How did some homo sapiens move from hunting and gathering to agriculture? Discuss types of environments that favor agriculture, the reasons were given for the beginning of farming, and the drawbacks of, or advantages to farming.
Homo sapiens existed 250,000 years ago and it was the beginning of human beings with wisdom. By 100,000 BC the Neanderthal whose remains were found in the Neander River Valley in Germany were able to use simple stone tools and buried their dead. By 10, 000 BC Homo sapiens could be found in all parts of the world. Initially, humans lived a nomadic life of hunting and gathering and plants were not domesticated but ancient man relied on constant foraging to get enough food. In this case, the ancient man would forage on different plants depending on the season. Therefore, the ancient man lived a nomadic life with the aim of getting enough food which varied depending on the prevailing season (Duiker, William, and Jackson 5).
For 100, 000 of year's humans relied on hunting and gathering to be able to get their daily food needs. The Neolithic humans in 10000 BC hunted animals and gathered wild plants until the Neolithic revolution in 10,000 to 4000 BC when domestication of plants started and caused a significant shift of the ancient man from hunting and gathering wild foods to the domestication of wild plants for greater sustenance. Systematic agriculture took roots in the ancient world between 8000 and 5000 BC in the Middle East and farming spread to other parts of Europe by 4000 BC. Climate change was the major reason behind the development of agriculture by the ancient man. The decline of nature during the Neolithic age made the available wild food not enough for the families which pushed the ancient man to start domesticating the crops along rivers to sustain the need for food as the homo sapiens populations increased while the climate change. The accumulated knowledge of the edible plants from thousands of years of foraging made it easy for the ancient man to transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture (LaFreniere, Gilbert 42).
The domestication of agriculture was very beneficial to the Homo sapiens and significantly improved the quality of life of the ancient man at the time. Domestication of plants in the Holocene and later Neolithic period transformed the ancient man life to a more sedentary life due to the ease of food access. The sedentary lifestyle led to the development of kinships, reshaping of the subsistence activities, development of the political organization of the ancient man communities and belief systems. Plant domestication increased the food supply for the ancient man and made it easy to predict production which reduced deaths experienced due to climate change. Plant domestication led to surplus production which promoted barter trade between the people at the time. The Neolithic period led to reduced human mobility and permanent settlements which further led to other innovations to further improve plant domestication (Colehour, Alese 20).
How does Rousseau's interest in the roots of inequality shape his own account of the formation of society? Are the factors (social, political, economic, culturally) that were important to Rousseau, important to us today, or are there some key differences?
Rousseau seeks to assess the historical causes of social inequality which occurs constantly due to the habitual nature of people to compare themselves with others. Rousseau assesses inequality from a political, sociological and social perspective in relation to natural law. According to Rousseau inequality amongst human beings is not inherent to human nature. Inequality and violence amongst human beings is caused by socialization in natural and moral inequality forms. According to Rousseau natural inequality are caused by the differences in intelligence, age, health, the capacity to reason and human physical attributes. However, Rousseau is more concerned with the moral inequality which is caused by convention and consent of the people. Therefore, according to Rousseau, the moral inequality in the society is caused by political decisions and ideologies and moral inequality is preventable because it is based on human decisions. Labor and property divisions in the social contract according to Rousseau is the main cause of social inequalities and according to Rousseau it is only through a social contract between the rich and the poor in political societies can help to end moral inequality (Hager, Alan 214).
Rousseau discourse on social inequality which is caused by the civilization that is responsible for creating social privilege and differences in wealth and power can help to end inequalities and poverty in the community today. Rousseau notes that the growth of technology increases the exploitation of the society which poses a danger to human survival. Today, technology is blamed to be a major cause of unemployment due to the automation of many industries which has reduced the number of jobs. Based on Rousseau, people can remain free and make a just world if they take a step to change bad governance and also to break from unfavorable social contracts through mutual agreement. Social contracts should be used today to restrict and also aid freedom of humankind which creates a sustainable balance to end inequality. Getting rid of flawed governments and social inequality according to Rousseau can help improve happiness and well-being of the people. Ending social and economic inequalities are viewed by Rousseau as the major role of governments. Therefore, the social contract between the people can help to create governments based on virtue and social discipline which can help protect individual will and in this regard governments should pursue public interest and not private ends which further leads to inequality (Campbell, Sally 77).
What values are articulated in the Epic of Gilgamesh? What historical evidence may be garnered from the text? What does the text tell you about Mesopotamian religion, the nature of kingly rulership (is Gilgamesh just or unjust?), economic, social, political relationships, and about the relationship between sexuality and humanness? What is your understanding of such issues as mortality, immortality, fame, and remembrance?
The epic of Gilgamesh is a story of the king of Uruk and his ambition to become immortal. The epic of Gilgamesh creates a picture of the Mesopotamian culture and tries to educate regarding values and help people to better understand the world. The epic of Gilgamesh shows the spiritual plight of a king who becomes aware of his mortality as well as his heroic exploits as a king. The epic of Gilgamesh establishes the values of friendship, hope, and accountability of one's actions. The value of friendship is depicted when Enkidu fights against the bull of heaven sent to kill Gilgamesh by princess Inanna. After the fight, Enkidu is condemned to death which leaves Gilgamesh in grief that awakens him to the bliss that is life. Enkidu dies for friendship, courage, and selflessness which are important values in life. After the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh becomes aware of mortality and he is afraid to die. Gilgamesh decides to look for immortality but he fails the requirements to get immortality. Upon returning to Uruk, Gilgamesh becomes a changed man who lives for the people. Through his actions, Gilgamesh is able to attain immortality and his legacy lives to inspire many others. In addition, the epic of Gilgamesh warns human beings against being proud and instructs the leaders to be humble and to serve the people which are virtues that Gilgamesh learned after the death of Enkidu (Stephanie Dalley 49).
The epic of Gilgamesh shows that Mesopotamians believed in the existence of a supreme higher being. The nature of Mesopotamian religions was a polytheist in which the people of Mesopotamia believed in many gods. In the epic of Gilgamesh, there are many goddesses including goddess Inanna and Ninsun who was the mother of Gilgamesh and others such as Anu the sky god and Shamash the wise sun god. Every god played a specific role in the epic of Gilgamesh which shows the attributes and functions of the gods of Mesopotamia (Abusch, Tzvi 614). The epic of Gilgamesh shows that in the ancient Mesopotamia their gods could intervene in normal human life but the will of gods remained superior since the sky god was able to cause the death of Enkidu. The death of Enkidu shows that the people of Mesopotamia believed that the will of the gods was supreme and diseases were caused by supernatural agents in the punishment of sin. King rulers in Mesopotamia were respected and their role was to protect the people like in the case of Gilgamesh who fought against the forest demon and also built a wall around Uruk to protect the people. The rulers in ancient Mesopotamia were not against gods and they were given guidance by the gods through dreams. The rulers and the people of Mesopotamia were very superstitious and events were interpreted with definite meanings like in the case of Enkidu who believed his sickness was because he had wronged the gods (Jeremy Black and Anthony Green 72).
Gilgamesh at the beginning he was unjust and neglected his people and when his people complained goddess Aruru created Enkidu who was the turning point for Gilgamesh. Upon the death of Enkidu, Gilgamesh became aware of his mortality and started to treat his people well which according to the Mesopotamia culture good deeds were to be rewarded. The city of Uruk was the center of Mesopotamian civilization and economic center for the people at the time. The ancient Mesopotamia was led by kings whom the people viewed as demi-gods and chosen by the gods. The sacred temple of Ishtar and the relationship between Inanna and Gilgamesh shows a significant relationship between leadership and religion in Mesopotamia. The inhabitants of the urban centers were supposed to give offerings to the gods who resided and protected the urban areas. The gods and patron deities in Mesopotamia were in statue form and the death of Enkidu shows that the people of Mesopotamia believed that disrespecting gods led to death and diseases. The values of hope, humility in Gilgamesh service to the people, love, friendship and empathizing with the sick and those dying like in the case of Enkidu depicts the nature of humanity. The dream of Enkidu depicted that the afterlife was a dark place where people suffer and the Mesopotamians believed that in the afterlife all people shared the same fate without creating a difference based on righteousness (Abusch, Tzvi 614).
Mortality was highly valued in the epic of Gilgamesh, Gilgamesh after the death of Enkidu he is afraid of death which is the nature of every human being. However, upon realizing of his mortality, Gilgamesh became humble and served the people to gain valor and become a man of virtues in which his actions became immortal. Although humans are mortal, the epic of Gilgamesh shows that the actions of human's kindness and service to others can make them immortal like the case of Gilgamesh. People are remembered because of their actions, the epic of Gilgamesh shows that those in leadership positions built massive structures and also fought for the people like in the case of Gilgamesh and Enkidu fighting the forest demon which increased their fame. Therefore, fame and being remembered in Mesopotamia depended on the actions of an individual while they were alive, Gilgamesh built the wall around Uruk to make his name and deeds immortal (Stephen Bertman 173).
Abusch, Tzvi. "The development and meaning of the Epic of Gilgamesh: an interpretive essay." Journal of the American oriental Society (2001): 614-622.
Campbell, Sally H. Rousseau and the Paradox of Alienation. Lanham, Maryland: Lexington Books, 2012. Print.p. 77-78
Colehour, Alese M....
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