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Hunter-Gatherers (Foragers)
Most cross-cultural research aims to understand shared traits among hunter-gatherers and how and why they vary. Here we look at the conclusions of cross-cultural studies that ask: What are recent hunter-gatherers generally like? How do they differ from food producers? How and why do hunter-gatherers vary?
honors  state  SON  Power_materials  civilization  Violence_y_Power  Leadership 
5 days ago by Jibarosoy
Human Natural History
Thus, humans were hunters and gatherers for by far the largest fraction of human evolutionary history. However, the development of the technology was relatively slow until about an accelera- tion in evolutionary developments began about 100,000 years ago. During the early Pleis- tocene (ca. 2 million to 1 million years ago) hominids were restricted to Africa. After about 1 million years ago Homo erectus type hominids with a kit of stone tools called the Achue- lean industry, spread to most of warm and temperate Eurasia. About 100,000 years ago more sophisticated industries appeared, along with Neanderthal hominids and their rela- tives. These people penetrated into quite cold environments. Although ancient hominids hunted or scavenged animals and gathered plant resources, we do not know very precisely what their lifeways were like. Neanderthals, and other relatively recent but archaic homi- nids, had brains as big as ours but very robust skeletons and a considerably different stone tool technology than later anatomically modern humans.
honors  SON  state  civilization  Power_materials  Violence_y_Power  Food  Pol.11 
5 days ago by Jibarosoy
Why a leading political theorist thinks civilization is overrated - Vox
Is civilization good for us? Has it made us any happier?
The takeaway from a new book by James Scott, a professor of political science and anthropology at Yale University, is that the answer to the first question is yes but it’s complicated, while the answer to the second question is, well, even more complicated.

In Against the Grain: A Deep History of the Earliest States, Scott explores why human beings decided to shift from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a more sedentary, agrarian lifestyle roughly 12,000 years ago. The accepted narrative is that humans abandoned hunting and gathering as soon they discovered agricultural technology, because it made life easier and safer.
honors  state  SON  civilization  Power_materials  Violence_y_Power  Leadership  teaching_pol_theory 
5 days ago by Jibarosoy
Human Societies Module 9 - Hunting and Gathering Societies
Data and comparison to other societies.
H&G Societies Prior to 125,000 BC
H&G Societies From 125,000 BC to 8,000 BC
H&G Societies of the Recent Past
honors  SON  Teaching  Pol.11  state  Power_materials 
5 days ago by Jibarosoy
The Wisdom Of Crowds--In Ancient Greece
How did Athenians do that much better than more hierarchical and authoritarian rivals in Sparta and elsewhere? Ober provides a good review of how 8,000 Athenians met about twice a month to opine, jeer and debate public policy in a no-holds-barred, open-air assembly. Decrees and public actions were publicly posted. Popular courts involved thousands in the minutiae of civil and criminal cases. Hundreds of offices were filled by random lot. That ensured that even the poor exercised some responsibility. Majestic public architecture at Athens facilitated the physical challenges involved in a mass exchange of ideas. Frequent festivals and dramatic presentations ensured collective familiarly with a common Athenian mythology and ethos.

As proof of all this, Ober also demonstrates well that the city of Athens and its surrounding territory of Attica only became truly superior to most other city-states during the two-century life of democracy in the fifth and fourth centuries B.C. This period after Cleisthenes brought unusual prosperity and success compared to the oligarchy and tyranny that had came before--and would reappear afterward in the guise of Macedonian and then Roman subjugation of Athens. The sheer number of informed citizens also explains why classical Athenian culture often surpassed that of other city-states such as non-democratic Corinth, Thebes and Sparta. Such oligarchies may have had as many natural resources and as large a population, but often lacked Athens' unique political advantages.
honors  teaching_pol_theory  democracy  SON  state  Power_materials  political_theory  civilization 
8 days ago by Jibarosoy
The ‘Ocean Model of Civilization’, Sustainable History Theory, and Global Cultural Understanding – OxPol
I previously suggested a counter-view to this highly divisive narrative. The Ocean Model of Civilisationrelies upon a more judicious account of historical and cultural inheritance: human civilization is like an ocean into which many rivers flow and add depth, which in turn are sourced by tributaries. In other words, there is one collective human civilisation which is an accumulation of contributions from a series of distinct but intertwined geo-cultural domains, themselves influenced by different sub-cultures. The Ocean Model thus views human civilisation as cumulative, acknowledging that all cultural interactions inform collective culture. This conception accounts for cultural influences of varying degrees in the form of larger rivers representing the dominant cultural forces of the day, but also for the more pronounced cultural mixing that occurs today as a result of increased access to instant worldwide communication and the instantaneous dissemination of information. Crucially, the Ocean Model attributes worth to all cultures insofar as they are all constitutive of one human civilisation encapsulating a common human story. In so doing it provides a theoretical basis for understanding international relations in less strictly adversarial terms.
civilization  honors  Power_materials  Violence_y_Power  SON  state  history  teaching_pol_theory  political_theory 
19 days ago by Jibarosoy
Rise of Civilizations and Empires in Mesopotamia
Historians often write of world history in terms of the development of civilizations defined by a characteristic empire. What defines an empire and what does the building of empire suggest? The regions of Mesopotamia, Egypt (the Nile Valley), and the Indus Valley are three rich areas for studying how people and ideas come together to create civilizations and empires.

Imagine three spaces that are sparsely populated, yet well watered and fertile, in a time before written history. Two are river valleys, another lies between two rivers forming a rich plain. Imagine that humans settle in these regions and domesticate plants and animals. The domestication made possible by these riverine territories and the success of that domestication—farming and grazing—lure increasingly greater human and animal migration to these spaces. As these populations increase, so do their needs. These needs give rise to the social and political economic formations that characterize the ancient urban spaces and states of Mesopotamia and the Indus and Nile valleys.

Mesopotamian, Egyptian, and Indus Valley civilizations are noted for their dense populations, urbanization processes, and cultural innovation. These elements are tied to the growth of commerce and broader cultural interaction. That is, as empires these civilizations can be thought of as collections of peoples, goods, and ideas whose existence and dynamism were built on movement and exchange. This can be seen in the movement and exchange of people, the movement and exchange of goods, and the movement and exchange of ideas.

The collections of peoples, goods, and ideas suggest difference and diversity and are also the hallmarks of empires. The human, material, and intellectual richness of the regions created the need to organize. The organizational necessity was the result of innovation, communication, and the movement of populations.
honors  civilization  Teaching  political_theory  teaching_pol_theory  SON 
19 days ago by Jibarosoy

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