Spring SEMESTER, 2007


Human Origins

Age of earth - 4,500,000,000 years
Geologic Time Scale

Human evolution - Old World
       Series of levels
 Pleistocene - geologic epoch, 2,000,000-10,000 B.P., series of glaciations in high latitudes, time of large portion of hominid evolution

Limits of Pleistocene Glaciation

Northern America Pleistocene Glaciation

Species Time Range, Comments
Homo sapiens First appear, S. & E. Africa, 110,000 B.P., spread to Middle East, 
Europe by 35,000 B.P., Americas by 15,000 B.P., art, bow & arrow
Neanderthal Ice Age Europe, contemporary with Homo sapiens, 
140,000-40,000 B.P.
Homo erectus 1,800,000-150,000 B.P. - spread from Africa to Asia, tool-maker, fire
Australopithecus 4,000,000-1,800,000 B.P. - various species, upright posture, many with 
small brain size, first upright hominid


Culture Phases

Phase Comments
Neolithic New Stone Age, ground stone tools, appears in different 
parts of the world at different times, first agriculture - food production 
Uplands of Middle East, 8,000 B.C.  Permanent settlements.
Mesolithic Transition phase, Europe, 10,000 B.C., glaciers retreat, hunting 
of herd animals replaced by exploitation of forest resources - 
bow & arrow, fishing, collecting
Paleolithic Old Stone Age - chipped stone tools, raw material is rock.  Australopithecus to 
early Homo sapiens used stone tools.  Techniques changed. Earliest tools - crude pebbles. 
Latest tools- finely worked blades.  Hunting and collecting.  Migratory settlements.

Early Homo sapiens - Europe - Late Pleistocene (geology) - Upper Paleolithic (culture)
35,000 BP - modern Homo sapiens appears/replaces Neanderthal
Innovations - cave art, complex tools
Still hunting and gather - megafauna (big game animals) - migratory

Upper Paleolithic Cave and Portable Art

Upper Paleolithic Tool Kits

Early Man in North America

Much later than Europe - Bering Land Bridge Arrival - 15,000 B.P.
        Clovis hunters

Map showing Bering Land Bridge
Clovis Points

Environmental impact - megafauna extinction - big game hunting, environmental change

Neolithic Revolution


Holocene - ice caps melt, modern geologic period, age of "humans"
Global warming link - current
Development of agriculture
        Food production instead of food collecting
Makes possible
        Increased food supply
        Permanent habitation - settled villages
Timing of Neolithic
        Occurs at different times in different parts of the world
Ancient Middle East - Hilly Flanks of the Fertile Crescent

Maps Showing North Africa/Southwest Asia and
Location of Fertile Crescent

        Upland area - Sinai/Israel to Iran/Iraq
                Not desert - scrubland vegetation
                Wild ancestors of modern domesticates
        Natufians - 8,000 B.C. - intensive harvesting of wild resources
        Eventually results in domestication - human agent needed for reproduction
Early villages
       Jericho - Jordan Valley

Tel Jericho

       Jarmo - Zagros Mtns. - Iraq

Excavation of Jarma, Iraq

Early agriculture in Middle East was rainfall farming in uplands
Early civilizations in hot dry river valleys - need irrigation - water control
       Salinization- irrigation and water combined with evaporation raise the
        salt levels of soils

Agricultural Hearths

Region Crops, Comments
Mediterranean, Middle East, 
Central Asia
wheat, millet, seed fruits, lentil, peas, flax, date 
palm, figs, vine fruits, onions, cattle, camel, sheep, goats, 
horse, dog, pig
North China millet, soybeans, sorghum, peach, apricot
South Asia, India lettuce, cucumbers, millets, zebu cattle, mango
Southeast Asia may be earliest of all areas, wide variety of fruits and spices; tea, taro, yams, breadfruit, citrus fruits, sugar cane, rice, coconut, jute, banana, ginger/spices, dog, pig, chicken, 
duck, goose, water buffalo
Ethiopia, South Arabia millet, sorghum, cotton, coffee, soft wheat, dromedary, 
West Africa yams, oil palm, rice, arrow root, bushpig, okra
Mesoamerica (Central Mexico and 
northern Central America)
ancient civilizations - Maya, Aztec, Toltecs, Zapotecs, etc. 
corn, beans, squash, chile pepper, tomato, avocado, 
turkey, chocolate, peanut, tobacco, papaya
Peru - Andean Andean civilizations - Incas and earlier groups 
potato, manioc, pineapple, llama, alpaca

Events in Civilization/Environment

Ubaid, Sumerians - Mesopotamia (Iraq), 3,000 B.C.

Map of Ancient Civilizations
Exacavations at Ubaid ((Sumerians)

Urban revolution - Middle East, 2,000 B.C. - development of city and states
        Population increase
Mesoamerica - agricultural origins
Mesoamerica - Olmecs
Mesoamerica - Teotihuacan
Mesoamerica - Maya

European Power centers (AD 1500-1800)
        Shift of center of influence from ancient civilizations to Europe
        Exploration and discovery
        Environmental impacts
Industrial Revolution - AD 1750 - dependency on fossil fuels, machine power

Zones of Occupation

MDC - More Developed Economies - industrial/mercantile
        Machine/fossil fuel power
        Western Europe, Japan, United States
LDC - less developed countries - human and animal power major energy source
        Traditional societies
        Class stratified
        Wide range in variation regards to developing economies
        Eg., Democratic Republic of the Congo - almost completely without infrastructure
        Mexico - social class contrasts - industrial city such as Monterrey, contrasts with
                peasant societies of the south
Frontier environments
        Newly colonized lands, vast areas uninhabited
        Canada, Australia, parts of Brazil
        Interior of Greenland, Antarctica - uninhabited