Today, many societies are addressing whether their lifestyles and standard of living are environmentally sustainable or not. This course examines a few societies, some now much changed from what they once were, that also faced such questions. Ancient Egypt, arguably Earth’s oldest civilization, developed along the Nile River. The agricultural surpluses supported a large population and freed many from farming to be artisans, clerks, lawyers, soldiers and rulers. This course describes the rise and flourishing of ancient Egypt and its social relationships, culture and customs. It also covers the rise of Egyptian cities, warfare and empire building. In contrast, the Mayans of Central America produced a complex civilization that had declined even before Europeans arrived. Victims of resource depletion, the Maya no longer live in their great cities. The history and relationships of these two cultures to their environments illustrate the fate of civilizations based on resource availability and sustainability.
Prerequisites: URB 2033 or URB 2023W. Co-requisites: None. Notes: Satisfies a HuSS Elective.