Prehistoric People

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Prehistoric People
(8000BC – 3000BC)
Prehistory – period of time before the invention of writing
Paleolithic Age “Old Stone Age”
Lasted from about 2.3 million years ago – 10,000 years ago
900,000 years ago & before – people only live on grasslands of eastern and southern
Africa
Movement:
Climate cooled / Glaciers formed and spread
Sea levels fell exposing new land – land bridges
Connected Africa to Asia and Europe
Migrate – to make way to new area
900,000 – 700,000 – people migrate to Asia and Europe
40,000 – 10,000 – people migrate to Americas
Obtaining Food
Hunter / gatherers
Lived in bands (groups of about 30 members)
Lived to age 20-25 years
Children killed by illness or animals
Home territory – 2sq mile area per band member
Stayed until food ran out
Women: gathered barriers, nuts, fruit & eggs
Honey & roots
Men: hunted meat
Making tools
Made life easier
Sticks and stones at first – then shaped stones
Olduvan pebble tools – oldest known tools
Found in Olduvai Gorge in
Eastern Africa
Making Fire
Natural fires – lightening
Spark fires – rubbing sticks/stones
Uses:
warmth/dry
Weapon/animal trap
Clear brush
Cook food (less time eating)
Shelter
Pits/dry riverbeds
Caves – emergency until 100,000 years ago
1
Clothing
Skins for protection/warmth
Drying  then pounding fat
Allowed for movement into colder regions
Language
Made sounds or pointing to objects /Hand signals
Made possible to work together, share ideas,
Pass on beliefs and stories
Made learning easier
Neanderthals
Homo habilis
“skillful man”
Homo erectus
“man who walks upright”
Homo sapiens
“man who thinks”
Neanderthal
Discovered near Neander River, Germany (1865)
Population 1 million
Hunters
Used pitfalls (large covered hole)
Builders
Covered wood frames w/ skins
First to bury dead
Found remains w/ flowers, tools,
food
Cro-Magnons
Discovered in France (1868)
First Modern human beings
Burin – chisel like tool
Make tools of antler, bone, ivory, shell
Spears
Bone/antler points - spears fly faster/farther
Hunters at safer distances
Axe, jewelry, artists
Cave paintings
Religious significance
Animals had spirits
Represent ceremonies, traditions, history
Social gatherings
Exchange information
Neolithic Age (8000BC) “New Stone Age”
“Neolithic Revolution”
Food gatherers  food producers
2
Hunters  farmers
Growing food (wheat & barely)
Herd animals (domestication)
Population begins to grow
5 mil in 8000 BC  90 mil in 4000 BC
Early Civilizations
River Valleys
Nile R. – Egypt
Tigris & Euphrates R. – Iraq
Indus R. – India
Huang Ho R. – China
Characteristics
- Produce surplus food
- Created large towns/cities w/ gov’t
- Division of Labor: different people perform different jobs
- *Calendar or writing
Metals
Copper – 1st metal
Weapons, tools, utensils & jewelry
Bronze – alloy of copper & tin (5000 BCE)
Marks end of Stone & beginning of Bronze Age
Iron – smelting in forge (3200 BCE)
Marks end of Bronze & beginning of Iron Age
Family
Women
Men
-
Managed family
Food, clothing, pottery, weaving
Responsible for food supply
Hunted less
Plow & animal on farm
Religion
Chiefs = priests
Offered prayers for rich soil, healthy animals, water for crops
Prayed to the forces of nature
Mother Earth: goddess of fertility
Alters first built in home
Moved to separate buildings
Multiple pagan goddesses & gods
3
Early villages
150 – 200 people in areas w/ good soil & water
Built permanent shelters
Jericho: in Israel (8000BC)
Abu Hureyra: in Syria (7500 BC)
Catal Huyuk: in Turkey (6500 BC)
Found blackened wood & cloth
Bricks of mud
Lintel
Posts
Building Structures
Post and lintel
No doors / no windows  protection
Farms
-
Irrigation: ditches & canals used to carry water from rivers to fields
Plow & domesticated animals speed up process
Government
Land ownership demanded rules & rulers
Flood control projects
War
Gain wealth through herd or pasture takeover
Fight between herders & farmers
Water rights
Specialization
4
Development of occupations
Artisans: skilled workers
Potters, weavers, metal workers
Development of trade
Excess supplies traded for needed items
Cultural diffusion – spread of aspects of culture from one culture to another
Calendar
Cycle of moon
Predict valley flooding
Writing
Record keeping
Preserve past
Pass ideas & information
Development:
- Pictures represent things (pictograms/graphs)
- Pictures symbolize ideas
- Pictures stand for sounds
- Signs represent consonants or vowels
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