World History

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Category: World History

Date Submitted: 02/27/2012 04:56 AM

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The history of the world or human history is the history of humanity from the earliest times to the present, in all places on Earth, beginning with the Paleolithic Era. It excludes non-human natural history and geological history, except insofar as the natural world substantially affects human lives. World history encompasses the study of written records, from ancient times forward, plus additional knowledge gained from other sources, such as archaeology. Ancient recorded history[1] begins with the invention, independently at several sites on Earth, of writing, which created the infrastructure for lasting, accurately transmitted memories and thus for the diffusion and growth of knowledge.[2][3] However, the roots of civilization reach back to the period before writing — humanity's prehistory.

Human prehistory begins in the Paleolithic Era, or "Early Stone Age". Later, during the Neolithic Era (New Stone Age), came the Agricultural Revolution (between 8000 and 5000 BCE) in the Fertile Crescent, where humans first began the systematic husbandry of plants and animals.[4][5][6] Agriculture spread to neighboring regions and developed independently elsewhere, until most humans lived as farmers in permanent settlements.[7] The relative security and increased productivity provided by farming allowed these communities to expand. They grew into increasingly larger units in parallel with the evolution of ever more efficient means of transport.

Surplus food enabled the division of labor, the rise of a leisured upper class, and the development of cities and with them civilization. The growing complexity of human societies necessitated systems of accounting, which led to writing.[8]

Civilizations developed on the banks of life-sustaining bodies of fresh water (lakes and rivers). By 3000 BCE, they had arisen in the Middle East's Mesopotamia (the "land between the Rivers" Euphrates and Tigris),[9] on the banks of Egypt's River Nile,[10][11][12] and in the Indus River...