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How Did Geography Impact The Development Of Agricultural Societies

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Early Civilizations And The Emergence Of Pastoral Peoples 4000

Geography’s Influence on World History, Society and Human Development

Standard 1:;The major characteristics of civilization and how civilizations emerged in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus valley

Standard 2:;How agrarian societies spread and new states emerged in the third and second millennia BCE

Standard 3:;The political, social, and cultural consequences of population movements and militarization in Eurasia in the second millennium BCE

Standard 4:;Major trends in Eurasia and Africa from 4000 to 1000 BCE

When farmers began to grow crops on the irrigated floodplain of Mesopotamia in Southwest Asia, they had no consciousness that they were embarking on a radically new experiment in human organization. The nearly rainless but abundantly watered valley of the lower Tigris and Euphrates rivers was an environment capable of supporting far larger concentrations of population and much greater cultural complexity than could the hill country where agriculture first emerged. Shortly after 4000 BCE, a rich culture and economy based on walled cities was appearing along the banks of the two rivers. The rise of civilization in Mesopotamia marked the beginning of 3,000 years of far-reaching transformations that affected peoples across wide areas of Eurasia and Africa.

The four standards in this era present a general chronological progression of developments in world history from 4000 to 1000 BCE. Two major patterns of change may be discerned that unite the developments of this period.

Why Study This Era?

Effects Of The Neolithic Revolution

The Neolithic Revolution led to masses of people establishing permanent settlements supported by farming and agriculture. It paved the way for the innovations of the ensuing Bronze Age and Iron Age, when advancements in creating tools for farming, wars and art swept the world and brought civilizations together through trade and conquest.

Towards The Modern Era

The direct antecedents of organized agricultural research and dissemination of its results which occurred in nineteenth century Europe and North America can be traced back to the “renaissance” which began in the fourteenth century. Between 1300 and 1700, European society became transformed from its medieval feudal forms into recognizably modem social systems. It was a period of complex, multistranded development. Along with the growth of national states and European exploration and “discovery” of the rest of the world was the “new learning.” This involved not only a fresh appreciation of rediscovered classical writings and art forms, but also many novel ideas and activities, a spirit of humanism, and rational enquiry. All of this was considerably facilitated by the invention of printing using movable type, usually attributed to Gutenberg around 1450, and the rapid diffusion over Europe of the printing press, for whose output there existed a ready market.

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Geography And Early Civilizations Essay

Geography and Early CivilizationsGeography had a tremendous impact on early civilizations, the topography of the different regions played a key role in their development and formation. This statement by Fernand Braudel Geography is the stage in which humanitys endless dramas are played out is a very moving and telling description. The terrain, whether it is natural or man made is not the end all, be all. It does however affect the stage a great deal. Mountainous

The Roots Of Agriculture


The traditional story about agriculture goes something like this: initially, people were hunter-gatherers who lived short lives because they had to scrounge for food from what nature provided. At some point, someone in the tribe made the discovery that people could plant crops. This led to better food supplies, less work, and more leisure time to develop higher civilization. Geographers now know that this traditional story gets it backward in many ways. Hunting and gathering is a comfortable way of life, while agriculture is often an adaptation of necessity with significant negative ramifications.

To start, we need to define agriculture. The traditional story proposes that there is a significant leap forward sometimes called the agricultural revolution or Neolithic revolution when societies invent agriculture. However, it is more accurate to see agriculture as one stage on a continuum of intensification. Intensification refers to the amount of production per unit of land that is extracted for human use. Raising the level of intensification practiced by society requires increased manipulation of natural processes by humans. We can imagine a scale of intensification running from a wilderness where the only human activity is hikers picking a few berries to eat on their way, to a modern industrial farm that mass-produces corn.

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How Did Geography Impact The Development Of Early Mesopotamia

The Euphrates and Tigris Rivers are important landmarks of ancient Mesopotamia. The two rivers are fondly referred to as the cradle of civilization and as such, they had a huge impact on the culture of ancient Mesopotamia. The Mesopotamia valley was a rich agricultural hub, thanks to the presence of the two rivers.

The two rivers also acted as a source of water for irrigation, besides aiding in trade and transportation . In addition, these geographical features helped connect the region to India, Egypt, and China. Mesopotamia is at a crossroad, connecting Asia, Europe, and Africa. This is an indication of cultural openness of the region, and perhaps a mirror of the regions geography.

Because the area did not have natural boundaries such as large rivers and mountain ranges, Mesopotamians remained quite receptive to external influences. Mesopotamia thus became a multicultural and multilingual region at an early age. The culture further impacted on some of its neighbors including the ancient Hebrews and Egyptians.

How Did The Development Of Agriculture Bring Change To Human Society

Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.

The development of agriculture led to the rise of civilizations. People had to stay in one place in order to grow and harvest crops. They also needed buildings in order to store crops. Many civilizations in the Middle East invested in irrigation structures in order to provide for stable water….

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Ways In Which Geography Impacted Rome’s Development


Geography was a major factor in Rome’s early development. Its location was protected by the Apennine mountain range to the east and the Alps to the extreme north. The city itself was situated on the Tiber River, about 20 miles from the coast, and the Italian Peninsula provided a relatively central position in the Mediterranean world. With access to Mediterranean trading routes and relative safety from raids and invasions, Rome was in an ideal spot to develop into the capital of a great empire.

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Positive Aspects Of The Neolithic Revolution And The Crusades

AP Human Geography – Agriculture – Chapter 10 Key Issue 2

Neolithic Revolution and the Crusades was that they impacted our lives today with positive aspects. The Neolithic Revolution helped develop our environment and resources that we use now in days throughout the years, this changed peoples lives. Technically The Crusades had a unexpected positive outcome which was that there was a greatly expanded knowledge of geography gained by the West.In the time of The Neolithic Revolution, there was a big change from 10,000 B.C. through 5,000 B.C. there was 2 major

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Geography Of The Fertile Crescent

Due to its varied geography, Mesopotamian agriculture was highly diverse in terms of food sources, regional crop yields, and annual rainfall or irrigation variation . There were two types of agriculture:

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  • Dry agriculture without irrigation, where people mostly cultivated cereals and relied on rainfall, which was primarily practiced in upper Mesopotamia and Syria.
  • Irrigation agriculture, which was centered in lower Mesopotamia.

Many harvests were destroyed by drought or flooding. Artificial irrigation systems existed, but people preferred to rely on the rainy, hilly areas to ensure a more even spread of precipitation.

Irrigation was at first conducted by siphoning water from the Tigris-Euphrates river system directly onto the fields using small canals and shadufs; crane-like water lifts that have existed in Mesopotamia since c. 3000 BCE. In the drier regions, agriculture was only possible with irrigation canal systems, which are attested from the mid-1st millennium BCE, including aqueducts. The Jerwan aqueduct, the oldest known aqueduct in the world, was constructed by king Sennacherib I of Assyria between 703 and 690 BCE.

Mali’s Climate Is Marked By Distinct Wet And Dry Seasons

Winters are dry.;;Summers are rainy.;;Rains arrive first, and in greater amounts, in the south, and later in much smaller amounts in the north.;;However, rainfall is not very dependable.;;In some years, there is enough; in others, there is not.;;Also, when it does rain, it often comes in torrential downpours, which erode the land and leach out nutrients from the soil.;;In addition, rainfall is spotty–heavy in one area, light only a few miles away.;;Thus, one village may have abundant crops, while a neighboring village is still waiting for its first rain.

During the dry winter season, days are generally in the mid-70s F.;;At night, however, it gets extremely cold.;;The lack of clouds allows the heat that has built up during the day to escape from the earth’s surface. This is called radiation cooling. During the April to June dry season, daytime temperatures become much hotter–more than 90°F–as hot, dry winds blow from the northeast.;;These winds are known as the;harmattan.;;They are followed by the wet season, when daytime temperatures become slightly cooler–in the mid-80sF.

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What Influence Did Geography Have On The Development Of Mali

Mali’s location in the interior of West Africa and its physical and human characteristics have influenced its history in diverse ways. The Niger River, in particular, has been important to its development, both because it supplied water for domestic and agricultural uses and because it could be used as a “highway” for trade. Moreover, Mali represented a unification of several environmental realms: desert, short and tall grasslands, and the forest fringe. Different environments are able to produce different products, thus setting up the conditions for trade. Trade, particularly trade in gold and salt, is what built the Mali Empire. Its cities became the crossroads of the north-south — gold routes — across West Africa. The region’s relative location changed with the discovery of all-water routes around Africa and around the world in the period after 1500 A.D., however, and the economies of West Africa began a long period of decline. One of the more interesting questions we might ask is how imperial Mali could be so rich and modern Mali be so poor, even though their location remains basically unchanged.

How Did Geography Help Rome Rise To Power

1.2 Neolithic Revolution & Early Agricultural Socities ...

The Roman Empire dominated most of Europe and much of Africa and the Middle East for centuries. So great was the empire that it influences geopolitics even today. Often overlooked is the role that geography played in the great city’s rise to power. Several geographic advantages helped Rome to grow and ultimately dominate the known world.

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How Did The Geography Of China Affect The Development Of Early Civilization There

The geography of China affected the development of early civilization because the location of its rivers determined the crops and livestock that early Chinese people could produce. Furthermore, China’s proximity to the Gobi Desert, the Taklamakan Desert, and the Himalayan Mountains contributed to Chinese isolation and created natural trade barriers.

Who are the experts?Our certified Educators are real professors, teachers, and scholars who use their academic expertise to tackle your toughest questions. Educators go through a rigorous application process, and every answer they submit is reviewed by our in-house editorial team.

Early Chinese civilization was largely influenced by the Yellow River and its annual floods. The floods would sometimes become uncontrollable, until the Chinese developed a system of dikes and irrigation ditches. The floods created alluvial soil, which was good for growing crops such as rice. The Yangtze River valley was…

Mali Includes A Long Stretch Of The Niger River

The Niger River rises in the Fouta Djallon and flows for 1,000 miles through Mali. The river has always provided water for:

  • household uses
  • fishing
  • trade

In the rainy season the Niger, in places, expands up to a mile wide. Along its course, there is an area known as the “inland delta.” It is the remnant of an inland lake in which the Niger once terminated. Even today, during the rainy season in summer, the Niger fills the inland delta with water, giving it the appearance of its ancient ancestor. As the water goes down after the rains end, grass grows in the wet soil, providing grazing for animals and an opportunity for rice cultivation.

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Division Of Study Periods

Most technological transitions require long periods of time to be observed . Our study period spanned from approximately 8000 BC to 1911 AD, from the archaeological excavation of primitive seeds during the Neolithic Period to the end of the last imperial dynasty in China. This is nearly the whole period of development for agricultural technology systems in the pre-industrial society in China.

Given the long study period, eight historical periods were established principally based on dynastic changes . It should be noted that the XSZ Period contained three dynasties, as they were rooted in the same ancient mythology and were hardly distinctive from one another. The QH, ST, SY and MQ periods all contained two dynasties, which had similar development patterns of agricultural technology .

Table 2 Division of study periods

To What Extent Did Geography Affect The Development Of Ancient Civilizations

The Agricultural Revolution: Crash Course World History #1

Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Geology. “Society & the Natural Environment.”, Inc. September 30th, 2015. National Geographic, Inc. April 13th, 2010. How did geography affect the development of the ancient Middle Eastern civilizations? Answers. Answers Corporation. October 2nd, 2008. http://www

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Percentage Continental Extinction Rate

To determine continental extinction rates of large herbivores , I compiled all animals over 200 kg on each continent and the number and percentage of those to go extinct by 10,000 YBP. I chose a threshold of 200 kg based on the results of damage to farms from herbivory in Uganda . Animals weighing more than 200 kg, like elephants, caused much greater percent damage to farms than animals under 200 kg. I do not include New Guinea in this analysis because it does not have any herbivores larger than 200 kg either extant or extinct.

The Overall Description Of The Ancient Chinese Agricultural Technology System

The overall system development

The total number of agricultural technologies in China was 1337 . Among the five Level 2 subsystems, the number of agricultural engineering technologies were the greatest , with a focus on tools and irrigation infrastructure in Level 3 subsystems. This was followed by agricultural practices that highly emphasised the Level 3 furrowing subsystem. Development of agricultural theory was evenly distributed among biology, meteorology and soil science. There was relatively less attention given to technologies from the agricultural protection and agricultural crops subsystems; they focused on Level 3 bio-physical protection subsystem and cash crop subsystem, respectively.

Fig. 2

The structure and types of the agricultural technology system in China during the study period This figure illustrates all the agricultural and water technologies in ancient China, structured in terms their types

The system development stages

It is not surprising that there was a gradual increase in technologies, with approximately 200 technologies during earlier periods . The number of technologies then increased to approximately 320 in a relatively short period and further accelerated from the QH to the SY periods with 200250 new technologies during each period. The number peaked in the MQ Period .

Fig. 3

where T is the number of technologies and t is year. The fitted R2=0.9866.

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Causes Of The Neolithic Revolution

There was no single factor that led humans to begin farming roughly 12,000 years ago. The causes of the Neolithic Revolution may have varied from region to region.

The Earth entered a warming trend around 14,000 years ago at the end of the last Ice Age. Some scientists theorize that climate changes drove the Agricultural Revolution.

In the Fertile Crescent, bounded on the west by the Mediterranean Sea and on the east by the Persian Gulf, wild wheat and barley began to grow as it got warmer. Pre-Neolithic people called Natufians started building permanent houses in the region.

Other scientists suggest that intellectual advances in the human brain may have caused people to settle down. Religious artifacts and artistic imageryprogenitors of human civilizationhave been uncovered at the earliest Neolithic settlements.

The Neolithic Era began when some groups of humans gave up the nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle completely to begin farming. It may have taken humans hundreds or even thousands of years to transition fully from a lifestyle of subsisting on wild plants to keeping small gardens and later tending large crop fields.

The Southeast Coast And Shanghai

2. How did farming help early human societies?

Physical characteristics: This region shares the entire Yangzi Valley’s dominant characteristics of water, wetlands, and hot and humid summers. However, the influence of the Pacific Ocean as well as access thereto make the area distinctive. The ocean’s warm current creates milder winter temperatures than in the interior. In addition the nearby mountains are favorable for crops other than aquaculture , which is prominent in the lowlands. Mild climates and abundant rainfall mean farmers in this area generally expect to obtain three or more crops every year. Some form of food, whether from land or sea, is always abundant and in surplus.

History: This was the first region to feel the impact of the West through the Opium War and “Treaty Ports” of the eighteenth century. It has had the greatest number of Christian missionaries, Chinese Christians, and Christian churches in China. Like so many of China’s distinct physical environments, it is dominated by ethnic peoples not fully identifiable as “Han,” who speak distinct languages and often have closer ties to Chinese overseas.

Housing: plaster or brick to offset rain in rural areas, apartment buildings in urban areas

Social organization: class, family, or business compounds

Transportation: boats and ships on rivers and canals, cars, buses, and bicycles

Food staples: rice, seafood, and tropical fruits

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