Ch1-The Birth of Civilization

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Unformatted text preview: tural products that were difficult to eat or digest raw. They made cloth from flax and wool. Because crops required constant care from planting to harvest, Neolithic farmers built permanent dwellings. The earliest of these dwellings tended to be circular huts, large enough to house only one or two people and clustered in groups around a central storage place. Later people built square and rectangular family-sized houses with individual storage places and enclosures to house livestock. Houses in a Neolithic village were normally all the same size and were built on the same plan, suggesting that most Neolithic villagers had about the same level of wealth and social status. A few items, such as stones Read the Document and shells, The Neolithic Village at MyHistoryLab.com were traded long distance, but Neolithic villages tended to be self-sufficient. Two larger Neolithic settlements do not fit this village pattern. One was found at Çatal Hüyük, in a fertile agricultural region about 150 miles south of Ankara, the capital of present-day Turkey. This was a large town covering over 15 acres, with a population probably well over 6,000 people. The houses were clusRead the Document tered so closely that they had no Redefining Self—From Tribe to doors but were entered by ladders Village to City 1500 B.C.E. at MyHistoryLab.com from the roofs. Many of these houses were decorated inside with sculptures of animal heads and horns, as well as paintings that were apparently redone regularly. Some appear to depict ritual or festive occasions involving men and women. One is the CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 7 Chapter 1 Çatal Hüyük. The diagram reconstructs part of Çatal Hüyük on the basis of archaeological findings. Reprinted by permission of the Catalhoyuk Research Project. world’s oldest landscape picture, showing a nearby volcano exploding. The agriculture, arts, and crafts of this town were astonishingly diversified and at a much higher level of attainment than in other, smaller settlements of the period. The site of Jericho, an oasis around a spring near the Dead Sea, was occupied as early as 12,000 B.C.E. Around 8000 B.C.E. a town of 8 to 10 acres grew up, surrounded by a massive stone wall with at least one tower against the inner face. Although this wall may have been for defense, scholars dispute its use because no other Neolithic settlement has been found with fortifications. The inhabitants of Neolithic Jericho had a mixed agricultural, herding, and hunting economy and may have traded salt. They had no pottery but plastered the skulls of their dead to make realistic memorial portraits of them. These two sites show that the economy and the settlement patterns of the Neolithic period may be more complicated than many scholars have thought. Throughout the Paleolithic Age, the human population had been small and relatively stable. The shift from food gathering to food production may not have been associated with an immediate change in population, but over time in the regions where agriculture an...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.

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