000 to1500 BCE – Ended with smelting of iron Iron Age • • • • • • Key metal in history Cheaper, lasts longer Iron - one of most common ores Crucial breakthrough was to purify it Equipment, tools, weapons, utensils By 1200 BCE, knowledge of iron smelting was known throughout Middle East and Egypt SUMMARY Various stages of development in Neolithic Age, especially around 3000 BCE - urban life - system of government and record keeping - advanced weapons and metal tools Discussion Questions • Was it coincidence that Neanderthal Man vanished at roughly the same time that Homo sapiens appeared? Would the two groups have had contact? If so, what do you think might have happened? • It has been suggested that agriculture has been one of mankind’s most important inventions, second only to our learning to use fire. Do you agree or disagree? What other human inventions are of this magnitude? What would have happened to our species if we had not invented agriculture? Was it inevitable?