The Beginning



The Beginning

To understandhow the Earth started; we need to start off with origins of mankind and the earth\'s existence. The Earth came into existence about 6 billion years ago and the emergence of homo-sapiens-sapiens 200,000 years ago. Technology has always been closely linked to the way in which people have lived. Before the development of civilizations, humans lived for many millennia with tools and techniques that allowed them to live successfully in wide variety environments. Following this development, civilization started to arise. Through discoveries of the ancient world, we can understand the lifestyle and how these humans have grown together. Prehistoric humans developed technologies and ways of life that allowed them to increase their control over the natural world.
To interpret the entire breadth of human existence, vast lengths of time are required. Once we enter prehistoric time, we are dealing with hundred and thousands of years. To make sense of this time scale, we start off with the first, and most ancient, the Paleolithic Age. The term Paleolithic means "old stone" and gives an indication of how things were related to human existence. This era in history begins somewhere between 2 million years ago and ends 10,000 years before our time. It marks the beginning of the existence of the ancestors of man, the homo-sapiens sapiens. The Paleolithic people were brought up on hunting, gathering, and fishing. In search of the new food sources and to be able to hunt animals, they moved from place to place, and gathered in small groups. The dwellings of these people were normally in rocky areas. Starting around 40,000 BCE, the Paleolithic people started making simple stone tools for hunting and protection purposes. Not being able to move much due to the glacial age climate, the primitive man utilized the skin of the animals. During this time of survival, the Paleolithic people were able to discover and control fire, in turn passing an important step in their development, which helped them be separate from the animals. The intellectual life of the man was beginning.
The next era brings the Neolithic Age, or "new stone" age. The early emergence of this period dates around 8000 B.C.E. The Neolithic Age saw the most important technological breakthrough of the prehistoric period; development of agriculture. This formed a radical new way of extracting food from the environment. In fact, where hunter-gatherers had only acquired their food by collecting what the environment offered, agriculturists - farmers - managed to control the environment in such ways that they actually made it produce the food they needed. As a result, the outcomes were tremendous and prosperous. First, and most significant, farmers stopped being nomadic. Now, humans that farmed became sedentary. Another major result was that farmers began to produce an incredible amount of food. For the first time, people actually had a significant surplus of food. It was upon this agricultural surplus that civilization first developed.
Between 9000 B.C.E., western civilizations came into being in Egypt and in what historians call Ancient Western Asia. The earliest permanent settlements occurred between 9000-6000 B.C.E and were accompanied by the domestication of plants and animals. Between 4000-3000 B.C.E., the first cities appeared in response to the pressure of the population growth, the organizational requirements of irrigation and the demands of more complex trade patterns. The societies of Egypt and Ancient Western Asia correspond to what we would call civilizations.
The history and culture of the Mesopotamian ("land between two rivers") civilization is inextricably connected to the ebb and flow of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The earliest communities developed to the north, but by 5000 B.C.E communities had spread south to the rich alluvial plains. Agriculture was the primary economy. Due to the fertile soil, Mesopotamia was given a chance to thrive. With the surplus of food, people were able to settle and establish a village life; creating towns and cities. Along with this surplus came a population increase, a well-defined division of labor, organization, cooperation and kingship. The emergence of cities involved interaction between people. The Mesopotamian\'s built massive temples or ziggurats, which housed the priestly class, the human representatives of gods. The priests controlled the religious life of the community, the economy, land ownership, and the employment of workers. Mesopotamian villages and towns eventually evolved