This distinctive quality to be hereditary and developed traditions, later codified as written laws, stipulated which heterosexual relation ships would pass this quality on, along with passing on wealth.
Both status and wealth were passed down from relationship to relationship between men and women from elite families.
The women were defined as concubines or mis tresses, or simply as sexual outlets for powerful men, and the relationships between elite men and non-elite women generally did not do so.
Sometimes death to the non-elite man was brought about by the relationship between an elite woman and non-elite man.
Along with the distinctions among human groups that resulted from migration and were enhanced by endogamy, distinctions developed within groups that were rein forced by social endogamy, what we might think of as the selective breeding of people.
In some cases, elite men marrying elite women resulted in physical differences over generations, as elites had more access to food and were able to become taller and stronger.
Men in the highest level of the English aristocracy were five inches taller than the average height of all English people by the year 1800.
Accidents of life and death, along with the genetic problems caused by repeated close intermarriage, make it difficult for any small group to survive over generations.
In order to legitimate the children of concubines and slave women, or to allow elite girls to marry men lower on the social hierarchy, mechanisms were developed in many cultures.
Flexibility is needed for all systems of inheritance.
The inheritance patterns in some cultures favored male heirs exclusively, but in others close relatives were favored over those more distant, even if this meant allowing daughters to inherit.
The drive to keep wealth and property within a family or kin group often resulted in women inheriting, owning, and in some cases managing significant amounts of wealth.
In European and African cultures, widows were able to control their own property, while unmarried sons were often under their father's control.
The Neolithic vil ages grew larger because of the increase in food production.
In what is now modern Turkey, the best known of these is Catal Huyuk, which shows evidence of trade and labor.
There were mud-brick houses with white plaster on their walls.
The men and women of the town raised wheat, peas, almonds, and sheep and hunted as well.
They decorated their houses with murals of animal and human figures and made textiles, pots, figurines, baskets, carpets, copper and lead beads, and other goods.
They obtained obsidian, a volcanic rock that could be used for knives, blades, and mirrors, and then traded it with neighboring towns.
obsidian was exchanged still farther away, for Neolithic societies slowly developed local and regional networks of exchange and communication.
In some parts of the world, copper was traded.
The people at Catal Huyuk hammered pure copper into shapes for jewelry and tools because it was close to the surface.
Like most metals, copper can be mixed with other materials in a type of rock called Ore.
Spear points, axes, chisels, beads, and other objects were made fromlted copper.
Smelting techniques were found in many places around the world.
If artisans mixed pure copper with other metals such as arsenic, zinc, or tin, it would become harder to make bronze.
The adoption of bronze marked the beginning of a new period in human history, the Bronze Age, because it was stronger than copper and had a wide range of uses.
Bronze arrived in different places at different times.
Techniques of copper and bronze metallurgy were later applied to pre cious metals such as gold and silver, and then to iron, which had an even greater impact than bronze.
Stone, wood, and bone were the primary materials for tools and weapons long into the Bronze Age because of the high prices of metals.
During the Neo lithic period, people carried ideas as they traveled on foot, boats, or camels, and in wagons or carts.
Knowledge about the seasons and the weather was important for those who depended on crop-raising, and agricultural peoples in many parts of the world began to calculate recurring patterns in the world around them.
Nabta Playa, erected about 4500 b.c.e., was built by people who built circular structures of mounded earth or huge upright stones to help them predict the movements of the sun and stars.
Religious beliefs and practices were shaped by the rhythms of the agricultural cycle.
In order to assure fertility, shamans and priests developed elaborate rituals in which the gods were often given something from the com munity in exchange for their favor.
Patterns of birth, growth, death, and regeneration were associated with gods in many places.
The gods had a division of labor and a hierarchy.
There were rain gods, sun gods, sky gods, moon gods, and goddesses of the home and hearth.
The stone hand axes of the Paleolithic were replaced by specialized tools of the Neolithic and then by bronze, iron, steel, plastic, and Silicon; the small kin groups of the Paleolithic gave way to Neolithic.
The changes over time that are the central thread of history are explored in the rest of the book.
It is important to remember that many things were slow to change and that some aspects of human life in the Neolithic, or even the Paleolithic, continued, as you examine what -- particularly in world history -- can seem to be a staggering number of developments.
Foraging, horticulture, pastoralism, and agriculture have been the primary economic activities of most people throughout the history of the world.
There are only a few groups of people in isolated areas, but there were many more just a century ago.
Most of the world's people still make their living through agriculture.
The social patterns set in early agricultural societies, with most of the population farming the land, and a small number of elite who lived off their labor, lasted for thousands of years.
It is important to keep in mind the similarities between the early peoples discussed in this chapter and the people you see around you, as you begin your examination of human history.
You can do these exercises online.
There are some basic terms about this period.
A more advanced understanding of the chapter material is required for the exercise below.
The chart below has descriptions of each society in four key areas: social organization and hierarchy, gender relations, technology and trade, and religion and spirituality.