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Stone Age Societies and the Earliest Civilizations of the Near East . . .

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CHAPTER 1. Stone Age Societies and the Earliest Civilizations of the Near East . . . Prehistory ... They began to create and use tools in an effort to master ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Stone Age Societies and the Earliest Civilizations of the Near East . . .


1
CHAPTER 1
  • Stone Age Societies and the Earliest
    Civilizations of the Near East . . .

2
Prehistory
  • Most of human existence is prehistory.
  • Little is known.

3
Emergence of Modern Humans
  • Modern humans (Homo sapiens) emerged
  • more than 70,000 years ago
  • following perhaps 60 million years of primate
    evolution.

4
Human Intelligence
  • Humans possessed superior intelligence.
  • They began to create and use tools in an effort
    to master their natural environment.
  • They developed the capability to think and
    communicate symbolically.

5
Nomadic Humans
  • The earliest humans were nomadic.
  • They relied on hunting and gathering as their
    means of sustenance.

6
Sedentary Humans
  • Over time, humans established more sedentary
    cultures.
  • They relied on
  • grain cultivation
  • domestication of animals
  • refined tool-making skills.

7
Human Expansion
  • The transition from food-gathering to
    food-producing cultures fostered
  • expansion of human settlements
  • elaboration of cultural activities and belief
    systems.

8
Why?
  • Why have Homo sapiens, alone among creatures, so
    radically altered the conditions of existence?
  • The earliest period of history, which we are
    about to study, offers clues to the resolution of
    this question.

9
Physical Advantages
  • In contrast to other primates, humans
  • have a well-developed thumb
  • stand erect
  • have the power of reflective thinking.

10
Experience
  • With reflective thought, people can profit from
    experience.
  • This ability brought about the development of
    civilization.

11
YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND
  • The evolutionary development of early humans.
  • The stages of early human technological progress
    and cultural development.
  • The significance of the transition from
    food-gathering to food-producing economies.

12
What is Civilization?
  • We take civilization to mean a society in which
  • many people live in towns and cities
  • they communicate by writing
  • they build monumental structures.

13
Hunting and Gathering People
  • The earliest humans depended on hunting and
    gathering.
  • Where climate and topography were favorable,
    people began to lead more settled lives in
    agriculture.

14
Agricultural People
  • In regions where agriculture produced a surplus,
    people gathered into villages.

15
First Civilizations
  • Civilization first appeared along great river
    systems in Egypt and Mesopotamia.
  • Villages grew into cities and
  • were favored by good means of communication
  • developed industry and commerce to meet new
    needs.

16
Further Developments
  • The first civilizations developed more complex
  • technological and economic advances
  • political systems
  • codes of justice
  • religious beliefs
  • forms of artistic expression.

17
Surplus Economy
  • The creation of a surplus economy also
  • fostered the emergence of a more hierarchical
    social strata
  • allowed for the further specialization of
    vocational trades.

18
Lasting Impacts
  • The vitality of the ancient Near East
    civilizations declined over time.
  • But many of their achievements survived to have a
    lasting impact on later civilizations.

19
YOU SHOULD UNDERSTAND
  • Why and how civilization took root in
    Mesopotamia.
  • Egypts culture along the Nile.
  • The contributions of the Hittites, Phoenicians,
    Hebrews, Lydians, and Chaldeans.
  • The empires carved out by the Assyrians and the
    Persians.
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