“Humans and Ideas”
Some of the most powerful ideas humans developed during early divination of 3000 BCE to 618 CE have been about techniques to improve living. New technological ideas from the invention of the wheel to the hand crank pump have transformed how millions of people live. The way technological ideas have accumulated over time and the effects they have had on society is one of the main themes of world history.
Shortly before 3000 BCE, Mesopotamians invented a technological idea which ended in a writing system called cuneiform that increased communication, record keeping, and abstract thought. Through symbols written on wet clay tablets that represented objects and sounds, history could be recorded for the first time. Writing was a major expansion of the conceptual horizon of humankind that reached back to the first flaked stones, ornaments, figurines, and cave paintings in the Paleolithic (Von Sivers 44). Early metallurgists discovered that by adding tin to copper they were able to make bronze which was much harder than copper and provided a sharper cutting edge which was the start of the Bronze Age (Lecture). By 2800 BCE Sumer entered into what is described as the protoliterate period where scribes would work with pictograms and official seals but there was still no official written language (Lecture). Harappan cities were unique to the 1700’s BCE due to the meticulously planned grid-like design that included a most elaborate urban sewer system for ancient times. Remarkably straight, brick paved streets ran in north/south, east/west axes forming square blocks of public buildings, temples, and markets in convenient locations. Houses had brick-lined indoor wells and primitive toilets emptying into terra-cotta cesspits whose overflow connected to the city’s drains and sewers (Von Sivers 80). Located several miles up the Sabarmati River from the Gulf of Khambat, Lothal was a large, perhaps the chief, of all trading seaports around 1700 BCE. Lothal central structure is an enormous basin, approximately 120 feet long and 70 feet wide. The location of Lothal on the Arabian Sea indicates a link between Harappan cities and trade that would have reached Mesopotamia and possibly Egypt. Lothal was also a famous regional craft center, with micro beads used for decorative craft items and jewelry as its chief product for internal trade and export (Von Sivers 80). Around 1700 BCE, the chariot and composite bow made their entry into the Middle East and eastern Mediterranean region, transforming armies who previously relied solely on foot soldiers. Black smiths mastered the art of iron making and incorporated iron into their chariot armies, in the form of swords, helmets, and protective armor (Von Sivers 53). The Shang Dynasty used the horse to drive chariots, which transformed the Chinese warfare for transportation, which linked disparate regions of China and helped the Shang to expand. It was a featured in art and poetry and thus offered a new symbol for artist and poets to work with. It will also link China to nomadic horse people from the north and west (Von Sivers 110). The people in Meroe mined, smelted, and forged iron which they were the first to do so in sub-Saharan Africa. The craft of iron smelting evolved gradually in Hittite Anatolia during several centuries after 1500 BCE. The possible spread of iron-working sills from the Middle East to Africa has not been satisfactorily proved. Iron workers in African villages adapted iron-making to local village circumstances. The production of iron, or greater import was the knowledge f how to forge the bloom-the combination of raw iron and slag- into an iron- carbon allow that was neither too soft nor too brittle (Von Sivers 165). Chariots and bows were introduced to the Shan army between 1300-1200 BCE. Around 1200 BCE, The Olmec crafted figurines, mask of clays, and made figurines from jade and serpentine. The Olmec heads were carved from 18 ton...
Please join StudyMode to read the full document