Early Man and Society

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					Early Man and Society

             Ms. Scott
     World History & Geography
How do we know about early humans?
– Archeology: the study of past
  societies through an analysis of
  what people have left behind them.
   • Archeologists dig up and analyze
     artifacts – the tools, pottery, paintings,
     weapons, buildings, and household
     items- of early man
– Anthropology: the study of artifacts
  and the remains of humans and
  human fossils to determine how
  people lived their lives.
– Both have scientific methods to
  carry out their work. Excavations of
  sites around the globe have
  uncovered fossil remains of early
  humans, ancient cities, burial
  grounds, and other remnants of past
Dating of History
          – Determining the age of
            human fossils makes it
            possible to understand
            when and where the
            first humans emerged.
          – Likewise, the dating of
            artifacts left by humans
            enables these scientists
            to speculate on the
            growth of early
        Methods of Dating History
• Radiocarbon dating:
   – All living things absorb a
     small amount of radioactive
     carbon (C-14) from the
     atmosphere. After death,
     there is a gradual loss of C-
   – Radiocarbon dating is a
     method of analysis that
     calculates the ages of objects
     by measuring the amount of
     C-14 left in an object.
   – This method is only accurate
     for dating objects that are no
     more than 50,000 years old.
• Thermoluminescence:
   –Enables scientists to
    make relatively precise
    measurements back to
    200,000 years.
   –This method dates an
    object by measuring
    the light given off by
    electrons trapped in
    the soil surrounding
    the fossils and
• Deoxyribonucleic Acid (DNA)
   – New microscopic and biological
     analyses of organic remains –
     such as blood, hairs, and plant
     tissues left on rocks, tools, and
     weapons – have shown that
     blood molecules may survive
     millions of years.
   – DNA is especially useful in
     telling us more about humans,
     their use of tools, and the
     animals they killed.
   – DNA is providing new
     information on human
     evolution. As well, analysis of
     plant remains on stole tools
     yields evidence on the history of
• Early Man
 - Hominids = “great apes”
    -Chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans,
     and humans
        - Numerous intermediary fossils
        have been found but scientists
        disagree on which are human
        ancestors and which are
        evolutionary dead ends.
• Homo habilis
  – 2.4 to 1.4 million years ago
  – Fossils found in southern and
    eastern Africa
  – Used simple bone and stone
  – Nicknamed “handy man”
• Homo erectus
  – 1.8 million years ago to 70,000
    years ago
  – First human ancestor to walk
    fully upright
  – Some made complex stone
  – Example – “Peking Man”
  – Descendants were humans and
           Homo habilis

          Homo erectus
 Homo sapiens      Homo sapiens sapiens
- Homo sapiens neanderthalensis
- Circa 400,000 to 30,000 years ago
- Lived in Europe and Asia
- Archaeogenetics – analysis of ancient and
   modern DNA
   - Comparison of human and Neanderthal
      DNA shows that humans are not
      descended from Neanderthals
   - Genes reveal that Neanderthals had red
      hair and fair skin
         - Fair skin developed to aid in the
           absorption of Vitamin D from the sun
           in areas far north of the equator
         - Convergent evolution – different
           species (such as humans and
           Neanderthals) developing same
Humans – Homo sapiens sapiens – “Us”
              - Fully modern humans (like us) in Africa by
                 around 60,000 years ago (perhaps earlier)
                  Descendants of Mitochondrial Eve and Y-
                   chromosomal Adam
                  Culture, language, music, etc.
                  “Cro Magnon” man to refer to early
                   modern humans first identified in France,
                   dating to approx. 35,000 B.C.E.
              - “Out of Africa” theory
                  Archaeogenetics (analysis of ancient and
                   modern DNA) shows that humans began
                   spreading throughout, and out of, Africa
                   beginning around 60,000 years ago
              - Early human migrations
                  Humans left southeastern Africa and
                   spread throughout the continent
                  Humans traveled along the Indian Ocean to
                   reach Australia
                  By 10,000 years ago, modern human beings
                   had spread all over the globe
Early Human Migrations:
    Route of mDNA

        ← Africa

                   North America

        Numbers are thousands of years before the present
• Neanderthals die
  out in approx.
  30,000 B.C.E.
• Early man
  (Homo sapiens
  continue to
  thrive and
  throughout the
• Dinosaurs went extinct
  approx. 65 million years ago.
• Neanderthals appear in
  approx. 200,000 B.C.E. and
  are gone by approx. 30,000
  B.C.E. – only homo erectus
  remaining on earth is modern
• Last Ice Age was from
  approx. 70,000 B.C.E. to
  10,000 B.C.E.
• Paleolithic Age (Old Stone
  Age) is between approx.
  200,000 B.C.E. to 10,000
   – During this time, humans are:
      • Hunting and gathering
      • Living in small bands of 20-30
      • Nomadic
• Neolithic Age (New Stone
  Age) is between approx.
  10,000-4,000 B.C.E.
   – During this time,
     humans are:
     • Shifting from a nomadic
       lifestyle  Settled,
       stationary life
     • Shifting from hunting &
       gathering  Agricultural
       production and
       domestication of animals
     • Making tools and
     • Creating a variety of art
• Agricultural Revolution occurs between
  approx. 8,000 – 5,000 B.C.E.
  – Agriculture developed independently in
    different parts of the world, this enables the
    development of human civilization.
 Middle East     India     Central America    China      Southeast Asia
     |             |             |              |             |
 8,000 BCE     7,000 BCE     6,500 BCE       6,000 BCE     5,000 BCE
Early Settled Communities
             • Growing crops on a
               regular basis made it
               possible to support
               larger populations
             • More permanent,
               settled communities
                – 9,000 B.C.E., earliest
                  agricultural settlement
                  (grew wheat) thus far
                  discovered from
                  established at Jarmo in
                  present-day Iraq
• 8,000 B.C.E., the largest
  early settlement at
  Çatal Hüyük in modern
  day Turkey  6,000
   – Cultivated 12
     different kinds of
   – Division of labor
   – Engaged in trade
   – Organized religion
   – Small military
       Human Historical Ages
• Paleolithic (Stone Age)
• Neolithic (New Stone Age) – beginning of
  settled communities – approx. 200,000 BC –
  10,000 BC
• Bronze Age – begins in Near East in approx.
  3300 BC
• Iron Age – (use of iron & steel in
  tool/weapon making) – begins in Near East
  and Ancient India in approx. 1100 BC

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