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Humanities Libertexts

3: The First Civilizations and their Art (5000 BCE – 1900 BCE)

  • Page ID
    56233
  • By 5000 BCE, people were living around the globe in small family groups, tribes or larger communities. Some people were still in the Stone Age, some were transitioning to the Bronze Age and the rest were well entrenched in the Bronze Age. The Bronze Age reflected a more sophisticated time when civilizations learned to mix copper and tin to form bronze and the ability to create tools and weapons. Agricultural and societal development was distributed through four major areas; Mesopotamia, Mesoamerica, the Andes, and China. Progress in these broad areas included, farming, irrigation, pottery, written word and some form of government.

    • 3.1: Overview
      As part of the Neolithic period and the last phase of the Stone Age, some clusters of people still employed stone tools as they were beginning to adopt agriculture and move from food gathering to food production. The Neolithic use of stones was sophisticated; the people made stone into tools for grinding, chopping, and cutting.
    • 3.2: Aegean (3000 BCE – 1000 BCE)
      The predominant principles and elements of design used in this set of cultures were shape, volume, and balance. The different cultures used similar materials to construct buildings or make pots, however, each culture used the materials differently, for example, most civilizations used the riverbed silt for clay, however, the shape and volume of the pots were vastly different.
    • 3.3: Early Egyptian Dynasty (3150 BCE – 2686 BCE)
      The Egyptian culture was born on the banks of the Nile River and lower delta where water was plentiful and supported life for thousands of people. The fertile soil provided productive land for farming due to the harnessing of the Nile River.
    • 3.4: Early Mesopotamia (3100 BCE – 2000 BCE approx.)
      Mesopotamia, also known around the world as the Cradle of Civilization, is located in the fertile crescent. This area today is known as Iraq and the western parts of Iran.
    • 3.5: Indus Valley (3300 BCE – 1700 BCE)
      The Indus River drains from the expansive Himalayan Mountains into the Indus Valley, where the Harappan civilization flourished in what is Pakistan today. The fertile plains and water of the Indus River were the people’s most significant natural resources.
    • 3.6: Longshan (3000 BCE – 1700 BCE)
      By 5000 BCE, people were living around the globe in small family groups, tribes, or larger communities. Some people were still in the Stone Age, some were transitioning to the Bronze Age, and the rest were well entrenched in the Bronze Age.
    • 3.7: Early Jomon Period (5000 BCE – 2500 BCE)
      In the Jomon Period of Japan, some small permanent settlements established, yet they continued to be hunter-gatherers. The separation of Japan from the Asian mainland probably kept the civilization a hunter/gatherer society instead of evolving into a farming society like China.
    • 3.8: Neolithic England (3100 BCE – 1600 BCE approx.)
      On the Salisbury Plains in England stands Stonehenge one of the most famous megalithic monuments from ancient times.
    • 3.9: Conclusion and Contrasts
    • 3.10: Chapter Three Attributions

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