Traditions and Encounters, AP Edition (Bentley), 5th Edition

Chapter 1: Before History


The first chapter of Traditions and Encounters sets the stage for the drama of world history by presenting the major milestones in the development of humans from their earliest appearance on earth to the dawn of civilization. This chapter addresses the physical evolution of the species and their migrations throughout the globe, as well as the revolutionary transformation from all humans surviving by hunting and gathering to the majority living in agricultural societies. The results of this remarkable transformation include the following:

  • An unprecedented population explosion due to the increase in the food supply
  • Permanent settlement in villages and, later, in cities
  • The specialization of labor, which led to the development of craft industries and other professions
  • The opportunity to accumulate wealth and the resulting emergence of social class differences
  • The development of fertility-based religions and the increasing elaboration of religious institutions
Traditions & Encounters, 5e
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