Pre-Greek Accomplishments • Agriculture, irrigation, animal domestication • Calendar • Metallurgy: Mining, smelting, metal-work, casting • Ceramics • Glass-making
Why Agriculture? • Hunter-gatherer lifestyle provides ample food with minimal effort and ample leisure • Cultivation may be more dependable • Agriculture leads to: • Greater population density • Social Stratification • Urbanization
Prerequisites for Agriculture • Most plants have no use as food • Mediterranean climate beneficial • Seeds can survive long dry spells • Perfect for storage • Selective breeding • Self-fertilization • Wind pollination and animal dispersal means uncontrollable offspring • Single mutations of desirable traits (Almonds vs. Oaks)
Animal Domestication • Taming = training a specific animal to behave as desired • Domestication = changes in animal genes to permanently instill desirable traits • Do we really care if a rabbit is tame or domesticated? • Ability to tolerate human proximity • Dominance Hierarchy that humans can co-opt
Obstacles to Animal Domestication • Inability to tolerate human proximity (gazelles) • Chronically bad temperament (zebras) • Dangerous (bears) • No dominance hierarchy (deer) • Extremely territorial • Herds are territorial and won’t mix • Won’t mate in captivity (cheetahs)
Animal Domestication • Self-Domestication • Humans create a modified environment around habitations • Humans gather food and vital nutrients like salt • Unconscious selection for low fear factor • Hormonal changes: more frequent mating, mottled coats, juvenile features, floppy ears • Have we ever deliberately domesticated any animal?
Ancient metallurgy • Ancient metals: Au, Ag, Cu, Pb, Hg, Fe, plus Sn and Zn in alloys • How discovered? • Campfire Theory - not hot enough • Pigments? Possibly • Need heat for a long time, plus lack of oxygen, plus experimenting • Best bet: Pottery kilns
Bronze and Iron • Bronze is an alloy of copper and tin • Where did the tin come from? • How was the alloy discovered? • Iron: Not better than bronze, but cheaper
Pre-Greek Accomplishments Architecture • Stone cutting, dressing, sculpting • Arches • Post-and-Lintel • Corbelled • Circular (only in Old World, except for Inuit igloo) • Truss-unknown until Middle Ages-requires timber
Pre-Greek Accomplishments • Simple machines • Wheel • Lever (wheel + lever = pulley) • Wedge (inclined plane, screw) • Heavy Woodworking • Catapults • Shipbuilding
Greek Technology and Science Major traditions • Ionian--mercantile, experimental. • Pythagorean-mathematical but mystical • Athenian schools: Plato, Aristotle, Socrates, • Emphasis on logic, deduction, idealization • "Golden Age" - Pericles ca. 450 B.C. • Hellenistic - exported during and after Alexander the Great (d. 323 B.C.)
Good Guys and Bad Guys? • Ionians speak most clearly to us today, but- • Science often has a faith in whole numbers that Pythagoras would recognize • Scientists idealize all the time. Plato would find much familiar • Where would science be without logic and deduction? • It wasn’t Aristotle’s fault that people put him on a pedestal
Why the Greeks never developed modern science • They weren’t trying to become us! • It wasn’t clear that meticulous observation of nature would lead anywhere • They were asking different questions, e.g., why is there cause and effect? • They had all the elements but nobody ever synthesized them.
The Etruscans • Fairly sophisticated people, with expertise in iron working and extensive trade contacts. • Link between the Greeks and the Romans. • A couple of tidbits from the Etruscans: the letter F and the "Roman" numerals V, L and D. • For several centuries Rome was ruled by the Etruscans, but the Romans overthrew the Etruscans and eventually absorbed them.