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What is prehistory? Um…the history before history…

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Presentation on theme: "What is prehistory? Um…the history before history…"— Presentation transcript:

1 What is prehistory? Um…the history before history…

2 PREHISTORY before written records were kept 1 st system of writing – Africa 6,000 years ago (~ 4,000 BC) Oral traditions – older persons in the family/ group repeated tales of past events to younger generations until they learned them by heart Beliefs, traditions, folklore passed down from generation to generation through stories Later civilizations recorded events on cave walls and animal hides with symbols that later evolved into a system of writing

3 So how did the first humans come to the Americas? North America Asia

4 Beringia – an icey land bridge North America

5 Why did they come here?


7 WHEN did they come here? 30,000 B.C. – 10,000 B.C. First people crossed land bridge into what is now North America 2,000 BC 2,000 AD 10,000 BC 8,000 BC 6,000 BC 4,000 BC0 Before Christ Anno Domini “In the Year of our Lord” YOU ARE HERE PALEOARCHAICWOODLAND MISSISSIPPIAN

8 Essential Questions How did changes over time in prehistoric Indian technology and food affected Indian settlement patterns? How did changes in settlement patterns affect religious practices?

9 Georgia’s Prehistoric Periods

10 The Paleo Period Dates  10,000-8,000 B.C. Weapons  “Clovis” points Stone spear points  Knives and scrapers  Atlatl – used to propel spears long distances Food  Large game hunted animals Mammoths, bisons, ground sloths, and mastadons  Wild berries and nuts gathered Dwellings  Lived in groups of  Always on the move for food (nomadic) = no permanent housing  Slept in caves, under cliffs, and dug out “sleeping pits” Religion  Artifacts to suggest general spirituality – nothing specific Paleo = “Very old” / few lived to be 30 yrs. old

11 Snapshots of Paleo-Indian Life

12 The Archaic Period Dates  8,000 – 1,000 B.C. Weapons  New tools invented to save time and effort (ex. weighted spear, grinding stone)  Clovis points become smaller and sharper for smaller game  Grooved Axe – stone head w/ wood handle. Used primarily to chop wood / remove brush Food  Hunted smaller game as period progresses Deer, bear, turkey, rabbit, birds, fish  Fishing and gathering important Large remains of middens (trash heaps of shells ) found on Stallings Island in GA  Clay pots to store and transport food in created Dwellings  Small groups gathered to form larger groups of  Would move from season to season  Semi-permanent housing w/ wooden poles covered by animal hides, braches, and bark Religion  Proper burial of the dead seems to be important  Tools, weapons, and ornaments found in tombs Things becoming more settled

13 Snapshots of Archaic-Indian Life

14 The Woodland Period Dates  1,000 B.C. – 1,000 A.D. Weapons  Bow and Arrow – better accuracy/saves time  Arrowheads become smaller and sharper Food  Beginning of Horticulture (farming) Seeds are saved for planting Nuts, corn, squash, and bottle- gourd  Small game hunted  Developed clay pottery that lasted longer Dwellings  More sturdy houses (huts) as small groups join together and form tribes  Flat-topped mounds for gathering/ceremonies  Animal effigy mounds – Rock Eagle created in 200 A.D. Religion  Burial mounds with more elaborate tombs containing jewelry, pottery, figurines, and ceremonial objects suggests belief in life after death The Mound-Builders!

15 Snapshots of Woodland-Indian Life Evidence of long-distance trading

16 The Mississippian Period Dates  1,000 A.D. – 1,600 A.D. Weapons  All tools and weapons from previous periods – only better- made and more effective Food  Farmed most food Corn, beans, pumpkin, and squash (tobacco for ceremonies) Used slash-and-burn technique Prepare land with bone/stone hoes  Stored food in storehouses for constant supply Dwellings  Large-scale communities w/ palisades and moats Several 1,000 families living together  Wattle and daub houses made of clay and wood  Mound communities like Etowah and Ocmulgee Religion  Priest-chief presides over religious ceremonies Religious aspects controlled by govt.

17 Snapshots of Mississippian-Indian Life

18 End of Prehistory? Prehistory ends in Georgia with the arrival of Spanish- Explorer Hernando deSoto. (around 1539)  Beginning of traditional European written records of GA

19 Essential Questions How did changes over time in prehistoric Indian technology and food affected Indian settlement patterns? How did changes in settlement patterns affect religious practices?

20 RELIGION Proper burial of the dead Buried with objects afterlife Religious ceremonies Ceremonial mounds Burial mounds tombs Priest chiefs Nomadic (always moving) Semi- permanent huts Seasonal movement Permanent houses Large villages Bands of people (25-50) Tribes (more than 100) Spear Atalatal Smaller spear points Grooved axe Bow & arrow Pottery Hunter/ gather Large animals (Mammoth) Nuts/berries Small game (deer/rabbits) Agriculture (growing food) Farming Beans, squash, corn SETTLEMENT WEAPONS/ TOOLS FOOD

21 In addition… Sample questions: Which people were 1 st to use the atlatl? For what purpose were Georgia villages equipped with guard towers, moats and palisades? Most weapons were made of what substance during the Paleo period?

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