Creation stories
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CREATION STORIES. Genesis Africa Doondari makes human beings of “five elements Memnite Theology Egyptian Oldest creation myth Ptah made first human beings out of sand and included weapons in their hands. Ptah. PROSIMIANS.

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Creation stories l.jpg

  • Genesis

  • Africa

    • Doondari makes human beings of “five elements

  • Memnite Theology

    • Egyptian

    • Oldest creation myth

    • Ptah made first human beings out of sand and included weapons in their hands


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  • Direct ancestors of human beings first appeared five million years ago

    • Prosimians

      • Small, furry creatures with large nocturnal eyes and long tails

      • Lived primarily in upper branches of trees

      • Ate insects and fruit

    • Evolutionary forefathers for several groups of mammals

      • Incuding primates

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  • Included such subgroups as lemurs, Old World monkeys, and apes

    • Forefathers of such modern groups as orangutans, chimpanzees, and gorillas

    • Forefather of Australopithecus

      • Appeared 4 million years ago

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  • Evolved from Australopithecus

    • 2 million years ago

  • Human beings are the only surviving descendants of original hominids

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  • Evolutionary trajectory was not linear

  • Human beings did not evolve directly from gorillas

  • Human beings, along with other primate groups, all had a common ancestor and evolved along different directions

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  • Eyes of creatures underwent dramatic changes over time

    • Developed stereoscopic vision

    • Ability to distinguish colors

  • Legs and feet changed to permit upright walking

    • Freed hands for carrying and manipulating things

      • Prompted development of opposable thumbs

  • Brains doubled and then tripled in size

    • Allowed creatures to go beyond instinctual behavior to behavior governed by reason

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  • Humans are one branch of a large and complex family

    • Other branches have died out

  • Example

    • Neanderthal Man

      • Not direct ancestor of human beings

      • Wiped out 50,000 years ago by out by Cro-Magnon Man

        • Homo sapiens

          • Human beings

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Human beings began to move northward around 500,000 years ago

Africa was original home of human beings

Africa was original home of human beings

Motivation was Ice Age

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Sustained drop in average temperature in northern hemisphere caused huge glaciers to form and move into North America, Europe, and Asia

During retreat they carve up landscape, creating gorges, valleys, hills, rivers, etc.

Glaciers dominated for 40,000-60,000 years and then retreated when average temperature rose again

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Significant portion of earth’s surface water locked into massive ice sheets, lowering water level in oceans—created land bridges between areas that were previously cut off from each other by the seas

Turned previously barren areas in the northern hemisphere into well-watered forests and grasslands—areas which attracted large numbers of game

Great herds tempted hominid hunting bands into northern regions

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  • Human migration happened in a haphazard way

    • Advanced when glaciers receded and retreated when they moved down again

  • Migration took place on small scale

    • Tiny hunting bands might take entire lifetime to move from one valley to the next

      • And then they might move back again

  • Much aimless wandering and backtracking characterized human migration out of Africa

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  • Very slight differences compared to other groups of mammals

  • Arose as humans adapted to different environmental conditions

  • EXAMPLE 1:Eskimos evolved short and stocky builds in order to retrain body heat in Artic climate

  • EXAMPLE 2:Equatorial people retained high concentrations of melanin for protection against intense solar heat of their region

    • Caused their skin to be dark

  • Human beings learned to live in a wider range of physical environments than any other species in large part due to the evolution of racial variations

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  • Both vegetarian and carnivorous

    • Gathered nuts, roots, berries

    • Hunted game

      • Huge mammoths, deer, small animals, birds, and fish

  • Cultural evolution of humans shaped by the fundamental activity of collecting sufficient food to stay alive

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  • Learned that survival depended on cooperation

    • Worked together to pull down giant animals

  • Also routinely shared their food

    • Divided up game and vegetable food among all members of the group

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  • Worked and lived together in tight-knit hunting bands

    • Generally 5-6 families of between 20-40 people

  • Developed ingenious hunting techniques

    • Pits and traps

    • Brush fires

  • At certain times, several bands might join together in a large-scale cooperative hunting expedition

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  • Began with crudely split rocks used for cutting and scraping

    • Evolved into the creation of hand-axes, knives, spears, and bows and arrows

    • Made from flint or carved from wood

    • Used all over Africa, Europe, and Asia

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  • Developed use of fire

    • First used it where they found it

    • Later learned how to kindle it through friction

    • Used for heating and cooking

  • Invented clothing

    • First wrapped themselves in hides and then began sewing hides into sleeves, pantlegs, coats, and hoods

  • Constructed shelters

    • Caves

    • tents

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  • Women were primary food gatherers

    • More dependable source of food than hunting

    • Provided most of the band’s steady died

  • Women also produced children

    • Essential for group’s survival

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  • Monogamous pair-bonding began as means to provide stable environment for raising children

  • Women recognized as custodians of band’s home base

    • Men dominated in hunting terrain

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  • Women considered to have mysterious powers

    • Similar to those attributed to witches and priestesses in more modern times

  • Venus figurines

    • Made from clay and stone

    • Interpreted as general symbols of womenhood

    • Probably reflected crucial place of women in the Stone Age world

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  • Seeds of religion existed as far back as 100,000 BC

    • Neanderthal hunters made altars of skulls of cave bears

    • Buried dead with care and ceremony by 50,000 BC

      • Indicates notion of afterlife

    • Cave paintings indicated possibility of magic rites aimed at controlling supply of game

    • Venus figurines might have indicated female goddess

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  • Engraved animals on bone, made Venus figurines out of stone or clay, and even made “musical instruments”

  • Best known examples are cave paintings of bison, horses and other animals

    • Best are found in southern France/northern Spain

    • Date from 30,000 BC

    • Demonstrate high level of imagination and skill

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  • Paleolithic Age

    • Approximately 500,000-8000 BC

      • Depending on region

    • Characterized by:

      • Development of group life

      • Evolution of rudimentary technology

      • Beginning of cultural achievement

  • Followed by Neolithic Age

    • Approx. 8000-3500 BC

    • Number of notable technological achievements

      • Especially in quality and sophistication of stone tools and weapons

    • Most important characteristic was the domestication of animals and plants

      • ie., Invention of agriculture