2 Development of the earliest civilizations about 3500 to 1500 BCE Villages

2 development of the earliest civilizations about

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2 ) Development of the earliest civilizations (about 3500 to 1500 BCE) - Villages grew into cities that came to dominate the land around them. Collectively known as the "river valley" civilizations, they include: Mesopotamia (developed by 3500 BCE or so) - between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in the Middle East (modern day Iraq) Egypt (developed by 3000 BCE or so) - along the Nile River in northeastern Africa Indus Valley people (developed by 2500 BCE or so) - along the Indus River in south central Asia Shang China (developed by 1700 BCE or so) - along several rivers in the north China plains 3) Classical civilizations (approximately 1000 BCE to 600 CE) - These civilizations were generally much larger than the earlier ones, and their political economic, cultural, and military organizations usually were more complex. All traded extensively with others, and conquered many new territories. Classical civilizations include Zhou and Han China, the Roman Empire, and the Gupta Empire in India. EARLY AGRICULTURAL AND TECHNOLOGICAL DEVELOPMENTS Sedentary agricultural communities were usually the forerunners to the development of the earliest river valley civilizations. However, the shift away from hunting and gathering societies took many other forms. ALTERNATIVES TO SEDENTARY AGRICULTURE 1) shifting cultivation - Often referred to as "slash and burn" agriculture, this farming method developed primarily in rain forest zones of Central and South America, West Africa, eastern and central Asia, and much of southern China and Southeast Asia. The obvious destruction to the environment was worsened by the frequency of the farmers' movement. At first, the soil in the burnt areas was very fertile, but when soil nutrients were depleted, farmers moved on to slash and burn another piece of jungle. 2) pastoral nomadism - This alternative to sedentary agriculture is characterized by following the herds, just as the earlier hunters and gatherers did. However, the herds were domesticated, and consisted of sheep, goats, cows, reindeer, camels, and/or horses. Nomadism, or the practice of
moving frequently from one place to the other, was dictated by the need for pasture for the animals. This life style developed across the grassy plains of central Eurasia and nearby desert areas of the Arabian peninsula and the Sudan. Pastoral nomads may be categorized by the animals that they tended: Horse nomads - The first nomads did not ride them, but devised chariots for horses to pull. Some of these nomads formed empires (Hyksos (first foreign rulers of Egypt) , Hittites (Ancient Anatolian people aka Northern Mesopotamia) ). Reindeer herders - These nomads populated Scandinavia and were generally far away from civilization centers. Camel herders - The main animal herded in the Sudan and the Arabian peninsula was the camel.

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