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Chapter 1                                                                                                                              Lesson 2


Building on the Past


Myth:  A story told by people to explain their past


Many things we take for granted today were made possible by the achievements of the people who came before us.  Example:  bicycle


Culture:  Consists of the behaviors, beliefs, customs, and attitudes of a group of people.  It is reflected in the art work, the literature, and traditions of the people.  It is affected by the geography and climate where people live.  It is passed down through generations.


The first human culture begin developing about two million years ago.


One of the first accomplishments of these culture was learning to make and use crude stone tools, such as sharp-edged rocks people used to hunt animals for food.

            People learned to work together to go after larger animals

            They developed rules of behavior for members to obey


A second important accomplishment of early cultures was learning to farm:

            About 9000 B.C., people settled down in one place for along time and produced their own food.

            Farmers produced crops to feed community, then other people had time to develop other skills, like pottery making or weaving.


Another important development was rise of cities in some parts of the world. 

            Had specialized workers, such as builders, bakers, and artists

            Extensive government

            A greater exchange of ideas

            Cultures change due to:


New ideas and inventions lead to new ways of doing things.  Examples: 

Invention of writing system allowed people to record their thoughts and discoveries and to communicate to others


Changes in environment.  Examples:

            Climate in an area can change

            Natural disasters   floods and earth quakes can change landscapes  making people move or adjust to new living conditions


Contact with other cultures.  Examples:

            When people from other cultures meet, they are exposed to ways of life of each culture


Today we live in a multicultural world.  We have learned from cultures of all parts of the world.