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 resources Human migrations for food and other survival reasons – populated other continents By 50,000 BCE humans in Southeast Asia and Australia By 12,000 BCE in northeast Asia and Americas Great website on human evolution: 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 History? 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 dating 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 Peoples 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? Shaman Transformed Trance: Swallows (Birds) Shaman and Participants Shaman Portrait of a Shaman Storm Shelter, Eastern Cape, South Africa Modern Rock Art: Men on horses with rifles Link to The African Rock Art Archive Were Paleolithic people civilized? or What do we know about Paleolithic culture?