Ap Environmental Transformations (prehistory To 600 Bc)

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What is the evidence that explains the earliest history of humans and the planet?
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Humans first appeared on Earth during the Paleolithic Era. The evidence of burial grounds, as well as stone tools and other items explains this. They show a general migration path from Africa outwards. These tools show that the groups were hunter-foragers and nomadic.
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What are the theories that interpret this evidence?
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Anthropologists infer through analogy between modern hunter-forager societies.
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Where did humans first appear on Earth, and what were their society, technology, and culture?
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Humans first appeared on Earth during the Paleolithic Era, in the steppes and savannah of Africa, before migrating to Eurasia, the Americas, and Australia. These humans were hunter-foragers, changing their tools and culture to adapt to their surroundings.
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Describe earliest humans’ technology & tools.
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The humans used fire as a main tool everywhere, from hunting and foraging, as well as for defense and warmth. The earlier human’s used a variety of stone weapons for their specific environments and food they hunted.
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What were the earliest humans’ religious beliefs and practices?
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Many of the earliest beliefs were in spirits, no real concept of gods. The beliefs were animistic in nature.
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How did the earliest humans’ society help them procure enough supplies to survive?
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Each band of hunter-foragers had specific duties assigned to a group of people to make what they needed for survival. However, exchanges in items and ideas between these groups were common.
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What were the long-term demographic, social, political, and economic effects of the Neolithic Revolution?
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The societies that were founded in the Neolithic Revolution were the foundation of the River Valley civilizations
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How did pastoral societies resemble or differ from early agricultural societies?
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Where did pastoralism persist even after the Neolithic Revolution? Differences: 鈥astoral societies were smaller and more mobile than early agricultural societies 鈥astoralism focused more on hunting and gathering, while early agricultural societies depended more on the same soil… 鈥astoral societies adapted far better to their environment as they could move Similarities: 鈥oth developed animal husbandry
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Why did the Neolithic Revolution start ?
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There are many theories regarding the origin of Neolithic societies. 鈥eed for a long-term reliable source of food to nourish a rapidly growing society 鈥ose because people experimented with plants out of their own free time 鈥he need for political and social organization 鈥y accident
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How did the Neolithic Revolution affect human societies economically & socially?
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The Neolithic Revolution began the era of permanent societies. 路 Due to the closed nature of society, the demographic of farmers was less diverse than of the demographic of herders as they mostly mated within their population 路 Gender roles became more prevalent 路 The reliance on the limited amount of land they had gave way to political organization 路 Less variety in terms of food which affected the overall health of the farming society’s citizens 路 Political organization caused social organization which was divided by amount of property and power.
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Where did the Neolithic Revolution first transform human populations?
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鈥sia – east of the Zagros Mountains, Middle East regions. Click here for information on Indus Valley Civilization 鈥mericas – high Andes to Amazon River Basin 鈥frica – Egypt, the Nile River Valley. Click here for information on Nile River Valley civilization. 鈥acific Islands – New Guinea 鈥urope – Northern Europe
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What various crops & animals were developed or domesticated during the Neolithic Revolution?
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The trinity: maize, beans, and squash Rye, wheat, barley Potato Teff Rice Quinoa Various marine animals, snails Sheep, goats, yaks, llamas
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What were the environmental effects of the Neolithic Revolution?
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Soil was overused. Deforestation occurred to make more land available for agriculture Overgrazing Animals became more suited to human needs due to animal husbandry
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What effects did pastoralism & agriculture have on the food supply?
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At first the food supply was unreliable due to a lot of energy devoted to crop production The food supply slowly became more reliable and created surplus In certain regions of the world, food options were limited
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What were the social effects of the increased food supply caused by increase of agriculture?
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Created class distinctions, the people with more land and therefore more food were on the higher end of the social hierarchy Increased population More leisure time Feasting increased loyalty to leadership
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What labor adjustments did humans make in order to facilitate the Neolithic Revolution?
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Increased reliance on female labor Had to produce more crops to make up for the energy used for farming
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What technological innovations are associated with the growth of agriculture?
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Preservation of food surplus, created granaries and store houses Irrigation City planning Domestication/animal husbandry
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In both pastoralist and agrarian societies, elite groups accumulated wealth, creating more hierarchical social structures and promoting patriarchal forms of social organization.
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Due to the nomadic nature of early people, societies were beginning to limit their families by regulating who could mate with whom because large families were unsuitable for their pastoral lifestyle. As nomadic societies began fighting over land and resources, the role of men became enhanced as they not only fought over land but also over mating partners. At the same time, due to this, women were also becoming more valuable in society as more men were being sent off to war. On the whole, male domination was becoming the norm in society. It could have been due to several things including hunting and food distribution, which only males would do. This also created a type of work specialization, since women were almost forced to gather while men hunted. As societies slowly began to focus more on agriculture rather than hunting and gathering, social classes began to develop and solidify, which can be seen through the inequalities in burials during this time. Lower classes often has simple burials with very little in the way of ornamentation while the elites and higher classes had elaborate burials with jewels, carvings and other “expensive” pieces.
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Where did pastoralism persist even after the Neolithic Revolution?
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Pastoralism persisted in areas that could not sustain long-term agricultural pursuits, such as areas with unfavorable climates and unreliable sources of pastures, food sources, and water.
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What is a ‘civilization,’ and what are the defining characteristics of a civilization?
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A civilization is a group of people that share a common leadership, culture or social structure.
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Where did the earliest civilizations develop, and why did they develop in those locations?
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They developed in Mesopotamia, Egypt, modern day Pakistan, and China. These civilizations were all located near rivers that flooded regularly. This allowed for feasible farming where people did not have to work as much for food, and they could settle down and lead sedentary lives.
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How did civilizations develop and grow more complex before 600 BCE?
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They did this by obtaining a food surplus. This would allow for specialization, which means there are people in society that are not involved in agriculture. Now it was possible to have soldiers, politicians, priests and artisans, and as a result, have a more complex society.
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What is a “state?” Who ruled the early states, and which segments of society usually supported the ruler?
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A state is a group of governing bodies that come together to regulate food production and distribution. Early states were led by either military or religious leaders. Rulers were said to have connections to the spiritual world and be able to control nature.
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Why were some early states able to expand and conquering neighboring states?
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They had environment that were stable enough to support a food surplus. This allowed them to specialize and make an army. This allowed them to conquer other states. Other early empire used trade and industry to expand into other areas, but this was not conquering other societies as much as it was taking them in.
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What architectural forms did early civilizations produce?
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Early architectural forms included grain houses to distribute food and religious buildings used in ceremonies. Rulers created lavish palaces for themselves.
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What forms of writing developed in ancient civilizations?
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Cuneiform developed in Mesopotamia, and it consisted of lines and dashes rather than an alphabet. Egypt had its famous hieroglyphs, many of which still survive today. The Phoenician alphabet originated on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. This simplified the language down to a small set of letters and spread literacy to a somewhat larger portion of the populace. Many other independent languages or dialects of widespread ones arose as well, though much less remains given their limited usage.
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What forms of writing developed in ancient civilizations?
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Cuneiform developed in Mesopotamia, and it consisted of lines and dashes rather than an alphabet. Egypt had its famous hieroglyphs, many of which still survive today. The Phoenician alphabet originated on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean. This simplified the language down to a small set of letters and spread literacy to a somewhat larger portion of the populace. Many other independent languages or dialects of widespread ones arose as well, though much less remains given their limited usage.
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What pre-600 BCE religions strongly influenced later eras?
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Judaism, Buddhism, Jainism, Taoism, Confucianism, Legalism, and Guardianism.
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How “big” were the pre-600 BCE trading regions?
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Some notable trading regions included trade up and down the Nile, trade through Mesopotamia (a pivot point between Mediterranean, Egypt and the Indus Valley), and trade throughout the Mediterranean via the Phoenicians.
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How did social and gender identities develop pre-600 BCE?
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Broadly speaking, women were inferior to men in society. This status extended to everyday freedom, hierarchical opportunity, legal rights, and property ownership. Still, there were a fair amount of expectations. In early foraging and farming groups, men and women did different tasks, but both were valued in the society for their contributions. As rulers commanded civilizations, kings’ wives, advisers, and harem members could influence the decisions.
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What was the relationship between literature and culture?
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Though literature was usually limited to a small, elite portion of the populace, it serves as a guide when understanding ancient cultures. The stories and epics combine mythical exaggerations of the people’s environment, religious beliefs and fears, and values of the society. Literature was no doubt a symbol of high culture and education in the ancient civilizations.

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