Why are the development of domesticated animals and settled agriculture significant to the emergence of the early civilizations? Sample Responses:
The domesticated animals are a way of food, using animals to turn, plow the ground, settled agriculture they were able to plant grain & vegetables. By these two things they no longer had to roam for foods or travel long distances for meat.
This allowed civilizations to be self supportive and emerge into a greater civilization. They could create a market for food so those who don’t own land or domesticated animals could purchase or trade. This led to civilizations like Mesopotamia and then greater empires like Akkadia.
People were able to remain in one place and produce their own food rather then having to roam the land to obtain it. The early agricultural settlements gradually grew to become cities. As the numbers of fields being cultivated grew so did the supply of food. Gradually some people were able to discontinue farming and take up other trades in cities, due to the surplus available. The growth of cities then led to the growth of civilization.
[Domesticated] animals & agriculture were like the primary sources for other fields to be developed in the early civilization. For example, people found out that they can use the sheep not just for meat but also for byproducts such as wool & milk which led the development of industries like textiles (making cloth) by using woolens. The agriculture made people cultivate several crops like wheat and several other grains. Both agriculture & domesticated animals started & increased the trade between cities which influenced the early civilization.
People could settle down in one place instead of having to roam for food. They could have a surplus of food and concentrate on other crafts.
People were able to live in larger groups and staying in an area because they did not have to hunt/gather food. People could make more food then what was needed so others could do crafts or other “jobs.” Irrigation of fields making them green, villages having agricultural workers, city’s fortress walls . . . helped support civilizations.
There was no way to advance or become organized because they were too busy scavenging and trying to survive. When they didn’t have to go hunt or gather it opened up more time to organize and to explore.
Before people had domesticated animals and agriculture they had to go where the food was. These two inventions allowed people to stay in one place and still provide for their families. Furthermore it eventually led to specialized jobs where people didn’t have to farm but could trade their goods for food.
Cuneiform was the first form of writing for Sumerians in c. 2350 B.C. in Mesopotamia. It was essentially wedge carving (cuneiform coming from the Latin word for wedge) into a clay tablet which used both phonetic and pictograph symbols to structure language. Professional scribes usually wrote cuneiform for at first keeping accounting records of trade and then later for carrying out traditions, culture and stories to the next generation. We now have records of what these people did and how they thought.
Cuneiform was a type of writing used by the Egyptians throughout their history. It was chiseled into stone in temples on buildings and other statues. Cuneiform wasn’t exactly an alphabet rather each symbol had a specific meaning. When these symbols were strung together various ideas and messages were conveyed. This was important because it was a change from drawings to something closer to an alphabet.
In the Bronze Age 4000-1000 B.C. city-states emerged in Mesopotamia. People were becoming more organized through city-states which is when a city is independently governed and is also governing the countryside around it. By having a city-state people would be safer and would benefit off of the irrigated land and the canal systems the city-states offered.
City-states were urban centers for economical & political control over the countryside around them. They emerged during the Bronze Age (4000-1000 B.C.) in the areas between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers of the Fertile Crescent (in modern-day Iraq). Since agriculture and trade were the primary sources for the prosperity of the cities, they developed governments to administer economic activity and laws. City walls protected against outside invaders. City-states also had temples of mud brick (ziggurats) where priests sacrificed to the many gods to keep their favor. Outside the walls, fields were irrigated by systems of ditches. All of this showed the growing hierarchy and specialization of early Mesopotamian civilization.
Epic of Gilgamesh was a book probably written during the Bronze Age. It was a story probably told by a commoner emphasizing the power of the gods. It was a story about a hero that tried to trick his way out of death and to seek and achieve immortality. Gilgamesh was not only a hero, but he was king of Uruk. The people prayed to the gods to send someone down to destroy Gilgamesh and the gods did, but the creature they sent became friends, thus not defeating Gilgamesh. Together they killed Humbaba a giant, and after Humbaba’s death, the creatures did as well.
Epic of Gilgamesh emphasized the gods are awesome & limits of human control over the circumstances of life. It is like a story. Gilgamesh was the king of the city of Uruk. It was a long poem that sought to cheat death & achieve immortality. In the epic mother of gods created a rival to Gilgamesh she created man of nature. He had a lot of hair.