Theme 1: As we begin, this is the theme we'll see the most. Human beings will spend hundreds of thousands of years migrating across the globe from Africa to populate the Earth. People will begin to settle in river valleys and move from the traditional hunter-gatherer to a new form of life centered around farming & agriculture (the Neolithic Revolution). We will begin to see some inventions & innovations come about all designed to help with farming like irrigation and other tools. Theme 2: Most of the early religions are polytheistic (many gods). This is the time period that will give birth to the two oldest "major" religions; Hinduism and Judaism. There is little to no interaction between cultures at this time, so limited sharing of ideas & technology. Theme 3: We have civilizations grow in 4 areas: Nile River, Egypt; Mesopotamia; the Indus River Valley (modern day Pakistan & India); & Yangtze River, China. As people move away from hunter gathering, we'll see specialization of jobs begin & eventually leading for the need for early government structures. Most of these will center around a singular ruler how deems that he has been chosen by the gods to lead, and these leaders would of course then be viewed as godlike figures as well. Theme 4: There is very little trade and commerce due to the little amount of merchants and travel far beyond one's home civilization. Most economies will revolved around farming and producing enough food to feed the people of your city-state or area. Theme 5: Societies will be patriarchal (men at the head of the household), but early on women did have a much more prominent role in society rather than just being in charge of raising children. This will slowly begin to decline and for the most part completely evaporate by the Classical Era. Slavery does exist in these early civilizations (or an equivalent like the Untouchables in Indus River) and they will be at the bottom of the social hierarchy. Social structures will appear, like the caste system in Indus River, where priests and kings will usually be at the top, followed by warriors and artisans, and peasants and slaves at the bottom.
Important Dates to Know for Unit 1
Areas of Focus this Unit
People to Know in Unit 1
Place for all your Notes, Readings, and Activities
Aug 31 - Point of view exercise, if time we'll look at a couple of past DBQs from exams and score them using rubrics. 3.2.1 on what we've learned about DBQs HW: Buddhism DBQ due Fri 9/4, recommend you watch videos linked on essay writing page Sep 1 - QOTD, Breakdown a couple of the Buddhism documents, What makes a civilization discussion, Crash Course on civilization, discuss video, discuss Olmecs and Chavin HW: Watch Gilgamesh video and post thoughts on class blog, must write own reaction and comment on classmates post. Buddhism DBQ due Fri 9/4 Sep 2 - Breakdown a couple more Buddhism documents, notes on Key Concept 1.1-1.3 and Review unit 1. HW: Buddhism DBQ due Fri 9/4 Sep 3 - QOTD, Thesis writing workshop, Introduce Religion project. HW: Buddhism DBQ due tomorrow 9/4 Sep 4 - Spread of religion maps analysis, religion charts, begin research on religion projects.Buddhism DBQs due today HW: Work on religion charts and projects, charts should be completed by Monday.
Notes and questions from Jared Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel
Humans started as hunter-gatherers living in small familial clans or tribes
The Neolithic Revolution brought farming with it, and farming began in different regions and at different rates for a variety of reasons (think back to what Diamond told us)
But nearly all of those successful ancient civilizations began centered in a river valley to help with their agriculture.
Once people stopped solely worrying about their next meal, they turned their attention to other things like specialization of jobs, art, and writings and trade and social and political structures would soon follow.
Two of the world's major religions have origins back to this time period (Judaism and Hinduism).