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Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations


TTC - Human Prehistory and the First Civilizations
36 lectures of 30 minutes - 233 mb - mp3
by Brian Fagan

This is a world tour of prehistory with profound links to who we are and how we live today.

2.5 Million Years of History
Due to the large spans of time and geography covered in this series, these lectures are divided into six sections:

Section I: Beginnings
You examine prehistory from Australopithecus africanus through Homo habilis (the first tool-making hominid), and Homo erectus (whose remains were first found on Java but whose origins lie in Africa) through the hardy Neanderthals who lived and hunted successfully in Europe despite the bitter grip of the last Ice Age 100,000 and more years ago.

You focus on the first human settlement of Africa as early as 800,000 years ago.

Section II: Modern Humans
This section tells the story of the great diaspora of anatomically modern humans in the late Ice Age. Whether and how these modern humans spread from the African tropics into southwestern Asia and beyond remains one of the great controversies among scholars of prehistory.

You follow Homo sapiens sapiens north into Europe some 45,000 years ago. You meet the Cro-Magnons, among the first known artists as well as hunter-gatherers, who exhibited degrees of spiritual awareness, social interaction, and fluid intelligence.

You venture into the frigid open plains of the Ukraine and Eurasia, where big-game hunters flourished in spite of nine-month winters. Moving to the Americas, debate over the origins of the first human settlement continues.

Section III: Farmers and Herders
This section describes perhaps the most important development in all human prehistory: the beginnings of agriculture and animal domestication.

This defining chapter began about 12,000 years ago, when hunter-gatherers in the Near East broke from the long human tradition of intensely mobile foraging and turned to more settled ways of life built around cultivating cereal grains or tending animals.

Section IV: Eastern Mediterranean Civilizations
You examine Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia and the intricate patchwork of city-states between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. You explore ancient Egypt, the Minoan civilization of Crete, the Mycenaeans, and the Hittites.

You learn about the Uluburun shipwreck of southern Turkey, a sealed capsule of international trade from 3,000 years ago.

Section V: Africans and Asians
You analyze the beginnings of South Asian civilization and the mysterious Harappan civilization of the Indus, which traded with Mesopotamia.

P. Fagan resumes the story of South Asian civilization after the collapse of the Harappan and shows how Mauryan rulers on the Ganges encouraged trading much farther afield.

You see the impact of monsoons which revolutionized maritime trading among Africa, India, and Southeast Asia, and explore Meroe, Aksum, and the coastal civilization of East Africa.

Several lectures cover the beginnings of civilization in China and Southeast Asia.

Section VI: Ancient Americans
Professor Fagan takes you into sophisticated chiefdoms and civilizations that developed in the Americas over the past 3,500 years, including Pueblo cultures of the North American Southwest and the Mississippian culture of the South and Southeast.

You learn about Mesoamerican civilization, primordial Olmec culture of the lowlands, and the spectacular ancient Maya civilization.

Moving to the highlands, you visit the city-states of Monte Albán in the Valley of Oaxaca and Teotihuacán near the Valley of Mexico. P. Fagan also describes the rise of Aztec civilization, followed by a journey to the Andes.

Finally, you explore the southern highlands, with the rise of Tiwanaku near Lake Titicaca, the Chimu civilization of the coast, and the huge Inca empire.

Course Lecture Titles
1. Introducing Human Prehistory
2. In the Beginning
3. Our Earliest Ancestors
4. The First Human Diaspora
5. The First Europeans
6. The Neanderthals
7. The Origins of Homo sapiens sapiens
8. The Great Diaspora
9. The World of the Cro-Magnons
10. Artists and Mammoth Hunters
11. The First Americans
12. The Paleo-Indians and Afterward
13. After the Ice Age
14. The First Farmers
15. Why Farming?
16. The First European Farmers
17. Farming in Asia and Settling the Pacific
18. The Story of Maize
19. The Origins of States and Civilization
20. Sumerian Civilization
21. Ancient Egyptian Civilization to the Old Kingdom
22. Ancient Egypt—Middle and New Kingdoms
23. The Minoan Civilization of Crete
24. The Eastern Mediterranean World
25. The Harappan Civilization of South Asia
26. South and Southeast Asia
27. Africa—A World of Interconnectedness
28. The Origins of Chinese Civilization
29. China—Zhou to the Han
30. Southeast Asian Civilizations
31. Pueblos and Moundbuilders in North America
32. Ancient Maya Civilization
33. Highland Mesoamerican Civilization
34. The Origins of Andean Civilization
35. The Inka and Their Predecessors
36. Epilogue

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Tags: AsiansSection, Ancient, Africans, CivilizationsSection, Mediterranean, Americans36, lectures, Section, Civilizations, Americans, Asians