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Water, Life, Humans, and Civilization
The First Organisms
Must survive in low-oxygen environments
Could not eat other organisms for food
Assemble complex carbon compounds from simple
Carbon compounds (CO2) using external energy.
Two energy sources:
Light:
Chemical reactions:
Light and Chemical reactions
photoautotrophs
chemoautotrophs
The First Organisms
Light:
Chemical reactions:
The First organisms:
Evidence:
photoautotrophs
chemoautotrophs
Chemoautotrophs (Fe and S)
microtubes in pillow lavas
containing residual carbon
The Early Organisms
Must survive in low-oxygen environments
Could not eat other organisms for food
Photosynthesizers: photoautotrophs
Earliest: Blue-green algae/cyanobacteria
Main effects:
- Removal of carbon dioxide
- production of oxygen
The Early Organisms
Oldest macroscopic life: stromatolites
sediments
Cyanobacteria
colonies
Produced billions of tons of O2
No immediate increase in atmospheric O2
Stromatolites
Oxygen
O2 combined with iron
Colonization of land:
Ozone Layer
Ozone Function:
Screens harmful UV radiation
First land plants 480 mya
Skipping Ahead
Reptiles ~ 245 million years ago
Mammals ~65 million years ago
Primates
~30 million years ago
Pre-humans ~5-8 million years ago
(hominids)
Homo sapiens
~200,000 years ago
Human Taxonomy
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:
Chordata
Class:
Mammalia
Order:
Primata
Family:
Hominidae
Genus:
Homo
Species:
sapiens
Hominids
distinct adaptations which may have led
to the development of the human species.
Lucy
Age:
3.2 million years
Family:
hominidae
Genus/Species: Australopithicus Afarensis
“The earliest celebrity”
Innovation: Walking upright
lead to further anatomical progression
Why Stand Up?
Hypotheses
Postural Feeding Hypothesis
Thermoregulatory Model
Wading Hypothesis
Savanna Hypothesis
Savanna Hypothesis
Uplift of the Himalayas altered the climate in Africa
Lowered rainfall reduced African vegetation
Distance between trees increased
Hominids forced to spend more time on the ground
Hominids developed the advantage of walking upright
Bipedalism lead to further anatomical progression
Evolutionary Timeline
Lack of consensus
Paucity of Evidence
- 25,000 yrs
Scarcity of Fossil Evidence
Homo sapiens are the only species to develop civilizations
Water and the Development of
Human Civilization
Civilization
 the settlement of people upon an area
continuously cultivated and possessed, who
live in buildings continuously inhabited with a
common rule and economy, a common
city, citadel or temple and, in some cases, a
military and the development of writing.
Possession
Habitation
Economy
Citadel/Temple
Military
Writing
Civilization
The first condition necessary
to the settling of humans.
A trustworthy supply of water
Earliest Civilizations and Water
1. Sumer/Mesopotamia
Tigris-Euphrates rivers
Egypt
Nile river
Indus Valley
Indus river
Developments
Irrigation, cities, art,
architecture, writing
Civilization: Before and After
Development
Paleolithic (old stone age)
was the first period in the
development of human technology
of the Stone Age.
Homo habilis
-2 million years
~12,000 years
Stone Tools
Development
Neolithic (new stone age)
was a period in the development of human
technology that is traditionally the last part of
the Stone Age
-12,000
-3500 years
 Domestication
 Pottery
 Weaving
 Hafted Axes
Cause of the change?
Agriculture
20,000 years ago
Development
Of Agriculture
(systematic/irrigated)
8,000 years ago
Development was slow and variable
Neolithic Revolution
food gatherers to food producers
 Fewer Farmers
 Surplus Food
Craftsmen
Traders
Technicians
Specialized skills
Diverse abilities
Why Then?
Forced Adaptation
Climate and Water
Homo sapiens
Retreat of the Ice
Italy
Gibraltar
Spain
Turkey
Africa
Consequences
•Overpopulation of lands around the Mediterranean
•Concentration of people into smaller areas
•Overload of available resources
depletion of plants
Animal populations died back
•new survival strategies
till the earth
Pooled resources
Protect/domesticate animals
Egypt and Mesopotamia
Nile
Jordan
Tigris
Euphrates
Neolithic Founder Crops
Wheat
Barley
Flax
Chick Pea
Lentil
Domesticated animals:
cows, goats, sheep, and pigs
Time Perspective
tool users
2,000,000 yrs
agriculture
8,500 yrs
iron age
3,000 yrs
industrial revolution
The Model T
Moon landing
61 years
Miscellaneous
Vinyl
1926
Saran Wrap
1953
Velcro
1955
Plastic Garbage Bags
1968
Caller ID patented 1982
First soft drinks in all-aluminum cans 1964
Life, Humans, Civilization, and Water
Next: What’s So Special About Water?
Egypt
Tigris-Euphrates
Nile
2/3 Egypt’s arable Land
Predictable flooding
(July through October)
Khemia signifies black earth: flood deposition
Mesopotamia
Alluvial Plain
(Water-deposited)
Euphrates
Flood: March through June
Less predictable
Agriculture and Irrigation
Irrigation/Flood
Control
Canals
Dikes
Weirs
Reservoirs
Channels
Sewer systems
Mesopotamia: Water and Mythology
The Great Flood
(Sumerian, Babylonian, Akkadian)
Enki
water
Sumerian deity of Water (lord of the watery abyss)
Symbols: goat, fish
Sumerian Flood Myth
The Sumerian myth of Ziusudra tells how the god
Enki warns Ziusudra, a provincial king, of the
gods' decision to destroy mankind in a flood.
Enki instructs Ziusudra to build a large boat - the
text describing the instructions is lost.
Circa 2900 BCE
First Consolidated Empire
Sargon
Sumerian Akkadian Empire
2334 BC
“My mother who was poor secretly
gave birth to me; she placed me
in a basket of reeds, she shut up
the mouth of it with bitumen, she
abandoned me to the river which
did not overwhelm me. The river bore
me away and brought me to Akki
the irrigator.”
First Water Law
1750 B.C.
Babylonian Empire
Code of Hammurabi
53. If any one be too lazy to keep his dam in proper condition, and
does not so keep it; if then the dam break and all the fields be
flooded, then shall he in whose dam the break occurred be sold for
money, and the money shall replace the corn which he has caused
to be ruined.
54. If he be not able to replace the corn, then he and his
possessions shall be divided among the farmers whose corn he has
flooded.
55. If any one open his ditches to water his crop, but is careless, and
the water flood the field of his neighbor, then he shall pay his
neighbor corn for his loss.
56. If a man let in the water, and the water overflow the plantation of
his neighbor, he shall pay ten gur of corn for every ten gan of land.
Life, Humans, Civilization, and Water
Next: What’s So Special About Water?
Time Perspective
tool users
2,000,000 yrs
agriculture
8,500 yrs
iron age
3,000 yrs
industrial revolution
The Model T
Moon landing
61 years
Miscellaneous
Vinyl
1926
Saran Wrap
1953
Velcro
1955
Plastic Garbage Bags
1968
Caller ID patented 1982
First soft drinks in all-aluminum cans 1964