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HISA04 - Lecture 2.docx

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Camille Begin

HISA04 – World History I Lecture 2 Rivers – Irrigation and Beginning of Civilization - Agriculture was invented independently in Mesopotamia, Americas, and later in Africa - In Mesopotamia – the major crop was wheat, and in the Americas – corn - Humans developed technological advances – hydrological technologies, used to control water - Humans irrigated agriculture – using water from river to bring it to the field - Humans adapted to rivers, and also adapted rivers to their needs - Humans adapted to where rivers were located - The role of the environment in shaping history and how humans shape the environmental activities o Because some natural processes were predictable (i.e. monsoons), these could be used to the advantage of human activities - With the rise of cities, we see the use of writing, the invention of political order, surplus of food, and the beginning of long distance trade Hunter-Gatherer societies - Hunter gatherers live in the paleolithic eras - Nomadic: lived off the land, whatever was available (plants and animals) - Had to follow animals and move with the seasons for edible plants - Gender division of work: men did the hunting, travelled distances, women and children gathered fruits, nuts, etc. (which was sometimes more reliable than hunting) o Meat from the hunt was highly prized in this period - Paleolithic diet – men and women both contributed - These societies were roughly egalitarian - In choosing where to settle, they looked for areas that had water, and also that had good views of the surrounding landscapes for better hunting Paleolithic Era- 35 000 years ago to about 10 000 years ago Cave of Chauvet- 31.000BCE - Paintings were more lifelike, situated close to natural rock formation (bridge) – animals in their migration would have congregated around this river/bridge o People of the time would draw pictures of the animals migrating Cave of Lascaux- 15.000BCE - Paintings were not as good - Oldest art was thought to be found here Fertile Crescent - Rivers and seas in the fertile crescent: Mediterranean Sea, Persian Gulf, Red Sea, Nile River, Euphrates - When ice age ended, it left ideal conditions for cattle, sheep and pigs to thrive, wild wheat and barley to grow - Lots of hunter-gatherers hung out in this area - They discovered that they could not eat the wheat and barley raw, cooked it and made soup and beer - Recognized the ability to store grain, which pushed them to settle down, domesticate animals, and witness the slow invention of agriculture - Agriculture was not always synonymous with settlement o Agriculture was more of a transition than a revolution, it took thousands of years - Health – humans became reliant on one main crop; decrease in health seen with introduction of agriculture Circa 10.000BCE: transition towards agriculture in different parts of the world - Saw consequences in gender roles - Agricultural technology (i.e. plows) tended to sideline women’s role because most were not strong enough to use the technologies - Men would be at the top, women were more confined to homes, taking care of children and gathering food - In hunter-gatherer societies, people didn’t have as many children because they had to be fed, but in agricultural societies, they had more kids so that they could work on the farm - Using agricultural technologies led to the formation of civilizations First Civilizations - Developed over many thousands of years - Needed a surplus of agricultural production - Sense of food security - Can have a larger population because they would be able to feed more people - Higher proportion of people can be things other than farmers because each individual doesn’t have to farm their own food - Resulted in more wealth because farmers could specialized in a crop - More wealth = more inequality because some work is superior to others (social stratification) - Social hierarchies - Cities began to form - Most civilizations will have cities, but in the case of Egypt, there were no cities; cities don’t happen everywhere - Cities and civilization effect each other o Had an impact on their own borders and well beyond o Controlled smaller villages o Needed hinterland (space around the city that it controls) o Hinterland of the city states (farming lands under the control of the city state) o Became main marketplace for crafts; economic centre - More cities = more long distance contact – sometimes exchanges were made with not only the hinterland but with other places too - Communication by writing o Multiplied the impact of civilization o Hold together societies o Helps people rule over state o Helps people track trades - Political institutions – the rise of cities is linked to the formation of government and bureaucracy - System of beliefs – cities need a system o Holy places were often linked to water, worshiped gods associate
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