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Knowledge Encyclopedia History!: The Past as You’ve Never Seen it Before

Knowledge Encyclopedia History!: The Past as You’ve Never Seen it Before PDF

Author: DK

Publisher: DK Children


Publish Date: August 1, 2019

ISBN-10: 0241363373

Pages: 208

File Type: PDF

Language: English

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Book Preface

Timeline of the  ancient world
Early humans lived in small groups, moving  from place to place to find new sources of food.  But with the development of farming, many  groups began to settle down in fertile areas,  forming larger communities.
The earliest towns and cities were built in Mesopotamia (in  modern-day Iraq) and along the Nile in Egypt, more than  5,000 years ago. Centuries later, the cultures of the Greeks,  Phoenicians, and Romans developed around the edges of  the Mediterranean Sea. In Asia, civilizations sprang up  on the shores of the Persian Gulf, around the Indus River  in modern-day Pakistan, and along the Yangtze River in  China. Ancient regions traded with each other, but they  also competed for land and resources, leading to war,  and the creation of the world’s first empires

Human ancestors
Modern humans are the only survivors of a family  of apes that walked upright. These apes are called  hominins, and they first appeared in Africa around  seven million years ago.
Hominins diverged from other primates that would  later evolve into human’s closest living relative, the  chimpanzee. There were many species of hominins,  but only some are the ancestors of modern  humans. Over millions of years, they began to  walk on two legs, evolved increasingly larger  brains, started to make tools, and learned to  control fire. These adaptations, as well as many  others, were passed on to modern humans.

Out of Africa
The first humans evolved in Africa 300,000 years  ago. When the climate in the previously impassable  Sahara Desert briefly turned wetter 100,000 years  later, they started to explore elsewhere. When humans migrated out of Africa, they shared the  planet with several different kinds of human-like species  called hominins. The most common were the Neanderthals  in Europe and western Asia and the Denisovans in East  Asia. All early humans were hunter-gatherers. They moved  from place to place as they searched for fresh sources of  food. This lifestyle meant early humans were great  travellers. Humans’ ability to travel and adapt to changing  environments meant they survived while all other  hominins went extinct by about 40,000 years ago. Over  many generations, early humans gradually travelled  further and further. By 15,000 years ago, humans had  spread into every continent (except Antarctica).

Early humans
Earth was undergoing an Ice Age between 60,000  and 40,000 years ago. Early humans living in Europe and  northern Asia at that time experienced a cold and dry  climate, and much of Europe and Asia were covered  with steppes (treeless grasslands).
Early humans lived in small groups of between 25 and 50 people.  They kept on the move and lived in temporary shelters. There  were no leaders, and men and women were equally important.  While men hunted large animals, women gathered plant foods  and cared for children. Early humans made a wide range of tools,  including bone needles for sewing and harpoons for fishing.  Because they travelled from place to place, early humans came  into contact with a range of foods and  as a result they had a varied diet.  They were also very adaptable  to changes in the climate.

The first farmers
By around 9000 bce, the way humans lived had begun to  change. Instead of constantly being on the move, hunting  wild animals and gathering wild plants, humans started  to produce their own sources of food by farming. People started to plant seeds in fertile soils and to grow crops.  They also learned to domesticate (tame and raise) animals, such as  sheep and goats, for food or to help them tend to crops. This was the  beginning of farming. Farming could produce much more food than  hunting and gathering, so many humans started to settle down in  permanent villages to be close to their crops. If farmers produced  more food than they needed at the time, they stored it to be eaten  when food was hard to come by. This meant that farming produced  more reliable supplies of food than hunting and gathering.

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