EARLY HUMANS AND THE PALEOLITHIC ERA Learning About the Earliest People • Anthropology is the study of other cultures • Culture is a people’s unique way of life. It determines the most basic human needs, like how they provide food and shelter. Religion, language, family relationships, entertainment, government, and many other things are also cultural. How Do We Know? • Archeologists investigate other cultures’ settlement sites by setting up an archeological dig and sifting through all evidence such as artifacts and fossils. This is also called an archeological excavation. – Artifacts are human made objects like tools or art. Archeology con’t • Archeologists use scientific tests like carbon dating and relative dating to analyze fossils and artifacts. • Stone henge • Jericho • Catal huyuk Hominids • Hominids are apes, humans, and any creatures in between that walk upright. Hominids Originated in Africa • Early hominids like Homo habilis and Homo erectus originated in Africa. • They migrated on foot to the other continents. • They even began using the first stone tools for cutting, digging, and scraping. What did they look like? • Many of these early hominids looked similar to modern Homo sapiens who emerged about 200,000 years ago. • Homo sapiens were similar to other hominids except their (our) brains were much larger. • http://humanorigins.si.edu/evidence/human-fossils/species/homosapiens How Did They Survive? • They were hunter-gatherers whose survival depended on the availability of wild plants and animals. • They were also nomadic, travelling around in search of plants and animals to eat. • They slowly invented tools and other things. This allowed them to hunt more efficiently. • By 30,000 BC, most of the other hominids were extinct, leaving Homo sapiens as the remaining human on the planet. Early People con’t • They were nomadic people, meaning they travelled around searching for food, water, and shelter. • During the Paleolithic Era (Old Stone Age), they invented the first tools and weapons. • They lived in clans and invented oral language to communicate with each other. What about reading and writing? • Written language (reading and writing) was not invented until about 3,000 BC, so these really ancient people did not keep any records. • That’s why archeology is so important! Without written records, artifacts and fossils are the only way we can learn about them. • In fact, writing is such an important invention, we use it as a marking point. Everything that happens in a society before writing is called PRE-history. Everything after writing was invented is called history. Pre-historic Art? • Primitive people began creating cave paintings about 35,000 years ago. • They made paint from berries, animal blood, charcoal, and other natural media. • Cave paintings depicted rituals, changes in seasons, and natural surroundings. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U3b1sX_WOlA Paleolithic Age (Old Stone Age) • Lasted from about 2.5 million years ago until 8,000 BC (although it started and ended at different places at different times). • During this age, humans developed the very first stone tools. • For most of this time, people were nomadic hunter-gatherers. Although toward the end, they started to settle into villages in areas where there was plenty to eat. The Neolithic Age (New Stone Age) Human societies advanced slowly. During the Neolithic Age, they invented more advanced tools and developed agriculture. The Agricultural Revolution • During the Neolithic Age, about 10,000 years ago, humans began farming. Agriculture provided a more steady food source than hunting and gathering plants. • Agriculture was probably made possible by a change in climate that allowed for longer growing seasons. Farming Techniques • Farming happened accidently at first. Someone probably left some seeds outside and then noticed they grew the next year. The rest is history. • To open up forests and grasslands to farming, they used slash-andburn to clear the land. After the soil became infertile, they would move to another spot. Domestication • Along with agriculture came the domestication of animals. By keeping animals in enclosed areas, people could wait until they needed to eat to slaughter the animals. Agriculture Grows • People developed agriculture independently in different areas across the globe. • The increase in the food supply allowed villages to grow. Catal Huyuk Villages Grow Into Cities • With the increase in the food supply, some people did not have to work to produce food. They could use their time to do other things. • Some people, called artisans, learned a craft, and produced pottery, tools, metal objects, and more. • Others would trade products to other people, and profited off the trade. • Cities are different from temporary settlements because the buildings and structures are permanent and the people who live in the city rely on the surrounding land for food, water and trade. Civilizations A civilization requires: • • • • • Advanced cities Specialized workers Complex institutions Record-keeping (and hence writing) Advanced technology Advanced Cities • Cities serve as centers for trade. • Farmers and traders brought goods to the city to exchange. The citydwellers produced goods to exchange, too. • Money was not invented yet, so people bartered. Bartering is like trading. For example, a farmer might barter the wheat he grew in exchange for a piece of pottery produced in a city. Specialized Workers • As cities grew, they needed people to perform more specialized tasks • • • • Government officials Traders Priests Artisans • Made clothing, pottery, metal tools and weapons, jewelry • The variety of gods produced allowed cities to become centers for trade Complex Institutions • The growth in cities made government necessary • Other complex institutions included religion and the economy • As wealth grows, social classes develop based on access to resources Record-keeping • As institutions became more complex, it became necessary to keep records of laws, taxes, and grain storage. • Scribes were trained to keep official documents. • As writing became more popular, people began writing down other events like war and natural disasters. • Cuneiform was the first system of writing and was developed in Mesopotamia. Scribes would press a wedge-shaped reed into a moist clay tablet to form symbols and then dry the tablet to preserve it. Advanced Technology • Technology varies from place to place, but generally involves things that previous people could not create. Examples include • • • • • Irrigation, Wheels, Pottery, Metalworking, Ox-drawn plows to break up soil for planting. The Bronze Age • The Sumerians in Mesopotamia were the first to discover bronze. • They learned that if you melted and mixed copper and tin together, it made bronze, which was much stronger and more durable than copper or stone. • They used bronze to make tools, weapons, decorations, and building materials. Apply it: • What things in the following video clip might have actually happened? • Which things were impossible during the Stone Age? • In which age did the North American natives live before Europeans settled this continent? (hint: they used stone, had agriculture, and some were using metal tools and lived in cities).