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Book: First Civilizations

Chapter: 2 Agriculture and the origins of civilization

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.18654


This chapter explores first what agriculture is and goes on to explore how it became the first great technology to affect the development of human civilization as we know it today. The chapter looks at various theories regarding the origins of agriculture and looks at various outcomes presumed to be related to this: the origins of urban populations/cities and the development of writing systems. Topics discussed:

-origins of agriculture

- the development of writing (pictographs and cuneiform, writing in Egypt, the development and spread of the alphabet)

- the continuing development of cities, the temple and formation of early cities)

- natural resources

- increased human contact

- innovations in leadership

Chapter Contributors

  • Robert Chadwick ( - book-auth-70) 'Bishop's University'