Key Concept 1.3 The Development and Interaction of Early Agricultural, Pastoral, and 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.
Students should be able to identify the location of all of the following required examples of core and foundational civilizations (Mesopotamia in the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys, Egypt in the Nile River Valley, Mohenjo-Daro and Harappa in the Indus River Valley, Shang in the Yellow River or Huang He Valley,Olmecs in Mesoamerica, Chavín in Andean South America)
2. The first states emerged within core civilizations.
As states grew and competed for land and resources, the more favorably situated — including the Hittites, who had access to iron— had greater access to resources, produced more surplus food, and experienced growing populations. These states were able to undertake territorial expansion and conquer surrounding states.
Early regions of state expansion or empire building were Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and the Nile Valley.
Pastoralists were often the developers and disseminators of new weapons(Compound Bows, Iron Weapons)and modes of transportation (Chariots,Horseback riding)that transformed warfare in agrarian civilizations.
3. Culture played a significant role in unifying states through laws, language, literature, religion, myths, and monumental art.