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What is prehistory?

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

  2. PREHISTORYbefore written records were kept • 1st 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. Asia So how did the first humans come to the Americas? North America

  4. Beringia – an icey land bridge North America

  5. Why did they come here?

  6. Anno Domini “In the Year of our Lord” Before Christ 2,000 BC 6,000 BC 10,000 BC 2,000 AD 8,000 BC 4,000 BC 0 PALEO ARCHAIC WOODLAND 30,000 B.C. – 10,000 B.C. First people crossed land bridge into what is now North America MISSISSIPPIAN YOU ARE HERE WHEN did they come here?

  7. 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?

  8. Georgia’s Prehistoric Periods

  9. 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 25-50 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 The Paleo Period Paleo = “Very old” / few lived to be 30 yrs. old

  10. Snapshots of Paleo-Indian Life

  11. 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 50-100 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 The Archaic Period Things becoming more settled

  12. Snapshots of Archaic-Indian Life

  13. 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 Woodland Period The Mound-Builders!

  14. Snapshots of Woodland-Indian Life Evidence of long-distance trading

  15. 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. The Mississippian Period

  16. Snapshots of Mississippian-Indian Life

  17. 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

  18. 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?

  19. RELIGION SETTLEMENT WEAPONS/ TOOLS FOOD • 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

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