Its week one in the A251 world, so time to open the enormous book and try and get to grips with it.
Its made somewhat easier by there being a course guide that leads you through it, actaully what am I saying, it makes it much easier. If you follow the course guide, it tells you what chapters or part of chapters to read. It discusses the information, and also tells you what to make notes on, and when to listen to the CD tracks.
Some of the exercises are a little tedious, and the first one which includes categorising the timeline events I skipped over mostly. I figured I can understand it just by reading through it.
I did go to the A251 website, and I added a few more events onto their dynamic timeline. The break up of the landbridge from the UK to continental Europe for instance I felt was a useful landmark (or is that timemark?).
With the course you get the text to all the TMAs and the ECA, so you can know what you have to do right from the start if you wish. It does help modify your study a little.
Anyway, the first week is all about the rise of agriculture, and the reasons for it. The take away message is basically no-one knows why agriculture came about, there are 4-5 theories, but none of them conclusive. Agriculture takes more work per person than the hunter/gatherer lifestyle, although it does produce more food.
However its a one way gate, very few civilisations that have adopted agriculture can revert back to other forms of living, as the amount of population it supports can't be sustained in any other way.
So that's the news from the cutting face of A251!