Theme 1: History,Science, and Trade By: Lindsay Nelson "
What is History? History us a story or a collection of events that is somehow interpreted and explained Societies and individuals explain and justify and validate themselves by presenting history in the forms of national sagas, poems, news reports, drama, folksongs, speeches, paintings, documentaries, seminars, books, posters, monuments, or genealogies. A historical event has value to a person in the context of their own experience. The value comes from the relevancy of the person.
Joe Nickell is a man who is using modern technologies to reveal and solve mysteries of the past. The latest he and other in his field are trying to solve is the 18.5 minute erasure from the Watergate tapes. Some historical mysteries that have been discovered of solved because of recent technology are: the discovery of the lost cities of Herakleion off the coast of Egypt and Ubar in the Arabian Desert, the fact that Jesse James is in fact buried in his own grave so he didn’t fake his death, and DNA tests on a body exhumed from the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in 1998 led to a positive identification, giving his family peace of mind after almost 30 years of uncertainty. From all of this we can gather that history is not only story telling and remembering people, places and date, but also science and discovery.
The Journey of Man Luca Cavelli-Sforza was first to find blood could link people with their ancestors He believed that everyone was in some way related. His evidence behind this came from the blood of isolated tribes of people. All of mankind started as around 10,000 people living in Africa. One tribe decided to break off and journey into the unknown to find other places to live. The San busmen tribe are the direct descendents of original tribe from Africa. This is thought because their branch in the world’s family tree is the first to split from out most ancient ancestors. Language is something that has changed and evolved throughout history and time. The bushmen are the only tribes that have retained the “clicking” language that is believed to have originated from our ancestors.
The journey of the original African people is a puzzle, but they actually had many tools that helped them survive and travel. A new language was one, but they also had state of the art tools such as bow and arrows made from bone and stone. They used clues from the ground to track and animals to eat. Climate may have been one reason for the tribes decision to travel. It seems around this time the world was facing an ice age that sucked all of the moisture into the ice caps and made bigger and more deserts in Africa. The once lush areas of Africa suffered a drought which made hunting very hard for the people, forcing them to follow. The next oldest human remains were found in Australia
Catastrophe! 535, 536, 541 were 3 of the worst years according to tree ring patterns Because of these tree ring growth patterns, many evidence was collected to suggest a time period in the mid 6th century with long stretched of winters and short summers Different people believe different things caused a shift in the climate. Some believe it was a meteor shower that had a large number of small pieces of the meteor.• A volcanic eruption is also believed to be a cause for the climate shift.• Ice tubes taken from Greenland and Antarctica can be use to test for different chemicals that would indicate either a meteor shower or a volcanic eruption.• Tubes taken from around 535 A.D. had a huge spike in the amount of sulfate in them which indicates a volcanic eruption• There is also evidence of the sulfate spike in Antarctica too.
• Bizarre weather followed the volcanic eruption• The sun darkened and the snow fell yellow. Huge amounts of frost and famine followed the change in weather.• The infamous Krakatoa volcano in Japan is believed to be the culprit of the massive volcanic eruption around 535 A.D.
Changing Interpretations 102 people ventured on the Mayflower to New England only six weeks before the winter. Only 51 people made it to spring. The people from the Mayflower survived by raiding abandoned Indian houses and graves. They went from village to village where they found mounds of dead people. A French ship had landed there before the Mayflower and brought with them a disease that is thought to have killed about 90% of the coastal population. Evidence suggests that Indians mostly viewed Europeans with disdain. The 2 people were too different in many ones. One way was in how they used the land. Indians used the whole land while Europeans used small plots. Europeans also domesticated animals while Native Americans grew crops to bring large game like elk and bison to them.
In the rainforest in Brazil, it has long been thought that human presence was recent and before such time the rainforest could not sustain a civilization. Archaeologists have now discovered that the Amazon in Brazil contained a network of 1,000-year-old towns and villages. A 15-mile-square region at the headwaters of the Xingu River contains at least 19 villages The villages were connected by a system of broad, parallel highways, researchers report in todays issue of Science. The Xinguano people who occupied the area not only built the complex towns but dramatically altered the forest to meet their needs, clearing large areas to plant orchards while preserving other areas to provide them with wood, medicine and animals.
The World and Trade In the late 1400s in what is now Spain, Ferdinand of Aragon and Isabella of Castile started creating a more powerful Spain by funding trips for Columbus and conquering land such as Atlantic Islands while Portugal was experiencing internal struggle. Ferdinand and Isabella were already receiving funding from Italy for exploration, but when Lorenzo de Medici died, France and Spain went into war over control of Italy, with Spain being the victor. This gave Spain even greater access to Italian resources. In 1453 the formation of the Ottoman capital Istanbul ended the Byzantine Empire. The sultan of the Ottoman empire at this time was Sultan Bayezid II At this time the Ottoman empire was the biggest metropolis in the Mediterranean basin. Major military action was to conquer Hungary, which they eventually did in 1526 By the beginning of 1492, Turks and other Islamic people covered a huge area of land that spanned from the south of Spain across North Africa and down into Africa as far as Mozambique. The Muslims first spread their reign into the Holy Land and Persia for Arabia, they then extended from India through southeast Asia and into China and the Philippines. Christianity and Catholicism lagged greatly behind and at this time the Muslim religion was vastly prominent.
In 1492, most of India was under Muslim domination except for the Hindu kingdom of Vijayanagar in the south. The Indian subcontinent was used to new rulers and cultures in their society because they were over taken by so many different people so often. The Muhgals were the next to take over and with them came a very liberal government that was open to different religions. Tome Pires was Portugals first ambassador to China. At this time, China was under the paternal rule of the Ming Dynasty with Xiao-zong as their leader. At this time he was in a struggle with the Confucian bureaucracy because they thought he relied too much on a foreign-born minister and his wife’s relatives. Zheng he traveled to explore many areas from 1405-1433 that brought in many great treasures from other countries, but cost the Chinese government thousands of dollars. After 1433 it was decided that no more explorations would take place. They felt that a naval force was unnecessary because there was no threat from the sea. They instead turned their resources to finishing the Great Wall of China. The Chinese at this time pushed agriculture and disdained commerce. In 1492 the Mayan civilization had to central ruling. Half a century earlier, the city of Mayapan ruled over the northern Yucatan peninsula, but it was only one of 16 tribes that occupied the area. This disunity between the tribes is what kept Spain from conquering the area and kept the Mayan civilization in existence until the 1700.
The Incas, like the Aztecs, went through a huge growth at the end of the fifteenth century. With Tupac Inca Yupan-qui as their leader, the Incas were able to create a unified empire from the present Columbia-Ecuador border to central Chile. This was done in only 30 years and was accomplished mostly because of the 7,000 miles of road that served as a transport system which allowed curriers to carry mail and speed up the communication process. By 1492 the planet was at the end of a long warm spell. Populations were starting to multiply so quickly is was becoming hard to feed all the people. Each area had a different food staple: wheat in western Eurasia, rice in eastern Eurasia, and corn in the Americas. The food by which each area depended on influenced their societies. The wheat that was cultivated in Europe (along with barley, oats, and rye) was a low-yield crop grown on individual plots that required the cooperative labor of humans and animals to turn the soil. Beasts also provided the manure required for the intense fertilization of wheat