Understand the importance of geography
and the five parts of geography
Introduce the concept of what civilization is
Understand the facets common to all of the
Understand the Neolithic Revolution, and
its connection to the first civilizations
Lets begin with “geography”:
– Geo – earth
– Graph – to write about
– Geography is central to our study of history,
because where you are affects who your are..
– There are five major facets to geography that
you need to know…
Location – this means your place as determined by your
longitude and latitude
Place - What are the physical features of the area you live
Human Environment – how humans interact with their
Movement – Why and how people move from one area to
Region – what are the common features of the people in
If you think of what geography is, it is no surprise
that an Eskimo would be skilled in killing whales.
Or, that a a member of the Tutsi tribe would be
able to hunt and kill a lion.
We are products of our areas
However, we will see that mankind will begin to
adapt to environments other than our own…
Man was a nomadic creature who followed herds
of wild life because that is where the food was.
This may sound simple, but the mere act of tribes
of people beginning to settle down in one specific
area marked the beginning of what we know as
This is commonly referred to as the “Neolithic
Take a moment and write a list of what you
absolutely have to have in order to
Let’s get some responses from the class…
We will read about several “River Valley”
civilizations, and we shall see that they,
although different in many ways (location,
language, government, religion)…will have
many similar characteristics.
Again, what happens when people begin to
congregate in one place for an extended
period of time. “Facets of civilization”:
Painting (art work) – a desire to represent
who you are.
Domestication of Animals – if you can
tame and raise animals (goats, sheep, cows)
you have a steady supply of food and
Tools – we will see that mankind begins
making tools to help them live (knife)
Dwellings – a roof over your head…or a
temple or pyramid…
Burial – some sort of organized way of
dealing with the dead…also means that they
are thinking about bigger things like the
Possessions – You begin to gather
possessions, and you have to protect them
Think again…once these humans begin to
stay in one place, we have the beginnings of
what we would term as civilization.
Let’s continue to look at this, and get more
specific in what it is that makes up our early
examples of civilizations.
There are several areas of concern,and we
will look at them one at a time.
Rise of Cities: Large groupings of people…
– Farmers learn how to grow food – they can stay in one
– Surplus food means less wandering…
– Population increases because of these surpluses
– Organizations begin to grow for larger tasks that have
to get done:
Organization of Government: Who is in charge?
– Larger projects have to be managed by govts.
– Tribal councils could not manage these tasks.
– Rulers arose, usually determined by who was the
– Bureaucracy (the group of people employed by the
– Basic rules and regulations were set up and enforced
(the beginnings of our legal system)
Religion: What is man’s place in the
– Most early civilizations were polytheistic
(believed in more than one god)
– Burial is a representation that there is some life
after ours, and that we must respect the person
even after they are gone.
Social Rank: Who is “more important”?
We begin to see a “pecking order” take
– Princes or Nobles
– Once you have a large group of people
together, it is no longer a requirement for you
to do everything yourself.
– Craftsmen (carpenters, masons) begin to do one
thing, and one thing well
– This will also contribute to more social classes
Art/Architecture/Public Works – great
– Aqueducts – to carry water to cities
– Walls - for protection
Writing – maybe the most significant for the
– Without a written record there is no history
– (Oral traditions will remain strong)
– Writing fosters communication and commerce
– Libraries will exist
– Cultures can learn (translate) from each other.
How/Why does Civilization spread?
– Does man simply have a natural desire to
acquire more than he has?
– What does it take to build an Empire?
– What is cultural diffusion?
– Circumstances and causes for movement: