8000-1500 B.C.E (From the Origins of Agriculture to the First River-Valley Civilizations)
Early foragers lived in groups that were big enough to defend themselves from predators and divide responsibility for food collection and preparation, but small enough not to exhaust the food resources within walking distance.
In regions with severe climates or lacking in natural shelters life caves, people built huts of branches, stones, bones, skins, and leaves as seasonal camps.
Agriculture Revolution encouraged families to choose to concentrate their energies on food production; however, they would have had to settle permanently near their fields.
In many drier parts of the world, where wild food remained abundant, agriculture did not arise. Ex: Australia relied exclusively on foraging until recent centuries.
Farmer vs. Forager (Crash course) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yocja_N5s1I&list=PLBDA2E52FB1EF80C9 -Mesopotamia-
The hot, arid climate of southern Mesopotamia called for irrigation, the artificial provision of water to crops.
They created the framework of civilization in Mesopotamia during a long period of dominance in the third millennium B.C.E.
Mesopotamian farmers usually lived in villages.
A group of families, totaling a few hundred persons perhaps, could protect one another, work together at key times in the agricultural cycle, and share tools, barns and threshing floors. Village society also provided companionship and a pool of potential marriage partners.
Most of Egypt’s population lives on the twisting, green ribbon of land along the river or in the Nile Delta.
Most important cities located upstream away from the Mediterranean.
Called southern part of the country “Upper Egypt” and northern delta “Lower Egypt”.
Egyptians also settled certain large oases, green and habitable “islands” in the midst of the desert, which lay west of the river.
-The Indus Valley Civilization-
In the valley of the Indus River, settled farming created the agricultural surplus essential to urbanized society.
2200-250 B.C.E (New Civilizations in the Eastern and Western Hemispheres)
-Early China- (2000-221 B.C.E)
Most of East Asia is covered with mountains, making overland travel, transport, and communications difficult and slow. However, great river systems –the Yellow and the Yangzi Rivers and their tributaries- facilitate east-west movement.
Each zone produced distinctive patterns for the use of the land, the kinds of crops that could flourish, and the organization of agricultural labor.
In this landscape, agriculture demanded the coordinated efforts of large groups of people.
-Nubia- (3100 B.C.E- 350 C.E)
Nubia’s location and natural wealth, along with Egypt’s quest for Nubian gold, explains the early rise of a civilization with a complex political organization, social stratification, metallurgy, monumental building, and writing.
-The Olmec and Chavin- (1200-250 B.C.E)
Olmec urban development was made possible by earlier advances in agriculture.
Olmec’s original settlements depended on the region’s rich plant diversity and on fishing.
Raised fields in wetlands could be farmed more intensively and construct the large-scale religious and civic buildings that became the cultural signature of Olmec civilization.
Chavin de Huantar’s location at the intersection of trade routes connecting the coast with populous mountain valleys and the tropical lowlands on the eastern flank of the Andes allowed the city’s rulers to control trade among these distinct ecological zones and gain an important economic advantage over regional rivals.
Chavin’s dominance as a ceremonial and commercial center depended on earlier developments in agriculture and trade.
2000-500 B.C.E (The Mediterranean and Middle East)
The Cosmopolitan Middle East- (1700-1100 B.C.E) “Cosmopolitan” Era- Time of widely shared cultures and lifestyles.
It was a…