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AP World History Chapter 1. Before History. Forming the Complex Society. Basic development: Hunting and foraging Agriculture Complex society Key issue: surplus capital Major development of first complex societies 3500 B.C.E. – 500 B.C.E. Prehistory. What is “history”? Documentation

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forming the complex society
Forming the Complex Society
  • Basic development:
    • Hunting and foraging
    • Agriculture
    • Complex society
  • Key issue: surplus capital
  • Major development of first complex societies 3500 B.C.E. – 500 B.C.E
  • What is “history”?
  • Documentation
    • Written records
    • Archaeological discovery
  • Requisite human presence (or “natural” history)

Cuneiform writing

Stonehenge 2400 BCE

Moai statues in Polynesia

development of hominids
Development of Hominids
  • Animals adapt themselves to environment
  • Hominids adapt environment to themselves
    • Use of tools
    • Language
    • Complex cooperative social structures
  • “The southern ape” – despite name, a hominid
  • Discovery of skeleton, north of Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
    • Nicknamed “Lucy”
  • 3’5”, 55lb., bipedal, brain 500 cc (modern human: 1400 cc), limited speech but opposable digit

Lucy - 3.2 Million years old

later hominids
Later Hominids
  • Homo erectus, “upright walking human”
    • Larger brain capacity (1000 cc), improved tool use, control of fire, ability to communicate complex ideas
  • Homo sapiens, “consciously thinking human”
    • Largest brain, esp. frontal regions
    • Most sophisticated tools and social organization; flexible language
  • Migrations of Homo erectus and Homo sapiens
the natural environment
The Natural Environment
  • By 13,000 B.C.E., Homo sapiens in every inhabitable part of the world
  • Archaeological finds:
    • Sophisticated tools
      • Choppers, scrapers, axes, knives, bows, arrows
      • Cave and hut-like dwellings
      • Use of fire, animal skins
  • Hunted several mammal species to extinction
    • Climatic change may have accelerated process
relative social equality
Relative Social Equality
  • Nomadic culture precludes accumulation of land-based wealth
    • Relatively egalitarian (equal) existence
    • More likely determinants of status: age, hunting skill, fertility, personality
    • Possible gender equality related to food production
    • Men: protein from hunting
    • Women: plant gathering
big game hunting
Big-Game Hunting
  • Evidence of intelligent coordination of hunting expeditions
    • Development of weaponry
    • Animal-skin disguises
    • Stampeding tactics
      • Lighting of fires, etc., to drive game into kill zones
  • Required planning, communication
paleolithic settlements
Paleolithic Settlements
  • Natufian society
    • Modern Israel and Jordan
    • Wild wheat, herding
  • Jomon society
    • Japan
    • Wild buckwheat, fishing
  • Chinook society
    • Pacific northwest
    • Berries, acorns, salmon runs
  • Groups of 1000 or more
neandertal peoples
Neandertal Peoples
  • Neander valley, western Germany
  • Flourished in Europe and southwest Asia, 200,000 to 35,000 years ago
  • Also found in Africa, east Asia
  • Evidence of spirituality: ritual burial
  • Inhabited some of the same areas as Homo sapiens
creativity of homo sapiens
Creativity of Homo sapiens
  • flexible languages for communication of complex ideas
  • Increased variety of tools – stone blades, spear throwers, sewing needles, barbed harpoons
  • Fabricated ornamental beads, necklaces and bracelets
  • The bow and arrow – a dramatic improvement in humans’ power over nature
  • “Venus” figurines
  • Cave paintings
neolithic era new stone age
Neolithic Era (“New Stone Age”)
  • Distinction in tool production
    • Chipped vs. polished
  • Relied on cultivation for subsistence
    • Men: herding animals rather than hunting
    • Women: nurturing vegetation rather than foraging
  • Spread of agriculture
    • Slash-and-burn techniques
    • Exhaustion of soil promotes migration
    • Transport of crops from one region to another
early agricultural society
Early Agricultural Society
  • Emergence of villages and towns
  • Discoveries at ÇatalHüyük – a prominent village located in Turkey, occupied 7250-5400 B.C.E.
    • Pots, baskets, textiles, leather, stone, metal tools, wood carvings, carpets, beads, and jewelry
  • Development of crafts – pottery, metallurgy, and textile production


social distinctions
Social Distinctions
  • Accumulation of landed wealth initiates development of social classes
  • Individuals could trade surplus food for valuable items
  • Archaeological evidence in variety of household decorations, goods buried with deceased members of society at ÇatalHüyük
neolithic culture
Neolithic Culture
  • Farmers closely observed the natural world – an early kind of applied science
  • Elements of natural environment essential for functioning
  • Archaeological evidence of religious worship: thousands of clay figurines, drawings on pots, tool decorations, other ritual objects
    • Fertility: Venus figurines
the origins of urban life
The Origins of Urban Life
  • Craft specialization
  • Social stratification
  • Governance
  • Cultural workers
  • Development of the city – a gradual process