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The Meaning Of Being Human Essay

1320 words - 5 pages

“Here, then is the beginning of when it was decided to make man, and what must enter into the flesh of man was sought” (Tignor, 98).Imagine you wake up one day to the sound not of your cell phone alarm but the sound of bleating sheep. No microwave to heat water, instead your water comes from a stream and your heat from wood collected a mile away, this was how you would have lived, early in 5000 BCE. Man’s transition into controlled food production and sedentary urban living close to five thousand years ago marks one of the most important events that have occurred in the evolution and survival of man. The purpose of this essay will be a discussion aiming to validate the following statement: Humans living in ancient agrarian and riverine civilizations were better placed and this allowed humans to develop their individual personalities and better withstand environmental risk factors.Ancient civilizations such as Mesopotamia, Egypt and Harappa began life along the banks of rivers such as the Tigris, Euphrates, Nile and The Indus Valley (Tignor, 53). These civilizations house prime examples of complex societies such as Uruk and Saqarra. The cityscape laid the foundation stone for the development of religion, art, architecture, economics, but above all the catalyst for human innovation and creativity that led to social, political and economic revolution. According to Kevin Reilly author of Worlds of History, some of the changes that the urban revolution brought about included “particulars like writing and money and metallurgy to abstractions like ... visual acuity, and anonymity” (Reilly, 32).The advent of food production enabled man’s move from a nomadic foraging society to a settled agricultural society as domestication of plants and animals enabled a greater reliability in food supply and an increased capacity to provide food to a larger population. However, man was able to ensure some degree of survival through the development of food storage such as pottery.Early agrarian societies such as Uruk experieced the debilitating and unpredictable flooding of the Euphrates. Never before was man able to control the flow of water to his crops, irrigation such as canal systems and ditches, helped farmers better anticipate the flow of water. Other technical innovations such as the oxen driven plough, or the use of polished stone axe to clear fields in China, were the precursors to a steady, surplus food supply and a huge increase in population. According to Tignor, people began to shift away from the fields and became “specialized craft workers...[who produced] pottery, baskets, textiles or tools, which they ... trade[d] [with] farmers and pastoralists for food” (Tignor, 42).Kevin Reilly in his article “Cities and Civilizations” describes civilization as the “ever-expanding body of knowledge and skill (Reilly, 37). Indeed, when compared with village life, knowledge of the sciences, medicine, engineering...

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