2. Archaeological evidence indicates that during the Paleolithic era, hunting-foraging bands of humans gradually migrated from their origin in East Africa to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas, adapting their technology and cultures to new climate regions.
KEY CONCEPT 1.2: THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION & EARLY AGRICULTURAL SOCIETIES
In response to warming climates at the end of the last Ice Age, from about 10,000 years ago, some groups adapted to the environment in new ways, while others remained hunter-foragers. Settled agriculture appeared in several different parts of the world. The switch to agriculture created a more reliable, but not necessarily more diversified, food supply. Agriculturalists also had a massive impact on the environment through intensive cultivation of selected plants to the exclusion of others, through the construction of irrigation systems, and through the use of domesticated animals for food and for labor. Populations increased; family groups gave way to village life and, later, to urban life with all its complexity. Patriarchy and forced labor systems developed, giving elite men concentrated power over most of the other people in their societies. Pastoralism emerged in arts of Africa and Eurasia. Pastoral peoples domesticated animals and led their herds around grazing ranges. Like agriculturalists, pastoralists tended to be more socially stratified than hunter-foragers. Because pastoralists were mobile, they rarely accumulated large amounts of material possessions, which would have been a hindrance when they changed grazing areas. The pastoralists’ mobility allowed them to become an important conduit for technological change as they interacted with settled populations.
1. Beginning about 10,000 years ago, the Neolithic Revolution led to the development of new and more complex economic and social systems.
- Possibly as a response to climatic change, permanent agricultural villages emerged first in the lands of the eastern Mediterranean. Agriculture emerged at different times in Mesopotamia, the Nile River Valley and Sub-Saharan Africa, the Indus River Valley, the Yellow River or Huang He Valley, Papua New Guinea, Mesoamerica, and the Ande.
2. Agriculture and pastoralism began to transform human societies.
KEY CONCEPT 1.3: THE DEVELOPMENT & INTERACTIONS OF EARLY AGRICULTURAL, PASTORAL, & URBAN SOCIETIES
From about 5,000 years ago, urban societies developed, laying the foundations for the first civilizations. The term civilization is normally used to designate large societies with cities and powerful states. While there were many differences between civilizations, they also shared important features. They all produced agricultural surpluses that permitted significant specialization of labor. All civilizations contained cities and generated complex institutions, such as political bureaucracies, armies, and religious hierarchies. They also featured clearly stratified social hierarchies and organized long-distance trading relationships. Economic exchanges intensified within and between civilizations, as well as with nomadic pastoralists. As populations grew, competition for surplus resources, especially food, led to greater social stratification, specialization of labor, increased trade, more complex systems of government and religion, and the development of record keeping. As civilizations expanded, they had to balance their need for more resources with environmental constraints such as the danger of undermining soil fertility. Finally, the accumulation of wealth in settled communities spurred warfare between communities and/or with pastoralists; this violence drove the development of new technologies of war and urban defense.
1. Core and foundational civilizations developed in a variety of geographical and environmental settings where agriculture flourished.
2. The first states emerged within core civilizations.
3. Culture played a significant role in unifying states through laws, language, literature, religion, myths, and monumental art.
HUMANS LEFT AFRICA AND BEGAN USING TOOLS & FIRE.
NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION (FARMING) AROUND THE RIVER VALLEYS GAVE WAY TO CIVILIZATION.
CIVILIZATION BROUGHT STRATIFICATION & SPECIALIZATION,
CIVILIZATION BROUGHT MASSIVE ARCHITECTURE AND WRITING.
TWO EARLY RELIGIONS BEGIN IN THIS ERA (HINDUISM/JUDAISM)