FIRST STEPS TOWARD CIVILIZATION



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FIRST STEPS TOWARD CIVILIZATION



 

Preview

1. What kinds of specialized work did people do in the early human hunting societies?

2. About how long was the process that took the humans from hunting and gathering to civilization”?

3. What were some of the negative consequences of a sedentary lifestyle?

4. What steps accelerated evolution of human societies toward civilization?

 

Reading

Text 1. The Early Accomplishments of Homo sapiens

Read the text and do the tasks that follow

Between 40,000 and 30,000 years ago the Eastern Hemisphere was populated by human beings anatomically just like us. Concurrently the newly evolved human species migrated into the Western Hemisphere, needing no boats for this because there was then a land connection between Siberia and Alaska. Since Australia was colonized (in still mysterious ways) before 30,000 years ago, the entire globe then knew human habitation more oк less as it does today.

Early Human Art

One of the first things modern humans accomplished was the creation of some of the most stunning paintings known in the entire history of human art – the famous cave murals of southern France and northern Spain executed between 30,000 and 12,000 years ago. In over 200 caves so far discovered (the most famous of which are the cave of Lascaux in southern France and that of Altamira in Spain), the earliest known artists painted breathtaking murals of prancing animals – bison, bulls, horses, ponies, and stags. The emphasis in this cave art was unquestionably on movement. Almost all of the murals depict proud game species running, leaping, or facing the hunter at bay.

Early Human Hunting Society

It is certain that the early human hunting society that produced the cave paintings was one that had arrived at extensive specialization and differentiation of labour. Handicraft workers in the same societies concurrently developed extraordinary facility in fashioning tools, not just from stones and bones but also from antlers and ivory. Examples of the implements they added to the ancient human tool kit include fishhooks, harpoons, bows and arrows, and needles for sewing together animal skins.

Hunting in the period between 30,000 and 12,000 years ago would have called for specialized training since artful new techniques were being added to the hunting repertoire. Specifically, with darts and arrows hunters of that time learned how to bring down birds, with harpoons and fishhooks they learned how to catch fish, and by studying the instinctive movements of game animals they learned how to stampede and trap herds. Since they relied on game most of all, they migrated with game herds and there is some evidence that they followed preservation rules by not killing everything that they could. Nonetheless, masses of charred bones found regularly at archeological sites dating from this period indicate that huge quantities of game were killed and then roasted in community feasts, proving that the peoples in question not only knew how to paint and how to hunt, but also how to share.

Around 12,000 years ago (10,000 B.C.E.), hunting feasts occurred rarely or not at all for a simple reason – the herds were vanishing. The era between 35,000 and 12,000 years ago had been an “Ice Age”: daytime temperatures in the Mediterranean regions of Europe and western Asia averaged about 690 А (-10С) in the winter. Accordingly, herds of cold-loving game species such as reindeer, elk, wild boar, European bison, and various kinds of mountain goats roamed the hills and valleys. But as the last glaciers receded northwards such species retreated with them. Some humans may have moved north with the game but others stayed behind, creating an extremely different sort of world in comparatively short order.

 

Vocabulary extension

1. to be colonized – to be populated, settled

2. habitat – natural environment of an animal or a plant

3. to accomplish – to succeed in doing smth.

4. stunning – splendid, impressive

5. game animals – animals that hunted and killed for food

6. to fashion – to make or design smth.

7. repertoire – the total number of things that someone is able to do

8. at bay – of a hunted animal forced to face its attackers and show defiance because unable to escape

9. to recede – to move away, disappear

Ex. 1. Match the words in column A with their definitions in column B.

A B
1) mural a) hunting
2) habitation b) to require, demand
3) breathtaking c) to happen
4) implements d) a large painting done on a wall
5) specifically e) a place to live in
6) to call for f) stunning
7) game g) particularly, precisely
8) to occur h) tools

 

Ex. 2. Complete the sentences, use the words and expressions from the text.

1. Between 40.000 and 30.000 years ago the Eastern Hemisphere was populated …

2. Since Australia was colonized before 30.000 years ago the entire globe then knew … … more or less as it does today.

3. One of the first things modern humans … was the creation of the most stunning paintings known in the entire history of human art.

4. It is certain that the early hunting society that produced the cave paintings was one that had arrived at …

5. Examples of the implements handicraft workers added to the ancient human tool kit included … … .

6. Since the early human beings relied on game most of all, they migrated …

7. But as the last glaciers receded northwards such species as reindeer, elk, wild boar and European bison …

Words for reference: extensive specializations and differention of labour; accomplished; retreated with them; with game herds; human beings anatomically just like us; habitation; fish hooks, harpoons, bows and arrows, and needles.

Ex. 3. Fill in the following prepositions: at, in, on, by, between, over, for, of.

1. There was then a land connection … Siberia and Alaska.

2. In … 200 caves so far discovered, the ealiest known artists painted breathtaking murals … prancing animals.

3. The emphasis … this care art was unquestionably … movement.

4. Handicraft workers … the same societies concurrently developed extraordinary facility … fashioning tools.

5. Hunting … the period between 30.000 and 12.000 years ago would have called … specialized training.

6. Hunters of that time followed preservation rules … not killing everything they could.

7. Nonetheless, masses of charred bones are found regularly … archeological sites.

Comprehension

Ex. 1. Complete the sentences, use the information from the text.

1. Between 40.000 and 30.000 years ago the Eastern Hemisphere was populated …

2. The entire globe then knew human …

3. One of the first things modern humans accomplished was …

4. Hunting in the period between 30.000 and 12.000 years ago would have called for specialized training since …

5. Since they relied on game most of all, they …

6. Around 12.000 years ago, hunting feasts occurred rarely or not at all for a simple reason …

7. Some humans may have moved north with the game but others stayed behind, …

 

Ex. 2. Say if the statements are true or false.

1. The entire globe 30.000 years ago knew human habitation more or less as it does today.

2. One of the first things modern humans accomplished was the invention of writing.

3. It is certain that the early human society that produced the cave paintings was one that had arrived at extensive specialization and differentiation.

4. Examples of the implements the earliest humans used include not only fishhooks, harpoons but also ploughs.

5. The earliest humans didn’t not rely only on game, they know how to till the land.

Ex. 3. Answer the following question.

1. What is the most significant information about modern human beings?

2. Did early human hunting societies have division and specialization of labour. What kind of specialized work did people do in these societies?

3. What were some of the accomplishments of Homo sapiens at that time?

4. How might the climate during the Ice Age have affected the way people lived during that tine?

5. When may some humans have moved north with the game? Did they remain hunters?

6. In what ways do you think the humans who stayed behind and became sedentary created an extremely different sort of world in comparatively short order?

Text 2. Setting the Stage for Civilization:



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