Foundations of History to Neolithic Era Big Picture: 1). There were

Foundations of History to Neolithic Era
Big Picture: 1). There were numerous species of humans and somewhere around 200K years ago in Africa
Homo Sapiens (“Wise Man”) outlasted, won-out against the rest.
2). Tool use gradually improved (not quickly): Fire, agriculture, spears, spear-chucker, etc.
3). Migration was a major part of human life due to hunter-gatherer life
-Earliest human remains found 2.5million years ago in central-east Africa
-After millions of years, Homo Sapiens Sapiens became most advanced and plentiful species (pg 3)
-Speech gene developed around 70,000 years ago (pg 8)
-Fire allowed for more protein in diet = more people
-If Earth History were a 24hr Clock, humans have existed for last 5 minutes before midnight (pg 9)
PALEOLITHIC AGE (“Old Stone Age”) 2.5 millon – 10,000BCE (pg 10)
-Hunter-gatherers had some gender equality and traveled, following packs of animals for food. Gathered nuts
and berries. Religious beliefs unknown but believed to be Animism (belief in animal spirits)
-Technology: Boats, spear, spear thrower (p.11)
NEOLITHIC AGE (“Old Stone Age”) 8000BCE-3000BCE (pg 12)
-Agricultural “revolution” – Slow change, some resisted;
-Around 8000-3500 humans developed farming (some independently); many resisted agricultural change
-Some drawbacks to Agriculture: gendered life, disease, clustering of ppl (pg.4)
Other effects: Birthrates increased, gender became more rigid, less migration, child-labor
-Humans also domesticated animals from 10,000BCE onward (pg. 4)
Technology: Grinding/sharpening tools, domestication of animals, farming, beginning irrigation
Changes/Continuity: Change: Hunting  Farming; Migration  Habitat; Gender Roles change (creation)
Continuity: Relatively short life span remains; animism/polytheism; weapons same (just
-Reasons for city-civilization: Division of Labor extra food-supply allowed ppl to specialize and develop social
First known city: Uruk (pg 19 in Holt: good reading “First Civilization”)
Technology: Writing (Cuneiform started by Sumerians around 3500BCE = better taxes, laws, social
1). Mesopotamia in 4000BCE (pg 20-21) Sumerians actual people called the land Sumer
-Located in between the Tigris & Euphrates in Middle East (present day Iraq)
-irrigation/farming basis for political structure/power
-Tech= Bronze, copper, Wheel, pottery artisans; invented systems of time/calendar in units of 10/60/360
-Religion=Priests/god-rulers practiced in Ziggurats (laws enforced religion)
-Downfall due to conquest by the Akkadians then by Babylonians (King Hammurabi was Babylonian)
-Hammurabi’s Law Code (pg. 21 = good reading)
2). Egypt in 3000BCE (pg. 20/22)
-Located in North Africa along the Nile River
-More unified government that ran business (Mesopotamia had a pseudo-independent business class)
-The King, Pharaoh, had immense power and was responsible for irrigating Nile to flood regularly.
-Kings build immense tombs, Pyramids, to practice their religious beliefs about after-life. (2700BCE onward)
-Egypt developed the 24 hour-day, relied heavily on slave-labor (like Mesopotamia), anatomy.
3). Harrapa in 3000BCE (pg. 22)
-Located along the Indus River
-Multiple cities in this area: Harrapa, Mohenjo, Daro
-Houses had running water; Developed their own alphabet and art (still cannot translate alphabet)
-Little is known about culture and why it disappeared
4). Xia-Shang Dynasties in 2200BCE (pg. 22-23)
-Created along the Huanghe River
-Leaders had to regulate regular flooding/irrigation systems
-Technology: horse-riding, pottery, bronze, iron (by 1000BCE), writing (Ideographic)
-Due to lack of materials, not as much monument construction
-By 1500BCE a line of rulers called the Shang ruled over the valley
-Some historians of philosophy state the between Mesopotamia and Chinese development there was a major
division: Mesopotamia stressed a difference/chasm between people and nature. Chinese stressed a
harmony between the two. (pg. 26)
(in this section near end) pg. 26: Jewish people arose around 1200BCE, settling near the Mediterranean.
They established a state that was only independent during times of turmoil in the Middle East. They
invented the belief in Monotheism that a single god guided the destinies of people. Because of the Jewish
belief in a contract with God, there was no reason to convert non-Jews (an explanation for their sustained
belief system over time).
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