3-4 essay questions which you should answer in about 1000 words total (there is no strict limit). | Homework Writings Help

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Format: There will be 3-4 essay questions which you should answer in about 1000 words total (there is no strict limit). The questions will include at least one (probably more than one) text or other artifact that you should analyze in relation to the topics below. These may include texts we read for class. I will run through one or two sample artifact questions in class. You may use whatever books and notes you have, as well as internet resources (at your own risk), provided no one else assists you in writing your answers. You do not need to provide citations for your answers unless otherwise specified. (I may require citations in questions about texts.)

List of topics:
human biological evolution and migration from Africa: How did anatomically modern humans differ from earlier hominins? How long ago did non-African people’s ancestors leave Africa?

the neolithic revolution: What was the neolithic revolution, what made it possible? What were its immediate effects? Where did it occur and when? What technological developments were connected with it?
urbanism, states, complex societies: In what regions did early states, cities, and complex societies appear? Which appeared first in different regions—cities, large states, or social stratification?

division of labor: What new roles (jobs, classes, &c.) emerged in complex societies? How were specific new roles connected with long-distance trade, technological progress, and the formation of governments (and how)?
agriculture and animal husbandry: How were agriculture and pastoralism different, and how did each of them contribute to the formation of states, complex societies, division of labor, social stratification, and empires?

religion and philosophy: How did new social structures (division of labor, stratification, rise of states, urbanism…) change the way people spoke about the divine/the heavens? How did newer forms of religions such as Akhenaten’s monotheism, Judaism, and Buddhism, respond to changes in social structure? How were devotees of philosophical schools such as Confucianism and Legalism, and holders of government office in China, Greece, and Rome, similar to the priesthoods of South Asia (India + Pakistan) and the Middle East, and how were they different?

political history: What technological, economic, and other factors enabled large states to form, and what factors caused them to fail in various ways—to break up, be conquered, or disappear completely? What is our evidence people were aware or unaware of these factors? How did states change social relations and the way people understood their relations to others in their community?

artifacts and other evidence: Be familiar with the different forms of evidence used to understand all of these topics. This includes many forms of archaeological evidence, including settlements, remains of agriculture, topography (ways that humans transformed the landscape by building walls, hills, canals, &c.), tools and decorative objects, architectural remains (including remains of small houses), and graves. It also includes written texts, especially texts we read for class.

Sample Questions:

The first author known to history is Enheduanna, an Assyrian princess, who wrote hymns to gods worshiped by the Assyrians, celebrating their victories in battle. How does her existence reflect (or not reflect) social and political changes that occurred from the Neolithic Revolution to her own lifetime? (Note that we don’t know much about her other than that she was daughter of an Assyrian ruler and the author of those hymns. That and whatever you know about Mesopotamian society and the Assyrian empire is what you have to work with to answer the question.)

Compare “Instructions for Little Pepi” and “The Debate between the Hoe and the Plow” to selected passages from Confucius’ Analects, with regard to their attitude towards lower social classes.

Imagine an alien visiting earth in a spaceship in 6000 BC, able to observe humans at the time and study the history of the species. How easily could the alien have predicted where the first cities would appear? What facts known (by us) today about neolithic settlements around the world would lead the alien to make an accurate or inaccurate prediction? (To answer this question, compare different neolithic sites in the Wikipedia list, also refer to Reilly. Also, consider what other places the first cities might have appeared, but did not.)

How did the invention of the chariot change the political history of the ancient world, and why? What cultural, biological/agricultural, and technological developments made the chariot possible?

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