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UNIT 6 CULTURAL AND NATURAL SETTINGS OF THE EARLY CIVILIZATIONS

Structure

6.1 Introduction

6.2 Egypt, the Gift of the Nile

6.3 Mesopotamia and its Cities

6.4 The Harappan World

6.5 The Shang Civilization of Northern and Central China

6.6 Summary

6.7 Exercises

6.1 INTRODUCTION

In 1871, E.B.Tylor suggested that human institutions have succeeded each other in sequence in a substantially uniform way across the world. He suggested that the remarkable similarities of cultures of far flung regions and diverse races was because of the ‘uniform action of uniform causes’. Thinking along similar lines, L.H.Morgan, author of the path breaking Ancient Society, thought that parallel developments in the history of the world were largely because the
‘germs’ of the main institutions of society were present in the early stages of development. In the later nineteenth century systematic excavations began in Egypt, Crete and Mesopotamia. Each of these, in different ways, suggested to Europeans the roots of their own civilization.

Yet it was…

UNIT 1 HUNTING AND GATHERING

Structure

1.1 Introduction
1.2 Evolution of Modern Humans
1.3 Study of Hunting Gathering Cultures

1.3.1 Major Aspects of Study
1.3.2 Question of Periodisation and Spread of Early Cultures

1.4 Development of Tools

1.4.1 Lower Palaeolithic: Oldovian and Acheulian Tools
1.4.2 Middle Palaeolithic: Mousterian Tools
1.4.3 Upper Palaeolithic Tools

1.5 Habitation and Way of Life
1.6 Arts and Communication
1.7 Summary
1.8 Exercises

1.1 INTRODUCTION

Life on earth began about 3000 million years ago. The life which started from a simple cell form developed into complex living beings in thousands of species. All these living beings have been changing and developing over time. The present day humans have also evolved from primates who lived about 55 million years ago. They had some characteristics similar to us. Till about the end of the 18th century it was believed that all life on earth has existed as it is since the beginning of life and that all life including plants and …

UNIT 2 PASTORAL NOMADISM

Structure

2.1 Introduction
2.2 Domestication of Animals
2.3 Pastoral Nomadism
2.4 General Survey of Spread of Pastoral Nomadism

2.4.1 Different Regions
2.4.2 Extent of Mobility

2.5 Society and Economy
2.6 Summary
2.7 Exercises

2.1 INTRODUCTION

In the last Unit we referred to the use of spears, bows and arrows and microliths toward the upper Palaeolithic period. You must have noticed that these influenced the hunting patterns as well as ways of securing animal food. The microliths were used for fishing as well as arrow heads for hunting. These new tools helped in hunting the small game in the forests rather than hunting herds in steppes. Hunting was also becoming more selective. Groups were becoming smaller with small number of families as smaller amounts of game were available. The patterns of movements or habitations were also influenced. They were determined by the availability of plants, animals and environment. A migratory or seasonal way of life with some base …