Foundations: c. 8000 B. C. E.–600 C. E. Major Developments



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Foundations: c. 8000 B.C.E.–600 C.E.

Major Developments


  1. Locating world history in the environment and time

    1. Environment

      1. Geography and climate: Interaction of geography and climate with the development of human society

a. Five Themes of Geography – consider these

1. Relative location – location compared to others

2. Physical characteristics – climate, vegetation and human characteristics

3. Human/environment interaction – how do humans interact/alter environ

a. Leads to change

4. Movement – peoples, goods, ideas among/between groups

5. Regions – cultural/physical characteristics in common with surrounding areas

b. E. Africa first people – 750,000 years ago started to move

1. moving in search of food

c. Role of Climate – End of Ice Age 12000 BCE – large areas of N. America, Europe, Asia became habitable – big game hunters already migrated

1. Geographical changes - 3000 BCE Green Sahara began to dry up, seeds to forests – N. America

2. Effect on humans – nomadic hunters didn’t move so much

a. Settle near abundant plant life – beginning of civilization

b. Sedentary life w/ dependable food supply

3. milder conditions, warmer temperatures, higher ocean levels


      1. Demography: Major population changes resulting from human and environmental factors

        1. 2 million people during Ice Age – allowed for growth

          1. big game gone

          2. more usable land available

        2. 50-100 million by 1000 CE

        3. Regional changes altered skin color, race type, quantity of body hair

    1. Time

      1. Periodization in early human history

        1. Early Hominids – humans 3.5 million years ago

          1. Australopithecus – Lucy – found in Africa

            1. Bipedalism

            2. sizable brain

            3. Larynx – voice box

2. 3 million – homo habilis – handy human – crude stone tools

3. 1 million - homo erectus – upright human

a. First to migrate

b. Clothed selves – skins/furs

4. 100,000 to 250,000 – homo sapiens – wise human

a. social groups

b. permanent, semi-permanent buildings

5. 100,000 to 200,000 – homo sapiens, sapiens

a. Out of Africa – started in Africa and migrated

b. Multiregional thesis – all developed independently



        1. Stone Age – First period of prehistory - Tool use separates hominids from ancestors

          1. Paleolithic – Old Stone Age – 10,000 to 2.5 million years ago

            1. Crude tools – clubs, axes, bones for shelter, protection, food, cloth

            2. Natural shelters – cave/canyons

              1. Began tentlike structures/huts

              2. Wooden/stone structures by Mesolithic

            3. 1 million years ago – fire

            4. Warfare – rocks, clubs – food preparation tools used for combat

              1. Weapons found in bones

5. Clothes from hides/furs and later plant fibers

a. Dying cloth for color

6. Families, clans, tribes

a. Select sexual partners – not seasonal

b. Long term sexual bonds – emotions + child rearing

c. Family units created clans



          1. Neolithic – New Stone Age – 5,000-10,000 years ago

      1. Nature and causes of changes associated with the time span

        1. Change due to Great Ice Age – Pleistocene Ice Age

      2. Continuities and breaks within the time span

        1. Mesolithic – Middle Stone Age – 10,000-12,000 years ago – transition

          1. Difficult to generalize

            1. Lack of information

            2. Regions developed at different times

    1. Diverse Interpretations

      1. What are the issues involved in using "civilization" as an organizing principle in world history?

        1. Westerncentric meaning

1. food producing w/ surplus

2. increase in population

3. specialization of labor

4. social hierarchy

5. growth of trade

6. centralization of religious/political authority

7. monumental buildings

8. written records

9. technical innovation – the arts


        1. World historians – more broad view – importance of human creativity

1. Interaction of human beings in creative manner

2. Cultural and material build



        1. What is a civilization

          1. Food surplus

          2. Advanced cities

          3. Advanced technology

          4. Skilled workers

          5. Complex institutions – government, religion

          6. System of writing/record keeping




      1. What is the most common source of change: connection or diffusion versus independent invention?

        1. Connection/diffusion – due to interaction vs. invented something new or used it in a new way

a. Diffusion – ironwork – Assyrians to Kushites

b. Invention – Nok people of Nigeria – smelting iron

2. Farming of certain crops – diffusion – Middle East > India > Europe > Nile

a. Others independent – sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, China, Americas

3. After emergence, diffusion takes over – exchange of techniques, seeds, crops


  1. Developing agriculture and technology

    1. Agricultural, pastoral, and foraging societies, and their demographic characteristics (Include Africa, the Americas, and Southeast Asia.)

      1. Foraging societies – small groups of people traveled – climate/food availability

1. Bad - climate, disease, famine, natural disasters

2. No permanent shelters

3. Limit to how much land can feed

4. Mammals, fished, gathered

5. Organization

a. Some had chiefs, leaders, religious figures

b. Coordination needed for hunting large game – later used for warfare

6. Worshipped deities – buried dead 100,000 years ago – burial sites

a. Sacrifices, ceremonies

7. Expression through art – art 32,000 years old, flutes 30,000 years old

8. Gender division of labor

a. Physical differences – men hunted, made war, heavy labor

b. Women gathered, prepared food, maintained home, children

c. Roles not seen as superior, just different - debatable



      1. Pastoral societies – domestication of animals

        1. Mountain regions, insufficient rainfall

        2. Small scale agriculture to add to milking

        3. Extended family important

        4. Women w/ few rights, men controlled food production

        5. Power based on size of herd

        6. Couldn’t settle needed to look for food for herd

          1. Seasonal migration

          2. Difficult to become “civilized”

        7. * Began to experiment w/ plants/seeds

          1. Mix animal husbandry w/ plant domestication

          2. By accident – latrines sprout veggies, yummy

          3. Women key role

3. Key points – one didn’t disappear

a. In one area, could have shifting cultivation + migratory farmers + forage + hunt/fish + nomadic pastoralism

4. Polytheism –

a. afterlife – matter – neither created or destroyed

b. energy > energy

c. from animism – spirits in anything

d. anthropologists – need control over fate – petition gods


    1. Emergence of agriculture and technological change

      1. Neolithic Revolution/Agricultural Revolution – 8000-3000 BCE

        1. Nomadic > agricultural > town > city

        2. W/ good soil, water source + cultivate plants – could build homes

          1. Domesticated animals/simple tools

3. Was it a revolution?

a. Long period of time

b. At different times

c. but…no one can argue immense changes

2. Psychological Issues

a. Shared land vs. ownership, people come on your land - intruders

3. Food Surplus

a. Time to make tools, dig an irrigation ditch, philosopher, religious leader

b. One farms for 100, you can individualize labor

1. Armies, towns, writing, art, experiment, technologies – specialization

c. Government and religion emerge to keep life orderly

1. Organize irrigation efforts which increases scope

4. Calendars, pottery containers, baskets, storehouses

5. Domestication – dog first – companionship, security hunting

a. Later goat – both during Paleolithic – milk/meat

b. Advantages of some societies on domestic options

6. Regional food

a. Central Africa - plantains, bananas, yams

b. Americas – maize, beans, squash

c. India – millet, barley

7. Migratory vs. Slash and burn

a. Ashes kept soil fertile

b. Replaced with shifting – planting, fallow

8. Changes – irrigation, mixing crop types

9. Fermentation of alcoholic beverages – end of Neolithic



    1. Nature of village settlements

      1. Must be near water – commerce, barter

      2. Stay in same place

        1. Sense of unity, create cultural traditions

        2. People tied to land – property as ownership

2. Role of women pre-farming – food gatherers – first to plant/harvest crops

a. Men were hunters

b. Gender-related differences – women lost status

1. Political, economic lives controlled by men

a. Community leaders, warriors, priests, traders, crafts

b. Patrilineal/patrilocal – tracing decent based on male line/husband’s home more important

3. Needed to work together –formation of communities

a. Defense against invaders

b. A family alone can’t create complex irrigation systems

4. Self-sufficient, but some trade occurred

5. Religious rituals become more complex – greater variety of gods and goddesses

a. Forces of nature + spirits of departed ancestors

b. Built permanent sites of worship – shrines, temples, megaliths

6. Creation of cities

a. Offer protection for defense

b. Centers for trading

c. Different skills/talents live together

d. Major cities

1. Jericho – Jordan River

2. Catal Huyuk – Turkey

3. Danpo – China

7. No longer can rely on oral communication – need writing

a. Keep records

b. Pass on information

c. Transfer information

d. Sumerians first 3500-3000 BCE, Incas civilized without



    1. Impact of agriculture on the environment

      1. Land – land reconfigured to fit needs of humans

        1. Diverts water

        2. Clears land for farming

        3. Roads built

        4. Stones unearthed for buildings/monuments

2. Animal kingdom

a. Animals as food, clothing, beast of burden – oxen

1. Increase food production

3. Overfarmed – depleted land of fertility

a. Move on to new land – sometimes called slash and burn


    1. Introduction of key stages of metal use

      1. Hard granite stones – farming tools – hoes, plows – farm tools priority

        1. Plow key prerequisite of society?

          1. Allowed for food surplus

      2. Pottery for cooking

      3. Weaving for baskets/nets

      4. Complex/comfortable clothing

      5. Wheels for carts sails for boats

      6. Combine copper with tin to make bronze

        1. Weapons, tools – Bronze Age

        2. Iron follows

7. Neolithic Age – New Stone Age – ends with metalworking

a. 6600 BCE – Copper used in Europe, Asia

b. Metalurghy – extracting from raw ore and metalwork – crafting – quite difficult

1. Jewelry predates 6400 BCE, but tools not efficient until later

8. 3500-3000 BCE – Bronze from copper/tin discovered in Middle East, Balkans, Southeast Asia – later part Neolithic Age – Bronze Age

a. Americas and Asia never had a bronze age – tin scarce

b. Scarcity of tin pushed need for international trade

9. 1500-1200 BCE – Iron Age – Hittites

a. Spread to Europe in 1000 BCE, Africa in 500 BCE

b. Possible to cultivate hard packed soil/more land

c. Wave of invasions from outside Mesopotamia


  1. Basic features of early civilizations in different environments: culture, state, and social structure

A. Mesopotamia

1. Culture

a. Independent innovation that passed to Egypt/Indus

b. 4000 BCE bronze, copper

c. Wheel, irrigation canals

d. 3500 Sumerians – cuneiform – first writing – stylus – objects > sounds

e. Number system – 60 – movement of heavenly bodies

1. navigation

2. time

f. Architecture – ziggurats – 1) glory of civilization, 2) many gods



1. Clay primary building material

g. First epic – Epic of Gilgamesh – 1) great flood story

1. King’s quest to achieve immortality

h. great traders

2. State

a. Unpredictable flooding – need for government – irrigation

b. City-states – controlled city + surrounding area

c. Geography – lack of natural barriers – invasion – defensive walls

d. Conflicts over water/property rights

e. Akkadians/Babylonians – spread Sumerian culture

1. Code of Hammurabi – first written law code

a. Different rules for gender/social classes

b. Very harsh, favored upper class

c. Systematic, consistent set of regulations, not arbitrary will of a ruler

f. After 900 BCE –Assyrians and Persians ruled

g. king-like figure – lugal “big man”

3. Social structure

a. Ruled by elite, rulers, priests

b. Farmed by slaves – could purchase freedom

c. Patriarchal – men could sell wives/children to pay debts

1. 1600 BCE women wearing veils

2. But…women could gain power courts, priestesses, scribes, small business



B. Egypt

1. Culture

a. 3000 BCE – Nile River

b. pharaoh – pyramids – tombs for self/families

1. Decorated w/ colorful paintings

c. polytheists – afterlife > mummification

1. Egyptian Book of the Dead – what happened to soul, how to reach happy

2. afterlife > mummification and tombs

d. bronze tools weapons after Mesopotamia

e. Kush – independent innovation iron – spread to Egypt

f. some trade w/ Kush and Mesopotamia

g. hieroglyphics – from trade contacts Mesopotamia

1. papyrus – paper making

h. geography – protected – could create unique civilization

i. less urban than Mesopotamians

j. 365 day calendar, medicine, math, astronomy

2. State

a. Nile overflowed annually – predictable

b. irrigation led to organization/government

c. agricultural villages engaged in trade

d. pharaoh – king – power

1. living incarnation of sun god

e. geography – protected from invading people

f. beginning 3100 when Menes unites Upper and Lower Egypt

g. 2040-1640 BCE Middle Kingdom – culturally dynamic

h. New Kingdom – 1500 – regained from foreign invaders Hyksos – focused on military

i. by 900 in control of foreign invaders – internal disorder, invasions

3. Social structure

a. Social classes, but commoners could enter government service – rise in social status

b. Patriarchal, but women had some privileges

1. Women sometimes acted as regents for young rulers, priestesses, scribes

2. managed household finances/education of children

3. right to divorce husbands/alimony

4. could own property

5. Queen Hatshepsut

C. Indus – 2500 BCE Indus River - Pakistan

1. Culture

a. Streets laid out in precise grid – houses had running water/sewage

b. Harappan writing not deciphered – much unclear

c. active trade w/ Indus valley and Sumer – ores from one place found in others

d. blend of Aryans and Indus valley people affected future course of history

e. quite large – size of France/urbanized

2. State


a. unpredictable flooding

b. Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro

1. Because of similarities of cities, tightly unified, centrally controlled

c. Overtaken by Indo-Europeans – Aryans

1. Already dying out – 1) river change or 2) earthquake, 3) erosion of soil

4) salt in wells

d. whole societies – all over – Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro only tip, last

3. Social Structure

a. little known – Dravidians relatively egalitarian

b. not as patriarchal

c. Aryans – based it on color – Varnu

d. Aryans eventually control politically, but Dravidians would win out culturally



D. Shang – most isolated – Huange He valley – Yellow River – “China’s Sorrow”

1. Culture

a. Isolated by deserts, mountains, and seas – unpredictable flooding

1. Still some trade w/ Southwest Asia and South Asia

b. Shang Dynasty (1766-1122 left written records)

1. Knowledge of bronze metallurgy – from Southwest Asia

2. Strengthened Shang war machine

3. 1000 BCE Ironworking

4. Fortune telling and ancestor worship started here

c. Palaces/tombs built for emperors

d. Writing – oracle bones

1. Oracle scratch person’s question on bone/shell – heat it

2. Resulting cracks read to learn message from gods

a. Shoulder

e. myth of Xia dynasty

2. State


1. Dynasties

2. Central rule to oversee irrigation/flood-control projects

3. Walled cities – center of cultural, military, economic – set precedent in villages

4. Zhou replaced Shang – “mandate of heaven” – if leader governed wisely and fairly, he could claim right to divine rule

a. Warrior aristocracy

b. fought northern/western neighbors – barbarians – expanded empire

5. Tradition of central authority

6. Began as small agricultural cities along Yellow River

3. Social Structure

1. Stratified – ruling elites, artisans, peasants, slaves

2. Patriarchal – father needs to know children are his

a. Subservient

b. multiple marriages

c. preference for sons - infanticide

3. Ancestor worship

4. Matrilineal society before Shang



E. Mesoamerica and Andean South America

1. Culture

a. lacked knowledge of wheel

b. Olmecs/Maya – pyramids/temples

c. Polytheistic

d. Cultural diffusion – maize, terraced pyramids

1. Calendars

2. Ball game on a court

3. Quetzalcoatl – god who would return to rule world in peace

e. Mayan reached height in 300 CE

1. system of writing – pictographs

2. value of zero

3. astronomy – predicted eclipses

4. length of year within a few seconds

2. State

1. small city-states – ruled by kings – fought against each other

a. Prisoners of war – slaves/sacrifices to gods

2. lack of pack animals/geography prevented communication

3. Inhabitants cooperated for irrigation systems

4. Rugged terrain of Andes prevented central gov’t from organizing

3. Social structure

a. Elite class of rulers/priests vs. commoners and slaves

4. Geography – not in valleys of major rivers

1. smaller rivers/streams near oceans



2. no large animals/beasts of burden – llama biggest animal – human labor

(Students should be able to compare two of the early civilizations above.)

  1. Classical civilizations - China, India, and the Mediterranean

        1. Classical Civilizations – those with lasting influence over vast numbers

  1. Political Developments

    1. Major themes

      1. Recurrent invasions from people from North

      2. Flooding a problem – how to control rivers

    2. China

      1. Zhou – 1027-771 BCE replaced Shang – mandate of heaven – rationalization

        1. Expanded territory – added southern rice valley

        2. further centralized gov’t

        3. Feudal system

          1. Too large to control

            1. Developed bureaucracies – bureaus - departments

          2. Worked for couple centuries

            1. But nobles build up wealth/power

            2. Split off into individual kingdoms

          3. Nobles given power over small regions

            1. King gave noble protection for loyalty




        1. Emperors lived lives of luxury

        2. Standardized language

        3. Classical age

          1. Hundreds Schools of Thought

            1. Philosophers – practical and metaphysical

            2. Wanted to see political reform

        4. Longest lasting dynasty

        5. Mandate of Heaven

          1. Power as long as gods allowed

          2. Corruption/military defeat weakened a ruler > gods no longer in favor

8. Lasted until 500 BCE when internal conflict – Era of Warring States

      1. Qin – after Era of the Warring States – 221-202 BCE

        1. Shi Huangdi – “First Emperor” > dictatorial

        2. name applied to country

          1. Unified country by conquering warring feudal states

            1. Abolished feudalism

            2. Instituted centralized gov’t that would be model

        3. one of briefest dynasties

        4. Major precedents

          1. Strong emperor

          2. Large Bureaucracy

          3. Expanded territory to Vietnam

        5. Defensive wall – Great Wall

          1. Shows empire well organized, centralized, brutal

        6. Weights, measures, coinage standardized

        7. Silk cloth encouraged

        8. Established uniform laws

        9. Legalism – state sponsored alternative to Confucianism/Taoism

          1. People are basically evil – must be kept in line w/ strict laws

        10. Rule cruel/autocratic

          1. Refused to tolerate any dissent

            1. Dissent in book > burned

            2. Dissent in scholar > killed

        11. Heavy taxes for peasants

          1. Overburdened peasants revolted and overthrew in 207 BCE



      1. Han – 200 BCE – 220 CE

        1. Governmental bureaucracy grew stronger

          1. Effective administration, postal service, tax-collecting

        2. Territory expanded to Central Asia, Korea, Indochina

          1. Under Emperor Wu (140-87 BCE) expanded furthest

            1. Wu Ti = Warrior Emperor

        3. Chinese civil service exam

          1. Excellent communicators/highly educated

          2. Test lasted for days

          3. Open to everyone, but only wealthy could afford to prepare

          4. Bureaucracy highly skilled

        4. Time of peace settled across China

          1. Threat of Huns not as significant as in Europe

        5. Government oversaw iron production

        6. Government sponsored and maintained canals, irrigation

        7. Name “Han” still used to refer to people

        8. Main goal – unification of China

        9. Reestablished Confucian philosophy

        10. Two million ethnic Chinese moved to northwestern region to colonize imperial frontier

        11. Expanded territory west to Turkistan

        12. Internal struggles for power destabilized

        13. Taxes grew to high

          1. Peasant uprising 184 BCE

          2. Yellow Turbans – secret society – anti-Han support

          3. Ended dynasty – led to Three Kingdoms

        14. Outside invaders made it tough to protect borders

        15. Similarities to Han and Roman empires

          1. Large and powerful

          2. Conquests plus effective administration

        16. Next 350 years state of chaos




      1. Three Kingdoms (220-265 CE) – three domains

        1. Wei – northeast

        2. Shu – west

        3. Wu – south and east

        4. Balance – two kingdoms balance out third

          1. Wei grew more powerful – reunited in 265



    1. India

      1. Aryans (1500 BCE)

        1. Lighter skinned Aryans + Darker skinned Dravidians

        2. About 600 BCE – divided into 16 states

        3. At first establish warrior aristocracy/enslaved Dravidians

      2. Maurya Empire (321-185 BCE)

        1. strong centralized

        2. Promoted trade and communication

        3. After brief period of rule Alexander the Great

          1. 330-321 BCE

        4. Regional lord – Chandragupta Maurya

        5. Powerful military

        6. Greatest ruler – Ashoka

          1. Successful warrior – converted to Buddhism

          2. Turned away from military conquest

            1. Disgusted by bloody victory over Kalinga

              1. Preached nonviolence/moderation

          3. Building projects undertaken

          4. Admired for justice and attempts to create harmony between religions

          5. Rock and Pillar Edicts – billboards

            1. Live generous and righteous lives

          6. Missionaries sent out to spread Buddhism

            1. Brahmins lost power – angered

e. w/ death Brahmins undermined

i. Buddhism pushed to fringe of empire



        1. collapsed due to attacks from outsiders

        2. large, efficient bureaucracy

          1. maintain order, collect taxes, build infrastructure

      1. Gupta Empire (320 to 550 CE)

        1. ruled through central gov’t allowed village gov’ts power

        2. Advantageous alliances and military conquests

        3. More decentralized/smaller – “golden age”

        4. Firm supporters of Hinduism

          1. Brahmins restored to traditional role – advisors/gurus

        5. Control based on local lords

          1. Paid tribute for local autonomy

        6. One of the more peaceful/prosperous eras

        7. Around 450 CE Northern invaders brought Gupta empire to slow end

iii. much order from caste system/Hinduism



    1. Mediterranean

      1. Persian Empire – Cyrus the Great – system of provinces w/ governors

        1. Single code of laws

ii. Greece – not single political system/city-states

1. Prevented from being united – terrain/islands

2. Independent and competing

a. Needed to be militarily powerful

b. Civil wars plus expansion to new colonies

c. Constant conflict between self and outsiders

3. polis – city-state – politics

4. Most oligarchies – narrow, elite families

a. Transition to democracy gradual

1. Monarchy > aristocracy > democracy

2. Draco and Solon – fair, equal, firm laws

5. Key city-states

a. Athens – democracy – others dictatorship, oligarchy

1. Direct democracy – male citizens – lot – general

assembly

a. Height under Pericles – 462-429

2. even with restrictions, most representative government in ancient world

b. Sparta – rigid, slave-holding dictatorship

1. most effective/feared army

6. Persian Wars (492-479) led to Athenian dominance

a. Golden Age of Pericles – Delian League

7. Followed by Peloponnesian War

a. Led to Greek weakening

1. Open to Persian influence

2. Invasion from North – Macedon – Philip II

8. Philip II son – Alexander the Great

a. 33 – exhaustion, alcoholism, fever

b. campaign – 40,000 troops, 20,000 miles, 3600 days

iii. Roman Republic –

1. Senate from patrician class, two consuls, tribunes protect interests

2. Most positions by aristocrats

iv. Roman Empire

3. Bureaucrats – civil servants

a. Captured areas – provinces, but a bit of self-government



b. Single Roman Law Code throughout



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