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Early Neolithic Civilizations: the Work of Archeologist Dr. Gimbutas

The Neolithic period marked the transition of human culture from hunter gatherers to settled agricultural civilizations. This class will explore how and why humans made this transition. One of the oldest known civilizations, which persisted 1000 years, was called Çatalhöyük (Catal Huyuk). This culture was remarkable for being highly egalitarian, non-warring and based on sophisticated ecological understanding that derived from millions of years of evolution during the Paleolithic period. This course is a scholarly presentation of archeological results, especially by Dr. Gimbutas, and discusses recent analyses of ancient DNA. This class will explore how this era and these ancestors challenge current assumptions about the potential of humans to be cooperative and egalitarian. Dr. Donna Armstrong is a retired professor of epidemiology, specializing in social/environmental sustainability and community food security. After retiring, she practiced sustainable farming in KY. She now practices permaculture design, urban food growing and community sustainability in Harrisonburg, VA.

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