Early Humans
Chapter 1
Section 1
Early Humans: Key Terms
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History is the story of humans in the past, and historians
are the people who study and write about humans of the
past.
Anthropologists study how humans developed and related
to each other.
Archaeologists hunt for evidence buried in the ground.
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The prehistoric period of human history is called the
Stone Age.
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They study artifacts: weapons, tools, and other things made by
humans.
They look for fossils: traces of plants or animals that are
preserved in rock.
The earliest part of the Stone Age is called the Paleolithic period.
Paleolithic people were nomads, traveling from place to
place to hunt and search for food.
Early Humans: Famous
People
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Louis, Mary, and Richard Leakey are the most
famous archaeologists.
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They found many fossils of hominids, which are
creatures that walk on two legs.
Mary discovered the skull of a hominid that was
nearly 2 million years old.
Donald Johanson was an anthropologist who
discovered a female hominid that was nearly 3
million years old.
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Lucy!
This told us that humans began walking on 2 legs
before they used tools.
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Early
Humans:
Notes
Paleolithic women: cared for children and gathered berries, nuts, and
grains.
Paleolithic men: hunted animals using clubs, spears, traps, and bows
and arrows.
Paleolithic people adapted to their environment.
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Paleolithic people discovered fire, which kept them warm, lit the
darkness, and cooked.
Long periods of extreme cold are called the Ice Ages.
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Those in warm climates wore little clothing and had little need for shelter.
Those in cold climates used caves for shelter.
Over time, they learned to create shelters from animal hides and wooden
poles.
Thick sheets of ice covered Europe, Asia, and North America.
Paleolithic people developed spoken language and expressed
themselves through art, which may have had religious meaning.
During this time, humans first used technology.
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They created tools such as spears and hand axes using stone called flint.
Discussion Question
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How did spoken language help the
Paleolithic people?
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Language made it easier for people to work
together and pass on knowledge.
Agricultural Revolution
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In the Mesolithic Age, people began to
domesticate, or tame, animals.
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People in different parts of the world began
growing crops about the same time.
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Domesticated animals carried goods and provided
meat, milk, and wool.
Farmers need to stay close to their fields, so they built
permanent homes in villages.
This marked the beginning of the Neolithic Age.
Historians call the changes made in the Neolithic
Age the agricultural revolution.
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A revolution refers to changes that greatly affect other
areas of life.
Agricultural Revolution
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Permanent villages provided people with security and
steady food.
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One of the oldest villages is Jericho.
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Located in present-day Turkey.
Not all people in a village were farmers.
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Located between present-day Israel and Jordan.
Another Neolithic village is Catal Huyuk.
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Surplus food led to a larger population.
Villages also made it easier for diseases to spread among people.
Some made pottery, mats, and cloth.
They traded these goods for things they did not have.
The food surplus allowed people to practice these specializations:
different kinds of jobs.
People continued to create new technology.
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They created better farming tools and began working with metal,
copper, and tin.
Discussion Question
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Why was farming important to the
Neolithic people?
Farming allowed people to settle in one place,
and it provided a steady food supply.
 They were no longer hunter-gatherers or
nomads.
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Did You Know?
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Scientists believe early humans made
tools from other materials besides stone.
They probably used wooden sticks to dig
holes and used bark from trees to make
containers.
 Unlike stone, these organic materials decay,
so remnants from the early humans are
unavailable.
 Therefore, this is based on assumption and
theory.
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Early Humans: Key Terms - Mrs. McLaughlin`s 6th Grade Block