Learning about the Past. I Geography Place Location Human-environment interaction Movement Regions History Pre-History: Before written records Fossils are remains of living things (plants, an imals, people), not things that were made.
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The study of past societies through an analysis of what people have left behind.
Artifacts are those things that people left behind, they can include:
Tools and Weapons
Art and Sculpture
Ancient Buildings and Monuments
The remains of ancient plants and animals.
By studying fossils archaeologists and anthropologists can learn about what people ate, what animals they had around, and their way of life.
Carbon dating can be used to date organic artifacts, or things that were once alive
All living things contain a radioactive isotope of Carbon called Carbon 14 which they absorb from the sun while they are alive.
Carbon 14 has a half-life of 5000 years. That means it takes 5,000 years for half of the Carbon 14 in something to break down.
If we know how much Carbon 14 something has left we can count back to how much is had to begin with to determine the age of the artifact. Is limited to things 50,000 years old or less.
Thermo luminescence Dating: Measures the light given off by the electrons in soil surrounding artifacts. Can measure up to 200,000 years.
Located on the Salisbury Plain in England
What it may have looked like at completion
The first Hominids, they are thought to have emerged in East Africa in the Great Rift Valley between 3-4 million years ago.
Second stage in early human development, Homo erectus, which means upright human being, emerged about 1.5 million years ago.
These were the first hominids to leave Africa and moved into Europe and Asia.
They also used more complex tools
Homo Sapiens means “Wise Person.”
This group split into two distinct groups:
Neanderthals and Homo Sapiens Sapiens
Found in the Neander Valley in Germany.
Thought to have lived between 100,000 and 30,000 years ago.
Used stone tools, and buried their dead. It is thought they had some primitive religious beliefs.
Were killed off by Homo Sapiens Sapiens
Homo Sapiens Sapiens
Appeared in Africa between 150,000-200,000 years ago
Began to migrate outside of Africa 100,000 years ago.
Replaced the Neanderthals by 30,000 B.C..
By 10,000 B.C. Homo Sapiens Sapiens could be found throughout the world due to migration.
During the last ice age between 100,000 B.C. and 8000 B.C. the water level in the oceans dropped revealing a land bridge connecting Asia and North America
Gathering was a more reliable source of food and so in Paleolithic society it is thought that it may have been Matriarchal, or female dominated.
Women were often seen at the time as symbols of life and fertility. Many ancient religions were centered around the worship of the earth and the woman was often representative of the earth and life because of the fact that women have children.
Early ideas about religion are often called sympathetic magic.
It is thought that early man often drew, or made representations of what he/she wanted to happen. Fertility statues for having many children, paintings of successful hunts etc.
As farming technology improved people were able to grow the food they needed. Because of this not everyone had to work on providing food anymore and so people could do other things.
People who made crafts such as textiles (fabrics), pottery, jewelry, etc. . .
People could do what they were good at instead of having to farm.
Specialization of Labor
Because people could focus on one particular thing technology and skills improved.
Storage of Food
Pottery and other devices were invented as ways to grow extra food. This extra food was vital for feeding a growing population.
As artisans made goods they began to exchange goods with other villages, and later cities, who had different goods. This was a barter system.
As agriculture spread different areas began to grow different crops that were suited to their environment.
These places where people began to settle down, grow crops, and start villages became known as the Cradles of Civilization.
Most of these areas were in river valleys. This first was Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates River Valleys.
Other river valleys include The Nile in Egypt, the Indus in India, and the Huang He in China.
These villages spread throughout Europe and the rest of the world.
The oldest and largest of the villages are found in SW Asia.
…and their features