HIST – 1110 WESTERN CIVILIZATION I
E Journal #1
Chapter one of our text covers a broad range of history beginning with the legend of Babel. (1) The story tells us how spoken communication has been lost over the years and it also creates a foundation for spoken history. (1) The text then moves on to the city of Çatalhöyük, which was established around nine thousand years ago in south central Turkey. (2) This city had eight thousand occupants living in two thousand homes, which is an average of four occupants per home, that’s not so different from how we live today. The people of Çatalhöyük were an organized and technologically sophisticated society that practiced religion, ...view middle of the document...
(4) The warmer weather enabled the people to domesticate plants and animals, develop permanent settlements, and specialize in various trades. These people made their homes in what is known as the Fertile Crescent, where the countries of the Middle East are today. (4) The ability to manage food production led to population increases as people were now able to store food and acquire possessions. One town that emerged in the Neolithic era was Jericho. (4) Jericho was a grain-producing settlement that supported three thousand inhabitants. There were many construction projects and the town boasted walls and a tower. This is amazing considering they had to all of their building without the technologies that we have today and it is interesting that just like today, civic projects are a priority of any successful town. The citizens of Jericho were also known for the pottery skills. (4) The production of pottery was used to store food and drinks, like wine, which is another way the people of the New Stone Age were able to accumulate material goods. (5) The accumulation of goods lead to class differences as some people acquired many possessions while others did not. The wealthy soon became powerful and this led them to be the dominant class. The development of towns and the accumulation of goods also led to the beneficial byproduct of trade. (5) People were now able to transport goods to other towns and trade for products they didn’t have in their towns. Another interesting part of the Neolithic era was that the desire to understand weather patterns led to the development of religion through superstition. (6)
The development of urban development in Mesopotamia is the next section of our text. (5) In this section we learn that Mesopotamia was located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in modern day Iraq. (5) The rivers allowed the citizens to irrigate farm lands which increased agriculture production which led to accumulation of wealth. The people of Mesopotamia used this wealth to build temples used for religious purposes. The temple building projects also helped to develop a priestly class. (5) The members of the priestly class were the ones to develop writing. The priests and their scribes replaced the old way of using balls filled with tokens with flat tablets that they would draw on. (5) This was much more practical because the tablets could be used for records, receipts, or requests for various goods. The creation of the tablet also led to the development of Cuneiform, a type of wedge-shaped writing. Cuneiform writing was still being used as late as the first century of the common era. (7)
After the development of Mesopotamia our text focuses on the culture of Sumer. (6) In this section we learn about the Sumerian cities of Uruk, Ur, Lagash, Eridu, and Kish as well as the Akkadians. The Sumerian people were known as the first historical society, they had patron gods for each of their city-states, and they were known for economic,...