Dawn of History
Exactly what time we can call as the dawn of history?No one knows the answer.Actually it’s hard to find out.If not impossible,identify the moment when all those events that we call “Prehistoric” (before the days of recorded history) gave way to those which are part of our history. We do not call it was a”moment”,but it was a long,gradual process that developed over many,many, many years. The dawn of history was, when legends were first passed on from one generation to the next.
Life was given to us approximately a billion years ago. We have much evidence of that. Recently discovered bones of the Australopithecus, the apelike creature which scientists believe to be the ancestor of modern humans,date back four million years.There is also evidence that human beings were living in groupsand making tools on all the continents about 30,000 years ago. Petro-glyphs (rock paintings) date back to at least 10,000 years ago. There are complicated murals painted on the walls of caves in many countries like Spain and France that date back 18,000 years.
So,if humans have been on earth for thousands of centuries, how and where did the recorded, written, communicated history begin? But, before answering that, we need to understand what we understand here by ‘history’?
In simple terms, history is a deliverance of information of the past. If so, would the survival technics taught by the animals to their children be considered as a ‘history’? Because, that’s passing on of some kind of information, and that’s what we do today being a modern, brainy humans. Actually, learning about our history is passing on the information itself.
If so, we can say, passing information happens, at the very beginning of life, in very tiny cells called DNA. But, if we take that path of passing information, the introduction alone would be the size of a small book. So, let’s stick to a history regarding with the human interaction in it.
The dawn of history (with human interaction) probably occurred independently in all parts of the world inhabited by people. We can say that History began with a spoken language of communication, and in turn this led to stories. Storytellers would remember and retell tales of events that had happened in the past. Like this, the myths (story handed down from very ancient times aboutthe cause of some natural event, the gods and heroes) and legend of the world’s cultures were born.
Many of these early stories were lost, but some may have survived and gradually evolved into ancient legends that are still remembered today.
ORGANIZED SOCIETIES DEVELOPED (6000 BC)
Human beings had first formed themselves into groups or bands by 20,000 BC. These groups lived in camps and were often semi-permanent. In the beginning, there weren’t any long-lasting settlements because people were nomadic (a number of a group of people who have no fixed home and move according to the seasons from place to place in search of food, water and grazing land). They moved with the seasons and followed their sources of food, which included wild animals and seasonal plants.
In 8000 BC, people of Middle East discovered that they could control the plants and animals which provided food. They learned how to cultivate the fields and gardens. They also learned to gather herds of sheep and cattle. Therefore the area around the River Tigris and Euphrates where Syria and Iraq are sat today become known as the “Fertile Crescent.”
After that, it was here; in ancient Mesopotamia (from the Greek word meaning “the land between the rivers”) that large numbers of people ceased to be nomadic and started construction of permanent building for dwellings. This was the time of the first human cities. Therefore in approximately 6000 BC the Fertile Crescent became the “Cradle of Civilization”.After some years, in these cities people set up systems of government to rule themselves and the societies that had developed as a result of their living together permanently.
DAWN OF COMMUNICATION SYSTEM
The ability to draw or write symbols with meanings is unique to the human species, and it is one of the most important differences between us and all other creatures on Earth. Humans were drawing and painting symbols on rocks as long ago as 35,000 BC. And such illustrations were an important part of people’s lives for centuries.
However, it was not until about 3500 BC, over 320 centuries later, that people had the idea of developing a set of simple, widely understood symbols-letter-that represented the sounds used in speech and could be combined in different ways to make up what we call sentences, such a system is called phonetic alphabet.
The first phonetic alphabet was the Cuneiform alphabet which was developed by the ancient Sumerians. Its widespread use throughout the Mesopotamian region preceded Egyptian hieroglyphics. It was from the Cuneiform alphabet that the Hebrew and Arabic alphabets are derived. It was also a precursor of the Greek alphabet, which in turn led to the Roman alphabet used today in English, French, German and most other Western languages. The Cyrillic alphabet used in Russia and other Slavic countries also developed from the ancient Greek alphabet. The Chinese alphabet was born somewhat later than those of the ancient Middle East, and it was borrowed from use as the basis for the alphabets elsewhere in Asia, such as in Japan and Korea.