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HIST 110A - Prehistory

by: Caru

HIST 110A - Prehistory HIST 110A

Cal State Fullerton
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About this Document

Prehistory Notes
World Civilization to 16th Century
M. Walia
Class Notes




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This 3 page Class Notes was uploaded by Caru on Thursday September 15, 2016. The Class Notes belongs to HIST 110A at California State University - Fullerton taught by M. Walia in Fall 2016. Since its upload, it has received 8 views.


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Date Created: 09/15/16
I. Prehistory  A. Old Stone Age (Paleolithic Age) ~ 2.5 million years ago  1. had 4 ice ages ~ mostly uninhabited  2. ended 40,000 years ago  3. people could only live near the equator because it was warmer  • survived by hunting and gathering  • hunted mammoth and bison; gathered nuts, berries, fruits, and animal eggs  ◦ hunted with hand­ax; two stones were hammered together until they were  sharp  ◦ would jump on the animal and stab it  4. lived in caves or tents(made of animal skin)  5. lived in small communities of about 20  6. life expectancy was short ~ about 20 years  • women had an even shorter life expectancy → they died during childbirth or not  long after due to infection         B. Middle Stone Age(Mesolithic Age) ~ 40,000 – 10,000 years ago  1. about 25,000 years ago, people invented the bow and arrow and harpoon(spear and  rope)  • harpoons were used to kill whales and seals; useful because the tip was  bone­tipped → the bone could easily penetrate the animal's blubber  2. people learned to sew → used animal bone as a needle and animal sinews for thread         C. New Stone Age(Neolithic Age) ~ 10,000 years ago  1. weather began to change → the Earth became → people needed to find new ways to  feed themselves(agriculture and domestication of animals)  • Agriculture ~ 9,000 years ago in Jericho  ◦ grew wheat and barley  ◦ different climates = different crops(ex. China = rice; Africa = okrat and  black­eyed peas; America = maize, tomatoes)  • Domestication ~ 9,000 years ago in Turkey  ◦ began domesticating cows  ◦ 8,000 years ago in Iran – began eating pig  2. people no longer needed to keep moving with the animals → settled down in  villages  • first village = Jericho  3. 8,000 years ago ~ people learned to make pottery and how to weave(make clothing  with cloth instead of animal fur) → people want to start trading  4. idea of rich/poor develops ~ we can tell this by digging up graves  • a wealthy person would be buried with possessions(also indicates that they  believed in the afterlife)  5. Religion  • built megaliths(giant stone monuments) using pillars and posts  • biggest megalith on Earth = Stone Henge  ◦ stones came from 250 miles away; weighed 45­50 tons each  ◦ took about 30 million man hours of work  ◦ reasons for building:  1. alien signaling device  2. agricultural calendar  ◦ when to plant and harvest crops  3. temple to worship sun    II. First Civilization  A. Near East(Fertile Crescent)  1. to be a part of a civilization one must live in a city/town, have architecture, use iron  tools, have organized religion, have writing  2. first civilization began in the Fertile Crescent → called Sumeria(in modern day Iraq)  ~ 6,000 years ago  3. Sumeria was a city­state → had no organized government(Ur, Lagash, Kish)  4. ate wheat and dates  ▪ used Euphrates and Tigris to travel to other people to sell food in exchange for  raw materials(copper, tin, gold, silver, wood)  • skilled craftsmen: tin + copper = bronze swords; gold + silver = jewelry;  wood = furniture, boxes  • resell new products  5. first to come up with irrigation → built dams and canals to direct water to crops  6. first to invent writing around 3300 B.C.  ▪ Used clay tablets as paper and reeds as pens  7. First to use weights and measures  8. first to brew beer and use lunar calendar(365 days/year)  9. first to use circle of 360 degrees  10. used Epic of Gilgamesh ~ tale of man searching for immortality → he encounters a  man who had survived a worldwide flood by building a ship(Noah's Ark)  11. most famous for their religious ideas → influenced the Old Testament  • built giant temples(Ziggurats) made of sun­dried bricks  ◦ 200 feet long, 150 feet wide, 70 feet high  ◦ used for sacrifices  ◦ Genesis ~ people built a tower(Tower of Babel) to meet God face­to­face →  God made the people all start speaking different languages so they couldn't  finish building the tower  12. about 2300 B.C. Sumeria was taken over and disappeared         B. Empires of the Fertile Crescent  1. Babylon ~ began around 1900 B.C.  • King Hammurabi ~ R. 1728 – 1686 B.C. → sixth king  ◦ Code of Hammurabi – 282 laws; ex. Treat foreigners well, all contracts must  be in writing, employers are required to pay fair wages; based on savage  principle of “an eye for an eye”; lots of capital punishment for little things(ex.  Witchcraft) → death if wife commits adultery, unmarried daughter lost her  virginity, incest, bestiality, or homosexuality  • about 1600 B.C. Babylon is conquered by the Hittites  2. Assyria ~ 1400 B.C.  • Capital = Nineveh  • people hated them because they always conquered other land  • 800 B.C. ~ became more significant  • main weapon was the chariot(carriage pulled by four horses)  ◦ also used cavalry(soldiers on horse­back) and infantry(foot soldiers)  ◦ used battering rams to enter cities  ◦ catapults  • Tigaleth­Pileser III ~ R. 745 – 727 B.C.  ◦ Conquered Babylon and Syria  ◦ tells Hebrews he will leave them alone if they pay tribute(gold and silver)  ◦ eventually rules entire fertile crescent  ◦ notoriously cruel → travels from place to place with a pyramid of skulls; if  people didn't surrender, he'd skin them alive  • Assur­Bani­Pal ~ R. 668 – 626 B.C.  ◦ Made Assyria the biggest it ever was(conquered Elam, northern Arabia, and  half of Egypt)  ◦ told pharaoh of Egypt he could keep being pharaoh if he did what Assur  wanted → his “puppet”  ◦ about 610 B.C. Assyria is destroyed  3. Neo­Babylon  • Nebuchadnezzar ~ R. 604 – 562 B.C.  ◦ Mentioned in Book of Daniel → ruled all of fertile crescent; conquered  Jerusalem  ◦ created Hanging Gardens in the desert for his wife  ▪ 75 ft above ground  4. Persian Empire  • Cyrus the Great  ◦ founded Persia in 549 B.C.  ◦ Interested in northern India and southern Russia  ◦ 539 B.C. ~ conquer Neo­Babylon without a fight  ◦ calls himself “King of the 4 Quarters of the World”  • Cambyses  ◦ Cyrus's son  ◦ wanted to conquer Egypt → difficult because it's all desert for the Nile →  builds a navy in the Mediterranean → attacks in 525 B.C. and wins → doesn't  want to allow the pharaoh to continue ruling and becomes pharaoh himself  ▪ keeps sailing after and goes on to Ethiopia  


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