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The Development of Civilization It couldn’t have happened without PLANTS!!!

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Presentation on theme: "The Development of Civilization It couldn’t have happened without PLANTS!!!"— Presentation transcript:

1 The Development of Civilization It couldn’t have happened without PLANTS!!!

2 What is the approximate age of the Earth? Scientist estimate the age of the Earth to be approximately 4.54 billions years. Plants appeared around 450 million years ago Flowering plants appeared around 65 million years ago Hominids (thought to be the ancestor of modern man) – 4.4 mya Modern man – Between 130-250,000 years ago



5 So what you’re saying is, plants may seem boring but…. Without plants there would be no oxygen for us to breathe, since photosynthesis is responsible for oxygenating our atmosphere Large mammals would not exist (humans included) if not for flowering plants and the calories produced by fruit PLANTS ARE IMPORTANT!!!!!

6 So plants are important, but what did they have to do with the development of civilization?!?! To answer that question we have to go back to the beginning – AFRICA!

7 Why Africa? 1. Lots of scattered trees for protection 2. Plenty of big game for food 3. Very little climate change to deal with (meaning they didn’t need winter clothes )

8 What allowed modern man to evolve so ‘quickly’? Helpless infants and children!!!

9 A long period of childrearing (made necessary by the helplessness of infants and children) allowed there to be time to pass on the ‘arts of life’. In other words – parents had time to teach their children how to stay alive, to pass on the knowledge gained in their short lives to their offspring.

10 Paleolithic Man During the time of Paleolithic Man this meant mastering the art of making tools to make life easier. Men hunted and women gathered food They were incredibly knowledgable about their surroundings

11 Still not sure what this has to do with plants and civilization? Hang on…we’ll get there Over time two distinct groups evolved – those that followed the herds of animals to hunt them (hunters) and those that chose to stay in one area and cultivate the food that attracted the animals. Eventually the two began to work together

12 The Neolithic Period As the two groups moved together to areas where food was abundant and life was easier civilizations (which literally means ‘living in the city’) began to develop. Pastoralists domesticated plants to be used for food and clothing Hunters domesticated animals for the same reason They stayed put so they could tend their herds and crops and said good-bye to their nomadic lifestyle

13 The 7 Characteristics of Civilization 1.Cities 2.Religion 3.Job Specialization 4.Government 5.Society of classes 6.Trade and economics 7.WritingWhat do each of these have to do with plants?

14 What type of impact do plants have on your life? On society? On the economy, both locally and globally? Think about a plant that you feel is important and necessary to civilization. Choose wisely because you're going to be researching and studying this plant for the duration of the semester. Part of your final exam will be to turn in a research project that you worked on all semester. Whenever we cover a new topic you will be asked to find information related to the topic regarding your plant.

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