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Early Mesopotamia

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The discovery of ancient cave paintings and handcrafted tools that were produced over long periods of times and spanned across vast areas, demonstrated that the ideas and skills of early peoples were purposefully passed down within their societies. These “socially transmitted patterns of action and expression” (Bulliet 11) constituted their culture. Each generation is taught by their elders, as their culture, including the fabrication of material items such as clothing, shelters, and tools is communicated along with moral values, languages, and religious beliefs. The Stone Age refers to the period about 2.6 million years ago when the first crafted stone tools appeared, to about four thousand years ago when metal tools surfaced. Although coined the Stone Age, tools were also made of less useful materials than stone including wood, bone and skin. The Stone Age is broken up into two phases. The Paleolithic phase or Old Stone Age is characterized by hunters and gatherers who built temporary shelters, or found natural places of refuge. Increased meat eating was brought about by making tools such as the hand ax and spear. Men did most of the hunting, while women’s roles included gathering plants and vegetables. The need of human babies for longer maturation resulted in the imperative need for parental care by their parents. Extensive knowledge of their environment was crucial for survival, they had to learn how to adapt and use resources to make clothing and other materials. Art and religion were developed but remain hard to interpret.
The second phase of the Stone Age, was the Neolithic, or Agricultural Revolution. This was the change from food gathering to food producing with cultivation of plants, and domestication of animals. The change to warmer climate after the last Ice Age is believed to be the major reason for the adoption of agriculture. The demanding...

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