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Early Humans & the First Civilizations

HIST103 - Ch 1

Jenny Schwartzberg

on 9 February 2014

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Transcript of Early Humans & the First Civilizations

Chapter 1: Early Humans & the First Civilizations
Chapter 1
I. Hominids
II. The Paleolithic Era
III. The Neolithic Era
IV. Civilizations!
a. Mesopotamia
b. Egypt
c. Israelites
d. Persia

earliest hominids (human-like creatures)
- 3-4 million years ago
- lived in Africa
I. Hominids

II. The Paleolithic Era
"Old Stone Age"

III. The Neolithic Era
"New Stone Age"

a. Mesopotamia

b. Egypt
- existed from about 2.5 million years BCE until about 10,000 BCE
- existed from about 10,000 BCE until 4,000 BCE
IV. Civilizations!
- Around 3,000 BCE, human society transitions to a new era - the Bronze Age (3,000 - 1,200 BCE)

- Bronze becomes the most commonly used tool-making substance
- And we have the earliest recorded civilizations!
- What is a civilization?
1. urban focus
2. new political and military structures
3. new social structure based on economics

4. more complex material items
5. distinct religious structure
6. development of writing
7. new artistic & intellectual activity
c. The Near East
d. Persia
- the land between the rivers
- the Tigris & Euphrates
- modern day Iraq
- stratification of society & wealth
- elite minority upper class
- 90% farmers
- majority commoners
- built along the Nile River & delta
- predictable weather & flooding patterns
- wealth, stability, and transportation
- hierarchical political and religious structures
- pharaoh
- polytheism
- patriarchal
- established around 1000 BCE
- monotheistic religion
1. covenant
2. law
3. prophets
- constantly warring with neighbors
- Semitic peoples - Israelites, Judeans, Assyrians, Chaldeans (just to name a few)
- present day Iran
- nomadic group that conquered many other civilizations
- Cyrus
- allowed subjects to keep traditions
- Darius
- put satraps in control
- taxes & tributes
- slaves
some early hominid species
- homo habilis: earliest toolmakers
- homo erectus: "upright human"
homo sapiens ("wise humans") developed around 250,000 years ago in Agrica
- only moved 2-3 miles per generation
- groups of 20-30 people
- began to migrate out of Africa about 70,000 years ago
- people lived as hunters and gatherers
- no domesticated plants or animals
- people were seasonally nomadic
- they lived in groups of 20-30
- egalitarian societies
- equal division of labor, responsibilities, and rights for people of both genders
- this era marked the beginning of agriculture
- transition from food collection to production
- deliberate cultivation of plants
- taming & breeding of animals
- the Agricultural Revolution totally changed human society
- permanent settlements
- egalitarian -----> patriarchal
- populations grow
- accumulation of wealth is possible
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