Vocabulary Mission #1 Prehistory and Native American History before European Contact (30,000 B.C. – A.D. 1492)
Radiocarbon Dating • Definition: • Method of determining how old biological objects are by measuring the radioactivity left in a special type of carbon.
Ice Age • Definition: • A period of extremely cold temperatures when part of the planet’s surface was covered with massive ice sheets.
glacier • Definition: • A huge ice sheet.
Nomad • Definition: • A person who continually moves from place to place, usually in search of food.
Agricultural Revolution • Definition: • Period when early Americans learned how to plant and raise crops.
maize • Definition: • One of the first crops grown by early Americans, known today as corn.
civilization • Definition: • A highly organized society marked by knowledge of trade, government, the arts, science, and, often, written language.
obsidian • Definition: • A dark glass formed by the cooling of molten lava.
kiva • Definition: • Circular ceremonial room built by the Anasazi.
Pueblo • Definition: • Spanish for village, term used by early Spanish explorers to denote large housing structures built by the Anasazi.
kachina • Definition: • A good spirit that the Pueblo people believed brought messages from the gods to their town each year.
Slash-and-burn agriculture • Definition: • Farming technique in which land is cleared and made fertile by cutting down and burning forests.
longhouse • Definition: • Large, rectangular building with barrel-shaped roofs covered in bark, used by some Native Americans.
wigwam • Definition: • Conical or dome-shaped dwelling built by Native Americans using bent poles covered with hides or bark.
Kinship group • Definition: • Large group of extended families.
Feudalism • Definition: • Political system in which powerful leaders gave land to nobles in exchange for pledges of loyalty and service.
manorialism • Definition: • Economic system in which peasants provide services to a feudal lord in exchange for protection.
Renaissance • Definition: • French for rebirth, a period in Europe from 1350 to 1600 during which a rebirth of interest in the culture of ancient Greece and Rome occurred.