Foundations


Throughout the Paleolithic period, humans migrated from Africa to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas. In response to warming climates at the end of the last Ice Age, from about 10,000 years ago, some groups adapted to the environment in new ways, while others remained hunter-foragers. Settled agriculture appeared in several different parts of the world. The switch to agriculture created a more reliable, but not necessarily more diversified, food supply. Pastoral peoples domesticated animals and led their herds around grazing ranges. Like agriculturalists, pastoralists tended to be more socially stratified than hunter-foragersFrom 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. 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. 
  1. What evidence do we have to explain the earliest history of humans, and how is it interpreted?
  2. What does the evidence tell us about where early humans migrated from and the technologies and socio-economic systems they developed? 
  1. What were the long-term demographic, social, political, and economic effects of the Neolithic Revolution?
  2. How did pastoral societies resemble or differ from agricultural societies? 
  1. What are the characteristics of civilization?
  2. How did civilizations develop and become more complex before 600 BCE?
  3. What were the effects of the increasing complexity of early civilized societies?

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