Paleolithic Period

Traveling all the way back to the Paleolithic period, a group of people, known as hunter-gatherers, started to appear. After the end of the Paleolithic period, the rise of the Neolithic period began, which brought rise to many city-states. One of these city-states was Sumer, and this city-state had a both similar and different lifestyle, when compared to that of a hunter-gatherers’. In a hunter-gatherer’s perspective he or she would have compared their lifestyle in many different aspects, including culture, the discovery of tools, and hunting.

If a hunter-gatherer would have to pick some aspects of his or her lifestyle that would compare to a persons in Sumer, I think that they would talk about their culture, the discovery of tools, and hunting. In both of these lifestyles, their were similar ideas of culture. One being that they both had paintings, such as wall and cave paintings. Another, being that they both had burials and types of forms of cooking. Also, both of their lifestyles included the use of tools, such as stone tools, used by hunter gatherers, and polished stone tools, used by people in Sumer. Lastly, both of their lifestyles included hunting. Even though hunter gatherers moved around and people in Sumer stayed in one place, they both still hunted, and along with hunting they used the animal skins for clothing.

After looking at what was similar between the two lifestyles, the hunter-gatherer would have noticed some fundamental differences between them also. Most of these differences would have been caused by what was called the agricultural revolution. During the period of the Neolithic, in some places like Sumer, the agricultural revolution began and sprung some major differences, much which were beneficial. One thing that changed because of the agricultural revolution, was farming. Farming settlements began to spread fast all over the world, and because of this rapid rise of farming, a process of intensification began. Then, because of this process, the population of people began to grow. Another difference, that the hunter-gatherer would have noticed, is that because of this rapid rise of population, societies would need to become more organized. This would soon be the start of a more complex society, and with this, people began to live in more larger, permanent villages.

Since there are some differences between the lifestyles of hunter-gatherers and people who live in Sumer, a hunter-gatherer would have probably been envious of some of the changes that happened in the Neolithic era and not in the Paleolithic. Something he or she might be envious of, is the fact that they would be able to stay in one specific place and would be able to keep all the objects in that place, instead of moving around and not being able to have those objects. They also might be envious of things such as having a dependable food supply, beasts of burden, the division of labor, and specialists, which included craftsman, soldiers, and priests.

Although a hunter-gatherer would be envious in some aspects of the lifestyle in Sumer, they might also feel that their own lifestyle is better in some ways. One way in which they might like their own lifestyle better, is that they were nomadic and didn’t have towns like in Sumer, so they weren’t dependent on farms. Another thing would be that even though hunter-gatherers seemed to die at a young age, they wouldn’t have to worry so much about danger from drought, disease, and famine, as mush as people in Sumer had to. Other things in which they would probably be happy without having is longer work days, crowded towns, crime and the need to protect farmland, war, and unequal societies. Lastly, hunter-gatherers had an egalitarian society, which they would probably rather have then a patriarchal one, which the Sumerians had. In the egalitarian society everyone was presumed equal, at least in the social structure, while in a patriarchy, males hold primary power. So I feel that they, at least the women, would like their egalitarian lifestyle better.

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