History articles and history books: How to research the history of humankind

Pop quiz time! For all you history buffs, plowing through your history books and articles, let’s delve into a short history of the human race and see where you stack up!
History of humankind

How far back does the oldest human (hominid) date from?

A)     250,000 years
B)     500,000 years
C)     1,000,000 years
D)     2.3 million years
E)     4.4 million years

Before I give you the answer (and before you search it online), you might want to know that back in 2005, National Geographic launched its Genographic Project. National Geographic Explorer-in-Residence Dr. Spencer Wells and his team of renowned international scientists began using the latest in genetic computational technologies to analyze historical patterns in DNA from participants around the globe to obtain further insight into our genetic origins.  The project is ongoing and you can participate and discover the migration paths your ancient ancestors followed thousands of years ago.

Ardipithecus ramidus

And the answer to question #1 is E. Named “Ardi,” (short for Ardipithecus ramidus) an international team of paleontologists discovered the oldest known skeleton of a potential human ancestor in Aramis, Ethiopia back in the early 1990’s. Some debate still remains whether Ardi is indeed the oldest human ancestor ever found. According to Tim White, paleontologist at the University of Berkeley’s Human Evolution Research Center, “It’s not a chimp. It’s not a human. “

Pop Quiz question #2.

What time period is generally considered the dawning of the Industrial Revolution?

A)     1760
B)     1780
C)     1800
D)     1820
E)      1840

Richard Trevithick (1771-1833)

Before we pick a date, let’s quickly remind ourselves of the one of the most influential and unsung heroes of the Industrial Revolution, Richard Trevithick.  A British inventor and mining engineer, it took years of experimentation and frustration for Trevithick to finally bring to life the world’s first high pressure cylindrical boiler and the first full-scale working railway steam locomotive, all around the turn of the 19th century.

Did you answer question #2? It was Arnold Toynbee, famous 19th century British economist and social reformer, who is first credited with describing England’s economic development from 1760 to 1840 as the “Industrial Revolution.” Answer A.

To encourage further study and learning on the major historical developments of humanity’s past, Questia is opening its doors to five of the top most researched history books and articles from our library. These books and articles were individually selected by our librarians and each one will spur you on as you plow into your history studies.

Prehistory: A Very Short Introduction

Author: Chris Gosden

This VSI to prehistory will introduce the reader to four and a half million years of human existence. Many of the familiar aspects of modern life are no more than a century or two old, yet our deep social structures and skills were in large measure developed by small bands of our prehistoric ancestors many millennia ago. Chris Gosden invites us to think seriously about who we are by considering who we have been.

Women’s Influence on Classical Civilization

Editors: Fiona Mchardy, Eireann Marshall

Written by an international range of renowned academics, this volume explores how women in antiquity influenced aspects of culture normally though of as male. Looking at politics, economics, science, law and the arts, the contributors examine examples from around the ancient world asking how far traditional definitions of culture describe male spheres of activity, and examining to what extent these spheres were actually created and perpetuated by women.

The Oxford History of Medieval Europe

Editor: George Holme

Covering a thousand years of history, this volume tells the story of the creation of Western civilization in Europe and the Mediterranean. Now available in a compact, more convenient format, it offers the same text and many of the illustrations which first appeared in the widely acclaimed Oxford Illustrated History of Medieval Europe. Written by expert scholars and based on the latest research, the book explores a period of profound diversity and change, focusing on all aspects of medieval history

The Industrial Revolution in World History. Edition: 2nd

Author: Peter N. Stearns

This concise, accessible new edition from noted historian Peter N. Stearns examines the industrial revolution as a global phenomenon, in terms of causes and results extending through the 20th century and into the present.

The “New” Cold War History and the Origins of the Cold War

Author: Joseph M Siracusa

Siracusa writes his own analysis on the meaning and significance of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. In 1998, the United States Congress passed legislation recognizing the dates of the Cold War as starting in September 2, 1945 and lasting until December 26, 1991.

For more information on human history, check out Questia’s topic page on archeology

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