Vous êtes sur la page 1sur 6

Jeffrey Levine 1/18/11 A.P.

World History Willer Period 1

HOOK. The concept of a division between urban areas and pastoral communities has been around since ancient times, in this essay I explore the beginnings of agricultural communities, how this led to innovation of urban areas, how the connection between these two different types of communities allowed both to thrive, some examples of this and how they lived, and some reflections.

The end of hunter/gatherers, and the beginning of farming communities began in 9500. This marked the end of the stone age, and began the Neolithic area. Archeological data points to the Epipalothic Natufain people of the West Bank (in modern day Israel) to first pioneer the harvesting of grain, and the domestication of animals (such as sheep and goats). (Bellwood) From there the practice spread to North Africa, Asia Minor, and Mesopotamia. By 8000 B.C. permanent communities had been established, cattle and pigs had been domesticated and the first pottery was being made. (Bellwood) By the time cities came along in Mesopotamia in 5500 B.C. agriculture had replaced wild foods as the main food source for a persons normal diet. All this goes to show that without agriculture cities would never have even formed, that without solid source of food, people wouldnt be able to live together in such large densities.

Gorden Childe gives 10 basic criterion that can define a historic city:

1. Size and density of the population should be above normal. 2. Differentiation of the population. Not all residents grow their own food, leading to specialists. 3. Payment of taxes to a deity or king. 4. Monumental public buildings. 5. Those not producing their own food are supported by the king. 6. Systems of recording and practical science. 7. A system of writing. 8. Development of symbolic art. 9. Trade and import of raw materials. 10. Specialist craftsmen from outside the kin-group. (Childe)

The first urban area to meet these criterion was the city of Ur. Located in modern day Southern Iraq, it was based on a channel of the Euphrates River. It was first occupied in the late 6th century B.C., but reached its heyday around 3000 B.C. however. (Brusasco 142-157) Surrounded by a giant wall, it was legendarily built on the orders of King Gilgamesh. It was dominated by giant mud/brick building that were adorned with mosaics of painted clay and extraordinary works of art. Large-scale sculpture in the round and relief carving appeared for the first time, together with metal casting using the lost-wax process. (The Metropolitan Museum of Art). There were two main temples; the Eanna and the Anu districts. The Eanna was walled off, and composed of many large buildings with space for workships. The Anu was built on a terrace with a temple at the top. The rest of the city was composed of courtyard houses, grouped

together based on the profession of the occupants, in areas surrounding these two temples. The entire city was well penetrated by a canal system that is similar to the modern day city of Venice. This canal system flowed throughout the city connecting it with the Euphrates River as well as the nearby agricultural communities. (Smith)

As agricultural techniques grew better and better, cities continued to grow, fitting a growing need for a place where people could trade and interact. However, not all cities were built with the same purpose. Smith quotes: This roster of early urban traditions is notable for its diversity. Excavations at early urban sites show that some cities were sparsely populated political capitals, others were trade centers, and still other cities had a primarily religious focus. Some cities had large dense populations, whereas others carried out urban activities in the realms of politics or religion without having large associated populations. Theories that attempt to explain ancient urbanism by a single factor, such as economic benefit, fail to capture the range of variation documented by archaeologists. (Smith) No matter the purpose, urban communities exploded, which cities appearing in China, the Indus valley, Southern Europe, Africa and Mesopotamia. In fact by 0 A.D. Ancient Rome had a population in excess of a million people! By this time, city structures were more complex, and archeologists have been able to figure out more about daily life. Upper class families lived in a domus or single family home. It was based off an atrium (a main enterance hall) which had rooms opposite it or in a neighboring courtyard. By the 2nd Century B.C. amenities had been added (if you had the money to pay for it) such as baths and multiple bedrooms. However, the majority of Romans were lower class, and they lived in insulas, which are like modern day apartments. They outnumbered domus 25 to 1, and were much more sparsely furnished. (Oracle Education Foundation) Men wore togas and women wore tunics, however they varied based on class. For the majority of the population, meals were centered around corn, oil and wine. The wealthy could afford exotic foods that werent available to regular citizens. Bread was the most common food, usually eaten with cheese or honey. Fish, oysters and pork were the main sources of protein; while vegetables such as lentils comprised up the vegetarian side of things.

But where did all this food come from? To keep up with demand pastoral communitys improved their agricultural techniques. The Sumerians developed techniques such as intensive cultivation of land, monocropping, organized irrigation and etc around 5000 B.C.; while around 3500 B.C. the simplest form of the plough was invented. These techniques allowed pastoral communities to keep up with the supply of food that the cities demanded. (Fagan) TALK ABOUT AGRICULTURAL LIFE>>.NOMADIC LIFE?? WHATEVER>

An integral part of the relationship between urban areas and the pastoral communities that supported them was the cycle of migration. Adams explains: To exist all, cities required a regular supply of in-migrants. These came from mostly from surrounding villages and were usually young-adultsor free Neolithic agriculturalists..Civilized peasantry also migrated to the frontiers, where pastoralists.or simple Neolithic agriculturalists dwelt in independent villages.this set in a motion a two-way flow of population that fundamentally altered the structure of the human race. The first was the outward migration of civilized peasantryThe second was the inward population flow, civilized peasants or primitives from distant points driven by needs or taken by force to urban centersCivilization was therefore socially stratified and culturally, even genetically heterogeneous from its very beginning. (Adams 106-107) This quote clearly shows how the connection, and cycle between pastoral and urban communities fostered the growth of civilization, and incubated the diverse interactions that would make our world what it is today. So what would it be like to live in these pastoral communities? Well, a good example would be the Mongolian society before and around the time of Chinggis Khan (the 2nd century A.D.). The two main food groups of the Mongols were so called brown foods and

white foods. White foods were mainly dairy products, and were consumed during the summer. Brown foods were usually meat, and mainly eaten during the winter. (Bawden) These foods came from the 3 main domesticated animals that the Mongolians took with them. Horses: They drank the blood and milk from these animals, however they were mainly for transportation/battle and were a major factor in the Mongol dominance in warfare. Cattle: Not very important, valued for the milk but not so much for their meat. Goats: Valued for their meat, hardiness and milk. (University of Washington ) They lived in felt tents called yurts. Very flexible and easy to use, they were perfect for the Mongol lifestyle. Their clothing deviated by status, season but was made mainly from silk, brocade, cotton and furs. Something interesting is that a Mongol would not bath or change clothes, until the clothes literally fell apart. Footwear consisted of boots and leather sandals made out of cow fur. (Atwood)

A good example of urban life would be the Chinese!!!

Even though the Mongols invaded China in In conclusion, we can make many observations about this pastoral urban relationship. We can see that while the cycle of migration between these two types of communities allowed civilization to progress, it didnt always happen in the prettiest of ways. And that while pastoral communitys begat urban areas, and made a framework that allowed them to function, they were also less culturally advanced then their more dense counterparts. To end, we realize that in our modern we can see this relationship expounded on many levels. From the slums of Mumbai, to the small seeds of sustainable agriculture in Africa, we can see that the relationship between cities

and their pastoral counterparts will continue to define humanity as long as we continue to have society.

Adams, Paul. Experiencing World History. n.d. Atwood, Christopher P. The Encyclopedia of Mongolia and the Mongol Empire. . New York, 2004. Bairoch. 1988. Bawden, Charles. Mongolian-English Dictionary. London: K. Paul International, 1997. Bellwood, Peter. First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies. 2004. Brusasco. Theory and practice in the study of Mesopotamian domestic space. 2004. Childe, Gorden. The Urban Revolution. 2008, n.d. Fagan, Brian. 70 Great Inventions of the Ancient World. Thames and Hudson, 2004. Smith, Michael. The Earliest Cities. In Urban Life: Readings in Urban Anthropology,. 2002. The Metropolitan Museum of Art. http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/uruk/hd_uruk.htm. October 2003. <http://www.metmuseum.org/toah/hd/uruk/hd_uruk.htm>. University of Washington . Central Asian Nomads. 19 September 2006. 11th January 2011 <depts.washington.edu/silkroad/culture/animals/animals.edu>.