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1.History 1 Etymology 2 Description 3 History and prehistory 4 Historiography 5 Philosophy of history 6 Historical methods 7 Areas of study 7.1 Periods 7.2 Geographical locations 7.2.1 World 7.2.2 Regions 7.3 Military history 7.4 Social history 7.5 Cultural History 7.6 Diplomatic history 7.7 People's history 7.8 Gender history 8 Pseudohistory 2.Prehistory 1 Definition 2 Stone Age 2.1 Paleolithic 2.2 Mesolithic 2.3 Neolithic 2.3.1 Agriculture 3 Bronze Age 4 Iron Age 5 Timeline of human prehistory 3.Human evolution 1 History of ideas about human evolution 2 Before Homo 2.1 Evolution of apes 2.2 Divergence of the human lineage from other Great Apes 3 Genus Homo 3.1 Homo habilis 3.2 Homo rudolfensis and Homo georgicus
3.3 Homo ergaster and Homo erectus 3.4 Homo cepranensis and Homo antecessor 3.5 Homo heidelbergensis 3.6 Homo rhodesiensis, and the Gawis cranium 3.7 Homo neanderthalensis 3.8 Homo sapiens 3.9 Homo floresiensis 3.10 Comparative table of Homo species 4 Use of tools 4.1 Stone tools 4.2 Modern humans and the "Great Leap Forward" debate 5 Models of human evolution 5.1 Multiregional model 5.2 Out of Africa 6 Genetics 4.History of Writing 1 Writing systems 2 Recorded history 2.1 Developmental stages 2.2 Literature and writing 3 Locations and timeframes 3.1 Proto-writing 3.1.1 Europe and Near East 3.1.2 India and Asia 3.2 Bronze Age writing 3.2.1 Cuneiform script 3.2.2 Egyptian hieroglyphs 3.2.3 Chinese writing 3.2.4 Elamite scripts 3.2.5 Anatolian hieroglyphs 3.2.6 Cretan scripts 3.2.7 Early Semitic alphabets 3.2.8 Indus scripts 3.2.9 Mesoamerica 3.3 Iron Age writing 3.4 Writing in Antiquity 3.5 Middle Ages writing 3.6 Modern writing 4 Materials of writing 5.Ancient history 1 The study of ancient history 1.1 Archaeology
1.2 Source text 2 Chronology 2.1 Prehistory 2.2 Timeline of Ancient History 2.2.1 Middle to Late Bronze Age 2.2.2 Early Iron Age 2.2.3 Classical Antiquity 188.8.131.52 Before the Common Era 184.108.40.206.1 Early ancient history 220.127.116.11.2 Late ancient history 18.104.22.168 In the Common Era 2.3 End of Classical Antiquity 4 Religion and philosophy 5 Ancient science and technology 6 Ancient maritime activity 7 Ancient warfare 8 Ancient artwork and music 9 Cultures in the New World 6.Ancient Near East and North Africa 1 Periodization 2 History 2.1 Chalcolithic 2.1.1 Early Mesopotamia 2.2 Bronze Age 2.2.1 Early Bronze Age 22.214.171.124 Sumer 126.96.36.199 Elam 188.8.131.52 The Amorites 2.2.2 Middle Bronze Age 2.2.3 Late Bronze Age 184.108.40.206 Bronze Age collapse 2.3 Iron Age 3 Religions 1 Carthage and the Berbers 2 Roman North Africa 3 Vandals and Byzantines
History is the study of the human past, with special attention to the written record. Scholars who write about history are called historians. It is a field of research which uses a narrative to examine and analyse the sequence of events, and it often attempts to investigate objectively the patterns of cause and effect that determine events. Historians debate the nature of history and the lessons history teaches. A famous quote by the philosopher George Santayana has it that "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it." The stories common to a particular culture, but not supported by external sources (such as the legends surrounding King Arthur) are usually classified as cultural heritage rather than the "disinterested investigation" needed by the discipline of history.
The word history comes from Greek ἱστορία (historia), from the Proto-IndoEuropean *wid-tor-, from the root *weid-, "to know, to see". This root is also present in the English words wit, wise, wisdom, vision, and idea, in the Sanskrit word veda, and in the Slavic word videti and vedati, as well as others. (The asterisk before a word indicates that it is a hypothetical construction, not an attested form.)
Frederick Dielman (1896).
The Ancient Greek word ἱστορία, historía, means "inquiry, knowledge acquired by investigation". It was in that sense that Aristotle used the word in his Περὶ Τὰ Ζῷα Ἱστορίαι, Peri Ta Zoa Ηistoriai or, in Latinized form, Historia Animalium. The term is derived from ἵστωρ, hístōr meaning wise man, witness, or judge. We can see early attestations of ἵστωρ in Homeric Hymns, Heraclitus, the Athenian ephebes' oath, and in Boiotic inscriptions (in a legal sense, either "judge" or "witness", or similar). The spirant is problematic, and not present in cognate Greek εἴδομαι - eídomai ("to appear"). The form ἱστορεῖν - historeîn, "to inquire",
is an Ionic derivation, which spread first in Classical Greece and ultimately over all of Hellenistic civilization. It was still in the Greek sense that Francis Bacon used the term in the late 16th century, when he wrote about "Natural History". For him, historia was "the knowledge of objects determined by space and time", that sort of knowledge provided by memory (while science was provided by reason, and poetry was provided by fantasy). The word entered the English language in 1390 with the meaning of "relation of incidents, story". In Middle English, the meaning was "story" in general. The restriction to the meaning "record of past events" arises in the late 15th century. In German, French, and most Germanic and Romance languages, the same word is still used to mean both "history" and "story". The adjective historical is attested from 1661, and historic from 1669. Historian in the sense of a "researcher of history" is attested from 1531. In all European languages, the substantive "history" is still used to mean both "what happened with men", and "the scholarly study of the happened", the latter sense sometimes distinguished with a capital letter, "History", or the word historiography.
The title page to The Historians' History of the World Since historians are observers and participants, the works they produce are written from the perspective of their own time and sometimes with due concern for possible lessons for their own future. In the words of Benedetto Croce, "All history is contemporary history". History is facilitated by the formation of a 'true discourse of past' through the production of narrative and analysis of past events
relating to the human race. The modern discipline of history is dedicated to the institutional production of this discourse. All events that are remembered and preserved in some authentic form constitute the historical record. The task of historical discourse is to identify the sources which can most usefully contribute to the production of accurate accounts of past. Therefore, the constitution of the historian's archive is a result of circumscribing a more general archive by invalidating the usage of certain texts and documents (by falsifying their claims to represent the 'true past'). The study of history has sometimes been classified as part of the humanities and other times as part of the social sciences. It can also be seen as a bridge between those two broad areas, incorporating methodologies from both. Some individual historians strongly support one or the other classification. In modern academia, history is increasingly classified as a social science. In the 20th century, French historian Fernand Braudel revolutionized the study of history, by using such outside disciplines as economics, anthropology, and geography in the study of global history. Traditionally, historians have recorded events of the past, either in writing or by passing on an oral tradition, and have attempted to answer historical questions through the study of written documents and oral accounts. For the beginning, historians have also used such sources as monuments, inscriptions, and pictures. In general, the sources of historical knowledge can be separated into three categories: what is written, what is said, and what is physically preserved, and historians often consult all three. But writing is the marker that separates history from what comes before. Archaeology is a discipline that is especially helpful in dealing with buried sites and objects, which, once unearthed, contribute to the study of history. But archaeology rarely stands alone. It uses narrative sources to complement its discoveries. However, archaeology is constituted by a range of methodologies and approaches which are independent from history; that is to say, archaeology does not "fill the gaps" within textual sources. Indeed, Historical Archaeology is a specific branch of archaeology, often contrasting its conclusions against those of contemporary textual sources. Mark Leone, the excavator and interpreter of historical Annapolis in New Jersey (a town on east coast), has sought to understand the contradiction between textual documents and the material record, demonstrating the possession of slaves and the inequalities of wealth apparent via the study of the total historical environment, despite the ideology of "liberty" inherent in written documents at this time. There are varieties of ways in which history can be organized, including chronologically, culturally, territorially, and thematically. These divisions are not mutually exclusive, and significant overlaps are often present, as in "The International Women's Movement in an Age of Transition, 1830–1975." It is
possible for historians to concern themselves with both the very specific and the very general, although the modern trend has been toward specialization. The area called Big History resists this specialization, and searches for universal patterns or trends. History has often been studied with some practical or theoretical aim, but also may be studied out of simple intellectual curiosity.
History and prehistory
The history of the world is the memory of the past experience of Homo sapiens sapiens around the world, as that experience has been preserved, largely in written records. By "prehistory", historians mean the recovery of knowledge of the past in an area where no written records exist, or where the writing of a culture is not understood. Human history is marked both by a gradual accretion of discoveries and inventions, as well as by quantum leaps — paradigm shifts, revolutions — that comprise epochs in the material and spiritual evolution of humankind. By studying painting, drawings, carvings, and other artifacts, some information can be recovered even in the absence of a written record. Since the 20th century, the study of prehistory is considered essential to avoid history's implicit exclusion of certain civilizations, such as those of Sub-Saharan Africa and pre-Columbian America. Historians in the West have been criticized for focusing disproportionately on the Western world. In 1961, British historian E. H. Carr wrote: The line of demarcation between prehistoric and historical times is crossed when people cease to live only in the present, and become consciously interested both in their past and in their future. History begins with the handing down of tradition; and tradition means the carrying of the habits and lessons of the past into the future. Records of the past begin to be kept for the benefit of future generations. Such a definition would include within the scope of history peoples such as Australian Aboriginals and New Zealand Maori who, before contact with Europeans, already possessed a strong interest in the past and maintained oral records transmitted to succeeding generations.
Historiography has a number of related meanings. Firstly, it can refer to how history has been produced: the story of the development of methodology and practices (for example, the move from short-term biographical narrative towards long-term thematic analysis). Secondly, it can refer to what has been produced: a specific body of historical writing (for example, "medieval historiography during the 1960s" means "Works of medieval history written during the 1960s"). Thirdly, it may refer to why history is produced: the Philosophy of history. As a meta-level analysis of descriptions of the past, this third conception can relate to the first two
in that the analysis usually focuses on the narratives, interpretations, worldview, use of evidence, or method of presentation of other historians. Professional historians also debate the question of whether history can be taught as a single coherent narrative or a series of competing narratives.
Philosophy of history
Philosophy of history is an area of philosophy concerning the eventual significance, if any, of human history. Furthermore, it speculates as to a possible teleological end to its development—that is, it asks if there is a design, purpose, directive principle, or finality in the processes of human history. Philosophy of history should not be confused with historiography, which is the study of history as an academic discipline, and thus concerns its methods and practices, and its development as a discipline over time. Nor should philosophy of history be confused with the history of philosophy, which is the study of the development of philosophical ideas through time. Professional historians debate the question of whether history is a science or a liberal art. The distinction is artificial, as many view the field from more than one perspective. Recent argument in support for the transformation of history into science have been made by Peter Turchin in an article titled "Arise Cliodynamics" in the journal "Nature".
The historical method comprises the techniques and guidelines by which historians use primary sources and other evidence to research and then to write history. Herodotus of Halicarnassus (484 BC – ca.425 BC) has generally been acclaimed as the "father of history". However, his contemporary Thucydides (ca. 460 BC – ca. 400 BC) is credited with having first approached history with a welldeveloped historical method in his work the History of the Peloponnesian War. Thucydides, unlike Herodotus and other religious historians, regarded history as being the product of the choices and actions of human beings, and looked at cause and effect, rather than as the result of divine intervention. In his historical method, Thucydides emphasized chronology, a neutral point of view, and that the human world was the result of the actions of human beings. Greek historians also viewed history as cyclical, with events regularly recurring. There were historical traditions and sophisticated use of historical method in ancient and medieval China. The groundwork for professional historiography in East Asia was established by the Han Dynasty court historian known as Sima Qian (145–90 BC), author of the Shiji (Records of the Grand Historian). For the quality of his timeless written work, Sima Qian is posthumously known as the
Father of Chinese Historiography. Chinese historians of subsequent dynastic periods in China used his Shiji as the official format for historical texts, as well as for biographical literature. Saint Augustine was influential in Christian and Western thought at the beginning of the medieval period. Through the Medieval and Renaissance periods, history was often studied through a sacred or religious perspective. Around 1800, German philosopher and historian Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel brought philosophy and a more secular approach in historical study. In the preface to his book, the Muqaddimah (1377), the Arab historian and early sociologist, Ibn Khaldun, warned of seven mistakes that he thought that historians regularly committed. In this criticism, he approached the past as strange and in need of interpretation. The originality of Ibn Khaldun was to claim that the cultural difference of another age must govern the evaluation of relevant historical material, to distinguish the principles according to which it might be possible to attempt the evaluation, and lastly, to feel the need for experience, in addition to rational principles, in order to assess a culture of the past. Ibn Khaldun often criticized "idle superstition and uncritical acceptance of historical data." As a result, he introduced a scientific method to the study of history, and he often referred to it as his "new science". His historical method included role of state, communication, propaganda and systematic bias in history, However Ibn Khaldun had no followers and established no school; his work was unknown in the west until the 19th century and had no influence there. In the West historians developed modern methods of historiography in the 17th and 18th centuries, especially in France and Germany. The 19th century historian with greatest influence on methods was Leopold von Ranke in Germany. In the 20th century, academic historians focused less on epic nationalistic narratives, which often tended to glorify the nation or individuals, to more objective and complex analyses of social and intellectual forces. A major trend of historical methodology in the 20th century was a tendency to treat history more as a social science rather than as an art, which traditionally had been the case. Some of the leading advocates of history as a social science were a diverse collection of scholars which included Fernand Braudel, E. H. Carr, Fritz Fischer, Emmanuel Le Roy Ladurie, Hans-Ulrich Wehler, Bruce Trigger, Marc Bloch, Karl Dietrich Bracher, Peter Gay, Robert Fogel, Lucien Febvre and Lawrence Stone. Many of the advocates of history as a social science were or are noted for their multi-disciplinary approach. Braudel combined history with geography, Bracher history with political science, Fogel history with economics, Gay history with psychology, Trigger history with archeology while Wehler, Bloch, Fischer, Stone, Febvre and Le Roy Ladurie have in varying and differing ways amalgamated history with sociology, geography, anthropology, and economics. More recently, the field of digital history has begun to address ways of using computer
technology to pose new questions to historical data and generate digital scholarship. In opposition to the claims of history as a social science, historians such as Hugh Trevor-Roper, John Lukacs, Donald Creighton, Gertrude Himmelfarb and Gerhard Ritter argued that the key to the historians' work was the power of the imagination, and hence contended that history should be understood as an art. French historians associated with the Annales School introduced quantitative history, using raw data to track the lives of typical individuals, and were prominent in the establishment of cultural history (cf. histoire des mentalités). Intellectual historians such as Herbert Butterfield, Ernst Nolte and George Mosse have argued for the significance of ideas in history. American historians, motivated by the civil rights era, focused on formerly overlooked ethnic, racial, and socio-economic groups. Another genre of social history to emerge in the post-WWII era was Alltagsgeschichte (History of Everyday Life). Scholars such as Martin Broszat, Ian Kershaw and Detlev Peukert sought to examine what everyday life was like for ordinary people in 20th century Germany, especially in the Nazi period. Marxist historians such as Eric Hobsbawm, E. P. Thompson, Rodney Hilton, Georges Lefebvre, Eugene D. Genovese, Isaac Deutscher, C. L. R. James, Timothy Mason, Herbert Aptheker, Arno J. Mayer and Christopher Hill have sought to validate Karl Marx's theories by analyzing history from a Marxist perspective. In response to the Marxist interpretation of history, historians such as François Furet, Richard Pipes, J. C. D. Clark, Roland Mousnier, Henry Ashby Turner and Robert Conquest have offered anti-Marxist interpretations of history. Feminist historians such as Joan Wallach Scott, Claudia Koonz, Natalie Zemon Davis, Sheila Rowbotham, Gisela Bock, Gerda Lerner, Elizabeth Fox-Genovese, and Lynn Hunt have argued for the importance of studying the experience of women in the past. In recent years, postmodernists have challenged the validity and need for the study of history on the basis that all history is based on the personal interpretation of sources. In his 1997 book In Defence of History, Richard J. Evans, a professor of modern history at Cambridge University, defended the worth of history. Another defence of history from post-modernist criticism was the Australian historian Keith Windschuttle's 1994 book, The Killing of History.
Areas of study
Historical study often focuses on events and developments that occur in particular blocks of time. Historians give these periods of time names in order to allow "organising ideas and classificatory generalisations" to be used by historians. The names given to a period can vary with geographical location, as can the dates of the start and end of a particular period. Centuries and decades
are commonly used periods and the time they represent depends on the dating system used. Most periods are constructed retrospectively and so reflect value judgments made about the past. The way periods are constructed and the names given to them can affect the way they are viewed and studied.
Particular geographical locations can form the basis of historical study, for example, continents, countries and cities. Understanding why historic events took place is important. To do this, historians often turn to geography. Weather patterns, the water supply, and the landscape of a place all affect the lives of the people who live there. For example, to explain why the ancient Egyptians developed a successful civilization, you must look at the geography of Egypt. Egyptian civilization was built on the banks of the Nile River, which flooded each year, depositing soil on its banks. The rich soil could help farmers grow enough crops to feed the people in the cities. That meant everyone did not have to farm, so some people could perform other jobs that helped develop the civilization.
World history is the study of major civilizations over the last 3000 years or so. It has led to highly controversial interpretations by Oswald Spengler and Arnold J. Toynbee, among others. World history is especially important as a teaching field. It has increasingly entered the university curriculum in the U.S., in many cases replacing courses in Western Civilization, that had a focus on Europe and the U.S. World history adds extensive new material on Asia, Africa and Latin America.
History of Africa begins with the first emergence of modern human beings on the continent, continuing into its modern present as a patchwork of diverse and politically developing nation states. History of the Americas is the collective history of North and South America, including Central America and the Caribbean. o History of North America is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's northern and western hemisphere. o History of Central America is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's western hemisphere. o History of the Caribbean begins with the oldest evidence where 7,000-year-old remains have been found. o History of South America is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation on the continent in the Earth's southern and western hemisphere.
History of Antarctica emerges from early Western theories of a vast continent, known as Terra Australis, believed to exist in the far south of the globe. History of Australia start with the documentation of the Makassar trading with Indigenous Australians on Australia's north coast. History of New Zealand dates back at least 700 years to when it was discovered and settled by Polynesians, who developed a distinct Māori culture centred on kinship links and land. History of the Pacific Islands covers the history of the islands in the Pacific Ocean. History of Eurasia is the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions: the Middle East, South Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia, and Europe, linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe of Central Asia and Eastern Europe. o History of Europe describes the passage of time from humans inhabiting the European continent to the present day. History of Frisia is the study of the rich history and folklore of the Frisians and their languages, battles, culture, cuisine, and so forth. o History of Asia can be seen as the collective history of several distinct peripheral coastal regions, East Asia, South Asia, and the Middle East linked by the interior mass of the Eurasian steppe. History of East Asia is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation in East Asia. History of the Middle East begins with the earliest civilizations in the region now known as the Middle East that were established around 3000 BC, in Mesopotamia (Iraq). History of South Asia is the study of the past passed down from generation to generation in the Sub-Himalayan region. History of Southeast Asia has been characterized as interaction between regional players and foreign powers.
Military history conflicts within human society usually concentrating on historical wars and warfare, including battles, military strategies and weaponry. However, the subject may range from a melee between two tribes to conflicts between proper militaries to a world war affecting the majority of the human population. Military historians record the events of military history.
Social history is the study of how societies adapt and change over periods of time. Social history is an area of historical study considered by some to be a social science that attempts to view historical evidence from the point of view of developing social trends. In this view, it may include areas of economic history,
legal history and the analysis of other aspects of civil society that show the evolution of social norms, behaviors and more.
Cultural history replaced social history as the dominant form in the 1980s and 1990s. It typically combines the approaches of anthropology and history to look at language, popular cultural traditions and cultural interpretations of historical experience. It examines the records and narrative descriptions of past knowledge, customs, and arts of a group of people. How peoples constructed their memory of the past is a major topic.
Diplomatic history, sometimes referred to as "Rankian History" in honor of Leopold von Ranke, focuses on politics, politicians and other high rulers and views them as being the driving force of continuity and change in history. This type of political history is the study of the conduct of international relations between states or across state boundaries over time. This is the most common form of history and is often the classical and popular belief of what history should be.
A people's history is a type of historical work which attempts to account for historical events from the perspective of common people. A people's history is the history of the world that is the story of mass movements and of the outsiders. Individuals not included in the past in other type of writing about history are part of this theory's primary focus, which includes the disenfranchised, the oppressed, the poor, the nonconformists, and the otherwise forgotten people. This theory also usually focuses on events occurring in the fullness of time, or when an overwhelming wave of smaller events cause certain developments to occur.
Gender history is a sub-field of History and Gender studies, which looks at the past from the perspective of gender. It is in many ways, an outgrowth of women's history. Despite its relatively short life, Gender History (and its forerunner Women's History) has had a rather significant effect on the general study of history. Since the 1960s, when the initially small field first achieved a measure of acceptance, it has gone through a number of different phases, each with its own challenges and outcomes. Although some of the changes to the study of history have been quite obvious, such as increased numbers of books on famous women or simply the admission of greater numbers of women into the historical profession, other influences are more subtle.
Pseudohistory is a term applied to texts which purport to be historical in nature but which depart from standard historiographical conventions in a way which undermines their conclusions. Works which draw controversial conclusions from new, speculative or disputed historical evidence, particularly in the fields of national, political, military and religious affairs, are often rejected as pseudohistory. In many countries, such as Japan, Russia, and the United States, the subject taught in the primary and secondary schools under the name "history" has at times been censored for political reasons. To give just a few of many examples: in Japan, mention of the Nanking Massacre has been removed from textbooks; in Russia under Stalin, history was rewritten to conform with communist party doctrine; and in the United States the history of the American Civil War had been censored to avoid giving offense to white Southerners. This practice goes back to the earliest recorded times. In Book Three of The Republic, Plato recommends that citizens be taught lies in order to instill patriotism.
Words: -History -Historians -Historiography -World history -Pseudohistory -Herodotus of Halicarnassus
Prehistory (Latin, præ = before Greek, ιστορία = history) is a term used to describe the period before recorded history. Paul Tournal originally coined the term Pré-historique in describing the finds he had made in the caves of southern France. It came into use in French in the 1830s to describe the time before writing, and the word "prehistoric" was introduced into English by Daniel Wilson in 1851. The term "prehistory" can be used to refer to all time since the beginning of the universe, although the term is more often used to describe periods when there was life on Earth and even more commonly, to the time when human-like beings appear on Earth. Prehistorians typically use a Three age system to divide up human prehistory—whereas scholars of pre-human time periods typically use the well defined Rock record and its internationally defined stratum base within the geologic time scale. The three-age system is the periodization of human prehistory into three consecutive time periods, named for their respective predominant tool-making technologies:
• • •
The Stone Age The Bronze Age The Iron Age
The occurrence of written materials (and so the beginning of local "historic times") varies generally to cultures classified within either the late bronze age or within the Iron Age. Historians increasingly do not restrict themselves to evidence from written records and are coming to rely more upon evidence from the natural and social sciences, thereby blurring the distinction between the terms "history" and "prehistory." This view has recently been articulated by advocates of deep history.
Because, by definition, there are no written records from human prehistory, dating of prehistoric materials is particularly crucial to the enterprise. Clear techniques for dating were not well-developed until the 19th century. The primary researchers into Human prehistory are prehistoric archaeologists and physical anthropologists who use excavation, geologic and geographic surveys, and other scientific analysis to reveal and interpret the nature and behavior of pre-literate and non-literate peoples. Human population geneticists and historical linguists are also providing valuable insight for these questions. Cultural anthropologists help to provide context of marriage and trade, by which objects of human origin are passed among people, thereby allowing for a rich analysis of any article that arises in a human prehistoric context. Therefore,
data about prehistory is provided by a wide variety of natural and social sciences, such as paleontology, biology, archaeology, palynology, geology, archaeoastronomy, comparative linguistics, anthropology, molecular genetics and many others. Human prehistory differs from history not only in terms of its chronology but in the way it deals with the activities of archaeological cultures rather than named nations or individuals. Restricted to material processes, remains and artifacts rather than written records, prehistory is anonymous. Because of this, the reference terms used by prehistorians such as Neanderthal or Iron Age are modern labels, the precise definition of which is often subject to discussion and argument. The date marking the end of prehistory, that is the date when written historical records become a useful academic resource, varies from region to region. For example, in Egypt it is generally accepted that prehistory ended around 3200 BC, whereas in New Guinea the end of the prehistoric era is set much more recently, at around 1900 AD.
Map of early human migrations, according to mitochondrial population genetics. Numbers are millennia before the present (accuracy disputed). "Paleolithic" means "Old Stone Age," and begins with the first use of stone tools. The Paleolithic is the earliest period of the Stone Age.
The early part of the Paleolithic is called the Lower Paleolithic, which predates Homo sapiens, beginning with Homo habilis (and related species) and with the earliest stone tools, dated to around 2.5 million years ago. Homo sapiens originated some 200,000 years ago, ushering in the Middle Paleolithic. Anatomic changes indicating modern language capacity also arise during the Middle Paleolithic. The systematic burial of the dead, the music, early art, and the use of increasingly sophisticated multi-part tools are highlights of the Middle Paleolithic. Throughout the Paleolithic, humans generally lived as nomadic hunter-gatherers. Hunter-gatherer societies tended to be very small and egalitarian, though huntergatherer societies with abundant resources or advanced food-storage techniques sometimes developed sedentary lifestyles with complex social structures such as chiefdoms, and social stratification. Long-distance contacts may have been established, as in the case of Indigenous Australian "highways."
The "Mesolithic," or "Middle Stone Age" (from the Greek "mesos," "middle," and "lithos," "stone") was a period in the development of human technology between the Paleolithic and Neolithic periods of the Stone Age. The Mesolithic period began at the end of the Pleistocene epoch, some 10,000 BP, and ended with the introduction of agriculture, the date of which varied by geographic region. In some areas, such as the Near East, agriculture was already underway by the end of the Pleistocene, and there the Mesolithic is short and poorly defined. In areas with limited glacial impact, the term "Epipaleolithic" is sometimes preferred. Regions that experienced greater environmental effects as the last ice age ended have a much more evident Mesolithic era, lasting millennia. In Northern Europe, societies were able to live well on rich food supplies from the marshlands fostered by the warmer climate. Such conditions produced distinctive human behaviours which are preserved in the material record, such as the Maglemosian and Azilian cultures. These conditions also delayed the coming of the Neolithic until as late as 4000 BC (6,000 BP) in northern Europe. Remains from this period are few and far between, often limited to middens. In forested areas, the first signs of deforestation have been found, although this would only begin in earnest during the Neolithic, when more space was needed for agriculture. The Mesolithic is characterized in most areas by small composite flint tools — microliths and microburins. Fishing tackle, stone adzes and wooden objects, e.g. canoes and bows, have been found at some sites. These technologies first occur in Africa, associated with the Azilian cultures, before spreading to Europe
through the Ibero-Maurusian culture of Northern Africa and the Kebaran culture of the Levant. Independent discovery is not always ruled out.
"Neolithic" means "New Stone Age." This was a period of primitive technological and social development, toward the end of the "Stone Age." Beginning in the 10th millennium BCE (12,000 BP), the Neolithic period saw the development of early villages, agriculture, animal domestication, tools and the onset of the earliest recorded incidents of warfare. The Neolithic term is commonly used in the Old World, as its application to cultures in the Americas and Oceania that did not fully develop metal-working technology raises problems.
A major change, described by prehistorian Vere Gordon Childe as the "Agricultural Revolution," occurred about the 10th millennium BC with the adoption of agriculture. The Sumerians first began farming ca. 9500 BC. By 7000 BC, agriculture had spread to India; by 6000 BC, to Egypt; by 5000 BC, to China. About 2700 BC, agriculture had come to Mesoamerica. Although attention has tended to concentrate on the Middle East's Fertile Crescent, archaeology in the Americas, East Asia and Southeast Asia indicates that agricultural systems, using different crops and animals, may in some cases have developed there nearly as early. The development of organised irrigation, and the use of a specialised workforce, by the Sumerians, began about 5500 BC. Stone was supplanted by bronze and iron in implements of agriculture and warfare. Agricultural settlements had until then been almost completely dependent on stone tools. In Eurasia, copper and bronze tools, decorations and weapons began to be commonplace about 3000 BC. After bronze, the Eastern Mediterranean region, Middle East and China saw the introduction of iron tools and weapons.
The Americas may not have had metal tools until the Chavín horizon (900 BC). The Moche did have metal armor, knives and tableware. Even the metal-poor Inca had metal-tipped plows, at least after the conquest of Chimor. However, little archaeological research has so far been done in Peru, and nearly all the khipus
(recording devices, in the form of knots, used by the Incas) were burned in the Spanish conquest of Peru. As late as 2004, entire cities were still being unearthed. The cradles of early civilizations were river valleys, such as the Euphrates and Tigris valleys in Mesopotamia, the Nile valley in Egypt, the Indus valley in the Indian subcontinent, and the Yangtze and Yellow River valleys in China. Some nomadic peoples, such as the Indigenous Australians and the Bushmen of southern Africa, did not practice agriculture until relatively recent times. Before 1800 AD, most populations did not belong to states. Scientists disagree as to whether the term "tribe" should be applied to the kinds of societies that these people lived in. Some tribal societies transformed into states when they were threatened, or otherwise impinged on, by existing states. Agriculture made possible complex societies — civilizations. States and markets emerged. Technologies enhanced people's ability to control nature and to develop transport and communication.
Ox-drawn plow, Egypt, ca. 1200 BC. The term Bronze Age refers to a period in human cultural development when the most advanced metalworking (at least in systematic and widespread use) included techniques for smelting copper and tin from naturally-occurring outcroppings of copper ores, and then smelting those ores to cast bronze. These naturally-occurring ores typically included arsenic as a common impurity. Copper/tin ores are rare, as reflected in the fact that there were no tin bronzes in Western Asia before 3,000 BC. The Bronze Age forms part of the three-age system for prehistoric societies. In this system, it follows the Neolithic in some areas of the world. The Bronze Age is the earliest period of which we have direct written accounts, since the invention of writing coincides with its early beginnings.
In archaeology, the Iron Age was the stage in the development ferrous metallurgy. The adoption of iron coincided with other changes in some past societies often including differing agricultural practices, religious beliefs and artistic styles, which makes the archaeological Iron Age coincide with the "Axial Age" in the history of philosophy.
Timeline of human prehistory
All dates are approximate and conjectural, obtained through research in the fields of anthropology, archaeology, genetics, geology, or linguistics. They are all subject to revision due to new discoveries or improved calculations. BP stands for "Before Present." Paleolithic
• • • •
c. 120,000 BP - Modern Homo sapiens appears in Africa. c. 300,000 BP to 30,000 BP. Mousterian (Neanderthal) culture in Europe.
c. 75,000 BP - Toba Volcano supereruption. c. 70,000 - 50,000 BP - Homo sapiens move from Africa to Asia. In the next millennia, these human group's descendants move on to southern India, the Malay islands, Australia, Japan, China, Siberia, Alaska, and the northwestern coast of North America.
• • • • • •
c. 32,000 BP - Aurignacian culture begins in Europe. c. 30,000 BP / 28,000 BC - A herd of reindeer is slaughtered and butchered by humans in the Vezere Valley in what is today France. c. 28,500 BCE - New Guinea is populated by colonists from Asia or Australia. c. 28,000 BP - 20,000 BP - Graveltian period in Europe. Harpoons, needles, and saws invented. c. 26,000 BP / c. 24,000 BC - Women around the world use fibers to make baby-carriers, clothes, bags, baskets, and nets. c. 25,000 BP / 23,000 BC - A hamlet consisting of huts built of rocks and of mammoth bones is founded in what is now Dolni Vestonice in Moravia in the Czech Republic. This is the oldest human permanent settlement that has yet been found by archaeologists. c. 20,000 BP or 18,000 BC - Chatelperronian culture in France. c. 16,000 BP / 14,000 BC - Wisent sculpted in clay deep inside the cave now known as Le Tuc d'Audoubert in the French Pyrinees near what is now the border of Spain.
c. 14,800 BP / 12,800 BC - The Humid Period begins in North Africa. The region that would later become the Sahara is wet and fertile, and the Aquifers are full.
c. 8000 BC / 7,000 BC - In northern Mesopotamia, now northern Iraq, cultivation of barley and wheat begins. At first they are used for beer, gruel, and soup, eventually for bread. In early agriculture at this time, the Planting stick is used, but it is replaced by a primitive Plow in subsequent centuries. Around this time, a round stone tower, now preserved to about 8.5 meters high and 8.5 meters in diameter is built in Jericho.
c. 3700 BC - Cuneiform writing appears and records begin to be kept. c. 3000 BC - Stonehenge construction begins. In its first version, it consisted of a circular ditch and bank, with 56 wooden posts.
Words: -Prehistory -Stone Age -Paleolithic -Three age system -Human migration -Agriculture
Human evolution, or anthropogenesis, is the origin and evolution of Homo sapiens as a distinct species from other hominids, great apes and placental mammals. The study of human evolution encompasses many scientific disciplines, including physical anthropology, primatology, archaeology, linguistics and genetics. The term "human" in the context of human evolution refers to the genus Homo, but studies of human evolution usually include other hominids, such as the Australopithecines. The genus Homo had diverged from the Australopithecines by about 2.3 to 2.4 million years ago in Africa. Scientists have estimated that humans branched off from their common ancestor with chimpanzees - the only other living hominins - about 5–7 million years ago. Several species of Homo evolved and are now extinct. These include Homo erectus, which inhabited Asia, and Homo neanderthalensis, which inhabited Europe. Archaic Homo sapiens evolved between 400,000 and 250,000 years ago. The dominant view among scientists concerning the origin of anatomically modern humans is the "Out of Africa" or recent African origin hypothesis, which argues that H. sapiens arose in Africa and migrated out the continent around 50-100,000 years ago, replacing populations of H. erectus in Asia and H.
neanderthalensis in Europe. Scientists supporting the alternative multiregional hypothesis argue that H. sapiens evolved as geographically separate but interbreeding populations stemming from a worldwide migration of H. erectus out of Africa nearly 2.5 million years ago.
History of ideas about human evolution
The word homo, the name of the biological genus to which humans belong, is Latin for "human". It was chosen originally by Carolus Linnaeus in his classification system. The word "human" is from the Latin humanus, the adjectival form of homo. The Latin "homo" derives from the Indo-European root, dhghem, or "earth". Carolus Linnaeus and other scientists of his time also considered the great apes to be the closest relatives of human beings due to morphological and anatomical similarities. The possibility of linking humans with earlier apes by descent only became clear after 1859 with the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species. This argued for the idea of the evolution of new species from earlier ones. Darwin's book did not address the question of human evolution, saying only that "Light will be thrown on the origin of man and his history". The first debates about the nature of human evolution arose between Thomas Huxley and Richard Owen. Huxley argued for human evolution from apes by illustrating many of the similarities and differences between humans and apes and did so particularly in his 1863 book Evidence as to Man's Place in Nature. However, many of Darwin's early supporters (such as Alfred Russel Wallace and Charles Lyell) did not agree that the origin of the mental capacities and the moral sensibilities of humans could be explained by natural selection. Darwin applied the theory of evolution and sexual selection to humans when he published The Descent of Man in 1871. A major problem was the lack of fossil intermediaries. It was only in the 1920s that such fossils were discovered in Africa. In 1925, Raymond Dart described Australopithecus africanus. The type specimen was the Taung Child, an Australopithecine infant discovered in a cave. The child's remains were a remarkably well-preserved tiny skull and an endocranial cast of the individual's brain. Although the brain was small (410 cm³), its shape was rounded, unlike that of chimpanzees and gorillas, and more like a modern human brain. Also, the specimen showed short canine teeth, and the position of the foramen magnum was evidence of bipedal locomotion. All of these traits convinced Dart that the Taung baby was a bipedal human ancestor, a transitional form between apes and humans. The classification of humans and their relatives has changed considerably over time. The gracile Australopithecines are now thought to be ancestors of the genus Homo, the group to which modern humans belong. Both
Australopithecines and Homo sapiens are part of the tribe Hominini. Recent data suggests Australopithecines were a diverse group and that A. africanus may not be a direct ancestor of modern humans. Reclassification of Australopithecines that originally were split into either gracile or robust varieties has put the latter into a family of its own, Paranthropus. Taxonomists place humans, Australopithecines and related species in the same family as other great apes, in the Hominidae.
Hominin species distributed through time edit
Note: 1e +06 years = 1 million years = 1 Ma.
Evolution of apes
The evolutionary history of the primates can be traced back 65 million years, as one of the oldest of all surviving placental mammal groups. The oldest known primates come from North America, but they were widespread in Eurasia and Africa during the tropical conditions of the Paleocene and Eocene.
With the beginning of modern climates, marked by the formation of the first Antarctic ice in the early Oligocene around 30 million years ago, primates went extinct everywhere but Africa and southern Asia. A primate from this time was Notharctus. Fossil evidence found in Germany in the 1980s was determined to be about 16.5 million years old, some 1.5 million years older than similar species from East Africa. It suggests that the primate lineage of the great apes first appeared in Eurasia and not Africa. The early ancestors of the hominids (the family of great apes and humans) probably migrated to Eurasia from Africa about 17 million years ago, just before these two continents were cut off from each other by an expansion of the Mediterranean Sea. Begun says that these primates flourished in Eurasia and that the lineage leading to the African apes and humans— including Dryopithecus—migrated south from Europe or Western Asia into Africa. The surviving tropical population, which is seen most completely in the upper Eocene and lowermost Oligocene fossil beds of the Fayum depression southwest of Cairo, gave rise to all living primates—lemurs of Madagascar, lorises of Southeast Asia, galagos or "bush babies" of Africa, and the anthropoids; platyrrhines or New World monkeys, and catarrhines or Old World monkeys and the great apes and humans. The earliest known catarrhine is Kamoyapithecus from uppermost Oligocene at Eragaleit in the northern Kenya Rift Valley, dated to 24 million years ago. Its ancestry is generally thought to be species related to Aegyptopithecus, Propliopithecus, and Parapithecus from the Fayum, at around 35 million years ago. There are no fossils from the intervening 11 million years. In the early Miocene, after 22 million years ago, the many kinds of arboreallyadapted primitive catarrhines from East Africa suggest a long history of prior diversification. Fossils at 20 million years ago include fragments attributed to Victoriapithecus, the earliest Old World Monkey. Among the genera thought to be in the ape lineage leading up to 13 million years ago are Proconsul, Rangwapithecus, Dendropithecus, Limnopithecus, Nacholapithecus, Equatorius, Nyanzapithecus, Afropithecus, Heliopithecus, and Kenyapithecus, all from East Africa. The presence of other generalized non-cercopithecids of middle Miocene age from sites far distant—Otavipithecus from cave deposits in Namibia, and Pierolapithecus and Dryopithecus from France, Spain and Austria—is evidence of a wide diversity of forms across Africa and the Mediterranean basin during the relatively warm and equable climatic regimes of the early and middle Miocene. The youngest of the Miocene hominoids, Oreopithecus, is from 9 million year old coal beds in Italy. Molecular evidence indicates that the lineage of gibbons (family Hylobatidae) became distinct from Great Apes between 18 and 12 million years ago, and that of orangutans (subfamily Ponginae) became distinct from the other Great Apes at about 12 million years; there are no fossils that clearly document the ancestry of
gibbons, which may have originated in a so-far-unknown South East Asian hominoid population, but fossil proto-orangutans may be represented by Ramapithecus from India and Griphopithecus from Turkey, dated to around 10 million years ago.
Divergence of the human lineage from other Great Apes
Species close to the last common ancestor of gorillas, chimpanzees and humans may be represented by Nakalipithecus fossils found in Kenya and Ouranopithecus found in Greece. Molecular evidence suggests that between 8 and 4 million years ago, first the gorillas, and then the chimpanzees (genus Pan) split off from the line leading to the humans; human DNA is approximately 98.4% identical to that of chimpanzees when comparing single nucleotide polymorphisms (see Human evolutionary genetics). The fossil record of gorillas and chimpanzees is quite limited. Both poor preservation (rain forest soils tend to be acidic and dissolve bone) and sampling bias probably contribute to this problem. Other hominines likely adapted to the drier environments outside the equatorial belt, along with antelopes, hyenas, dogs, pigs, elephants, and horses. The equatorial belt contracted after about 8 million years ago. Fossils of these hominans - the species in the human lineage following divergence from the chimpanzees - are relatively well known. The earliest are Sahelanthropus tchadensis (7 Ma) and Orrorin tugenensis (6 Ma), followed by:
• • • • •
Ardipithecus (5.5–4.4 Ma), with species Ar. kadabba and Ar. ramidus; Australopithecus (4–2 Ma), with species Au. anamensis, Au. afarensis, Au. africanus, Au. bahrelghazali, and Au. garhi; Kenyanthropus (3–2.7 Ma), with species Kenyanthropus platyops Paranthropus (3–1.2 Ma), with species P. aethiopicus, P. boisei, and P. robustus; Homo (2 Ma–present), with species Homo habilis, Homo rudolfensis, Homo ergaster, Homo georgicus, Homo antecessor, Homo cepranensis, Homo erectus, Homo heidelbergensis, Homo rhodesiensis, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo sapiens idaltu, Archaic Homo sapiens, Homo floresiensis
Homo sapiens is the only non-extinct species of its genus, Homo. There were other Homo species, all of which are now extinct. While some of these other species might have been ancestors of H. sapiens, many were likely our "cousins", having speciated away from our ancestral line. There is not yet a consensus as to which of these groups should count as separate species and
which as subspecies. In some cases this is due to the paucity of fossils, in other cases it is due to the slight differences used to classify species in the Homo genus. The Sahara pump theory (describing an occasionally passable "wet" Sahara Desert) provides an explanation of the early variation in the genus Homo. Based on archaeological and paleontological evidence, it has been possible to infer the ancient dietary practices of various Homo species and to study the role of diet in physical and behavioral evolution within Homo. 
H. habilis lived from about 2.4 to 1.4 Ma. H. habilis, the first species of the genus Homo, evolved in South and East Africa in the late Pliocene or early Pleistocene, 2.5–2 Ma, when it diverged from the Australopithecines. H. habilis had smaller molars and larger brains than the Australopithecines, and made tools from stone and perhaps animal bones. One of the first known hominids, it was nicknamed 'handy man' by its discoverer, Louis Leakey due to its association with stone tools. Some scientists have proposed moving this species out of Homo and into Australopithecus due to the morphology of its skeleton being more adapted to living on trees rather than to moving on two legs like H. sapiens.
Homo rudolfensis and Homo georgicus
These are proposed species names for fossils from about 1.9–1.6 Ma, the relation of which with H. habilis is not yet clear.
H. rudolfensis refers to a single, incomplete skull from Kenya. Scientists have suggested that this was another H. habilis, but this has not been confirmed. H. georgicus, from Georgia, may be an intermediate form between H. habilis and H. erectus, or a sub-species of H. erectus.
Homo ergaster and Homo erectus
One current view of the temporal and geographical distribution of hominid populations. Other interpretations differ mainly in the taxonomy and geographical distribution of hominid species. The first fossils of Homo erectus were discovered by Dutch physician Eugene Dubois in 1891 on the Indonesian island of Java. He originally gave the material the name Pithecanthropus erectus based on its morphology that he considered to be intermediate between that of humans and apes. H. erectus lived from about 1.8 Ma to about 70,000 years ago (which would indicate that they were probably wiped out by the Toba catastrophe). Often the early phase, from 1.8 to
1.25 Ma, is considered to be a separate species, H. ergaster, or it is seen as a subspecies of H. erectus, Homo erectus ergaster. In the early Pleistocene, 1.5–1 Ma, in Africa, Asia, and Europe, some populations of Homo habilis are thought to have evolved larger brains and made more elaborate stone tools; these differences and others are sufficient for anthropologists to classify them as a new species, H. erectus. In addition H. erectus was the first human ancestor to walk truly upright. This was made possible by the evolution of locking knees and a different location of the foramen magnum (the hole in the skull where the spine enters). They may have used fire to cook their meat. See also: Control of fire by early humans A famous example of Homo erectus is Peking Man; others were found in Asia (notably in Indonesia), Africa, and Europe. Many paleoanthropologists now use the term Homo ergaster for the non-Asian forms of this group, and reserving H. erectus only for those fossils found in the Asian region and meeting certain skeletal and dental requirements which differ slightly from H. ergaster.
Homo cepranensis and Homo antecessor
These are proposed as species that may be intermediate between H. erectus and H. heidelbergensis.
H. antecessor is known from fossils from Spain and England that are dated 1.2 Ma–500 ka. H. cepranensis refers to a single skull cap from Italy, estimated to be about 800,000 years old.
H. heidelbergensis (Heidelberg Man) lived from about 800,000 to about 300,000 years ago. Also proposed as Homo sapiens heidelbergensis or Homo sapiens paleohungaricus.
Homo rhodesiensis, and the Gawis cranium
H. rhodesiensis, estimated to be 300,000–125,000 years old. Most current experts believe Rhodesian Man to be within the group of Homo heidelbergensis though other designations such as Archaic Homo sapiens and Homo sapiens rhodesiensis have also been proposed. In February 2006 a fossil, the Gawis cranium, was found which might possibly be a species intermediate between H. erectus and H. sapiens or one of many evolutionary dead ends. The skull from Gawis, Ethiopia, is believed to be 500,000–250,000 years old. Only summary details are
known, and no peer reviewed studies have been released by the finding team. Gawis man's facial features suggest its being either an intermediate species or an example of a "Bodo man" female.
H. neanderthalensis lived from 400,000  or about 250,000 to as recent as 30,000years ago. Also proposed as Homo sapiens neanderthalensis: there is ongoing debate over whether the Neanderthal Man was a separate species, Homo neanderthalensis, or a subspecies of H. sapiens While the debate remains unsettled, evidence from sequencing mitochondrial DNA indicates that no significant gene flow occurred between H. neanderthalensis and H. sapiens, and, therefore, the two were separate species that shared a common ancestor about 660,000 years ago. In 1997, Mark Stoneking stated: "These results [based on mitochondrial DNA extracted from Neanderthal bone] indicate that Neanderthals did not contribute mitochondrial DNA to modern humans… Neanderthals are not our ancestors." Subsequent investigation of a second source of Neanderthal DNA supported these findings. However, supporters of the multiregional hypothesis point to recent studies indicating non-African nuclear DNA heritage dating to one Ma, although the reliability of these studies has been questioned. Competition from Homo sapiens probably contributed to Neanderthal extinction.
Main article: Early Homo sapiens H. sapiens ("sapiens" is Latin for wise or intelligent) has lived from about 250,000 years ago to the present. Between 400,000 years ago and the second interglacial period in the Middle Pleistocene, around 250,000 years ago, the trend in skull expansion and the elaboration of stone tool technologies developed, providing evidence for a transition from H. erectus to H. sapiens. The direct evidence suggests there was a migration of H. erectus out of Africa, then a further speciation of H. sapiens from H. erectus in Africa. A subsequent migration within and out of Africa eventually replaced the earlier dispersed H. erectus. This migration and origin theory is usually referred to as the recent single origin or Out of Africa theory. Current evidence does not preclude some multiregional evolution or some admixture of the migrant H. sapiens with existing Homo populations. This is a hotly debated area of paleoanthropology. Current research has established that human beings are genetically highly homogenous; that is, the DNA of individuals is more alike than usual for most species, which may have resulted from their relatively recent evolution or the possibility of a population bottleneck resulting from cataclysmic natural events such as the Toba catastrophe. Distinctive genetic characteristics have arisen, however, primarily as the result of small groups of people moving into new environmental circumstances. These adapted traits are a very small
component of the Homo sapiens genome, but include various characteristics such as skin color and nose form, in addition to internal characteristics such as the ability to breathe more efficiently in high altitudes. H. sapiens idaltu, from Ethiopia, is a possible extinct sub-species who lived from about 160,000 years ago. It is the oldest known anatomically modern human.
Main article: Homo floresiensis H. floresiensis, which lived from approximately 100,000 to 12,000 before present, has been nicknamed hobbit for its small size, possibly a result of insular dwarfism. H. floresiensis is intriguing both for its size and its age, being a concrete example of a recent species of the genus Homo that exhibits derived traits not shared with modern humans. In other words, H. floresiensis share a common ancestor with modern humans, but split from the modern human lineage and followed a distinct evolutionary path. The main find was a skeleton believed to be a woman of about 30 years of age. Found in 2003 it has been dated to approximately 18,000 years old. The living woman was estimated to be one meter in height, with a brain volume of just 380 cm3 (considered small for a chimpanzee and less than a third of the H. sapiens average of 1400 cm3). However, there is an ongoing debate over whether H. floresiensis is indeed a separate species. Some scientists presently believe that H. floresiensis was a modern H. sapiens suffering from pathological dwarfism. This hypothesis is supported in part, because some modern humans who live on Flores, the island where the skeleton was found, are pygmies. This coupled with pathological dwarfism could indeed create a hobbit-like human. The other major attack on H. floresiensis is that it was found with tools only associated with H. sapiens.
 Comparative table of Homo species
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H. habilis H. erectus
Comparative table of Homo species Discovery Brain Lived / Adult Adult volum Fossil when Lived height mass e record publicatio (Ma) where n of (cm³) name 1.0–1.5 33–55 2.2 – 1 Africa m (3.3– kg (73– 660 Many 1960/1964 .6 4.9 ft) 120 lb) 1.4 – 0 Africa, 1.8 m 60 kg 850 Many 1891/1892 .2 Eurasia (5.9 ft) (130 lb) (early) (Java, – 1,100 China, (late) Caucasu
s) Kenya Georgia Eastern 1.9 – 1 and H. ergaster .4 Southern Africa 1.2 – 0 H. antecessor Spain .8 0.9 – 0 H. cepranensis Italy .8? Europe, H. heidelbergens 0.6 – 0 Africa, is .35 China H. rudolfensis H. georgicus 1.9 1.8
600 1.9 m (6.2 ft) 700– 850
1 skull Few Many
1972/1986 1999/2002 1975 1997 1994/2003 1908
1.75 m 90 kg 1,000 2 sites (5.7 ft) (200 lb) 1 skull 1,000 cap 1.8 m (5.9 ft) 60 kg 1,100– Many (130 lb) 1,400 55–70 kg (120– 1,200– Many 150 lb) 1,900 (heavil y built)
Europe, H. neanderthalen 0.35 – 1.6 m Western sis 0.03 (5.2 ft) Asia H. rhodesiensis 0.3 – 0 Zambia .12
1,300 Very few 1921 Still living —/1758
50–100 1.4–1.9 H. sapiens sapie 0.2 – p Worldwid kg 1,000– m (4.6– ns resent e (110– 1,850 6.2 ft) 220 lb) 0.16 – H. sapiens idaltu Ethiopia 1,450 0.15 H. floresiensis 0.10 – Indonesi 1.0 m 0.012 a (3.3 ft) 25 kg 400 (55 lb)
3 1997/2003 craniums 7 individua 2003/2004 ls
Use of tools
Using tools has been interpreted as a sign of intelligence, and it has been theorized that tool use may have stimulated certain aspects of human evolution —most notably the continued expansion of the human brain. Paleontology has yet to explain the expansion of this organ over millions of years despite being extremely demanding in terms of energy consumption. The brain of a modern human consumes about 20 watts (400 kilocalories per day), which is one fifth of the energy consumption of a human body. Increased tool use would allow hunting for energy-rich meat products, and would enable processing more energy-rich plant products. Researchers have suggested that early hominids were thus under evolutionary pressure to increase their capacity to create and use tools.
Precisely when early humans started to use tools is difficult to determine, because the more primitive these tools are (for example, sharp-edged stones) the more difficult it is to decide whether they are natural objects or human artifacts. There is some evidence that the australopithecines (4 Ma) may have used broken bones as tools, but this is debated. It should be noted that many species make and use tools, but it is the human species that dominates the areas of making and using more complex tools. A good question is, what species made and used the first tools? The oldest known tools are the "Oldowan stone tools" from Ethiopia. It was discovered that these tools are from 2.5 to 2.6 million years old, which predates the earliest known "Homo" species. There is no known evidence that any "Homo" specimens appeared by 2.5 Ma. A Homo fossil was found near some Oldowan tools, and its age was noted at 2.3 million years old, suggesting that maybe the Homo species did indeed create and use these tools. It is surely possible, but not solid evidence. Bernard Wood noted that "Paranthropus" coexisted with the early Homo species in the area of the "Oldowan Industrial Complex" over roughly the same span of time. Although there is no direct evidence that points to Paranthropus as the tool makers, their anatomy lends to indirect evidence of their capabilities in this area. Most paleoanthropologists agree that the early "Homo" species were indeed responsible for most of the Oldowan tools found. They argue that when most of the Oldowan tools were found in association with human fossils, Homo was always present, but Paranthropus was not. In 1994, Randall Susman used the anatomy of opposable thumbs as the basis for his argument that both the Homo and Paranthropus species were toolmakers. He compared bones and muscles of human and chimpanzee thumbs, finding that humans have 3 muscles that chimps lack. Humans also have thicker metacarpals with broader heads, making the human hand more successful at precision grasping than the chimpanzee hand. Susman defended that modern anatomy of the human thumb is an evolutionary response to the requirements associated with making and handling tools and that both species were indeed toolmakers.
Stone tools are first attested around 2.6 Ma, when H. habilis in Eastern Africa used so-called pebble tools, choppers made out of round pebbles that had been split by simple strikes. This marks the beginning of the Paleolithic, or Old Stone Age; its end is taken to be the end of the last Ice Age, around 10,000 years ago. The Paleolithic is subdivided into the Lower Paleolithic (Early Stone Age, ending around 350,000–300,000 years ago), the Middle Paleolithic (Middle Stone Age, until 50,000–30,000 years ago), and the Upper Paleolithic. The period from 700,000–300,000 years ago is also known as the Acheulean, when H. ergaster (or erectus) made large stone hand-axes out of flint and
quartzite, at first quite rough (Early Acheulian), later "retouched" by additional, more subtle strikes at the sides of the flakes. After 350,000 BP (Before Present) the more refined so-called Levallois technique was developed. It consisted of a series of consecutive strikes, by which scrapers, slicers ("racloirs"), needles, and flattened needles were made. Finally, after about 50,000 BP, ever more refined and specialized flint tools were made by the Neanderthals and the immigrant Cro-Magnons (knives, blades, skimmers). In this period they also started to make tools out of bone.
Modern humans and the "Great Leap Forward" debate
Until about 50,000–40,000 years ago the use of stone tools seems to have progressed stepwise. Each phase (H. habilis, H. ergaster, H. neanderthalensis) started at a higher level than the previous one, but once that phase started further development was slow. These Homo species were culturally conservative, but after 50,000 BP modern human culture started to change at a much greater speed. Jared Diamond, author of The Third Chimpanzee, and other anthropologists characterize this as a "Great Leap Forward." Modern humans started burying their dead, making clothing out of hides, developing sophisticated hunting techniques (such as using trapping pits or driving animals off cliffs), and engaging in cave painting. As human culture advanced, different populations of humans introduced novelty to existing technologies: artifacts such as fish hooks, buttons and bone needles show signs of variation among different populations of humans, something that had not been seen in human cultures prior to 50,000 BP. Typically, H. neanderthalensis populations do not vary in their technologies. Modern human behavior includes four aspects: abstract thinking (concepts free from specific examples), planning (taking steps to achieve a further goal), innovation (finding new solutions), and symbolic behaviour (such as images and rituals). Among concrete examples of modern human behavior, anthropologists include specialization of tools, use of jewelery and images (such as cave drawings), organization of living space, rituals (for example, burials with grave gifts), specialized hunting techniques, exploration of less hospitable geographical areas, and barter trade networks. Debate continues as to whether a "revolution" led to modern humans ("the big bang of human consciousness"), or whether the evolution was more gradual.[
Models of human evolution
Today, all humans belong to one, undivided by species barrier, population of Homo sapiens sapiens. However, according to the "Out of Africa" model this is not the first species of hominids: the first species of genus Homo, Homo habilis, evolved in East Africa at least 2 Ma, and members of this species populated
different parts of Africa in a relatively short time. Homo erectus evolved more than 1.8 Ma, and by 1.5 Ma had spread throughout the Old World. Anthropologists have been divided as to whether current human population evolved as one interconnected population (as postulated by the Multiregional Evolution hypothesis), or evolved only in East Africa, speciated, and then migrating out of Africa and replaced human populations in Eurasia (called the "Out of Africa" Model or the "Complete Replacement" Model).
Multiregional evolution a model to account for the pattern of human evolution, was proposed by Milford H. Wolpoff in 1988. Multiregional evolution holds that human evolution from the beginning of the Pleistocene 2.5 million years BP to the present day has been within a single, continuous human species, evolving worldwide to modern Homo sapiens. According to the multiregional hypothesis, fossil and genomic data are evidence for worldwide human evolution and contradict the recent speciation postulated by the Recent African origin hypothesis. The fossil evidence was insufficient for Richard Leakey to resolve this debate.. Studies of haplogroups in Ychromosomal DNA and mitochondrial DNA have largely supported a recent African origin. Evidence from autosomal DNA also supports the Recent African origin. However the presence of archaic admixture in modern humans remains a possibility and has been suggested by some studies.
Out of Africa
According to the Out of Africa model, developed by Chris Stringer and Peter Andrews, modern H. sapiens evolved in Africa 200,000 years ago. Homo sapiens began migrating from Africa between 70,000 – 50,000 years ago and eventually replaced existing hominid species in Europe and Asia. Out of Africa has gained support from research using mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). After analysing genealogy trees constructed using 133 types of mtDNA, researchers concluded that all were descended from a woman from Africa, dubbed Mitochondrial Eve. Out of Africa is also supported by the fact that mitochondrial genetic diversity is highest among African populations. There are differing theories on whether there was a single exodus or several. A multiple dispersal model involves the Southern Dispersal theory, which has gained support in recent years from genetic, linguistic and archaeological evidence. In this theory, there was a coastal dispersal of modern humans from the Horn of Africa around 70,000 years ago. This group helped to populate Southeast Asia and Oceania, explaining the discovery of early human sites in these areas much earlier than those in the Levant. A second wave of humans dispersed across the Sinai peninsula into Asia, resulting in the bulk of human
population for Eurasia. This second group possessed a more sophisticated tool technology and was less dependent on coastal food sources than the original group. Much of the evidence for the first group's expansion would have been destroyed by the rising sea levels at the end of the Holocene era. The multiple dispersal model is contradicted by studies indicating that the populations of Eurasia and the populations of Southeast Asia and Oceania are all descended from the same mitochondrial DNA lineages, which support a single migration out of Africa that gave rise to all non-African populations. The broad study of African genetic diversity headed by Dr.Sarah Tishkoff found the San people to express the greatest genetic diversity among the 113 distinct populations sampled, making them one of 14 "ancestral population clusters".The research also located the origin of modern human migration in south-western Africa, near the coastal border of Namibia and Angola.
Human evolutionary genetics studies how one human genome differs from the other, the evolutionary past that gave rise to it, and its current effects. Differences between genomes have anthropological, medical and forensic implications and applications. Genetic data can provide important insight into human evolution.
Words: -Human evolution -Anthropogenesis -Great apes -Homo -Homo Habilis -Homo erectus -Homo sapiens
4.History of Writing
The history of writing follows the art of expressing thought by letters or other marks. In the history of how systems of representation of language through graphic means have evolved in different human civilizations, more complete writing systems were preceded by proto-writing, systems of ideographic and/or early mnemonic symbol. Language expresses thought, preserves thought, and also suggests or creates thought. It has been considered obvious that, so long as language is unwritten, it can accomplish these ends only in a very imperfect measure. Hence it may well be supposed that, at a very early stage of man's history, attempts were made to present in some way to the eye the thought which spoken language conveyed to the ear, and thus give it visible form and permanence. However, this understanding does not necessarily go unquestioned. True writing, or phonetic writing, records were developed independently in four different civilizations in the world, namely Mesopotamia, China, Egypt, and Mesoamerica.
Writing systems are distinguished from other possible symbolic communication systems in that one must usually understand something of the associated spoken language to comprehend the text. By contrast, other possible symbolic systems such as information signs, painting, maps, and mathematics often do not require prior knowledge of a spoken language. Every human community possesses language, a feature regarded by many as an innate and defining condition of mankind (see Origin of language). However the development of writing systems, and the process by which they have supplanted traditional oral systems of communication has been sporadic, uneven and slow. Once established, writing systems on the whole change more slowly than their spoken counterparts, and often preserve features and expressions which are no longer current in the spoken language. The great benefit of writing systems is their ability to maintain a persistent record of information expressed in a language, which can be retrieved independently of the initial act of formulation.
The various kinds of writing which have been in use in different ages and in different parts of the world may be classified in two great divisions, according as the object of their inventors was to present the ideas to which they wished to give
visible expression directly and immediately to the mind, or indirectly, through the medium of spoken language. Scholars make reasonable definition between prehistory and history with writing. Scholars have disagreed concerning when prehistory becomes history and when proto-writing became "true writing"; the definition is largely subjective. Writing, in its most general terms, is just a drawn device to indicate a message and is composed of glyphs. The various methods — the ideographic and the phonographic or phonetic — has its attendant advantages and disadvantages; but the advantages of the latter method greatly preponderate. The principal recommendation of the former method, in which the depicted idea is caught up immediately by the mind, is that it addresses itself to a much wider circle than the latter, being intelligible by all classes and in all countries; whereas the latter, in which the sound is depicted, not the idea, is of course intelligible only to those who are acquainted with the language to which the depicted word belongs. On the other hand, the very serious drawbacks attendant upon the direct method are: 1. that it is capable of giving distinct expression only to a very limited range of ideas, viz. the ideas of sensible objects and qualities, and if it attempts to go beyond that range at once becomes arbitrary and obscure; and 2. that in its representation even of the limited class of ideas to which it is capable of giving distinct expression, it is cumbrous and altogether unfitted for general use. The emergence of writing in a given area is usually followed by several centuries of fragmentary inscriptions. With the presence of coherent texts (such that is from the various writing systems and the system's associated literature), historians mark the "historicity" of that culture. The sacred writing of the Egyptians may be regarded as forming a stage of transition between the ideographic and the phonetic sorts of writing described. Regarding the ancient Mexican writing and the ancient Chinese writing, see the articles of Mesoamerican writing systems and written Chinese respectively. Till the 20th century, the received opinion was that the ancient Egyptian was an exclusively ideographic writing, and to this conclusion the testimonies of those ancient writers who have given any account of it seemed to point. But the labors of various scholars, during the end of the 19th-century, threw light on those ancient characters; and, though very possibly a picture writing originally, the hieroglyphic, in the form in which it appears on the most ancient monuments, and which it retains unchanged down to the early centuries after Christ, bears a composite character, being in part ideographic, in part phonetic. Accordingly, the characters are used in three different ways: 1. Pictorial use, in which the character is designed to convey to the mind the idea of the object it represents, and nothing more. This pictorial representation sometimes stands instead of a phonetic name for the object, but the most common use of it is to make the phonetic group of
characters more intelligible by being subjoined to them. Thus, to the names of individuals the figure of a man is subjoined. 2. Hieroglyphical writing is the symbolical, in which the object delineated is not meant to convey to the mind the idea of itself, but of something associated with it and suggested by it. 3. Phonetic writing, is really by far the most extensive. The greater part of the characters are as truly letters as if the language were English or Greek; syllable characters are the exception, not the rule. In the ancient Egyptian inscription of any length it is found these three modes of writing in use together, but with a great predominance of phonetic. For more, see Egyptian hieroglyphs.
A conventional "proto-writing to true writing" system follows a general series of developmental stages:
Picture writing system: glyphs represent directly objects and ideas or objective and ideational situations. In connection with this the following substages may be distinguished: 1. The mnemonic: glyphs primarily a reminder; 2. The pictographic (pictography): glyphs represent directly an object or an objective situation such as (A) chronological, (B) notices, (C) communications, (D) totems, titles, and names, (E) religious, (F) customs, (G) historical, and (H) biographical; 3. The ideographic (ideography): glyphs represent directly an idea or an ideational situation. Transitional system: glyphs refer not only to the object or idea which it represents but to its name as well. Phonetic system: glyphs refer to sounds or spoken symbols irrespective of their meanings. This resolves itself into the following substages: 1. The verbal: glyphs represents a whole word; 2. The syllabic: glyphs represent a syllable; 3. The alphabetic: glyphs represent an elementary sound.
The best known picture 'writing system of ideographic and/or early mnemonic symbols are:
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Jiahu Script, symbols on tortoise shells in Jiahu, ca. 6600 BC Vinča script (Tărtăria tablets), ca. 4500 BC Early Indus script, ca. 3500 BC
True writing, or phonetic writing, records were developed independently in four different civilizations in the world. Writing systems developed from neolithic writing in the Early Bronze Age (4th millennium BC). The invention of the
phonetic system is roughly contemporary with the beginning of the Bronze Age in the late Neolithic of the late 4th millennium BC. The Sumerian archaic cuneiform script and the Egyptian hieroglyphs are generally considered the earliest writing systems, both emerging out of their ancestral proto-literate symbol systems from 3400–3200 BC with earliest coherent texts from about 2600 BC. The Chinese and Mesopotamian Phonetic systems have especially been influential in the development of the systems of writing in use in the world today.
Literature and writing
Literature and writing, though obviously connected, are not synonymous. The very first writings from ancient Sumer by any reasonable definition do not constitute literature — the same is true of some of the early Egyptian hieroglyphics or the thousands of logs from ancient Chinese regimes. The history of literature begins with the history of writing and the notion of "literature" has different meanings depending on who is using it. Scholars have disagreed concerning when written record-keeping became more like "literature" than anything else and is largely subjective. It could be applied broadly to mean any symbolic record, encompassing everything from images and sculptures to letters. The oldest literary texts that have come down to us date to a full millennium after the invention of writing, to the late 3rd millennium BC. The earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep and Enheduanna, dating to ca. the 24th and 23rd centuries BC, respectively. In the early literate societies, as much as 600 years passed from the first inscriptions to the first coherent textual sources (ca. 3200 to 2600 BC).
Locations and timeframes
The Tărtăria tablets, subject of considerable controversy among archaeologists by representing an early form of writing in the world
Example of the Jiahu symbols, a writing-like markings, found on tortoise shells were dated around 6000 BC.
The Dispilio tablet markings (charagmata) Oracle bone script replica of the dated around the final Middle Neolithic originals used in divination in Bronze stage Age China.
The history of human communication dates back to the earliest era of humanity. Symbols were developed about 30,000 years ago, and writing about 7,000. The early writing systems of the late 4th millennium BC are not considered a sudden invention. Rather, they were based on ancient traditions of symbol systems that cannot be classified as writing proper, but have many characteristics strikingly reminiscent of writing. These systems may be described as proto-writing. They used ideographic and/or early mnemonic symbols to convey information yet were probably devoid of direct linguistic content. These systems emerged in the early Neolithic period, as early as the 7th millennium BC.
Europe and Near East
The Vinča signs show an evolution of simple symbols beginning in the 7th millennium, gradually increasing in complexity throughout the 6th millennium and culminating in the Tărtăria tablets of the 5th millennium with their rows of symbols carefully aligned, evoking the impression of a "text". The "Slavic runes" mentioned by a few medieval authors may also have been a system of protowriting. The Quipu of the Incas (sometimes called "talking knots") may have been of a similar nature. A historical example is the system of pictographs invented by Uyaquk before the developed of the Yugtun syllabary. The Dispilio Tablet of the late 6th millennium is similar. The hieroglyphic scripts of the Ancient Near East (Egyptian, Sumerian proto-Cuneiform and Cretan) seamlessly emerge from such symbol systems, so that it is difficult to say at what point precisely writing emerges from proto-writing. Adding to this difficulty is the fact that very little is known about the symbols' meanings.
India and Asia
The 4th to 3rd millennium BC Indus script may similarly constitute proto-writing, possibly already influenced by the emergence of writing in Mesopotamia. In 2003, tortoise shells were discovered in China, which had Jiahu Script carved into them. These shells were determined as dating back to the 6th millennium BC, via radiocarbon dating. The shells were found buried with human remains, in 24 Neolithic graves unearthed at Jiahu, Henan province, northern China.
According to some archaeologists, the writing on the shells had similarities to the 2nd millennium BC Oracle bone script. Others, however, have dismissed this claim as insufficiently substantiated, claiming that simple geometric designs such as those found on the Jiahu Shells, cannot be linked to early writing.
Bronze Age writing
Writing emerged in a variety of different cultures in the Bronze age. In the hieroglyphic, it is found that the point of meeting between the two great classes of written characters, the ideographic and phonetic, and, as it seems, there has been some light thrown on their mutual relation, and the manner in which the one arose, or, at least, may have arisen, out of the other. It has been affirmed, indeed, that the two kinds of writing are so entirely distinct that it is impossible to entertain the idea of a historical relationship between them. But the fact is, that in the hieroglyphic that such a relationship is already established. No nation which had made any considerable advance towards civilization remained satisfied with a pictorial or symbolic writing, more particularly if it be disposed to cultivate to any extent intercourse with other nations. To represent by means of such a method of writing foreign words and names is a matter of the utmost difficulty; and it is not improbable that the origin of the phonetic writing may be traced to the intercourse of nations speaking different languages. Thus compelled to employ ideographic characters phonetically in writing foreign words. From this there is but a step to the discovery of an alphabet, viz. the employment of the same sign to represent not the combination of sounds forming the word, but the initial sound.  It is true such correspondence cannot be traced through the whole of the phonetic alphabet. But when considering how very imperfect is the knowledge which even the most distinguished scholars possess of the ancient language, it is fully warranted in putting aside this negative evidence, and receiving the hypothesis just mentioned (such as that of Champollion with the ancient Egyptian language), as furnishing a very probable explanation of the origin of what may be called the alphabet. The Ge'ez writing system of Ethiopia is considered Semitic it is likely of semiindependent origin, having roots in the Meroitic Sudanese ideogram system. The Chinese script likely developed independently of the Middle Eastern scripts, around 1600 BC. The pre-Columbian Mesoamerican writing systems (including among others Olmec and Maya scripts) are also generally believed to have had independent origins. It is thought that the first true alphabetic writing appeared around 2000 BC, as a representation of language developed for Semitic slaves in Egypt by Egyptians (see History of the alphabet). Most other alphabets in the world today either descended from this one innovation, many via the Phoenician alphabet, or were directly inspired by its design. In the case of Italy, about 500 years passed from the early Old Italic alphabet to Plautus (750 to 250 BC), and in the case of the Germanic peoples, the corresponding time span is again similar,
from the first Elder Futhark inscriptions to early texts like the Abrogans (ca. 200 to 750 CE).
Middle Babylonian legal tablet from Alalah in its envelope The original Sumerian writing system derives from a system of clay tokens used to represent commodities. By the end of the 4th millennium BC, this had evolved into a method of keeping accounts, using a round-shaped stylus impressed into soft clay at different angles for recording numbers. This was gradually augmented with pictographic writing using a sharp stylus to indicate what was being counted. Round-stylus and sharp-stylus writing was gradually replaced about 2700-2500 BC by writing using a wedge-shaped stylus (hence the term cuneiform), at first only for logograms, but developed to include phonetic elements by the 29th century BC. About 2600 BC cuneiform began to represent syllables of the Sumerian language. Finally, cuneiform writing became a general purpose writing system for logograms, syllables, and numbers. From the 26th century BC, this script was adapted to the Akkadian language, and from there to others such as Hurrian, and Hittite. Scripts similar in appearance to this writing system include those for Ugaritic and Old Persian.
Writing was very important in maintaining the Egyptian empire, and literacy was concentrated among an educated elite of scribes. Only people from certain backgrounds were allowed to train to become scribes, in the service of temple, pharisaic, and military authorities. The hieroglyph system was always difficult to learn, but in later centuries may have purposely made even more so, as this preserved the scribes' position.
Various scholars believe that Egyptian hieroglyphs "came into existence a little after Sumerian script, and ... probably [were]... invented under the influence of the latter ...", although it is point out and held that "the evidence for such direct influence remains flimsy” and that “a very credible argument can also be made for the independent development of writing in Egypt..." See further Egyptian hieroglyphs.
In China, historians have found out a lot about the early Chinese dynasties from the written documents left behind. From the Shang Dynasty most of this writing has survived on bones or bronze implements (bronze script). Markings on turtle shells, or jiaguwen, have been carbon-dated to around 1500 BC. Historians have found that the type of media used had an effect on what the writing was documenting and how it was used. There have recently been discoveries of tortoise-shell carvings dating back to c. 6000 BC, like Jiahu Script, Banpo Script, but whether or not the carvings are of sufficient complexity to qualify as writing is under debate. At Damaidi in theNingxia Hui Autonomous Region, 3,172 cliff carvings dating to 6,000-5,000 BCE have been discovered featuring 8,453 individual characters such as the sun, moon, stars, gods and scenes of hunting or grazing. These pictographs are reputed to be similar to the earliest characters confirmed to be written Chinese. If it is deemed to be a written language, writing in China will predate Mesopotamian cuneiform, long acknowledged as the first appearance of writing, by some 2000 years, however it is more likely that the inscriptions are rather a form of protowriting, similar to the contemporary European Vinca script. Undisputed evidence of writing in China dates from ca. 1600 BC.
The undeciphered Proto-Elamite script emerges from as early as 3200 BC and evolves into Linear Elamite by the later 3rd millennium, which is then replaced by Elamite Cuneiform adopted from Akkadian.
Anatolian hieroglyphs are an indigenous hieroglyphic script native to western Anatolia first appears on Luwian royal seals, from ca. the 20th century BC, used to record the Hieroglyphic Luwian language.
Cretan hieroglyphs are found on artifacts of Crete (early to mid 2nd millennium BC, MM I to MM III, overlapping with Linear A from MM IIA at the earliest). Linear B has been deciphered while Linear A has yet to be deciphered.
Early Semitic alphabets
The first pure alphabets (properly, "abjads", mapping single symbols to single phonemes, but not necessarily each phoneme to a symbol) emerged around 1800 BC in Ancient Egypt, as a representation of language developed by Semitic workers in Egypt, but by then alphabetic principles had a slight possibility of being inculcated into Egyptian hieroglyphs for upwards of a millennium. These early abjads remained of marginal importance for several centuries, and it is only towards the end of the Bronze Age that the Proto-Sinaitic script splits into the Proto-Canaanite alphabet (ca. 1400 BC) Byblos syllabary and the South Arabian alphabet (ca. 1200 BC). The Proto-Canaanite was probably somehow influenced by the undeciphered Byblos syllabary and in turn inspired the Ugaritic alphabet (ca. 1300 BC).
Sequence of ten Indus signs discovered near the northern gate of the Indus site Dholavira The Middle Bronze Age Indus script which dates back to the early Harrapan phase of around 3000 BC in Pakistan, has not yet been deciphered. It is unclear whether it should be considered an example of proto-writing (a system of symbols or similar), or if it is actual writing of the logographic-syllabic type of the other Bronze Age writing systems. Mortimer Wheeler recognises the style of writing as boustrophedon, where "this stability suggests a precarious maturity".
A stone slab with 3,000-year-old writing was discovered in the Mexican state of Veracruz, and is an example of the oldest script in the Western Hemisphere preceding the oldest Zapotec writing dated to about 500 BC.  Of several pre-Columbian scripts in Mesoamerica, the one that appears to have been best developed, and fully deciphered, is the Maya script. The earliest inscriptions which are identifiably Maya date to the 3rd century BC, and writing was in continuous use until shortly after the arrival of the Spanish conquistadores in the 16th century AD. Maya writing used logograms complemented by a set of syllabic glyphs, somewhat similar in function to modern Japanese writing.
Iron Age writing
The Phoenician alphabet is simply the Proto-Canaanite alphabet as it was continued into the Iron Age (conventionally taken from a cut-off date of 1050 BC). This alphabet gave rise to the Aramaic and Greek, as well as, likely via Greek transmission, to various Anatolian and Old Italic (including the Latin) alphabets in the 8th century BC. The Greek alphabet for the first time introduces vowel signs. The Brahmic family of India originated independently. The Greek and Latin alphabets in the early centuries of the Common Era gave rise to several European scripts such as the Runes and the Gothic and Cyrillic alphabets while the Aramaic alphabet evolved into the Hebrew, Syriac and Arabic abjads and the South Arabian alphabet gave rise to the Ge'ez abugida.
Writing in Antiquity
In history of the Greek alphabet, the Greeks borrowed the Phoenician alphabet and adapted it to their own language. The letters of the Greek alphabet are the same as those of the Phoenician alphabet, and both alphabets are arranged in the same order.  Several varieties of the Greek alphabet developed. One, known as Western Greek or Chalcidian, was west of Athens and in southern Italy. The other variation, known as Eastern Greek, was used in present-day Turkey, and the Athenians, and eventually the rest of the world that spoke Greek adopted this variation. After first writing right to left, the Greeks eventually chose to write from left to right, unlike the Phoenicians who wrote from right to left. Greek is in turn the source for all the modern scripts of Europe. A tribe known as the Latins, who became known as the Romans, also lived in the Italian peninsula like the Western Greeks. From the Etruscans, a tribe living in the first millennium BCE in central Italy, and the Western Greeks, the Latins adopted writing in about the fifth century. The Anglo-Saxons began using Roman letters to write Old English as they converted to Christianity, following Augustine of Canterbury's mission to Britain in the sixth century.
Middle Ages writing
With the end of the Western Roman Empire and urban centers in decline, literacy decreased in the West. Education became the preserve of monasteries and cathedrals. A "Renaissance" of classical education would appear in Carolingian Empire in the 8th century. In the Eastern Roman Empire (Byzantium), learning (in the sense of formal education involving literature) was maintained at a higher level than in the West. Further to the east, Islam conquered many of the Eastern Patriarchates, and it outstripped Christian lands in science, philosophy, and other intellectual endeavors in a "golden age".
The nature of writing has been constantly evolving, particularly due to the development of new technologies over the centuries. The pen, the printing press, the computer and the mobile phone are all technological developments which have altered what is written, and the medium through which the written word is produced. Particularly with the advent of digital technologies, namely the computer and the mobile phone, characters can be formed by the press of a button, rather than making the physical motion with the hand. The nature of the written word had evolved over time to make way for an informal, colloquial written style, where an everyday conversation can occur through writing rather than speaking. Written communication can also be delivered with minimal time delay (e-mail, SMS), and in some cases, instantly (instant messaging). Writing creates the possibility to break spatial boundaries and travel through time, since a word normally spoken could only exist in the time and space it is spoken in. It creates a certain immortality, that could not be experienced without writing. Socially, writing is seen as an authoritative means of communication, from legal documentation, law and the media all produced through the medium. The growth of multimedia literacy can be seen as the first steps toward a postliterate society.
Materials of writing
There is no very definite statement as to the material which was in most common use for the purposes of writing at start of the early writing systems. In all ages it has been customary to engrave on stone or metal, or other durable material, with the view of securing the permanency of the record; and accordingly, in the very commencement of the national history of Israel, it is read of the two tables of the law written in stone, and of a subsequent writing of the law on stone. In the latter case there is this peculiarity, that plaster (sic, lime or gypsum) was used along with stone, a combination of materials which is illustrated by comparison of the practice of the Egyptian engravers, who, having first carefully smoothed the stone, filled up the faulty places with gypsum or cement, in order to obtain a perfectly uniform surface on which to execute their engravings. Metals, such as stamped coins, are mentioned as a material of writing; they include lead, brass, and gold. To the engraving of gems there is reference also, such as with seals or signets. The common materials of writing were the tablet and the roll, the former probably having a Chaldean origin, the latter an Egyptian. The tablets of the Chaldeans are among the most remarkable of their remains There are small pieces of clay, somewhat rudely shaped into a furm resembling a pillow, and thickly inscribed with cuneiform characters. Similar use has been seen in hollow cylinders, or prisms of six or eight sides, formed of fine terra cotta, sometimes glazed, on which the characters were traced with a small stylus, in some specimens so
minutely as to be capable of decipherment only with the aid of a magnifyingglass. In Egypt the principal writing material was quite of a different sort. Wooden tablets are indeed found pictured on the monuments; but the material which was in common use, even from very ancient times, was the papyrus. This reed, found chiefly in Lower Egypt, had various economic means for writing, the pith was taken out, and divided by a pointed instrument into the thin pieces of which it is composed; it was then fattened by pressure, and the strips glued together, other strips being placed at right angles to them, so that a roll of any length might be manufactured. Writing seems to have become more widespread with the invention of papyrus in Egypt. That this material was in use in Egypt from a very early period is evidenced by still existing papyrus of the earliest Theban dynasties. As the papyrus, being in great demand, and exported to all parts of the world, became very costly, other materials were often used instead of it, among which is mentioned leather, a few leather mills of an early period having been found in the tombs. Parchment, using sheepskins left after the wool was removed for cloth, was sometimes cheaper than papyrus, which had to be imported outside Egypt. With the invention of wood-pulp paper, the cost of writing material began a steady decline.
Words: -Writing systems -Proto-writing -Cuneiform scripts -Alphabets
Ancient history is the study of the written past from the beginning of recorded human history in the Old World until the Early Middle Ages in Europe and the Qin Dynasty in China. The period or era following these events includes the Imperial era in China and the period of the Middle Kingdoms in India; The span of recorded history altogether is roughly 5,000 years, with Sumerian cuneiform emerging from the protoliterate period around the 30th century BC being the oldest form of writing discovered so far. This is the beginning of history, as opposed to prehistory, according to the definition used by most historians. The term classical antiquity is often used to refer to ancient history since the beginning of recorded Greek history in about 776 BC (First Olympiad). This coincides, roughly, with the traditional date of the founding of Rome in 753 BC, the beginning of the history of ancient Rome. Although the ending date of ancient history is disputed, Western scholars use the fall of the Western Roman Empire in AD 476, or the death of the emperor Justinian I, or the coming of Islam and the rise of Charlemagne as the end of ancient European history.
The study of ancient history
The fundamental difficulty of studying ancient history is the fact that only a fraction of it has been documented and only a fraction of those recorded histories have survived into the present day. It is also imperative to consider the reliability of the information obtained from these records. Literacy was not widespread in almost any culture until long after the end of ancient history, so there were few people capable of writing histories. The Roman Empire was one of the ancient world's most literate cultures, but many works by its most widely read historians are lost. For example, Livy, a Roman historian who lived in the 1st century BC, wrote a history of Rome called Ab Urbe Condita (From The City Having Been Founded) in 144 volumes; only 35 volumes still exist, although short summaries of most of the rest do exist. Indeed, only a minority of the work of any major Roman historian has survived.
Historians have two major avenues which they take to better understand the ancient world: archaeology and the study of source texts. Primary sources have been described as those sources closest to the origin of the information or idea under study. Primary sources have been distinguished from secondary sources, which often cite, comment on, or build upon primary sources.
Archaeology is the excavation and study of artifacts in an effort to interpret and reconstruct past human behavior. In the study of ancient history, archaeologists excavate the ruins of ancient cities looking for clues as to how the people of the time period lived. Some important discoveries by archaeologists studying ancient history include:
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The Egyptian pyramids: giant tombs built by the ancient Egyptians beginning around 2600 BC as the final resting places of their royalty. The study of the ancient cities of Harappa (India , now Pakistan), Mohenjo-daro(Pakistan), and Lothal in South Asia. The city of Pompeii: an ancient Roman city preserved by the eruption of a volcano in AD 79. Its state of preservation is so great that it is a valuable window into Roman culture and provided insight into the cultures of the Etruscans and the Samnites. The Terracotta Army: the mausoleum of the First Qin Emperor in ancient China. The Grand Anicut, also known as the Kallanai, is an ancient dam built on the Kaveri River in the state of Tamil Nadu in southern India.
Main article: Source text Perhaps most of what is known of the ancient world comes from the accounts of antiquity's own historians. Although it is important to take into account the bias of each ancient author, their accounts, are the basis for our understanding of the ancient past. Some of the more notable ancient writers include Herodotus, Josephus, Livy, Polybius, Sallust, Suetonius, Tacitus, Thucydides, and Sima Qian.
Prehistory is a term often used to describe the period before written history. The early human migrations patterns in the Lower Paleolithic saw Homo erectus spreads across Eurasia. The controlled use of fire from ca. 800 thousand years ago occurred. Near c. 250 thousand years ago, Homo sapiens evolves in Africa.
Around c. 70–60 thousand years ago, modern humans migrate out of Africa along a coastal route to South and Southeast Asia and reach Australia. About c. 50 thousand years ago, modern humans spread from Asia to the Near East. Followed by c. 40 thousand years ago, in which Europe was first reached by modern humans. By c. 15 thousand years ago, the migration to the New World occurred. In the 10th millennium BC, Invention of agriculture is the earliest given date for the beginning of the ancient era. In the 7th millennium BC, Jiahu culture began in China. By the 5th millennium BC, the late Neolithic civilizations saw the invention of the wheel and spread of proto-writing. In the 4th millennium BC, the CucuteniTrypillian culture in the Ukraine-Moldova-Romania region develops. By 3400 BC, "proto-literate" Sumerian cuneiform is spread in the Middle East. The 30th century BC, referred to as the Early Bronze Age II, saw the beginning of the literate period in Sumer and Ancient Egypt arise. Around ca. 27th century BC, the Old Kingdom of Egypt and the First Dynasty of Uruk are founded, according to the earliest reliable regnal eras.
Middle to Late Bronze Age
The Bronze Age forms part of the three-age system. In this system, it follows the Neolithic in some areas of the world. In the 24th century BC, Akkadian Empire  In the 22nd century BC, the First Intermediate Period of Egypt occurred The time between the 21st to 17th centuries BC around the Nile has been denoted as Middle Kingdom of Egypt. In the 21st century BC, the Sumerian Renaissance occurs. By the 18th century, the Second Intermediate Period of Egypt begins. By 1600 BC, Mycenaean Greece begins to develop. Also by 1600 BC, the beginning of Shang Dynasty in China emerges and there is evidence of a fully developed Chinese writing system. Around 1600 BC, the beginning of Hittite dominance of the Eastern Mediterranean region is seen. The time between the 16th to 11th centuries around the Nile is called the New Kingdom of Egypt. Between 1550 BC and 1292 BC, the Amarna Period occurs.
Early Iron Age
The Iron Age is the last principal period in the three-age system, preceded by the Bronze Age. Its date and context vary depending on the country or geographical region. During the 13th to 12th centuries, the Ramesside Period occurred. Around c. 1200 BC, the Trojan War was thought to have taken place. By c. 1180 BC, the disintegration of Hittite Empire was underway. In 1046 BC, the Zhou force, led by King Wu of Zhou, overthrows the last king of Shang Dynasty. The Zhou Dynasty is established in China shortly thereafter. In 1000 BC, the Mannaeans Kingdom begins. Around the 10th to 7th centuries, the Neo-Assyrian Empire forms. In 800 BC, the rise of Greek city-states begins. In
776 BC, the first recorded Olympic Games are held. The Ancient Olympic Games origins are unknown, but several legends and myths have survived.
Classical antiquity is a broad term for a long period of cultural history, with a focus on the interlocking civilizations of Ancient Greece and Ancient Rome.
Before the Common Era
Early ancient history
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753 BC: Founding of Rome (traditional date) 745 BC: Tiglath-Pileser III becomes the new king of Assyria. With time he conquers neighboring countries and turns Assyria into an empire 728 BC: Rise of the Median Empire 722 BC: Spring and Autumn Period begins in China; Zhou Dynasty's power is diminishing; the era of the Hundred Schools of Thought 700 BC: the construction of Marib Dam in Arabia Felix 653 BC: Rise of Persian Empire 612 BC: Attributed date of the destruction of Nineveh and subsequent fall of Assyria. 600 BC: Sixteen Maha Janapadas ("Great Realms" or "Great Kingdoms") emerge. A number of these Maha Janapadas are semi-democratic republics. c. 600 BC: Pandyan kingdom in South India 563 BC: Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha), founder of Buddhism is born as a prince of the Shakya tribe, which ruled parts of Magadha, one of the Maha Janapadas 551 BC: Confucius, founder of Confucianism, is born 550 BC: Foundation of the Persian Empire by Cyrus the Great 549 BC: Mahavira, founder of Jainism is born 546 BC: Cyrus the Great overthrows Croesus King of Lydia 544 BC: Rise of Magadha as the dominant power under Bimbisara. 539 BC: The Fall of the Babylonian Empire and liberation of the Jews by Cyrus the Great 529 BC: Death of Cyrus 525 BC: Cambyses II of Persia conquers Egypt c. 512 BC: Darius I (Darius the Great) of Persia, subjugates eastern Thrace, Macedonia submits voluntarily, and annexes Libya, Persian Empire at largest extent 509 BC: Expulsion of the last King of Rome, founding of Roman Republic (traditional date) 508 BC: Democracy instituted at Athens
Eastern Hemisphere in 500 BC.
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500 BC: Panini standardizes the grammar and morphology of Sanskrit in the text Ashtadhyayi. Panini's standardized Sanskrit is known as Classical Sanskrit 500 BC: Pingala uses zero and binary numeral system 490 BC: Greek city-states defeat Persian invasion at Battle of Marathon 480 BC: Invasion of Greece by Xerxes; Battles of Thermopylae and Salamis 475 BC: Warring States Period begins in China as the Zhou king became a mere figurehead; China is annexed by regional warlords 469 BC: Birth of Socrates 465 BC: Murder of Xerxes 460 BC: First Peloponnesian War between Athens and Sparta 447 BC: Building of the Parthenon at Athens started 424 BC: Nanda dynasty comes to power. 404 BC: End of Peloponnesian War between the Greek city-states
Late ancient history
331 BC: Alexander the Great defeats Darius III of Persia in the Battle of Gaugamela 326 BC: Alexander the Great defeats Indian king Porus in the Battle of the Hydaspes River.
Eastern Hemisphere in 323BC.
323 BC: Death of Alexander the Great at Babylon 321 BC: Chandragupta Maurya overthrows the Nanda Dynasty of Magadha.
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305 BC: Chandragupta Maurya seizes the satrapies of Paropanisadai (Kabul), Aria (Herat), Arachosia (Qanadahar) and Gedrosia (Baluchistan) from Seleucus I Nicator, the Macedonian satrap of Babylonia, in return for 500 elephants. 273 BC: Ashoka the Great becomes the emperor of the Mauryan Empire 257 BC: Thục Dynasty takes over Việt Nam (then Kingdom of Âu Lạc) 250 BC: Rise of Parthia (Ashkâniân), the third native dynasty of ancient Persia 232 BC: Death of Emperor Ashoka the Great; Decline of the Mauryan Empire 230 BC: Emergence of Satavahanas in South India 221 BC: Qin Shi Huang unifies China, end of Warring States Period; marking the beginning of Imperial rule in China which lasts until 1912. Construction of the Great Wall by the Qin Dynasty begins. 207 BC: Kingdom of Nan Yueh extends from North Việt Nam to Canton 202 BC: Han Dynasty established in China, after the death of Qin Shi Huang; China in this period started to open trading connections with the West, i.e. the Silk Road 202 BC: Scipio Africanus defeats Hannibal at Battle of Zama
Eastern Hemisphere in 200BC.
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c. 200 BC: Chera dynasty in South India 185 BC: Sunga Empire founded. 149 BC–146: Third and final Punic War; destruction of Carthage by Rome 146 BC: Roman conquest of Greece, see Roman Greece 140 BC: China was officially made a Confucian state by the imperial examination of Han Wu Di. 111 BC: First Chinese domination of Việt Nam in the form of the Nanyue Kingdom.
Eastern Hemisphere in 100 BC.
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c. 100 BC: Chola dynasty rises in prominence. 53 BC: Battle of Carrhae, the Roman Republic's bloodiest defeat. The army of Roman Republic led by Marcus Licinius Crassus was destroyed by parthian Spahbod Surena. Crassus and his son were killed during the battle and almost all of Roman army were kiled or captured. even the golden aquilae (legionary battle standards) was captured by Parthian's army (It was first and last time that aquilae was captured by Roman's enemy). 49 BC: Roman Civil War between Julius Caesar and Pompey the Great 44 BC: Julius Caesar murdered by Marcus Brutus and others; End of Roman Republic; beginning of Roman Empire 6 BC: Earliest theorized date for birth of Jesus of Nazareth 4 BC: Widely accepted date (Ussher) for birth of Jesus Christ
In the Common Era
World in 1.
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9: Battle of the Teutoburg Forest, the Imperial Roman Army's bloodiest defeat. 14: Death of Emperor Augustus (Octavian), ascension of his adopted son Tiberius to the throne 29: Crucifixion of Jesus Christ. 68: Year of the four emperors in Rome 70: Destruction of Jerusalem by the armies of Titus.
World in 100.
117: Roman Empire at largest extent under Emperor Trajan 192: Kingdom of Champa in Central Việt Nam
Eastern Hemisphere in 200 AD.
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200s: The Buddhist Srivijaya Empire established in the Malay Archipelago. 220: Three Kingdoms period begins in China after the fall of Han Dynasty. 226: Fall of the Parthian Empire and Rise of the Sassanian Empire 238: Defeat of Gordian III (238–244), Philip the Arab (244–249), and Valerian (253–260), by Shapur I of Persia, (Valerian was captured by the Persians). 280: Emperor Wu established Jin Dynasty providing a temporary unity of China after the devastating Three Kingdoms period. 285: Emperor Diocletian splits the Roman Empire into Eastern and Western Empires
World in 300.
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313: Edict of Milan declared that the Roman Empire would be neutral toward religious worship 335: Samudragupta becomes the emperor of the Gupta empire 378: Battle of Adrianople, Roman army is defeated by the Germanic tribes 395: Roman Emperor Theodosius I outlaws all pagan religions in favour of Christianity 410: Alaric I sacks Rome for the first time since 390 BC c. 455: Skandagupta repels an Indo-Hephthalite attack on India. 476: Romulus Augustus, last Western Roman Emperor is forced to abdicate by Odoacer, a half Hunnish and half Scirian chieftain of the Germanic Heruli; Odoacer returns the imperial regalia to Eastern Roman Emperor Zeno in Constantinople in return for the title of dux of Italy; most frequently cited date for the end of ancient history
End of Classical Antiquity
The transition period from Classical Antiquity to the Early Middle Ages is known as Late Antiquity. Some key dates marking that transition are:
293: reforms of Roman Emperor Diocletian 395: the division of Roman Empire into the Western Roman Empire and Eastern Roman Empire
Eastern Hemisphere in 476 AD.
476: the fall of Western Roman Empire 529: closure of Platon Academy in Athens by Byzantine Emperor Justinian I
The beginning of the Middle Ages is a period in the history of Europe following the fall of the Western Roman Empire spanning roughly five centuries from AD 500 to 1000. Aspects of continuity with the earlier classical period are discussed in greater detail under the heading "Late Antiquity". Late Antiquity is a periodization used by historians to describe the transitional centuries from Classical Antiquity to the Middle Ages, in both mainland Europe and the Mediterranean world: generally from the end of the Roman Empire's Crisis of the Third Century (c. 284) to the Islamic conquests and the re-organization of the Byzantine Empire under Heraclius.
Religion and philosophy
New philosophies and religions arose in both east and west, particularly about the 6th century BC. Over time, a great variety of religions developed around the world, with some of the earliest major ones being Hinduism (considered to be the oldest living religion in the world), Buddhism, and Jainism in India, and Zoroastrianism in Persia. The Abrahamic religions trace their origin to Judaism, around 1800 BC. The ancient Indian philosophy is a fusion of two ancient traditions: Sramana tradition and Vedic tradition. Indian philosophy begins with the Vedas where questions related to laws of nature, the origin of the universe and the place of man in it are asked. Jainism and Buddhism are continuation of the Sramana
school of thought. The Sramanas cultivated a pessimistic world view of the samsara as full of suffering and advocated renunciation and austerities. They laid stress on philosophical concepts like Ahimsa, Karma, Jnana, Samsara and Moksa. While there are ancient relations between the Indian Vedas and the Iranian Avesta, the two main families of the Indo-Iranian philosophical traditions were characterized by fundamental differences in their implications for the human being's position in society and their view on the role of man in the universe. In the east, four schools of thought were to dominate Chinese thinking until the modern day. These were Taoism, Buddhism (which originated in India), Legalism and Confucianism. The Confucian tradition, which would attain dominance, looked for political morality not to the force of law but to the power and example of tradition. Confucianism would later spread into the Korean peninsula and Goguryeo and toward Japan. In the west, the Greek philosophical tradition, represented by Socrates, Plato, and Aristotle, was diffused throughout Europe and the Middle East in the 4th century BC by the conquests of Alexander III of Macedon, more commonly known as Alexander the Great. After the Bronze and Iron Age religions formed, the rise and spread of Christianity through the Roman world marked the end of Hellenistic philosophy and ushered in the beginnings of Medieval philosophy.
Ancient science and technology
In the history of technology and ancient science during the growth of the ancient civilizations, ancient technological advances were produced in engineering. These advances stimulated other societies to adopt new ways of living and governance. The characteristics of Ancient Egyptian technology are indicated by a set of artifacts and customs that lasted for thousands of years. The Egyptians invented and used many basic machines, such as the ramp and the lever, to aid construction processes. The Egyptians also played an important role in developing Mediterranean maritime technology including ships and lighthouses. The history of science and technology in India dates back to ancient times. The Indus Valley civilization yields evidence of hydrography, metrology and sewage collection and disposal being practiced by its inhabitants. Among the fields of science and technology pursued in India were Ayurveda, metallurgy, astronomy and mathematics. Some ancient inventions include plastic surgery, cataract surgery, Hindu-Arabic numeral system and Wootz steel. The history of science and technology in China show significant advances in science, technology, mathematics, and astronomy. The first recorded observations of comets and supernovae were made in China. Traditional Chinese medicine, acupuncture and herbal medicine were also practiced.
Ancient Greek technology developed at an unprecedented speed during the 5th century BC, continuing up to and including the Roman period, and beyond. Inventions that are credited to the ancient Greeks such as the gear, screw, bronze casting techniques, water clock, water organ, torsion catapult and the use of steam to operate some experimental machines and toys. Many of these inventions occurred late in the Greek period, often inspired by the need to improve weapons and tactics in war. Roman technology is the engineering practice which supported Roman civilization and made the expansion of Roman commerce and Roman military possible over nearly a thousand years. The Roman Empire had the most advanced set of technology of their time, some of which may have been lost during the turbulent eras of Late Antiquity and the Early Middle Ages. Roman technological feats of many different areas, like civil engineering, construction materials, transport technology, and some inventions such as the mechanical reaper went unmatched until the 19th century. A significant number of inventions were developed in the Islamic world, a geopolitical region that has at various times extended from al-Andalus and Africa in the west to the Indian subcontinent and Malay Archipelago in the east. Many of these inventions had direct implications for Fiqh related issues.
Ancient maritime activity
In ancient maritime history, the earliest known reference to an organization devoted to ships in ancient India is to the Mauryan Empire from the 4th century BC. It is believed that the navigation as a science originated in Ancient India on the river Indus some 5000 years ago. Pre-Columbian trans-oceanic contact refers to interactions between the Americans and peoples of other continents – Europe, Africa, Asia, or Oceania – before the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1492. Many such events have been proposed at various times, based on historical reports, archaeological finds, and cultural comparisons. The Ancient Egyptians had knowledge to some extent of sail construction. According to the Greek historian Herodotus, Necho II sent out an expedition of Phoenicians, which in three years sailed from the Red Sea around Africa to the mouth of the Nile. Many current historians tend to believe Herodotus on this point, even though Herodotus himself was in disbelief that the Phoenicians had accomplished the act. Hannu was an ancient Egyptian explorer (around 2750 BC) and the first explorer of whom there is any knowledge. Hannu made the first recorded exploring expedition. He wrote his account of his exploration in stone. Hannu travelled along the Red Sea to Punt. He sailed to what is now part of eastern Ethiopia and Somalia. He returned to Egypt with great treasures, including precious myrrh, metal and wood.
Ancient warfare is war as conducted from the beginnings of recorded history to the end of the ancient period. The earliest accounts of actual Ancient Warfare are mentioned in the great Indian Hindu epic, Mahabharata which talks of a world war between Pandavas (and their allies) and Kauravas (and their allies) in the battlefields of Kurukshetra, located in modern-day Haryana state of India. In Europe, the end of antiquity is often equated with the fall of Rome in 476. In China, it can also be seen as ending in the fifth century, with the growing role of mounted warriors needed to counter the ever-growing threat from the north. The difference between prehistoric and ancient warfare is less one of technology than of organization. The development of first city-states, and then empires, allowed warfare to change dramatically. Beginning in Mesopotamia, states produced sufficient agricultural surplus that full-time ruling elites and military commanders could emerge. While the bulk of military forces were still farmers, the society could support having them campaigning rather than working the land for a portion of each year. Thus, organized armies developed for the first time. These new armies could help states grow in size and became increasingly centralized, and the first empire, that of the Sumerians, formed in Mesopotamia. Early ancient armies continued to primarily use bows and spears, the same weapons that had been developed in prehistoric times for hunting. Early armies in Egypt and China followed a similar pattern of using massed infantry armed with bows and spears.
Ancient artwork and music
Ancient music is music that developed in literate cultures, replacing prehistoric music. Ancient music refers to the various musical systems that were developed across various geographical regions such as Persia, India, China, Greece, Rome, Egypt and Mesopotamia (see music of India, music of Mesopotamia, music of ancient Greece, music of ancient Rome). Ancient music is designated by the characterization of the basic audible tones and scales. It may have been transmitted through oral or written systems. Arts of the ancient world refers to the many types of art that were in the cultures of ancient societies, such as those of ancient China, India, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece and Rome
Cultures in the New World
In pre-Columbian times, several large, centralized ancient civilizations developed in the Western Hemisphere, which included the Olmecs and Mayans. Between
1800 and 300 BC, complex cultures began to form and many matured into advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the: Olmec, Izapa, Teotihuacan, Maya, Zapotec, Mixtec, Huastec, Tarascan, "Toltec" and Aztec, which flourished for nearly 4,000 years before the first contact with Europeans. These civilizations progress included pyramid-temples, mathematics, astronomy, medicine, and theology. The Zapotec emerged around 1500 years BC. They left behind the great city Monte Alban. Their writing system had been thought to have influenced the Olmecs but, with recent evidence, the Olmec may have been the first civilization in the area to develop a true writing system independently. At the present time, there is some debate as to whether or not Olmec symbols, dated to 650 BC, are actually a form of writing preceding the oldest Zapotec writing dated to about 500 BC. Olmec symbols found in 2002 and 2006 date to 650 BC and 900 BC respectively, preceding the oldest Zapotec writing. The earliest Mayan inscriptions found which are identifiably Maya date to the 3rd century BC in San Bartolo, Guatemala,. Words: -Old World -Archaeology -Classical Antiquity -Ancient science and technology
6.Ancient Near East and North Africa
Ancient Near East
Ancient Near East refers to early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia (modern Iraq and northeastern Syria), ancient Egypt, ancient Iran (Elam, Media and Persia), Armenia, Anatolia (modern Turkey) and the Levant (modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine, Jordan, and Cyprus). As such, it is a term widely employed in the fields of Near Eastern archaeology and ancient history. It begins with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BCE, though the date it ends varies: either covering the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in the region, until the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE or Alexander the Great in the 4th century BCE, or until the conquest by the Islamic Caliphate in the 7th century CE. The ancient Near East is considered the cradle of civilization. It was the first to practice intensive year-round agriculture, it gave the rest of the world the first writing system, invented the potter's wheel and then the vehicular- and mill wheel, created the first centralized governments, law codes and empires, as well
as introducing social stratification, slavery and organized warfare, and it laid the foundation for the fields of astronomy and mathematics.
Ancient Near East periodization is the attempt to categorize or divide time into discrete named blocks, or eras, of the Near east. The result is a descriptive abstraction that provides a useful handle on Near East periods of time with relatively stable characteristics. 4500 BCE - 4000 Chalcolithic BCE (Stone Age) (4500 BCE 4000 BCE 3300 BCE) Late - 3300 Chalcolithic BCE Bronze Age 3300 BCE Early Bronze (3300 BCE - 3000 Age I 1200 BCE) BCE 3000 BCE Early Bronze - 2700 Early Bronze Age II BCE Age (3300 BCE 2700 BCE Early Bronze 2000 BCE) - 2200 Age III BCE 2200 BCE Early Bronze - 2000 Age IV BCE 2000 BCE Middle Bronze - 1750 Age I BCE Middle Bronze 1750 BCE Age Middle Bronze - 1650 (2000 BCE Age II BCE 1550 BCE) 1650 BCE Middle Bronze - 1550 Age III BCE Late Bronze 1550 BCE Late Bronze Age - 1400 Age I (1550 BCE BCE 1200 BCE) 1400 BCE Late Bronze - 1300 Age II A BCE Late Bronze 1300 BCE Age II B - 1200 Early Chalcolithic Ubaid period Ghassulian, Uruk period, Gerzeh, Predynastic Egypt Protodynastic to Early Dynastic Period of Egypt Early Dynastic Period of Sumer Old Kingdom of Egypt, Akkadian Empire First Intermediate Period of Egypt Middle Kingdom of Egypt Second Intermediate Period of Egypt Hittite Old Kingdom, Minoan eruption Hittite Middle Kingdom Hittite New Kingdom, Mitanni, Ugarit (Dark Age, Sea Peoples)
Iron Age I (1200 BCE 1000 BCE) Iron Age (1200 BCE 586 BCE) Iron Age II (1000 BCE 586 BCE)
Iron Age I A Iron Age I B Iron Age II A Iron Age II B Iron Age II C
BCE 1200 BCE - 1150 Troy VII, Hekla 3 eruption BCE 1150 BCE - 1000 Neo-Hittite states BCE 1000 BCE Neo-Assyrian Empire - 900 BCE 900 BCE - Kingdom of Israel, Urartu, 700 BCE Phrygia 700 BCE Neo-Babylonian Empire 586 BCE
The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE) existed from the protohistoric Chalcolithic to Early Bronze Age period in the history of Mesopotamia, following the Ubaid period. Named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia. It was followed by the Sumerian civilization. The late Uruk period (34th to 32nd centuries) saw the gradual emergence of the cuneiform script and corresponds to the Early Bronze Age.
Early Bronze Age
Sumer, located in southern Mesopotamia, is the earliest known civilization in the world. It lasted from the first settlement of Eridu in the Ubaid period (late 6th millennium BCE) through the Uruk period (4th millennium BCE) and the Dynastic periods (3rd millennium BCE) until the rise of Babylon in the early 2nd millennium BCE.
Ancient Elam lay to the east of Sumer and Akkad, in the far west and southwest of modern-day Iran, stretching from the lowlands of Khuzestan and Ilam Province. In the Old Elamite period ca. 3200 BCE , it consisted of kingdoms on the Iranian plateau, centered in Anshan, and from the mid-2nd millennium BCE, it was centered in Susa in the Khuzestan lowlands. The civilization endured up until 539 BCE. The Proto-Elamite civilization existed during the time of ca. 3200 BCE to 2700 BCE when Susa, the later capital of the Elamites began to receive influence from the cultures of the Iranian plateau. In archaeological terms this
corresponds to the late Banesh period. This civilization is recognized as the oldest in Iran and was largely contemporary with its neighbour, Sumerian civilization. The Proto-Elamite script is an Early Bronze Age writing system briefly in use for the ancient Elamite language before the introduction of Elamite Cuneiform.
The Amorites were a nomadic Semitic people who occupied the country west of the Euphrates from the second half of the third millennium BCE. In the earliest Sumerian sources, beginning about 2400 BCE, the land of the Amorites ("the Mar.tu land") is associated with the West, including Syria and Canaan, although their ultimate origin may have been Arabia.. They ultimately settled in Mesopotamia, ruling Isin, Larsa, and later Babylon
Middle Bronze Age
Map of the ancient Near East during the Amarna Period, showing the great powers of the period: Egypt (green), Hatti (yellow), the Kassite kingdom of Babylon (purple), Assyria (grey), and Mittani (red). Lighter areas show direct control, darker areas represent spheres of influence. The extent of the Achaean/Mycenaean civilization is shown in orange.
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Assyria Babylonia Canaan: Ugarit, Kadesh, Megiddo, Kingdom of Israel Hittites
Late Bronze Age
The Hurrians lived in northern Mesopotamia and areas to the immediate east and west, beginning approximately 2500 BCE. They probably originated in the Caucasus and entered from the north, but this is not certain. Their known homeland was centred in Subartu, the Khabur River valley, and later they established themselves as rulers of small kingdoms throughout northern Mesopotamia and Syria. The largest and most influential Hurrian nation was the kingdom of Mitanni. The Hurrians played a substantial part in the History of the Hittites. Ishuwa was an ancient kingdom in Anatolia. The name is first attested in the second millennium BCE, and is also spelled Išuwa. In the classical period the land was a part of Armenia. Ishuwa was one of the places were agriculture developed very early in the Neolithic. Urban centres emerged in the upper Euphrates river valley around 3500 BCE. The first states followed in the third millennium BCE. The name Ishuwa is not known until the literate period of the second millennium BCE. Few literate sources from within Ishuwa have been discovered and the primary source material comes from Hittite texts. To the west of Ishuwa laid the kingdom of the Hittites and this nation was an untrustworthy neighbour. The Hittite king Hattusili I (c.1600 BCE) is reported to have marched his army across the Euphrates river and destroyed the cities there. This corresponds well with burnt destruction layers discovered by archaeologists at town sites in Ishuwa of roughly the same date. After the end of the Hittite empire in the early twelfth century BCE a new state emerged in Ishuwa. The city of Malatya became the center of one of the so called Neo-Hittite kingdom. The movement of nomadic people may have weakened the kingdom of Malatya before the final Assyrian invasion. The decline of the settlements and culture in Ishuwa from the seventh century BCE until the Roman period was probably caused by this movement of people. The Armenians later settled in the area since they were natives of the Armenian Plateau and related to the earlier inhabitants of Ishuwa. Kizzuwatna is the name of an ancient kingdom of the second millennium BCE. It was situated in the highlands of southeastern Anatolia, near the Gulf of İskenderun in modern-day Turkey. It encircled the Taurus Mountains and the Ceyhan river. The center of the kingdom was the city of Kummanni, situated in the highlands. In a later era, the same region was known as Cilicia. Luwian is an extinct language of the Anatolian branch of the Indo-European language family. Luwian speakers gradually spread through Anatolia and became a contributing factor to the downfall, after circa 1180 BCE, of the Hittite Empire, where it was already widely spoken. Luwian was also the language spoken in the Neo-Hittite states of Syria, such as Melid and Carchemish, as well as in the central Anatolian kingdom of Tabal that flourished around 900 BCE.
Luwian has been preserved in two forms, named after the writing systems used to represent them: Cuneiform Luwian, and Hieroglyphic Luwian. Mari was an ancient Sumerian and Amorite city, located 11 kilometers north-west of the modern town of Abu Kamal on the western bank of Euphrates river, some 120 km southeast of Deir ez-Zor, Syria. It is thought to have been inhabited since the 5th millennium BCE, although it flourished from 2900 BCE until 1759 BCE, when it was sacked by Hammurabi. Mitanni was a Hurrian kingdom in northern Mesopotamia from ca. 1500 BCE, at the height of its power, during the 14th century BCE, encompassing what is today southeastern Turkey, northern Syria and northern Iraq (roughly corresponding to Kurdistan), centered around the capital Washukanni whose precise location has not yet been determined by archaeologists. The Mitanni kingdom is thought to have been a feudal state led by a warrior nobility of IndoAryan descent, who invaded the Levant region at some point during the 17th century BCE, their influence apparent in a linguistic superstrate in Mitanni records. The spread to Syria of a distinct pottery type associated with the KuraAraxes culture has been connected with this movement, although its date is somewhat too early. Yamhad was an ancient Amorite kingdom. A substantial Hurrian population also settled in the kingdom, and the Hurrian culture influenced the area. The kingdom was powerful during the Middle Bronze Age, c.1800-1600 BCE. Its biggest rival was Qatna further south. Yamhad was finally destroyed by the Hittites in the sixteenth century BCE. The Aramaeans were a Semitic (West Semitic language group), semi-nomadic and pastoralist people who had lived in upper Mesopotamia and Syria. Aramaeans have never had a unified empire; they were divided into independent kingdoms all across the Near East. Yet to these Aramaeans befell the privilege of imposing their language and culture upon the entire Near East and beyond, fostered in part by the mass relocations enacted by successive empires, including the Assyrians and Babylonians. Scholars even have used the term 'Aramaization' for the Assyro-Babylonian peoples' languages and cultures, that have become Aramaic-speaking. The Sea peoples is the term used for a confederacy of seafaring raiders of the second millennium BCE who sailed into the eastern shores of the Mediterranean, caused political unrest, and attempted to enter or control Egyptian territory during the late 19th dynasty, and especially during Year 8 of Ramesses III of the 20th Dynasty. The Egyptian Pharaoh Merneptah explicitly refers to them by the term "the foreign-countries (or 'peoples') of the sea" ) in his Great Karnak Inscription. Although some scholars believe that they "invaded" Cyprus, Hatti and the Levant, this hypothesis is disputed.
Bronze Age collapse
The Bronze Age collapse is the name given by those historians who see the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Early Iron Age, as violent, sudden and culturally disruptive, expressed by the collapse of palace economies of the Aegean and Anatolia, which were replaced after a hiatus by the isolated village cultures of the Dark Age period of history of the Ancient Middle East. The Bronze Age collapse may be seen in the context of a technological history that saw the slow, comparatively continuous spread of iron-working technology in the region, beginning with precocious iron-working in what is now Romania in the 13th and 12th centuries. The cultural collapse of the Mycenaean kingdoms, the Hittite Empire in Anatolia and Syria, and the Egyptian Empire in Syria and Palestine, the scission of long-distance trade contacts and sudden eclipse of literacy, occurred between 1206 and 1150 BCE. In the first phase of this period, almost every city between Troy and Gaza was violently destroyed, and often left unoccupied thereafter (for example, Hattusas, Mycenae, Ugarit). The gradual end of the Dark Age that ensued saw the rise of settled Neo-Hittite Aramaean kingdoms of the mid-10th century BCE, and the rise of the Neo-Assyrian Empire.
During the Early Iron Age, Assyria assumed a position as a great regional power, vying with Babylonia and other lesser powers for dominance of the region, though not until the reforms of Tiglath-Pileser III in the 8th century BCE, did it become a powerful and vast empire. In the Middle Assyrian period of the Late Bronze Age, Assyria had been a minor kingdom of northern Mesopotamia (modern-day northern Iraq), competing for dominance with its southern Mesopotamian rival Babylonia. Beginning with the campaign of Adad-nirari II, it became a great regional power, growing to be a serious threat to 25th dynasty Egypt. The Neo-Assyrian Empire succeeded the Middle Assyrian period (14th to 10th century BCE). Some scholars, such as Richard Nelson Frye, regard the Neo-Assyrian Empire to be the first real empire in human history. During this period, Aramaic was also made an official language of the empire, alongside the Akkadian language. The states of the Neo-Hittite kingdoms were Luwian, Aramaic and Phoenicianspeaking political entities of Iron Age northern Syria and southern Anatolia that arose following the collapse of the Hittite Empire around 1180 BCE and lasted until roughly 700 BCE. The term "Neo-Hittite" is sometimes reserved specifically for the Luwian-speaking principalities like Melid (Malatya) and Karkamish (Carchemish), although in a wider sense the broader cultural term "Syro-Hittite" is now applied to all the entities that arose in south-central Anatolia following the Hittite collapse — such as Tabal and Quwê — as well as those of northern and coastal Syria . Urartu was an ancient kingdom of Armenia and North Mesopotamia which existed from ca. 860 BCE, emerging from the Late Bronze Age until 585 BCE. The Kingdom of Urartu was located in the mountainous plateau between Asia
Minor, Mesopotamia, and Caucasus mountains, later known as the Armenian Highland, and it centered around Lake Van (present-day eastern Turkey). The name corresponds to the Biblical Ararat. The term Neo-Babylonian Empire refers to Babylonia under the rule of the 11th ("Chaldean") dynasty, from the revolt of Nabopolassar in 626 BCE until the invasion of Cyrus the Great in 539 BCE, notably including the reign of Nebuchadrezzar II. Through the centuries of Assyrian domination, Babylonia enjoyed a prominent status, and revolted at the slightest indication that it did not. However, the Assyrians always managed to restore Babylonian loyalty, whether through granting of increased privileges, or militarily. That finally changed in 627 BCE with the death of the last strong Assyrian ruler, Ashurbanipal, and Babylonia rebelled under Nabopolassar the Chaldean the following year. With help from the Medes, Nineveh was sacked in 612, and the seat of empire was again transferred to Babylonia. The Achaemenid Empire was the first of the Persian Empires to rule over significant portions of Greater Iran, and the second great Iranian empire (after the Medean Empire). At the height of its power, encompassing approximately 7.5 million square kilometers, the Achaemenid Empire was territorially the largest empire of classical antiquity. It spanned three continents, including territories of modern Afghanistan, parts of Pakistan, Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace, many of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya. It is noted in western history as the foe of the Greek city states in the Greco-Persian Wars, for freeing the Israelites from their Babylonian captivity, and for instituting Aramaic as the empire's official language.
Ancient civilizations in the Near East were deeply influenced by their spiritual beliefs, which generally did not distinguish between heaven and Earth. They believed that divine action influenced all mundane matters, and also believed in divination (ability to predict the future). Omens were often inscribed in Ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia, as were records of major events.
North Africa Carthage and the Berbers
Phoenician traders arrived on the North African coast around 900 BC and established Carthage (in present-day Tunisia) around 800 BC. By the sixth century BC, a Phoenician presence existed at Tipasa (east of Cherchell in Algeria). From their principal center of power at Carthage, the Carthaginians expanded and established small settlements (called emporia in Greek) along the
North African coast; these settlements eventually served as market towns as well as anchorages. Hippo Regius (modern Annaba) and Rusicade (modern Skikda) are among the towns of Carthaginian origin on the coast of present-day Algeria. As Carthaginian power grew; its impact on the indigenous population increased dramatically. Berber civilization was already at a stage in which agriculture, manufacturing, trade, and political organization supported several states. Trade links between Carthage and the Berbers in the interior grew, but territorial expansion also resulted in the enslavement or military recruitment of some Berbers and in the extraction of tribute from others. By the early fourth century BC, Berbers formed one of the largest element, with Gauls, of the Carthaginian army. In the Revolt of the Mercenaries, Berber soldiers participated from 241 to 238 BC after being unpaid following the defeat of Carthage in the First Punic War. Berbers succeeded in obtaining control of much of Carthage's North African territory, and they minted coins bearing the name Libyan, used in Greek to describe natives of North Africa. The Carthaginian state declined because of successive defeats by the Romans in the Punic Wars; in 146 BC the city of Carthage was destroyed. As Carthaginian power waned, the influence of Berber leaders in the hinterland grew. By the second century BC, several large but loosely administered Berber kingdoms had emerged. Two of them were established in Numidia, behind the coastal areas controlled by Carthage. West of Numidia lay Mauretania, which extended across the Moulouya River in Morocco to the Atlantic Ocean. The high point of Berber civilization, unequaled until the coming of the Almohads and Almoravids more than a millennium later, was reached during the reign of Masinissa in the second century BC. After Masinissa's death in 148 BC, the Berber kingdoms were divided and reunited several times. Masinissa's line survived until AD 24, when the remaining Berber territory was annexed to the Roman Empire.
Roman North Africa
Northern Africa under Roman rule. Increases in urbanization and in the area under cultivation during Roman rule caused wholesale dislocations of the Berber society. Nomad tribes were forced to settle or move from traditional rangelands. Sedentary tribes lost their autonomy and connection with the land. Berber opposition to the Roman
presence was nearly constant. The Roman emperor Trajan established a frontier in the south by encircling the Aurès and Nemencha mountains and building a line of forts from Vescera (modern Biskra) to Ad Majores (Hennchir Besseriani, southeast of Biskra). The defensive line extended at least as far as Castellum Dimmidi (modern Messaad, southwest of Biskra), Roman Algeria's southernmost fort. Romans settled and developed the area around Sitifis (modern Sétif) in the second century, but farther west the influence of Rome did not extend beyond the coast and principal military roads until much later. The Roman military presence of North Africa was relatively small, consisting of about 28,000 troops and auxiliaries in Numidia and the two Mauretanian provinces. Starting in the second century AD, these garrisons were manned mostly by local inhabitants. Aside from Carthage, urbanization in North Africa came in part with the establishment of settlements of veterans under the Roman emperors Claudius, Nerva, and Trajan. In Algeria such settlements included Tipasa, Cuicul or Curculum (modern Djemila, northeast of Sétif), Thamugadi (modern Timgad, southeast of Sétif), and Sitifis (modern Setif). The prosperity of most towns depended on agriculture. Called the "granary of the empire," North Africa was one of the largest exporters of grain in the empire, which was exported to the provinces which did not produce cereals, like Italy and Greece. Other crops included fruit, figs, grapes, and beans. By the second century AD, olive oil rivaled cereals as an export item. The beginnings of the decline was less serious in North Africa than elsewhere. There were uprisings, however. In AD 238, landowners rebelled unsuccessfully against the emperor's fiscal policies. Sporadic tribal revolts in the Mauretanian mountains followed from 253 to 288. The towns also suffered economic difficulties, and building activity almost ceased. The towns of Roman North Africa had a substantial Jewish population. Some Jews had been deported from Judea or Palestine in the first and second centuries AD for rebelling against Roman rule; others had come earlier with Punic settlers. In addition, a number of Berber tribes had converted to Judaism. Christianity arrived in the second century and soon gained converts in the towns and among slaves. More than eighty bishops, some from distant frontier regions of Numidia, attended the Council of Carthage in 256. By the end of the fourth century, the settled areas had become Christianized, and some Berber tribes had converted en masse. A division in the church that came to be known as the Donatist controversy began in 313 among Christians in North Africa. The Donatists stressed the holiness of the church and refused to accept the authority to administer the sacraments of those who had surrendered the scriptures when they were
forbidden under the Emperor Diocletian. The Donatists also opposed the involvement of Emperor Constantine in church affairs in contrast to the majority of Christians who welcomed official imperial recognition. The occasionally violent controversy has been characterized as a struggle between opponents and supporters of the Roman system. The most articulate North African critic of the Donatist position, which came to be called a heresy, was Augustine, bishop of Hippo Regius. Augustine maintained that the unworthiness of a minister did not affect the validity of the sacraments because their true minister was Christ. In his sermons and books Augustine, who is considered a leading exponent of Christian dogma, evolved a theory of the right of orthodox Christian rulers to use force against schismatics and heretics. Although the dispute was resolved by a decision of an imperial commission in Carthage in 411, Donatist communities continued to exist as late as the sixth century.
Vandals and Byzantines
The decline in trade weakened Roman control. Independent kingdoms emerged in mountainous and desert areas, towns were overrun, and Berbers, who had previously been pushed to the edges of the Roman Empire, returned. Belisarius, general of the Byzantine emperor Justinian I based in Constantinople, landed in North Africa in 533 with 16,000 men and within a year destroyed the Vandal kingdom. Local opposition delayed full Byzantine control of the region for twelve years, however, and when imperial control came, it was but a shadow of the control exercised by Rome. Although an impressive series of fortifications were built, Byzantine rule was compromised by official corruption, incompetence, military weakness, and lack of concern in Constantinople for African affairs, which made it an easy target for the Arabs during for Muslim Conquests . As a result, many rural areas reverted to Berber rule.
Words: -Early Mesopotamia -Ancient Egypt -Achaemenid empire -Carthage -Almohads -Almoravids
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