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Prehistoric Humankind Major Periods of Human Culture bp=before present ¤PALEOLITHIC: Old Stone Age ¤Lower paleolithic 2.5 million-75,000 bp ¤Middle.

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Presentation on theme: "Prehistoric Humankind Major Periods of Human Culture bp=before present ¤PALEOLITHIC: Old Stone Age ¤Lower paleolithic 2.5 million-75,000 bp ¤Middle."— Presentation transcript:


2 Prehistoric Humankind




6 Major Periods of Human Culture bp=before present ¤PALEOLITHIC: Old Stone Age ¤Lower paleolithic 2.5 million-75,000 bp ¤Middle paleolithic 75,000-35,000 bp ¤Upper paleolithic 35,000-12,000 bp ¤MESOLITHIC: Middle Stone Age ¤12,000-10,000 bp ¤NEOLITHIC: New Stone Age ¤Began 10,000 bp ¤BRONZE AND IRON AGES: Civilization ¤Began 5000 bp

7 The Paleolithic Period

8 Paleolithic Period Began 2 1/2 Million Years Ago  Also called Old Stone Age culture  Characterized by the use of rudimentary chipped stone tools  Hominids, Homo habilis, Homo erectus,  Homo sapiens -- Neanderthal and Cro-magnon  Hunter-gatherers

9 Lower Paleolithic 2.5 Million-70,000 Bp  Hominids and earliest human ancestors  Gatherer/scavengers  Simple pebble tools, pebble chopper tools, and hand axes associated with Homo habilis and Homo erectus  Remains found in Europe, Africa and Asia

10 Hominids: Australopithicenes Immediate ancestors of humans: intermediate between apes and humans Classified hominidiae because of biological similarity to humans  Large brains  Bi-pedal: walked upright Began evolving 5 million years ago and were widespread 3 million years ago

11 chimpanzee Australopithecus africanus modern human robust australopithecine modern human

12 The First Tool Makers ? Evidence of habitation in one place for an extended period of time Plant gatherers/meat scavengers Meat eaters -- used tools to smash bones and skin animals Chipped stone turned into crude hand-held choppers

13 Homo Habilis Million Years Ago Early transitional human fossils first discovered in Olduvai Gorge in 1960s Homo habilis -- “handy or skilled humans” -- strong evidence of stone tool usage Larger brains, smaller mouths and teeth than Australopithicenes

14 Olduwan Tools Core Tools: multipurpose hammering, chopping, and digging implements Flake Tools: knives used for butchering animal

15 HOMO ERECTUS ca. 1.9 Million bp- ca. 100,000 bp  First fully human species  Moved out of Africa to populate tropical, subtropical and temperate zones throughout the old world  Skilled tool makers  Highly successful species

16 Homo erectus Homo sapiens Paralleling the biological evolution of early humans was the development of cultural technologies that allowed them to become increasingly successful at acquiring food and surviving predators. The evidence for this evolution in culture can be seen especially in: the creation and use of stone tools new subsistence patterns the occupation of new environmental zones

17 The Acheulean Tradition of tool making apparently began in East Africa 1.5 million years ago and spread into Southwest Asia and Europe by at least 600,000 years ago. Acheulean Hand Axes and Tools

18 Subsistence and Living  Much fuller exploitation of animal food resources through hunting and carcass scavenging: sheep, pigs, buffalo, deer, turtles, birds, etc..  Movement out of Africa to populate colder temperate zones made possible through new inventions and increased meat consumption  Began to occupy caves and build shelter  Family units  Use of fire reconstruction of a possible dwelling at Terra Amata, France

19 The Coming of Fire What are the implications of fire use? Light Warmth Animal management Cooked food Communal gatherings Special status for fire-bearers

20 Early Archaic Homo Sapiens  Blurry dividing line between Homo erectus and Homo sapiens  Evolutionary changes extended over several hundred thousand years: ca. 600,000 bp-100,000 bp  Fossils of archaic Homo sapiens have been found throughout the old world.  Extent of the interaction between the diverse and widely distributed populations is not clear.  No agreement about which populations were the ancestors of modern humans.

21 Human Evolution Hominids appeared ca. 4 million years ago (bp) Homo erectus: ca. 700, ,000 bp Homo heidelbergensis: ca. 600, ,000 bp Archaic Homo sapiens: ca. 300, ,000 bp Neandertals: ca. 130,000-29,000 bp Modern Homo sapiens sapiens: ca. 100,000 bp

22 Important Early Archaic Homo sapiens Sites Site LocationYears Ago (approximate) Africa:Lake Ndutu (near Olduvai Gorge) 400,000? Broken Hill (Kabwe), Zambia130,000+ China:Dali, Shaanxi Province ,000 Jinniushan, Liaoning Province200,000 Europe: Arago Cave, France ,000? Bilzingsleben, Germany ,000 Terra Amata, France400, Petralona Cave, Greece ,000? Steinheim, Germany ,000? Swanscombe, England ,000? Vértesszöllös, Hungary ,000?

23 Middle Paleolithic 75,000-35,000 bp  Major leap forward in tool making traditions: The Mousterian tool tradition  Tools employed by Neandertals, other late archaic Homo sapiens and by such early modern Homo sapiens as Cro-magnons  Part of successful adaptation to hunting and gathering, especially in sub-arctic and temperate environment during the last Ice Age which began about 75,000 years ago

24 Mousterian Tools Neandertal Awl Mousterian Hand Ax Mousterian Flake Tools: spear points (top); scrapers (bottom)

25 NEANDERTALS ca. 130,000-29,000 bp  Best known of late archaic Homo sapiens  Bones first discovered in late 1820s  First humans to live successfully in sub-arctic regions during ice ages

26 NEANDERTAL Figures modeled from skulls and skeletons Israel France

27 Neandertal modern human Continuing controversy over relationship to Homo sapiens: Homo sapiens neandertalis or Homo neandertalis? Genetic evidence indicates that Neandertals were a separate variety of Homo sapiens, but successfully interbred with Homo sapiens sapiens

28 The European Ice Ages

29 Paleolithic Tool Traditions

30 Neandertal Death Rituals Model of mourning Neandertal woman Gibraltar Burial in Fetal Position

31 Indications of Burial Rituals  Burials contain food and tool offerings  Some sites have hearths built around skeletons  In many sites skeletons are carefully arranged in sleep-like positions  A burial at Teshik-Tash is surrounded with animal horns  A body a Le Moustier, France, was covered in red ochre powder  Stone slabs are found over some burial sites

32 Shanidar Cave, Iraq  Corpse placed in fetal position on bed of herbs  Flowers of various species carefully arranged around body: yarrow, cornflowers, St. Barnaby's thistle, groundsel, grape hyacinths, woody horsetail, and a kind of mallow.  Many of these have medicinal qualities.

33 La Chapelle-aux-saints Cave  Individual was buried on his back, with his head to the west, the left arm extended and his legs flexed to the right.  Next to the head were burnt animal remains, which could represent some feast or ritual.

34 Community Paradox  Social concern: social organization allowed disabled members of community to be cared for: La Chapelle-aux-Saints man had crippling arthritis and Shanidar man had degenerative joint disease caused by early bone injuries  Cannibalism: evidence from the cave at Moula- Guercy, Ardeche, France indicates that humans were butchered and brain and bone marrow removed to be eaten

35 Cave Bear Cult  Ritual burial of the heads of cave bears in at least 2 caves in Western Europe:  Regourdou Cave in southern France  Drachenloch Cave in Switzerland  At 12 feet tall standing up, these animals were larger than any bear species today.  Cave bears hunted the same animals that the Neandertals did, and they probably would have considered people to be food as well.  Cave bears would have engendered considerable fear and respect as powerful, dangerous creatures.

36 Drachenloch Cave in Switzerland  Stone chest built by the Neandertals, who also inhabited the entrance of the cave.  Top of the structure covered by a massive stone slab.  Inside were the skulls of seven bears arranged with muzzles facing the cave entrance, and deeper in the cave six more bear skulls in niches along the wall

37 Drachenloch Cave in Switzerland  Supposed symbol of the "cult of the cave bear" consisted of the skull of a three-year-old bear pierced in the cheek by the leg-bone of younger bear.

38 Neandertal Art  Few artifacts in archeological record  Bones and rocks with scratched patterns  Highly polished, colored mammoth’s molar  Pendant from Arcy-sur-Cure, France  Bone with clear markings  Amulet  May indicate interaction between Neandertals and Cro-magnons

39 Neandertal Music  In 1996, a flute made from a juvenile bear femur with two intact pierced holes was found at the former Neandertal hunting camp of Divje Babei, in Slovenia  The notes on the Neanderthal flute, are consistent with 4 notes of the minor diatonic scale.

40 Neandertal Music Daniel Maurer/Associated Press Nicholas J. Conard of the University of Tübingen, in Germany, showed a thin bird-bone flute carved some 35,000 years ago.

41 Neandertal Music  Music played on replica flute. Music played on replica flute.  The bone flute, with 5 finger holes, found in Hohle Fels Cave in Ulm, Germany, in 2009, is at least 35,000 years old.  It was fashioned from a hollow bone of griffin vulture.  An abundance of stone and ivory artifacts, flint-knapping debris and bones of hunted animals had been found in the sediments with the flutes.

42 Upper Paleolithic 35,000-12,000 bp  Movement of Homo sapiens sapiens throughout the world  Extinction of at least 50 types of large animals  Height of Old Stone Age technical sophistication  Most advanced tool tradition was the Magdalenian tradition of Western Europe ca. 17,000-10,000 bp  First major art works:  Cave paintings  Small sculptured figurines

43 Modern Humans: HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS  First fossil remains of Homo sapiens sapiens -- named Cro- magnon-- found in 1868 in a 28,000 year old rock shelter in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, France  Homo sapiens sapiens very likely evolved from archaic Homo sapiens in Africa and/or the Near East  Earliest remains dated to 120, ,000 years ago in Near East and south Africa  Began to appear in Europe and east Asia. 50,000-40,000 years ago

44 Models of Homo Sapiens Sapiens Evolution

45 Replacement Regional Continuity

46 Europe 28,000-20,000 years ago

47 In the cliffs above town, caves provided shelters for the practice of magic. For thousands of years, humans inhabited these caves and left bones, tools, utensils Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, known as the "Capital of Prehistory" because remains of Cro-Magnon man were first discovered here.

48 Les Eyzies-de-Tayac Ivory figurines

49 Cro-magnon Hunters  Developed coordinated group hunting techniques  Increased importance of small game and plant food  New specialized hunting weapons:  Spears  Toggle-head harpoons  Bow and arrow  Fishing spears, hooks and nets

50 Cro-magnon Tools  Development of tools for making tools  Burins: narrow gouging chisels -- used to carve bone, tusks and antlers  Punches and pressure flakers  Compound tools: detachable points connected to spears -- allowed for replacement and repair  Sewing needles

51 Cro-magnon Artists  PALEOGRAPHICS: any activity that results in the production of visual signs in any medium -- what is generally referred to as "art” as well as images typically designated as signs and symbols.  Beginnings of graphic activity. Prior to 33,000 b.p. "If the total span of human existence on earth equals one year, then art originated within the last two weeks."

52 Paleographics  There are two very general classes of graphic activity:  Mobiliary statuary and graphics in stone, bone, ivory, horn, antler, clay.  Painted or carved graphics in rock shelters and caves.

53 Paleographics The graphics consist largely of  Megafauna (large animals: mainly horses, bison, aurochs (wild cattle), mammoths, various species of deer, and goats)  A few birds and smaller mammals,  Enigmatic signs (rectilinear shapes, wedges ("claviforms"), tectiforms (like a roof), dots, lines, strands ("spaghetti")  Hand prints  Human figures are rare (except for the so-called "venus" figurines) and are almost always abstractly rendered.

54 European Sites

55 Cave Art

56 La Grotte Chauvet: 30,000 bp – World’s Oldest Painted Cave  The cave was not used for human habitation  A hearth was possibly used to provide light for Paleolithic artists  Scores of cave bears appear to have hibernated in the grotto, and the ground is littered with their bones  Discovered in 1994 near Vallon- Pont-d‘Arc in southern France

57 Herd of animals, Chauvet

58 Hyena, Chauvet

59 Bear, Chauvet

60 Horses and Rhino, Chauvet

61 Lions, Chauvet

62 Lascaux 1700 bp “the Sistine Chapel of Caves”  The western edges of the Massif Central and the northern slopes of the Pyrenees are noted for an exceptional concentration of Paleolithic caves.  130 sanctuaries  The most renowned is Lascaux  Discovered in 1940 by 4 teenagers, closed to public in 1963, Lascaux II opened in 1980  Contains over 1500 paintings

63 Hall of Bulls, Lascaux

64 Bulls, Lascaux

65 Ceiling, Painted Gallery, Lascaux

66 Animals, Lascaux

67 Horse, Lascaux

68 Reindeer, wall painting, Font-de-Gaume caves, Dordogne

69 Altamira, Spain 19,000-11,000 bp  Paintings located in the deep recesses of caves in the mountains of northern Spain  Altamira is the only site of cave paintings where people lived in the first cavern with actual paintings  The paintings at Altamira primarily focus on bison, important because of the hunt.

70 Ceiling, Altamira: 15 bison

71 The frieze of swimming stags

72 Female Figurines

73 “VENUS” or FEMALE FIGURINES  The distinctive features consist of breasts, buttocks, bellies and vulvas, emphasized and greatly exaggerated  The extremities: head, arms, hands, legs and feet, are very much diminished or missing  Because these figures are often faceless, and sometimes headless, the images are probably signs of WOMAN rather than images of women.

74 Woman of Willendorf 24,000-22,000 Bce


76 The Caves of Balzi Rossi explored in late 1890s by Louis Jullien

77 Gravettian Figurines Balzi Rossi “The Nun” “The Ochre Lady” “The Armless Lady”

78 Woman, Doll or Goddess?  Earth mother or mother goddess?  Fertility symbol or charm?  Some figurines daubed with red ochre in vulva area -- connection with menstrual cycle?  Tradition of making figurines lasted 17,000 years Venus of Kostienski Russia Venus of Respugue France

79 Left hand rests on pregnant belly Venus of Laussel 20,000-18,000 bce Right hand holds a horn marked with 13 lines: 13 lunar months in a year.

80 Bowmen and Deer, Cliff Painting Los Caballos, Spain,10, BC MESOLITHIC PERIOD

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