What is the evidence that explains the earliest history of humans and the planet?
Humans first appeared on Earth during the Paleolithic Era. The evidence of burial grounds, as well as stone tools and other items explains this. They show a general migration path from Africa outwards. These tools show that the groups were hunter-foragers and nomadic.
What are the theories that interpret this evidence?
Anthropologists infer through analogy between modern hunter-forager societies.
Where did humans first appear on Earth, and what were their society, technology, and culture?
Humans first appeared on Earth during the Paleolithic Era, in the steppes and savannah of Africa, before migrating to Eurasia, the Americas, and Australia. These humans were hunter-foragers, changing their tools and culture to adapt to their surroundings.
How did the earliest humans’ society help them procure enough supplies to survive?
Each band of hunter-foragers had specific duties assigned to a group of people to make what they needed for survival. However, exchanges in items and ideas between these groups were common.
What were the long-term demographic, social, political, and economic effects of the Neolithic Revolution?
the societies that were founded in the Neolithic Revolution were the foundation of the River Valley civilizations
How did pastoral societies resemble or differ from early agricultural societies?
Where did pastoralism persist even after the Neolithic Revolution?
•Pastoral societies were smaller and more mobile than early agricultural societies
•Pastoralism focused more on hunting and gathering, while early agricultural societies depended more on the same soil…
•Pastoral societies adapted far better to their environment as they could move
•Both developed animal husbandry
Why did the Neolithic Revolution start ?
There are many theories regarding the origin of Neolithic societies.
•need for a long-term reliable source of food to nourish a rapidly growing society
•rose because people experimented with plants out of their own free time
•the need for political and social organization
How did the Neolithic Revolution affect human societies economically & socially?
The Neolithic Revolution began the era of permanent societies.
· Due to the closed nature of society, the demographic of farmers was less diverse than of the demographic of herders as they mostly mated within their population
· Gender roles became more prevalent
· The reliance on the limited amount of land they had gave way to political organization
· Less variety in terms of food which affected the overall health of the farming society’s citizens
· Political organization caused social organization which was divided by amount of property and power.
Where did the Neolithic Revolution first transform human populations?
Asia – east of the Zagros Mountains, Middle East regions. Click here for information on Indus Valley Civilization
•Americas – high Andes to Amazon River Basin
•Africa – Egypt, the Nile River Valley. Click here for information on Nile River Valley civilization.
•Pacific Islands – New Guinea
•Europe – Northern Europe
Where did pastoralism persist even after the Neolithic Revolution?
Pastoralism persisted in areas that could not sustain long-term agricultural pursuits, such as areas with unfavorable climates and unreliable sources of pastures, food sources, and water.
What various crops & animals were developed or domesticated during the Neolithic Revolution?
The trinity: maize, beans, and squash
Rye, wheat, barley
Various marine animals, snails
Sheep, goats, yaks, llamas
What labor adjustments did humans make in order to facilitate the Neolithic Revolution?
Increased reliance on female labor
Had to produce more crops to make up for the energy used for farming
What were the environmental effects of the Neolithic Revolution?
Soil was overused.
Deforestation occurred to make more land available for agriculture
Animals became more suited to human needs due to animal husbandry
What effects did pastoralism & agriculture have on the food supply?
At first the food supply was unreliable due to a lot of energy devoted to crop production
The food supply slowly became more reliable and created surplus
In certain regions of the world, food options were limited
What were the social effects of the increased food supply caused by increase of agriculture?
Created class distinctions, the people with more land and therefore more food were on the higher end of the social hierarchy
More leisure time
Feasting increased loyalty to leadership
What technological innovations are associated with the growth of agriculture?
Preservation of food surplus, created granaries and store houses
What is a ‘civilization,’ and what are the defining characteristics of a civilization?
A civilization is a group of people that share a common leadership, culture or social structure.
How did civilizations develop and grow more complex before 600 BCE?
They did this by obtaining a food surplus. This would allow for specialization, which means there are people in society that are not involved in agriculture. Now it was possible to have soldiers, politicians, priests and artisans, and as a result, have a more complex society.
What were the effects of this increasing complexity?
The increase of connections and rising changes in art, structure, and form. Religion. War.
Where did the earliest civilizations develop, and why did they develop in those locations?
They developed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, modern day Pakistan, and China. These civilizations were all located near rivers that flooded regularly. This allowed for feasible farming where people did not have to work as much for food, and they could settle down and lead sedentary lives.
What is a “state?” Who ruled the early states, and which segments of society usually supported the ruler?
A state is a group of governing bodies that come together to regulate food production and distribution. Early states were led by either military or religious leaders. Rulers were said to have connections to the spiritual world and be able to control nature.
Why were some early states able to expand and conquering neighboring states?
They had environment that were stable enough to support a food surplus. This allowed them to specialize and make an army. This allowed them to conquer other states. Other early empire used trade and industry to expand into other areas, but this was not conquering other societies as much as it was taking them in.
What role did pastoral civilizations play vis a vis empires?
Pastoral civilizations often passed information between empires and also developed new weapons and modes of transportation that highly affected empires and warfare
How did culture play a role in unifying populations?
Culture played a significant in role in unifying states through law, language, literature, religion, myths and monumental art.
What architectural forms did early civilizations produce?
Early architectural forms included grain houses to distribute food and religious buildings used in ceremonies. Rulers created lavish palaces for themselves.
What forms of writing developed in ancient civilizations?
Egypt had its famous hieroglyphs, many of which still survive today. The Phoenician alphabet originated on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. This simplified the language down to a small set of letters and spread literacy to a somewhat larger portion of the populace.
Which social strata encouraged the development of art in ancient civilizations?
What was the relationship between literature and culture?
Though literature was usually limited to a small, elite portion of the populace, it serves as a guide when understanding ancient cultures. The stories and epics combine mythical exaggerations of the people’s environment, religious beliefs and fears, and values of the society
What pre-600 BCE religions strongly influenced later eras?
Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Legalism, and Guardianism.
How “big” were the pre-600 BCE trading regions?
Some notable trading regions included trade up and down the Nile, trade through Mesopotamia (a pivot point between Mediterranean, Egypt and the Indus Valley), and trade throughout the Mediterranean via the Phoenicians.
How did social and gender identities develop pre-600 BCE?
Broadly speaking, women were inferior to men in society. This status extended to everyday freedom, hierarchical opportunity, legal rights, and property ownership.