Now you ask us which one of the primary or secondary characteristics we believe to be the most important? Well I say agriculture and these are my reasons for my decision. If these ancient cultures did not realize and understand the importance of agriculture and learn to manipulate it into intensive agriculture they would have ceased to exist, and we would not be where we are today. I know you are saying hold on wait a minute all these ancient city/state collapsed and are no more, and for some of them there is hardly any archaeological evidence to show that they even existed, so what does this have to do with us? Even though these ancient civilizations collapsed and disappeared their methods and ways still lived on from one culture to another. If these people’s had not taken a crock and moved it to their liking and learn how to domesticate it to fit their needs they would have starved. This is how they accomplished intensive agriculture from my viewpoint. First they found a plants they would use as their main food crop and they felt that they could live off this crop and it would help their community to thrive and flourish. They moved this food crop onto a plot of land that they had learned how to cultivate and fertilize properly. Next they learn how to control their water sources and were able to irrigate this plot of land when needed to ensure crop growth. The controlling of the water source with also a huge feat within itself, it took a lot of thinking and planning and manpower to accomplish such a plan. But when all these factors were put together your final result is a domesticated crop, yielded by use of intensive agriculture. Also included in this segment is the importance of the domesticated animal. These cultures learned the importance of domesticating the animal to use for labor in building, traveling and working the fields where the intensive agriculture was taking place. Also with the domestication of animals it gave them another food source. They could get meat, milk, oils, and much more from animals. Also they could use their other parts like the hide and bones for daily living practices. Domesticating an animal was less time-consuming than going out to hunt, which in turn allowed them time to practice and involve their intensive agriculture.
I would also like to say that I believe the secondary characteristic writing was also important because without some form of writing we would not be able to identify some of these many cultures that we are finding today.
Mayan ideology is white interesting to me even though we can never fully understand another culture’s ideology we can try the best we can to interpret. The Mayan belief was that the world was too complementary dimensions the first one in which where they lived and the other known as the other a.k.a. the Otherworld. The Otherworld was where God’s ancestors and other supernatural beings existed they were all connected the Mayans saw their own dimension as three-layered the first was a starry arch of heaven the middle was known as the starting middle world which is the earth which was to flower and bear fruit and this was to be done by the blood of the Kings the last was the dark waters of the Underground below. Now as I’m reading the chapters in the book I’m also say that they believed there was 13 levels in the heavens and nine levels in the Underworld each watched over by a particular God. They believed the sky was a big crocodile like monster, when it rained that was the crocodile’s supernatural blood that was given to them when a human sacrifice was made on the earth. They also thought the human world was a floating city that was on the back of a crocodile animal or turtle and that the gods were concentrated at very specific points such as caves and mountains. the Mayan believed that the PowerPoint center could beat intensified and charged with energy this is like kings built temples on the same spot time and time again. Blood letting was a highly focused ritual the Mayan believe that bloodletting could give birth to a God or incest or make you able to materialize in a physical form on the earthly plane of existence this would not only done by eating meats but also by priests and even low peasant farmers.
Now I would like to move into a little bit of the Aztecs. Aztecs were one of the last tribes to be in central Mexico. Aztecs were very feared by other political groups because of their thirst for human sacrifice and other barbaric rituals. The Aztecs were highly stratified in the class. They were led by divine King and underneath them were nobles that belong to the royal house then the general large populace of commoners. the Aztecs main God was the Sun God and their life revolved around him, they believe the extinction of the sun would lead to the end of humanity. To keep their son got happy human blood was a central part of the ritual to postpone the end of the world. They would do this by ripping a human heart from the sacrifice person to keep the sun happy and to make sure of its rebirth. Sometimes it would not just be one sacrifice but one right after another heart after heart being ripped out of the victims and then the poor victim’s body being shoved down the Temple steps and another victim laid on the altar to have their faith sealed to appease the fungi. Sometimes once these bodies were thrown down the steps they would be flayed in other words to have the skin removed from the bodies and sometimes even be eaten by the people below. But to let everybody know these people who were sacrificed were 99% of the time war captives and they knew their fate. In some cases young men were selected each year and may you live in the lap of luxury all the best food all the pretty women but at the end of the year they knew they would be sacrificed, why someone would do this voluntarily I’m not sure. In some cases parents throughout the whole empire would turn over their infants and children should government officials to be used in the annual sacrifice rituals, while that shows a lot of love and compassion for your family. Now it’s believed many of these sacrificial victims along with soldiers who died in battle, people who were struck by whitening or mothers who died in childbirth they believe these people to spend eternity in various different paradises. Well I wouldn’t do any of this to see what kind of paradise I’d end up in this seems all very barbaric to me, but that’s what entices us to this Aztec way of life the whole barbaric way, it’s like they say it’s a train wreck you don’t want to look but you just have to. We as humans no matter what we say are drawn to this kind of grisly information it treats us to know more and why that it was done even though we know we should not want to know or be interested in.
This civilization is very interesting and mysterious. People say that the monsoon plated up or enroll in the social collapse of the Harrapan society. What interests me the most about the society is that it was densely settled and Pat with large and small towns and villages but these in the villages were independent unities they were in no way a city system nor were they unified. The structures of their towns or villages were very unique they were grid like patterns that took much architectural ability to build. These grid like towns and villages are very unique and I would consider them special because everything is marked out according to how it is to be used you have alleyways at a certain distance and link main roadways are wider and there is even drainage systems and these very early towns which I find to be amazing. also put in place was public sanitation which it is hard to believe that this was thought of at such an early time in our world. When today most places or I should not say most of some places still do not have public sanitation systems. Their mud brick style structure buildings and walls are kind of standardized all the mud bricks are almost the same size and shape everything is very uniform. What is another interesting fact is that they saw there was always a danger flooding the basement a lot of their time managing water they built irrigation canals to manage water at all times to prevent flooding to irrigate their crops and to just move it along. The Harrapan society had a very technological trade system their ceramics were of high quality in another interesting piece is that their stone beads contain a lot of information. The trade was always less looking they extended their train network and Iran and along the coast of the Arabian Peninsula but it was always a West looking trade system. Maritime trade became a big bang during the social legacy of early Harrapans this increase their social complexity. The Harrapan language has still not been deciphered. It is going to be interesting to find out their language because it is very different from white we have encountered from other societies so far they have 417 distinct symbols found which in contrast are somewhat like those of the Egyptian hieroglyphics. But we cannot understand or identify the underlying language the average length of their inscriptions as less than five signs in the longest is only 17 this makes it hard for the archaeologists to even start trying to decipher the language they do not really have anything to go by. There has been no bilingual text found to help them so unfortunately there is no Rosetta Stone for this language. Their script is very beautiful pictures of animals that are very detailed with a lot of thought put into them. So I cannot wait to find out the results of this language because I think it’s going to be very interesting and very insightful.
Mesopotamia should be a very interesting outlook compared to Egypt. What amazes me the most is how these people chose to live on the plains and most of them not near a main water source, like we saw in Egypt everybody conjugated to the Nile River. Here Mesopotamia people lived where there was no water at all, though some people did live on the Euphrates and Tigris River many did not. These people were not controlled by the water ways but then the waterways to work for them. In Mesopotamia canals were built for those people and communities who did not live right on the rivers. This took a lot of cooperation of the community to do this not just one farmer and his family could accomplish such a feat. This also took a lot of central control to get this done. But unlike in Egypt how the community was used by center control to build the pyramids , these pyramids did nothing for these people but these canals I way of life for them they have some stake in this project. the canal system took a lot of thinking and planning just like the pyramids but this was a live or die situation. Then we go into the complexity of the beginnings of Mesopotamia the Hassuna was mostly in the northern plains and they were connected to the northern part of the river so they do not have to build this extensive canal system so life for them was a little easier. Then you have the Samarra they are located with in the same region in both of these cultures are material based but here you start see craft specialization and the social inequalities. The Halaf I find interesting and would like to learn more about due to their very special ceramics and their awesome beehive houses. Then we get into the Ubaid area which consists of four different periods and contained complex chiefdoms. The one that is interesting to me is the Ubaid 3/4 periods. In this. You have intense and rapid urbanization and it spreads northward like wildfire. The material culture spreads rapidly along the Arabian Peninsula down the Mediterranean coast and to Oman. This is a great trade system and is very important. The spread of trade gathers all these communities into one big trade network. The biggest urban trade center is Eridu, in Urdu there is social stratification by the means of cemetery complexes, and there is large public couples the service social and economic areas and last but not least there is can based delete who wield the power of the temples granaries and irrigation system. And one thing very interesting thing in Mesopotamia unlike Egypt it was never unified it was just lots of city states working together as one for the benefit of the trade system. another exciting thing that happened is the largest city of Urik that emerged in Europe writing was developed on cities were developed in the growth of centralized temple religious power & secular control. What interests me the most is the writing the this was done using bulla which were hollow spears that contained 3-D shapes and stamps tokens that were standardized and these tokens would be put inside these bulla and sealed and then they were stamped on the outside. What is interesting is all this work is done for this writing put all this writing is is accounting records of what was sold to who. Not what was happening not someone’s life but plain old boring accounting records. The symbols found on these tokens in on the outside of the bulla are pictograms like you would find the hieroglyphics in Egypt. It is also thought about it this way of writing is a way to communicate between the different ethnic groups without the entire region. Because unlike Egypt only has one ethnic group Mesopotamia was full of many different kinds of groups of ethnicity. So I am very excited to learn more about this culture’s writing and communication because I find it very interesting. This Uruk urban center became a large city-state and in turn caused urban implosion.
I would like to touch base in this blog in many different things we’ve covered to this day. it is very interesting to see the emergence of agriculture and animal domestication and how it evolves to create a societies. the ancient Egyptians domesticated dogs I figure for hunting purposes and for protection. They domesticated donkeys for the purpose maybe of travel to carry loads and maybe even for agricultural purposes.and then comes the question of why they went from hunting and gathering to agriculture? My guess would be that they may be got sick of moving around and found a place that they wanted to stay ahead good ground and a water source so they started domesticated plants along with their animals. And the climate might have had something to do with this too with the climate change their normal food were not available. so they had to do something in order to survive.
now in the terms of ceramics I find it very interesting how the upper and lower Egyptian Ceramics differ so much in style and quality. I understand that the Lower Egyptians had better quality clay but their craftsmanship no doubt surpassed this of their neighbors of Upper Egypt. It is neat how are the ceramic vessels were made for different purposes some were used as regular household items others were used as fine China. it also amazes me how they made hole into their home floors to hold these vessels so they would not tip. what I also find interesting is the shop they found with tons of dip it in the floor to hold all these vessels for storage in trade this must have been a very big market hub.
The rich soil of the Nile River Valley is very highly praised. No wonder this is the best cropland all around, each year the Nile turns a muddy red color full of rich soil and nutrients about August just goes on for a few months. Then the Nile will rise and rise and it will eventually overflow in flood the Nile Valley replacing the soil with fresh new nutrient rich soil for the new crop season. this is great for all its residents and everybody who relies on it but it also is also of fear for the residents. Because if the Nile floods too much their homes and everything they own are gone and if the Nile doesn’t follow it usual seasonal course then there crabs will not make it the following year and they are on the verge of starvation so it is always a gamble for them.
the last point I would like to touch upon is the Namar palette what I do not understand how the archaeologists can get so much out of this one stone. I know we do not have a lot of physical records to go back on most of our information is from burials but they always refer to the stone and they take it as the godforsaken truth. Hopefully someday they will find more records to go off from so we have more concrete evidence of how the upper and lower Egyptians unified.