Characteristics of Paleolithic Life I Economy: Hunting & Gathering: –Animals: bears, lions, rhinoceros, mammoths, wolves, deer, bulls, pigs, donkeys, beavers, badgers birds, fish. –Gathering: berries, nuts, roots, grains, honey Work was usually completed in 3-5 hours per day, leaving plenty of leisure time. Little surplus was acquired. People continually migrated, moving to where plants and animals were available-- nomadic life. Stone tools were used to hunt (arrowheads), process grains (grindstones), make clothes (needles).
Tools The word technology refers to the ability of human beings to make things that sustain them and give them some control over their environment. The technology available at the beginning of human history was quite simple. It consisted primarily of the ability to make stone tools.
Characteristics of Paleolithic Life II Demography: Low populations but steady growth –100,000 years ago: 10,000 people –30,000 years ago: 500,000 people –10,000 years ago: 6 million people Social Organization: –Egalitarian: men and women were of relatively equal status –Women gathered, providing 70% of food supply –Men hunted, providing 30% of food supply Life span: roughly 35 years
Characteristics of Paleolithic Life III Culture: A Rich Spiritual Life –Lack of Writing demands attention to art and burial rituals. Evidence of Culture: (no writing means art is key) –Caves were ceremonial spaces filled with art and room for religious rituals –Part-time shamans visited the spirit world by ingesting psychoactive substances –Complex burial sites –Varied religious beliefs: Some believed in a Creator God (monotheism) Some believed in levels of supernatural beings and ancestral spirits (polytheism)
4 Main Areas of Discovered Cave Art Contemporary France
What THEMES do you detect in the following pieces of Paleolithic art?
Paleolithic Societies vs. Agricultural Societies Better Nourishment, More Varied Diet Didn’t Work as Hard, More Leisure time Longer life-spans, Less disease –Better sanitation, Less crowding –Less contact with domesticated animals Rich Cultural Life More Egalitarian Gender Relations Which logically raises what question?