Paleolithic Peoples
Southern African Rock Art
Early Human History
5 million BCE - first hominids (human
relatives) evolved in east Africa
 @500,000 years ago - first modern
hominids (humans like us): larger brains
 150,000 to 200,000 BCE - first homo
sapiens (modern humans)
 Other hominid groups died out
 Links to Human Family Tree & Timeline
Age of Earth vs. Humans
Age of the Earth = 4.5 billion years
Hominid history = @ 5-6 million years
Homo sapiens (like us) = 200,000 years
1 billion years =
1000 million years
Early Human History (cont.)
Human adaptations to environment and
 Human migrations for food and other
survival reasons – populated other
 By 50,000 BCE humans in Southeast Asia
and Australia
 By 12,000 BCE in northeast Asia and
Great website on human
Smithsonian Institution’s
“What Does It Mean to Be
Human” website
History of Human Migration
First homo sapiens evolved in eastern Africa – migrated to other continents
over next 50,000 years
Problems Studying Early Human
 1st
written records only 5 thousand years
ago – few survive
 Using artifacts
 Fossil records
 Have to use other sources of info.
 Accuracy?
Link - list and
 Meaning?
explanation of
 Forensic science
diff. forms of
 DNA, carbon dating
Paleolithic Rock and Cave Art
Video Links
Rick Steves at Lasceaux, France
 Lasceaux Prehistory of Art, Part 1
Paleolithic Cave Paintings: Europe
Location of African Rock Art
Spans centuries: 35,000 B.C.E+ to present
Drakensberg Mountains,
South Africa
Cave Art, Inanke, Zimbabwe
Drakensberg, South Africa
Characteristics of Paleolithic
Paleolithic Life: 2 million – 10,000
years ago
Early hominids and homo sapiens used
stone tools
 Lived in family groups
 Foraged for food – cooperation
 Hunting and gathering
 Adapted to environment and other
changing situations
 Developed different cultures
Paleolithic Tool Kit
Linton Panel – The ‘Rosetta Stone’
of S.A. Rock Art
Created in 18th or 19th century, C.E.
Game Pass, SA – original location of
Linton Panel
Linton Panel Drawing
Interpretation of Rock Art?:
San Trance Ritual
Lonyana Rock, Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa.
Meaning? Significance?
San Trance – Bleeding from Nose
Trance: Bleeding from Nose
San Trance Rituals
Trance: Meaning? Significance?
Storm Shelter, Eastern Cape, South Africa
Meaning? Significance?
Trance: Swallows (Birds)
Shaman and Participants
Portrait of a Shaman
Storm Shelter,
Eastern Cape, South Africa
Rock Art:
Men on
horses with
Link to The African Rock Art
Were Paleolithic people civilized?
What do we know about Paleolithic