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Ancient Civilizations Mr. Hanover Lecture Notes ... - LS Home Page

Ancient Civilizations Mr. Hanover Lecture Notes ... - LS Home Page

Ancient Civilizations Mr. Hanover Lecture Notes ... - LS Home

!Introduction Ancient Civilizations Mr. Hanover Lecture Notes: The Near Eastern Neolithic: Agricultural Origins The world's first civilization developed in the ancient Near East First criterion for civilization = domestication and agricultural economy capable of producing a stored surplus Need to begin by considering origins of Near Eastern agriculture ! The "Neolithic Revolution" Change from food collecting to food producing was one of the major transformations in human history • An economic change that altered social and political institutions, religion, etc. • BUT not as rapid as Childe thought In Near East, look at period roughly 9000-6000 B.C. • 9000 B.C.--all hunter-gatherers • Then domestication of plants and animals, rise of sedentary village farming pattern " Becomes predominant way of life by 6000 B.C. The Geographical Setting Archaeologists' "Near East" = modern political "Middle East": Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Saudi Arabia, and the Gulf States • Located at junction of Asia and Africa--movement of crustal plates has produced varied topography of mountain ranges, plateaus, rift valleys, basins Seat of first civilization = Mesopotamian basin • Land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers long trough between mountain ranges; slopes downward from northwest to southeast and empties into the Persian Gulf Uplands: Taurus Mountains (Turkey), Zagros Mountains (Iraq-Iran), coastal ranges of eastern Mediterranean (the Levant) Lowlands: • Northern Mesopotamia--undulating plain with relatively ancient sediments • Southern Mesopotamia--fertile silts deposited by Tigris and Euphrates Background by 10,000 B.C. • Fully modern humans • Glacial retreat, improving climate, modern plant and animal species

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