From the Fertile Crescent to Ancient Egypt

The “Natufians” were hunter-gatherers whose descendants eventually became the first farmers and herders in the Fertile Crescent. Ultimately a great civilisation developed in that region. The people of that civilisation were called the Sumerians and they are generally credited with inventing the wheel and developing the first alphabet. These were remarkable achievements for people with hardly any wood, whose best material for a writing surface and for building houses was mud.

Photo kindly provided by Mrs McQueen

The ancient Egyptians built the Great Pyramid of Giza without the wheel. In addition, they developed their own system of writing, probably influenced by the Sumerians. The ancient Egyptians usually get the credit, among other things, for domesticating cats, embalming bodies with great skill and living successfully in a land that, except for a thin fertile strip near its river, was basically desert. It was an improbable place for such a major and successful civilisation, made possible only by the existence of that river, the Nile, and by the talents of the people. Every year the Nile delivered its fertile silt to the inhabitants of the Nile Valley, its floodwaters sweeping down from the Ethiopian mountains in the south to the plains of the north. Every year the Egyptian peasant farmers used that silt and water to crop their land and grow the food that supported the whole population.

Some of my students think it would have been much easier for human beings once they started to farm. My students point out that people would no longer have encountered as much danger from hunting and would have felt more confidence about having food when they needed it. While these are fair points, farming in ancient Egypt was labour-intensive, to say the least. A peasant farmer was also at the bottom of the social hierarchy. This was no easy life. Hunter-gatherers six or seven thousand years before in a fertile area like the Fertile Crescent might well have had more leisure time and fewer people telling them what to do – and no one to tax them as well.

Find out about ancient Egypt at these links, ensuring that you make notes on topics that could help with assignment research:

Mummy Maker Game at the BBC Website

The importance of the Nile – BBC Website

The importance of the Nile – an easier website

Questions and answers about the Nile – an easy website

A day in the life of various ancient Egyptians – PBS Website

A fascinating account of archaeological evidence on who actually built the Pyramids – PBS website

Hello, 7A!

Ros cropped with mosaic bgI think I’ve learned all your names now but you might still have to correct me. 

 Welcome to your first semester of History. We start with the Stone Age and end with the Romans. You could call the course “From Caves to Colosseums” or something like that. 

Here are some pictures to show you some of the topics we’ll be covering:

Cave Painter  Mummy tapping man on shoulderGreece parthenon clipCaesar 5


Emit Repoons

Emit Repoons, by the way, is an intergalactic archaeologist. Can you figure out what his name means? He’s a wild adventurer with a very smart buddy called Llatiwonk. She has superchips instead of neural pathways but she’s a very nice person in her robotic way.

Don’t forget to save this blog to your FAVOURITES and take home your note to your parents. That’s your only homework!
Kind regards,


Want to test your knowledge?

 Click here to do Stone Age Quiz

To find out more about Emit Repoons and see a cartoon of his arrival in Egypt, click HERE.

More about the Natufians…

Mortar_and_pestle from Jesus' time (religious book)Do you remember what this is called from yesterday’s video? Which people used large basalt versions of these to grind wild wheat?

After the video yesterday called “Stories from the Stone Age”, you should have been able to ace the Stone Age Quiz above. Now read a little more about the Natufians by going to this site:

Natufian hunter-gatherers link

Write in your workbook a list of the animals they hunted and the foods they gathered. What is another word for gathering?

Eventually people began to domesticate animals as well as plant crops. To find a timeline of animal domestication, go to this site:

Animal domestication link

List the first six animals to be domesticated and the approximate date. Then click on your favourite to find out the evidence about when, how and why they were domesticated by humans.

Dog at tree barb Sheep with lamb from Leigh trimmed_1 These were some of the earliest domesticated animals. The ones in these photos are more modern breeds than the Stone Age ones! (Photos taken by my sister Barb and used with her permission)



If there’s still time, finish off your front page pictures. You could try finding some pictures of Natufians, sickles, emmer wheat or mortars and pestles!