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Class Assignment_Chapter 1

Class Assignment_Chapter 1

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Miguel EspinalWestern Civilizations 1012-10-2013Chapter 1-Early CivilizationsAssignment #1
1)
 
The impact that the advent of food storage had on the development of ancient cities began during the Neolithic Period. The indigenous people known as the Natufians settled inthe area designated as The Fertile Crescent. These people shifted from a Nomadic existenceas hunter/gatherers into a system of localized settlements which began to store harvestedfood and also domesticated animals. Along with this new system, the people did not need togo out hunting and gathering as often. Through this eventful innovation of storage, the people in these small settlements had more time for leisure where they could concentratemore on crafting, (stone tools and hunting implements, carvings and adornments.) This newconcept helped in the development of trade. With trade came cultural and socialcommunication within the region gaining them new ideas, cross breeding with new groupsof people, as well as many conflicts over lands and resources. Individuals with large foodstores among the small settlements achieved more wealth and recognition. With thisconcept, began the advancement of a leadership status socially among the smallcommunities. The result was a more stratified society, with more opportunity for a certainfew to become more dominant within the settlements.The advancement of trade and a social status within the Fertile Crescent, villages turnedinto towns resulting in larger populations becoming more structured. The introduction of 
 
religion also helped achieve a new order of class within these towns. Temples began toemerge and the influence the priests had over the people such as economic, andadministrative functions resulted in many changes to society as a whole. Classes rangingfrom Upper class, (priests, scribes and assigned community leaders.) all the way down tolower classes, (merchants, traders, farmers and slaves.) were working together towards becoming more culturally and socially productive.In conclusion, with the concept of storing food and surplus in localized areas of the FertileCrescent; signs of increased specializations and competition have been discovered; over timein Mesopotamia, cultural and social progress with trade routes, a hierarchy and religion;evolved into larger populated areas.The accelerating Neolithic idea of having a military and the building of walls around townsfor protection against rivals; began the transition of settlements becoming more powerful,turning them into self-governing villages, towns and then eventually into city-states.2)
 
The Sumerian people are considered the most technologically innovative people in theancient world, because they were the first people in ancient times to develop some of themost advanced practical and technological discoveries of their time. Sumerians cultivated ahigh degree of self-reliance and ingenuity. The development of writing for their technologyand economic endeavors assisted in keeping records which was done by using a reed stylus;they would make wedge shaped impressions on wet clay tablets then bake them in the sun.
These Pictogram writings evolved into symbols. Scribes from scribal schools or “Ho
use of 
 
Tablets”
as it was historically called were taught the practice of writing and recordinginformation.Sumerians became skilled metallurgists as well; using copper to make tools and weapons by melting the mineral and pouring them into molds, soon after they were also fashioningthese implements with bronze; issuing in a new era, The Bronze Age. Besides writing andthe discovery of bronze, the Sumerians invented the wheel and could make clay pots and
vessels for storage by using the potter’s wheel as a fundamental tool. They were also making
two- and four-wheeled chariots and carts for the use in war, transportation and trade. The plow and seed drill is also accredited to the Sumerians which helped the agriculturaladvancements of the era.Sumerians can also be credited with the development of mathematics, used for elaborateirrigations systems, sophisticated measuring and surveying techniques and the unique art of map making. The lunar calendar which consisted of twelve months was invented by theSumerians for the use of calculating the seasons for agricultural needs. The practice of dividing time into multiples of sixty is also a credit to Sumerian innovation and ingenuitydue to the fact that
it’s
still used to this day. Not only part of our 30-day month thatcorresponds approximately with the phases of the moon but also the hour into 60 minutes,are which in turn divided into sixty seconds. Mathematics also helped the Sumeriansarchitects build domes and arches thousands of years before the Romans adopted theknowledge.

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