The Early (EARLY) Days
In A Nutshell
If there’s one thing you can say about human beings, it’s that we’re always hungry.
Humans have always settled near food sources.
Areas that produced the most food became the most populated.
Grain cultivation (beginning in 9000 BC) fed more people than hunting and ﬁshing.
• We don’t like to share.!
• Tribes constantly battled for territory,and some
were pushed into less friendly environments...which forced humans to make the most from limited resources.! • Arabs conquered theArabian Peninsula by taming camel,centralAsians took to horses and sheepherding.! • Inuits learned to build homes from ice.
We reproduce.A lot.!
The most fertile places for grain harvesting experienced huge population explosions.!
Soon,there was so much food and so many people that people could stop working in the ﬁelds and specialize in crafts.! Expert potters,weavers,and masons were soon followed by tailors,leather tanners,miners,and other trades.!
Even,ahem,the“world’s oldest profession.”
When we all Get
Around 8000 BC,the world’s ﬁrst civilizationsliving together in cities-began appearing.!
lived together in encampments safety against rival groups and convenience of trade.!
Cities became centers of government (in most from hereditary monarchies descended form tribal authority.
Governments...never been smooth
• Little is known about the world’s ﬁrst
governments,but they were most likely dominated by a single family or clan passing authority from generation to generation.!
• Dominant man being leader.!
• Each of the world’s ﬁrst kingdoms was dominated by a man.!
• Men have hogged the remote ever since.
The king’s job was simple: • Protect his followers.(No selﬁsh motive,right?)!
• People believed the king’s authority came from the immortal gods.!
• Gave kings an association with religion,or a mystical aura.!
In some cases,the king served as high priest,in of sacriﬁcial offerings and ceremonies intended to bring a good harvest.
Know your enemy
Rival kings could cause trouble,but early civilizations’ biggest threat was nature itself.!
• Droughts,ﬂoods,natural disasters destroyed crops and caused starvation.!
• Translation...if everyone had enough to eat,the gods were happy with the leader.If there wasn’t...well...!
• No surprise that across the“civilized” world that the
ﬁrst thing a ruler did was to store grain for hard times.!
Developed systems of storage during good harvests.
Write it down.No,
Seriously...write it down
To keep up with which grain surplus came from landowner,priests invented writing.!
Recording quantities,names,and dates on clay tablets led to accounting and banking.!
Soon,regular folks began quantifying everyday goods such as livestock,tools,etc.!
Writing led to the ﬁrst commercial contracts:“For three pigs you will bring me two cows...”!
Never said it was fancy.;-)
Born a Ramblin’ Man...
• Not all peoples chose to settle down.!
• Nomadic people frequently clashed with those who settled into cities.!
• Thenomadic accumulated wealth in the cities was very lucrative to people.! • Nomadic people were more skilled in horse-mounted warfare.! • settled
The threat continued,but by 1500 BC,the power of the society had been established.!
• The history of civilization is their story.
Spinning the globe
The ﬁrst large scale settlements in the world were Jericho in modern day Israel!
And Catal Huyuk in modern dayTurkey.!
• Both settlements were a "ﬁrst try"!
• Never grew as large scale civilizations and eventually disappeared mysteriously !
Between 8000 and 7000 BC (ish),they both had around 2000 inhabitants !
Appear to have practiced ancestral worship.
• After Jericho and Catak Huyuk,a collection of city-states in
Mesopotamia developed along or near theTigris and Euphrates
• All part