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Annual Editions is a series of over 65 volumes, each designed to provide convenient, inexpensive access to a wide range of current articles from some of the most respected magazines, newspapers, and journals published today. Annual Editions are updated on a regular basis through a continuous monitoring of over 300 periodical sources. The articles selected are authored by prominent scholars, researchers, and commentators writing for a general audience. The Annual Editions volumes have a number of common organizational features designed to make them particularly useful in the classroom: a general introduction; an annotated table of contents; a topic guide; an annotated listing of selected World Wide Web sites; and a brief overview for each section. Each volume also offers an online Instructor's Resource Guide with testing materials. Using Annual Editions in the Classroom is the general instructor's guide for our popular Annual Editions series and is available in print (0073301906) or online. Visit www.mhcls.com for more details.
AE World History Vol 1
Unit 1: Natural History and the Spread of HumankindUnit Overview
1. Stand and Deliver: Why Did Early Hominids Begin to Walk on Two Feet?, Ian Tattersall, Natural History, November 2003
What got humankind started on its unique evolutionary trajectory? The ability to walk upright on two feet—bipedalism is what it’s called—allowed hominids to outshine their prehistoric cousins. As their environment changed, they adapted. Once they had the ability to hunt and taste red meat, the competition was over. Bipedalism was here to stay! So was meat!
2. Gone but Not Forgotten, Richard Monastersky, The Chronicle of Higher Education, December 1, 2006
A recent advertising campaign and an ill-fated television sit-com have brought cavemen to a wider audience. Recently, geneticists, using DNA samples from Neanderthals, have concluded that their relationship with Homo sapiens was much closer than originally thought. Will the Neanderthal cavemen finally get the respect they deserve?
3. Out of Africa, Spencer Wells, Vanity Fair, July 2007
By examining human genomes, obtained through DNA samples, scientists have learned that all of us can trace our existence back to Africa. Since that continent’s peoples saved humankind from extinction, do we not have an obligation to assist Africans in their time of need?
4. Mapping the Past, Adam Goodheart, Civilization, March/April 1996
Genetic historians are using DNA analysis to track the migration of human beings. American Indians, for example, can be traced to a region of Mongolia, and Polynesians have been tracked to southeast Asia. DNA markers may eventually provide a "map'' of the entire human species.
5. First Americans, Karen Wright, Discover, February 1999
Long thought that the first humans in the New World crossed the Bering Strait at the end of the Ice Age, recent archaeological evidence seems to indicate that none of this may be true. Scientists continued to search for clues pertaining to who, how, and when the earliest Americans arrived.Unit 2: The Beginnings of Culture, Agriculture, and CitiesUnit Overview
6. Dawn of the City: Excavations Prompt a Revolution in Thinking about the Earliest Cities, Bruce Bower, Science News, February 9, 2008
The excavation of Tell Brak in northern Syria has cast new light on the history of urban development in ancient Mesopotamia. It also provides an interesting case study involving the rise and fall of Tell Brak, including the reasons for both.
7. The Dawn of Art, Andrew Curry, Archaeology, September/October 2007
Swabia today is a German region that many consider a center for creativity and innovation. The recent discovery of artifacts from as far as 40,000 years ago provides a possible line between present-day conditions and Swabia’s advanced ancient past.
8. Prehistory of Warfare, Steven A. LeBlanc, Archaeology, May/June 2003
According to Steven LeBlanc, humans have been at each others’ throats since the prehistoric era. This predilection for organized violence has been largely ignored by previous archaeologists, even though LeBlanc finds evidence in every corner of the world. Wars in prehistoric times—should we be surprised?
9. Writing Gets a Rewrite, Andrew Lawler, Science, June 29, 2001
The commonly-held belief that writing began in Mesopotamia five thousand years ago is being challenged by researchers today. Evidence gathered in recent years indicates that it may have developed simultaneously in Mesopotamia, Egypt, and the Indus River valley. But the findings, while promising, are not conclusive enough to make a case for that theory. Perhaps, future discoveries will shed new light on this important question.
10. Poets and Psalmists: Goddesses and Theologians, Samuel Noah Kramer, The Legacy of Sumer: Goddesses and Theologians, 1976
Was Sumerian society really male-dominated? Were women second-class citizens in civic, economic, legal, educational, and theological matters? Not according to recent archaeological discoveries. At least, prior to 2000 B.C.E., we have strong evidence that women of the ruling class enjoyed social and economic equality with men. And, in the heavenly realm, the Goddess Inanna retained her status as "Queen of Heaven.'' Enheduanna, daughter of Sargon the Great, presided over the temple in the city of Ur, as high priestess and resident liturgical poet.
11. The Cradle of Cash, Heather Pringle, Discover, October 1998
With the growth of cities and markets, there arose a need for a standard way to express the value of varied items. Simple barter became impossible. Silver rings, gold, and ingots provided this necessary medium of exchange in Mesopotamia as early as 2500 B.C.E.
12. How to Build a Pyramid, Bob Brier, Archaeology, May/June 2007
The size and scope of Egypt’s pyramids has attracted the attention of scholars who both marveled at and mused about their creation and, especially, how this was accomplished. Recently, a theory which argued for the presence of an internal ramp made a seemingly impossible construction seem possible.Unit 3: The Early Civilizations to 500 B.C.E.Unit Overview
13. Indus Valley, Inc., Shanti Menon, Discover, December 1998
Starting around 3300 B.C.E., the Indus Valley civilization built some of the earliest planned cities at Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, and they flourished for 700 years. Streets were laid out in a grid, and houses were constructed with standard-sized bricks. Practical and businesslike, the remains of the civilization reflect little warfare or elaborate burials.
14. Uncovering Ancient Thailand, Tom Gidwitz, Archaeology, July/August 2006
Charles Higham has spent forty years exploring and uncovering the archaeology of Southeast Asia. From his work emerge artifacts and fossils, which transform our understanding of this once-neglected part of prehistory.
15. Empires in the Dust, Karen Wright, Discover, March 1998
Four thousand years ago, some Bronze Age cultures—Minoan, Egyptian, Indian, and Accadian—disintegrated. Was political strife and social unrest responsible? Or was it a change in climate, which brought about severe droughts? The jury is still out.
16. Black Pharaohs, Robert Draper, National Geographic, February 2008
The influence of Black Africa on Egyptian civilization has been a contentious point of debate among archaeologists and historians. What cannot be disputed is that during Egypt’s 25th Dynasty, black forces from Nubia conquered Egypt, resulting in a series of Black Pharaohs who ruled Egypt throughout this period. The most noted of these was Taharqa, who was sufficiently noteworthy to merit a mention in the Hebrew Bible.
17. Messages from the Dead, Marco Merola, Archaeology, January/February 2007
Qatna was a Bronze Age Syrian city-state, which was conquered and destroyed by the warlike Hittites. A collection of newly-discovered tablets chronicles the city’s rise and fall, a testimony to the bellicose nature of Mesopotamian existence.
18. China’s First Empire, Michael Loewe, History Today, September 2007
Created at the end of China’s Warring States period, the Qin Dynasty established China’s Empire. Led by its first Emperor, Shi Huangdi, the empire defined how China would be run for more than 2000 years.
19. Beyond the Family Feud, Andrew Lawler, Archaeology, March/April 2007
A recent debate among Mesoamerindian scholars concerns the role of the Olmec Civilization whose people were once referred to as "the Sumerians of the New World.'' Were the Olmecs the progenitors of Maya and Aztec Civilizations, or were they one among many people who contributed to the later civilizations?Unit 4: The Later Civilizations to 500 C.E.Unit Overview
20. In Classical Athens, a Market Trading in the Currency of Ideas, John Fleischman, Smithsonian, July 1993
The agora was the heart of urban life for Greek city-states. In this public plaza, people met to trade, gossip, argue, and vote. An open space surrounded by civic buildings and religious sites, the agora of Athens was the place where Socrates taught and died.
21. Alexander the Great: Hunting for a New Past?, Paul Cartledge, History Today, July 2004
Alexander the Great has become an almost mythical figure who inspired poets, painters, sculptors, writers, and historians to make him the subject of their works. Considered by many to be a god while alive, he continues to inspire today. Who was the real Alexander, and what was responsible for his greatness?
22. Sudden Death: Gladiators Were Sport’s First Superstars, Providing Thrills, Chills, and Occasional Kills, Franz Lidz, Sports Illustrated, February 15, 2001
Gladiatorial games once a staple of Roman popular culture, have been resurrected today in various forms of extreme fighting. While not "murder as public sport,'' they remain reminders of how barbaric the Roman practice was, and what its existence said about Roman society.
23. Vox Populi: Sex, Lies, and Blood Sport, Heather Pringle, Discover, June 2006
Graffiti has become a modern art genre, but it is hardly a new creation. In Roman times, wax tablets and plastered walls presented places where citizens could express themselves, providing us with a glimpse into "the ragged edges of ordinary life.''
24. Woman Power in the Maya World, Chris Hardman, Americas (English Edition), May/June 2008
The Maya city of Waka’, discovered in the 1960s, has added enormously to the history of Maya Civilization. Findings at this site included, unexpectedly, the fossils of women, along with accompanying artifacts, which indicated royal status. Does this discovery indicate the presence of woman power in the Maya world?
25. Secrets of a Desert Metropolis: The Hidden Wonders of Petra’s Ancient Engineers, Evan Hadingham, Scientific American Discovering Archaeology, September/October 2000
The Arabian Desert traders, known as Nabataeans, built at Petra in southern Jordan an oasis city of 30,000 that had graceful temples, shops, and an Olympic-sized pool supplied by an aqueduct. Long thought to have withered after the Romans changed the trade routes, or to have been deserted after devastating earthquakes, the city is now thought to have prospered until the Islamic conquest of the 7th century A.D.
26. It Happened Only Once in History!, Max I. Dimont, Jews, God, and History, 1994
Historically, Jews have represented less than one percent of the world’s population. Yet, they have managed to make significant contributions to every aspect of the civilizations in which they lived, in spite of suffering from discrimination and persecution. Max Dimont recounts how the Jews responded to the challenges hurled at them throughout history, and how they not only survived, but prospered.Unit 5: The Great ReligionsUnit Overview
27. Ancient Jewel, T. R. (Joe) Sundaram, The World & I, October 1996
Indian civilization is more than 6,000 years old. Its culture produced Hinduism and Buddhism and influenced philosophical thinking. Ideas about cycles of life and acceptance of diversity are only a part of the Indian contribution to the world.
28. What Is the Koran?, Toby Lester, The Atlantic, January 1999
Orthodox Muslims believe that the Koran has reached us today as the perfect and unchanged word of God. Comparisons with older versions of the Koran indicate changes and attempts to place the Koran in a historical context thus far have raised disturbing questions. Yet, this is necessary for an understanding of the Islamic civilization and all of its permutations.
29. The Dome of the Rock: Jerusalem’s Epicenter, Walid Khalidi, Aramco World, September/October 1996
Jerusalem is as sacred to Muslims as it is to Jews and Christians. The Dome of the Rock, an octagonal sanctuary covering the rock from which Muhammad is believed to have ascended to heaven, dominates the skyline of the old city. It is a point where humanity is joined to God.
30. First Churches of the Jesus Cult, Andrew Lawler, Archaeology, September/October 2007
The early Christian churches and their communities were nothing like their contemporary successors. Small and scattered, they kept the faith alive until public acceptance and legal status were achieved. Recent excavations in the Holy Land are providing useful data regarding Christianity’s early years.
31. Women in Ancient Christianity: The New Discoveries, Karen L. King, Frontline, April 6, 1998
What role did women play in the early Christian church? Was it a subordinate one or one that reflected gender equality? Karen King cites ancient sources that reveal women actively participating in early Christianity—as disciples, prophets, preachers, and teachers. The leadership roles of these early Christian women were suppressed for centuries until the rediscovery of original source texts has allowed us to re-enter the first centuries of Christianity.Unit 6: The World of the Middle Ages, 500–1500Unit Overview
32. The Survival of the Eastern Roman Empire, Stephen Williams and Gerard Friell, History Today, November 1998
In the 5th century C.E., the Roman Empire had become divided into two parts: the western one centered in Rome, and the eastern one in Constantinople. Both were subjected to barbarian attacks. The western empire succumbed to those attacks, but the eastern empire lasted for another thousand years.
33. The New Maya, T. Patrick Culbert, Archaeology, September/October 1998
Having dispelled the myth of a model Maya society led by gentle priest-kings, scholars are piecing together a fresh picture of the rise and fall of a complex civilization. As their research continues, more light will be shed upon this Mesoamerican civilization that, in its glory days, rivaled that of ancient Egypt.
34. The Ideal of Unity, Russell Chamberlin, History Today, November 2003
With Europe increasingly united and centrally controlled, one wonders if there has ever been a precedent for such an ambitious endeavor as the European Union. In the Middle Ages, there was one such attempt as the Holy Roman Emperors attempted to unify the continent. They ultimately failed; this selection tells why.
35. The Arab Roots of European Medicine, David W. Tschanz, Aramco World, May/June 1997
Following the end of the Roman Empire and the rise of Islam, Arab physicians benefited from translations of Greek medical works. The Arabs established the first hospitals and pharmacies, and beginning in the ninth century, they contributed their own ideas to the field of medicine. In the tenth century, European physicians were educated by translations from Arabic to Latin.
36. The Age of the Vikings, Arne Emil Christensen, Scientific American: Discovering Archaeology, September/October 2000
The Norsemen were more than feared warriors. They were also colonizers, city-builders, lawgivers, explorers, and merchants. Eventually, they settled in the British Isles, Normandy (in France), Russia, Greenland, and Newfoundland, where they left their cultural mark in a variety of ways.
37. The Fall of Constantinople, Judith Herrin, History Today, June 2003
In what many regard as one of history’s turning points, the Ottoman Turks captured the Byzantine Empire’s capital city of Constantinople in 1453. The background to this epic struggle and the valiant defense of the city in the face of insurmountable odds are recounted here.Unit 7: 1500: The Era of Global ExpansionUnit Overview
38. 1492: The Prequel, Nicholas D. Kristof, The New York Times Magazine, June 6, 1999
Between 1405 and 1433, Zheng He of China led sailing expeditions to the west that reached the east coast of Africa. He could have sailed around Africa to Europe, but there was little reason to reach that "backward region of the world.'' Economic and intellectual complacency within China stopped the explorations. This set a course for the later domination by the West.
39. The Other 1492: Jews and Muslims in Columbus’s Spain, Fouad Ajami, The New Republic, April 6, 1992
Christopher Columbus’s three ships left Spain for their world-changing voyage to the Americas. The day before, the last ships carrying expelled Jews also left Spain under somewhat different conditions. An account of the latter exodus chronicles Spanish anti-Semitism, which includes the 1481 Inquisition and the 1492 Edict of Expulsion.
40. The Far West’s Challenge to the World, 1500–1700 A.D., William H. McNeill, The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community, 1991
During the era of global expansion, the Western nations were able to exert their will over those with whom they had contact. Why were they able to do this? William McNeill offers some reasons to account for the West’s growing power to dominate the rest of the world.
41. A Taste of Adventure: Kerala, India, and the Molucca Islands, Indonesia, The Economist, December 19, 1998
From the day that Vascoda Gama and his Portuguese crew landed in India, shouting "For Christ and spices,'' the world has never been the same. The global spice trade that journeys like his created, changed forever the palates of people throughout the world and brought riches to exploring nations and their citizens.
42. After Dire Straits, an Agonizing Haul across the Pacific, Simon Winchester, Smithsonian, April 1991
Following the wake of Christopher Columbus, other European explorers set forth. One of Magellan’s ill-starred ships succeeded in the first circumnavigation of Earth.
43. The Significance of Lepanto, Gregory Melleuish, Quadrant, April 2008
The Battle of Lepanto has been referred to as one of history’s turning points, as it saved Europe from a potential Islamic invasion. It still deserves this acclamation. However, the victory was that of an emerging form of state over a powerful traditionalist empire.
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