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Origins of
The Paleolithic
• Old Stone Age
• 1-2 million years ago
to 10,000 BCE
• Hunting (men)
• Gathering (women)
• Small, nomadic bands
• Stone tools
• Earliest remains
found in Africa
The Neolithic
• New Stone Age
• Neolithic/Agricultural
• Domesticate plants
and animals
• Produce own food
• Transition from h/g
nomadic life to settled
farming villages
• Neolithic grind stone for
processing grain
• A Sumerian Harvester's
sickle dated to 3000 BC
Neolithic Village
• Archaeologists
excavate clay floors
and hearth at a 7,000year-old village in
Egypt. The site is
home to the earliest
farm settlement yet
found in Egypt.
Photograph courtesy
Project/Willeke Wendrich
Beginning of Civilization
• Earliest civilizations
all near rivers
• Stable water supply
for drinking, irrigation,
and transportation
• Surplus food allows a
growing population to
live in settled farming
Annual Flooding on the Nile
Characteristics of Civilizations
• It is a complex, highly
organized social order
• Complex religion
• Social classes
• Monumental
• Writing
• Cities
Old World Civilizations
• Sumer- Fertile
Crescent between the
Tigris and Euphrates
• Egypt-Nile River
• Indus River ValleyIndia/Pakistan
• Yellow River-China
New World Civilizations
• All the civilizations in
the Americas are
away from river
• Maya-Yucatan and
Central America
• Aztec-CentraI
• Inca-Andes
Mountains in Peru
Some Things to Remember
• Civilizations (cultures) change over time
• Cultural diffusion is the spread of ideas,
customs, technologies from one people to
• Cities grow into city-states
• These are political units that include the
city and surrounding villages
• Leads to empires