Lecture Note 1 - History of the World - 1500CE Further Reading

Course: History of the World to 1500CE
Columbia University
YouTube Lectures - Richard Bulliet (RB)
Lecture 1 - Further reading 1.1

Introduction to World History - Youtube upload 2010

Below are my notes on points for further reading from lecture 1 prior to studying lecture 2.

Sources: Encyclopaedia Britannica, History World

FR 1.1 - The lecture has a small section on the domestication of animals and discussed the mesolithic period. This section requires further reading.


I am starting with the Mesolithic period (MP) expecting it to encompass domestication of animals. The timeframe for MP varies across the globe as it relates to material culture, actual evidence of that culture in the form of tools or other items that civilisation has made however broadly speaking it seems to cover 11,000 - 4,000BC. It is also referred to as the Middle Stone Age situated between Palaeolithic and Neolithic, or Old and New Stone Age.

The MP saw advancement in material culture, for example chipped stone pieces set in wooden handles creating a more advanced tool or polished stone pieces demonstrating an advancement in honing tools.

MP peoples were therefore able to increase the diversity of plant and animal resources they could access over Palaeolithic peoples, and it has been surmised that Neolithic peoples absorbed MP civilisations through introducing their cultural advances.

Animal domestication seems to have begin with wolves. History World suggests that stray or abandoned wolf cubs were raised and trained to aid people with hunting which lead to the development of dogs. 

The earliest evidence of a domesticated dog dates from 12,000 BC, close to the start of the MP. Other domestic animals such as sheep, goats, cattle and pigs are known from 9,000 - 7,000 BC are used at this time for a food source and for materials from their skin, dung, bones and fat.

It is not until 4,000 BC that humans start to utilise animals for farming of transport activities such as ploughing and pulling carts.

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