Short paper assignments must follow these formatting guidelines: double spacing, 12-point Times New Roman font, one-inch margins, and discipline-appropriate citations. Page length requirements: 1-2 pages undergraduate courses Short Paper: Neolithic Religion
Using only what you learned in the Module Four Notes (not including the textbook), write a short paper in which you identify the pattern of culture exhibited by each of these Neolithic groups: farmers, herders, and hunters. * Are they Apollonian or Dionysian?
* What evidence is there from both artifacts and myths to support your conclusions? * How does this help to understand the religious behaviors practiced by these groups?
Structure your response around these three questions. Be as thorough and complete as possible.
PHL 230 Module Four 1
The Sons of Noah
The Neolithic (7,000 BCE–3,000 BCE) was a time of intense ecological, technological, and sociological transition. Ecologically, climactic conditions in the Northern Hemisphere were shifting from Ice Age to Global Warming. Warmth in the Northern Hemisphere peaks every 22,000 years and bottoms out 11,000 years after that. Ever since the last glacial maximum (18,000 BCE), the climate had been heating up. Glaciers melted, sea-levels rose, and lands that were once barren and unproductive were now very lush and green (including, for example, the Sahara). Technologically, the process used to make stone tools was shifting from flaking to grinding. Stone tools made with ground edges are smoother, stronger, and more durable than their flaked counterparts, just the kind of tools you would need to cut down the forests for building material or to make room for other endeavors. Sociologically, the lifestyle enjoyed by Stone Age humans was shifting from mobile, egalitarian, clan-based hunting and gathering to sedentary, hierarchical, tribe-based farming, hunting, and herding. It is these three occupations that the “Flood” story refers to metaphorically as “the sons of Noah.” Farming
Archeological evidence suggests that an Agricultural Revolution occurred in the Near East around 7,000 BCE. We know that prior to this time wild grains growing naturally on the hillsides of Turkey and Palestine were being harvested to support such endeavors as Urfa and Jericho. It wasn’t long before this unconscious human selection of wild cereals with large, easily removed seeds and strong, non-shattering stalks combined with some advantageous evolutionary mutations to produce the development of domesticated cereals and intentional sowing. When domesticated sheep and goats were added into this mix, the 2 PHL 230 Module Four juggernaut we call Agricultural was set in motion. It moved from Turkey to Greece around 6,500 BCE, and from Greece up north through the Balkans and out into the rest of Western Europe shortly thereafter, eventually reaching Italy, Spain, France, Britain, and Scandinavia. It also moved east to Mesopotamia, Egypt, the Indus River Valley, and, eventually, all the way to China. Genetic evidence suggests that these first farmers from Turkey made the largest contribution to the genes of modern Europeans, but linguistic evidence for their existence is very sparse. We know that a group of languages broke off from the Eurasian mother tongue around 9,500 BCE, but, with the exception of the Sino-Tibetan language family, very few examples have survived: 1) the Basques (in the Pyrenees Mountains between France and Spain), 2) the Etruscans (in the Apennine Mountains of Northern Italy), 3) the Caucasians (in the Caucasus Mountains between the Black and Caspian Seas), and 4) the Burushaskis (in the Mountains of Northern Pakistan). The Sino-Tibetan language family, composed primarily of Chinese and second only to the Indo-European language family in terms of the number of people who speak it, is found throughout East Asia today but probably originated in the Himalayan Mountains that separate India from...
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