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                                 ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION
                                                                                            TO THE TEACHER

                                       Stories From the Stone Age (Roger Scholes, 2003) is a series of three documentary films about
                                       how and why humans changed from being hunter-gatherers to farmers and village-dwellers. The
                                         process started about 13,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent area of the Middle East, and
                                                             spread to Europe, ending about 3000 years ago.

                                       The films include excellent, detailed         detailed examination of the momen-             •   the time and location of these
                                       re-enactments and short interviews           tous changes that occurred over a                  changes in the Middle East and
                                       with key experts on some of the key          period of about ten thousand years.                northern Europe.
                                       archaeological sites, resulting in a se-
                                       ries that younger secondary students         Curriculum Guide                               The series can be used with students
                                       will find accessible.                                                                        from lower to upper secondary levels,
                                                                                    The episodes in the series can be              and will be particularly useful in the
                                       Each of the three films focuses on a          used separately in the classroom, or           Studies of Society and Environment
                                       key development:                             as a three-part combined narrative.            key learning area in all states and ter-
                                                                                                                                   ritories at the compulsory secondary
                                       Episode 1: The change of people from         By watching some or all of the series          years. (See chart 01)
                                       hunter-gatherers to farmers in the Mid-      students will gain a knowledge and
                                       dle East                                     appreciation of:                               Suggestions for using this
                                       Episode 2: The development of urban                                                         series in the classroom
                                       living in the Middle East, and the move      •   the key concepts of change and
                                       to farming in Europe                             causation;                                 1   Introduce students to the concept
                                       Episode 3: The development of trade          •   the factors shaping people's                   of change and causation through
                                       in the Middle East, and its impacts on           change from hunter-gatherers to                the Introductory activity. This will
                                       Europe, throughout the Bronze Age                farmers and urban-dwellers;                    help focus their awareness of and
                                       and into the Iron Age.                       •   the impacts of these changes on                thinking about what they will see in
                                                                                        people’s lives, and on the environ-            the film. Discuss the ideas about
                                       Taken together the series provides a             ment;                                          causation that students develop,

                                        State/Territory                                         Curriculum Area

                                        NSW               History 7-10                          Stage 4: Societies and civilizations of the past

                                        NT                SOSE                                  Band 4: Time, continuity and change

                                        QLD               9-10 History                          Level 4: Time, continuity and change

                                        SA                Society and Environment               Standard 4: Time, continuity and change

                                        TAS               Essential Learnings                   Thinking – Inquiry. Social Responsibility –Understanding the past and creat-
                                                                                                ing preferred futures

                                        VIC               History                               Level 5

                                        WA                Society and Environment               Time, continuity and change
                                       CHART 01.
                                                                                                                                  CHART 02.

    stressing the fact that there may           o       There was plenty of leisure time.
    be multiple causation in situations
    (e.g. attitudes, values, behaviour,                 1772 the Dutch Admira,l Roggeveen, found a degenerating society on a bare
    environment, etc.).                         15
                                                        island amid 600 splendid statues (some half completed).
2   Have students look at the Time
    and place (bottom p.3) page, and            o       Migration from Easter Island became impossible.
    alert them to the need to watch
                                                o       Clans competed to carve and erect the greatest number of sacred statues.
    the maps that will appear peri-
    odically during the film. They will                  The staple diet of the new settlers was sweet potatoes and chicken, neither of
    need to transfer information about          o
                                                        which required much labour.
    times and places onto their maps.
    Their completed map need not be             o       Soil quality declined and food production decreased.
    detailed and precise, but should
    show broad movements over time.             o       Logs were used as rollers to shift the statues to ceremonial sites.
3   The films each cover a broad
                                                o       There was little natural fertilisation over time.
    period of time across a large
    area. Each presents detailed and            o       The Polynesians brought no large animals to the island and no mammals at all.
    sometimes complex information,
    though usually in a very accessible         o       Conflict developed over scarce food resources.
    visual way. Students will need to
                                                1       Polynesians sailed east to settle Easter Island in the fifth century AD.
    have a clear comprehension of the
    story being told in each film. There         o       People became cannibals.
    are two strategies suggested for
    achieving this. One is the Under-           o       Deforestation occurred on a large scale.
    standing the story pages, which
                                                o       There was a shortage of trees for shelter, fuel and canoes.
    are designed to help students
    recall main ideas and information.          o       Good diet caused a substantial growth in population, which organized into clans.
    These questions are broken into
    segments, and teachers could
    stop the film periodically to make
    sure students are following the                 film. This will be a difficult exercise        He saw the magnificent statues that
    narrative. There is also Telling the            for some, but it is an effective way         had been built there—but found the
    story page, which can be used to                of summarizing some of the key               land in a terrible state, and the people
    reinforce students’ understanding               ideas put forward in the films.               in conflict and practising cannibalism.
    of the narrative, and to help them      5       Have students discuss the How
    see the big picture behind each                 Do We Know? page, raising the                Here is a list of events that help to
    of the films in the series. Students             issue of the speculative nature of           explain why the once fertile and pros-
    are also asked periodically to fill in           many of the conclusions presented            perous island had degenerated to that
    parts of the Time and place page,               (for example the meaning of the              extent.
    and to keep a record of major                   Star of Ghassoul in episode 3), and
    archaeological discussions on the               how new discoveries might lead to            1    Arrange these (see chart 02) in a
    How do we know? (p.15)                          a radical re-assessment of much                   logical sequence from 1 to 15 that
4   Have students work in small groups              that is presented here as certain.                shows this change. The first and
    to create the Mental Map of             6       We have included a detailed set of                last stages have been numbered
    Change and Causation for each                   Background Notes (p.15) devel-                    for you. You can cut out the stages
                                                    oped by the producers of the series,              and physically re-arrange them,
                                                    Beyond Productions, to help teach-                until you are satisfied with your
                                                    ers with place names and dates                    final sequence.
                                                                                                                                              ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION

                                                    mentioned in the film series. Teach-          2    Compare your sequence with
                                                    ers should be familiar with these                 those produced by classmates.
                                                    to help students in discussions if           3    What would you say were the main
                                                    questions about these details arise.              causes of what happened on the
                                                                                                      island over time?
                                            Introductory Activity—What
                                            happened on Easter Island?                           Time and place

                                            In 1772 a Dutch explorer landed on                   See Charts 03 and 04 and maps of
                                            an isolated island called Easter Island              Europe and the Middle East overleaf.
                                            located off the coast of Chile.                                                                       3
                                                                                  40° W                20° W                     0°                      20° E            40° E             60° E       Arctic
                                                                                                                                                                                                        Circ le

                                                                                                                            (L o n d o r e e n w ic h
                                                                                                                                                                                                                             60° N

                                           A M E R I CA


                                                                                                                             n of G

                                                                                                                  M e r id ia


                                                                                                                           NORWAY  RUSSIA
                                                                               UNITED                    SWEDEN
                                                                             KINGDOM                            LATVIA
                                                                                                                  LITH.                                                                                               KAZ.
                                                  Atlantic                IRELAND
                                                                                              North          RUSS.
                                                                                               Sea                   BELARUS
                                                    Ocean                                      NETH.        POLAND
                                                                                                    GERMANY                 UKRAINE
                                                                                                          CZECH SLOVAKIA                                                                                                      Sea
                                                                                                     LUX. REP.
                                                                                        BELGIUM LIECH.                     MOLDOVA
                                                                                                                 HUNGARY                                                                                                       40° N
                                                                                                SWITZ. AUSTRIA
                                                                                       FRANCE SLOVENIA       CROATIA ROMANIA Black Sea
                                                                                                     SAN         SERB.& BULGARIA
                                                                              ANDORRA            MARINO ITALY MONT.         TURKEY
                                         0           500 mi                                        CITY     BOSN.& MACEDONIA
                                                                    PORTUGAL                                HERZG.
                                                                                 SPAIN                          ALBAN.
                                         0      500 km
                                                                                              rranean Sea           GREECE                                                                                                  ASIA
                                                           GIBRALTAR (U.K.)               ite
                                        © 2003 National Geographic Society              AFRICA                 MALTA

                                       Years ago

                                        15000         14000        13000        120000       11000   10000      9000      8000      7000
                                                                                                                                           6000      5000           4000        3000

                                       Years ago

                                        15000         14000        13000       120000        11000        10000                   9000                     8000            7000       6000          5000           4000        3000

                                        MIDDLE EAST REGION
                                                                                                                                                                 Astana         Lake
                                        50°N            EUROPE                                                                   KAZAKHSTAN
                                                                                                                      Ca                                Sea   Bishkek
                                                                                                                                                  UZBEKISTAN KYRGYZSTAN

                                                                                         c k Se a                        Tashkent
                                                                                  Bl a

                                                                                              GEORGIA T’bilisi Baku            TAJIKISTAN

                                                                                            ARMENIA               TURKMENISTAN

                                        40°N                                                 Ankara     Yerevan                    Dushanbe                           Ashgabat
                                                                                  TURKEY                                        AZERBAIJAN                                        Kabul          Islamabad
                                                                                 LEBANON                                                                Tehran
                                                   Med                            Lefkosia         SYRIA                                                                  AFGHANISTAN
                                                       ite   r r a n ea       CYPRUS Beirut         Damascus               Baghdad
                                                                          n Sea

                                                                                  ISRAEL                    IRAQ
                                                                                   Jerusalem          Amman                 KUWAIT
                                        30°N                                                       JORDAN                         Persian       Kuwait                            PAKISTAN
                                                                                   Cairo                                          Gulf

                                                                                                                       BAHRAIN Manama
                                                                                             R.                                 QATAR
                                                                                                                       Riyadh                     Doha             Abu Dhabi

                                                       Tropic of Cancer          EGYPT                         SAUDI                                                               Gulf of

                                                                                                              A R A B I A UNITED                                                   Oman


                                                      AFRICA                                                                             YEMEN                                    Arabian
                                                                                                                                                                                                    0             400 mi.
                                                                                                                                                                 en                 Sea             0        400 km
4                                        10°E                   20°E                 30°E                     40°E                          G ulf
                                                                                                                                                  o       f Ad
                                                                                                                                                                                  60°E © 2003 National Geographic Society

                                       MIDDLE: CHARTS 03 AND 04.

                      Understanding the story—Daily Bread
In Stories From the Stone Age, Episode 1: ‘Daily Bread’ you will see how humans changed from
                   being nomadic hunter-gatherers, to being settled farmers.

                                   Aspect of the story                        8   What was special and new about
 The key things to decide as you                                                  their activities?
                                   (Approx. time shown in bold)               9   One of the tools they had was a
 watch the film are:
                                                                                  sickle, used for cutting grass. Go
 •   When did this happen?         00:00 – 01:00                                  to the How do we know? page
 •   Why did it happen then and                                                   and record what this sickle was,
     not some other time?          This introduction tells us about the           and what it tells us about people at
                                   way people were living just before a           the time.
 •   Why did it happen in this
                                   great change.
     place?                                                                   05:50 – 26:20
 •   Why did it happen there and   1 People were hunter-gatherers. What
     not some other place?            does that mean?                         This section of the film gives us details
 •   What impacts did this         2 People were nomadic. What does           about the life of the Natufians.
     change have on people’s          that mean?
                                   3 Why were they nomadic?                   10 What was the big benefit of the
                                                                                 availability of grains?
 •   How do we know about          01:00 – 03:00                              11 How did this change the life of the
     these things?                                                               Natufians? Consider especially
                                   The change took place about 15,000            their nomadism, their work, their
 Look at the film, pause after
                                   years ago, in the ‘fertile crescent’ of       hunting, the development of com-
 each segment, and discuss
                                   the Middle East area.                         munity, and their artistic activities.
 these questions.                                                             12 Archaeologists study the fireplaces
                                   4   Devise a way to mark this on your         and rubbish pits of these people.
                                       Time and place page.                      Go to the How do we know? page
                                   5   This period saw the end of an ice         and list what was found in the
                                       age. What effect did this climate         Natufian house area, and what it
                                       change have on the environment?           tells us about their way of life.
                                   6   What did that mean for people in       13 One of the most important ma-
                                       the area at that time?                    terials for Stone Age people was
                                                                                                                          ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION

                                   7   The film stresses the significance          flint. Explain why it was such an
                                       of a new plant—grass. What is so          important material.
                                       significant about grain-producing       14 The archaeologists have found
                                       grass?                                    Natufian ‘tool kits’. Go to the How
                                                                                 do we know? page and record
                                   03:00 – 05:50                                 what was in these tool kits, and
                                                                                 what they tell us about people at
                                   Archaeologists have named the peo-            the time.
                                   ple who were in this place at this time,   15 The move to grain-gathering
                                   the Natufians.                                 brought changes to the hunter-
                                                                                 gatherers’ lives. What were some             5
                                          of the benefits, and some of the          23 These people were now solely              Telling the story
                                          costs of this change?                       farmers, permanently settled in
                                       16 We start to see the development             one place, and controlling the            Here are some paragraphs that sum-
                                          of religious or spiritual beliefs from      growth and harvesting of the              marize what you have just seen.
                                          burial rituals. Go to the How do            grains. What were the advantages
                                          we know? page and record what               and disadvantages of this total           Unfortunately, the paragraphs have
                                          was found at the Natufian burial             reliance on grain? Consider such          been mixed up.
                                          site and what it tells us about peo-        elements as work, quality of life,
                                          ple at the time.                            health, artistic creativity, and tools.   You task is to re-arrange the para-
                                                                                   24 One of the most important chang-          graphs into a logical order that sum-
                                       26:20 – 49:00                                  es was in the way people lived to-        marizes the film.

                                       The Natufians survived in this way for                                                    •   Meanwhile, across the vast ex-
                                       about 2500 years. Then there was a                                                           panse of Europe, people were still
                                       new ice snap, the ‘Younger Dryas’.                                                           living as they always had—hunting
                                       This led to a fundamental change in                                                          and gathering wild food, moving
                                       the life of the Natufians.                                                                    from place to place. Eventually the
                                                                                                                                    revolution that began in the Fertile
                                       17 What happened to the environment                                                          Crescent would spread across the
                                          in the area where the Natufians                                                            rest of the world. But for most it
                                          lived?                                                                                    would not happen for many thou-
                                       18 Devise a way to show this on the                                                          sands of years.
                                          Time and place page.                                                                  •   In the Middle East the nomads
                                       19 Some Natufians decided to settle                                                           were about to change the world
                                          in an area that had water but did                                                         forever. Here, a hunter-gatherer
                                          not produce the wild grasses that                                                         people called the Natufians used
                                          they had lived off for thousands of                                                       stone sickles to harvest huge
                                          years. What did they have to do to                                                        crops of wild cereals. They took
                                          the natural environment to survive?                                                       the first steps toward farming,
                                       20 The drought caused by the                                                                 Able to stay put for long periods,
                                          Younger Dryas lasted about 1000             gether—society. With larger groups            they built semi-permanent circular
                                          years. At the end the new climate           living together, what changes did             stone huts, and—perhaps out of
                                          was perfect for farming. Devise a           this bring to society?                        a new sense of belonging—buried
                                          way of showing this on your Time                                                          their dead beneath the floors. They
                                          and place page.                          Bringing it all together                         wore distinctive shell decorations
                                       21 Why was this area now suitable for                                                        and made portable art works and
                                          farming?                                 25 Go back to the list of key questions          woven vessels.
                                       22 How had the people changed the              to answer. What are your answers          •   But after 1500 years, this bold new
                                          morphology, or natural features, of         to them?                                      culture was decimated. In a dra-
                                          grains?                                                                                   matic climate crash, the world sud-
                                                                                                                                    denly became cold and dry again.
                                                                                                                                    Only a remnant of the Natufians
                                                                                                                                    survived by planting seeds saved
                                                                                                                                    from their wild harvest.
                                                                                                                                •   Around fifteen thousand years ago,
                                                                                                                                    at the end of the last ice age, the
                                                                                                                                    world became warmer and wet-
                                                                                                                                    ter. Landscapes were changing

                                                                                                                                    everywhere. Plants and animals
                                                                                                                                    flourished. It was a hunter-gather-
                                                                                                                                    ers’ paradise.
                                                                                                                                •   They were not to know it, but this
                                                                                                                                    small act was the beginning of true
                                                                                                                                    farming. Genetic selection and
                                                                                                                                    chance mutation, combined with
                                                                                                                                    human intervention, would prove
                                                                                                                                    a potent mix—one that would ulti-
                                                                                                                                    mately transform weedy wild plants
6                                                                                                                                   into varied and abundant crops.

                                       FROM TOP: STATUE RANO RARAKU; AN OAK COFFIN BURIAL
•   Soon, they had whole fields of              Mental Map—Change and                      For example you can draw a line be-
    cereal under cultivation and had           Causation                                  tween FARMING and ENVIRONMENT,
    to develop new levels of social or-                                                   and write ‘Farming needed a certain
    ganization to deal with the harvest.       The film is about the way nomadic           environment’. You could then draw a
    There was a flowering of art and            hunter-gatherers living in small groups    line between ENVIRONMENT and CLI-
    ritual life—including a skull cult that    became farmers living in large socie-      MATE, and write ‘Climate influenced
    involved beheading and exhuma-             ties, and the ways this changed the        environment’. What you are doing is
    tion.                                      way people lived.                          making a statement of an idea or con-
•   The hard time lasted over a thou-                                                     nection between CLIMATE, ENVIRON-
    sand years. Then just as suddenly          There are lots of ideas, and connec-       MENT and FARMING.
    the world warmed and settled—at            tions between ideas, in this film.
    last the weather was regular and                                                      See what connections you can draw
    reliable. Seizing this boon, the           Here are some words from the film,          between other words connected with
    Natufians began planting crops in           placed around the central idea of          the development of earliest farming.
    areas where rain alone would water         ‘farming’. Your task now is to draw
    them. The lessons they had learnt          a line between words which have a          You can also add new words to the
    in desperation set humanity on a           connection and write that key idea on      grid if you want to. (See chart 05)
    new course. They were the world’s          the line.
    first farmers.
                                                                                                                                  ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION


                                          POPULATION                            CONTROL

                        PLANNING                                                                  LEADERS

     BELIEFS                                                 FARMING                                              NOMADISM

                          TOOLS                                                                   SOCIETY

                                              SKILLS                             HEALTH

                                                             Understanding the story—Urban Dream
                                       In Stories From the Stone Age, Episode 2: ‘Urban Dream’ you will see how the farmers of the Fertile
                                         Crescent start to domesticate goats and sheep, and how this influences the creation of urban
                                         settlements. This knowledge starts to spread to Europe, where it needs to be adapted to suit
                                                                     very different environments and climates.

                                       Aspect of the story                                                               13:00 – 20:50
                                                                                    The key things to decide as you
                                       (Approx. time shown in bold)                 watch the film are:                   11 Small cities started to develop, but
                                                                                                                            there were changes in the style
                                       00:00 – 05:30                                •   When did this happen?               of buildings. Go to the How do
                                                                                    •   Why did it happen then and          we know? page and record what
                                       This introduction reminds us that not            not some other time?                archaeologists have found about
                                       all the people of the Fertile Crescent       •   Why did it happen in this           the development of houses and
                                       moved directly to farming after the                                                  settlements, and what they tell us
                                                                                        place and not some other
                                       Younger Dryas period of climate                                                      about people at the time.
                                       change. Many had remained hunt-                                                   12 Why did the development of urban
                                       ers and still followed the herds. But        •   What impacts did this               life help the spread of specializa-
                                       they would soon also have to change              change have on people’s             tion of people’s skills?
                                       dramatically.                                    lives?                           13 The way houses are built can tell
                                                                                    •   How do we know about                us about people’s attitudes and
                                       1   The first domesticated animal was                                                 values. Why can we say that the
                                                                                        these things?
                                           the dog. Why would dogs be valu-                                                 development of the concept of pri-
                                           able to humans?                                                                  vacy can be seen by the changing
                                                                                                                            structure of houses?
                                       05:30 – 10:00                               the puzzle’. What does this mean?     14 How can we say that places are
                                                                                7  What have archaeologists found           becoming ‘homes’ as well as
                                       2   What change did the Younger             that helps us to know this devel-        ‘houses’?
                                           Dryass have on the availability of      opment was happening? Go to
                                           food for hunters?                       the How do we know? page and          20:50 – 32:30
                                       3   The goat was the first herd animal       record what they found connected

                                           domesticated by humans. Why did         with goats, and what this tells us    15 One of the developments associ-
                                           humans want to domesticate it?          about what was happening at the          ated with the origin of towns was
                                       4   How did human domestication of          time.                                    plaster. How was plaster used?
                                           the animal change it?                8 How did the domestication of           16 Why did people like using plaster?
                                       5   Devise a way to show this change        animals help to create cities?        17 The use of plaster to create stat-
                                           on the Time and place page.          9 What disadvantages or problems            ues also shows us something of
                                                                                   did this create?                         the people’s spiritual beliefs. Go
                                       10:00 – 13:00                            10 How did the development of larger        to the How do we know? page
                                                                                   settlements create a need for more       and describe the statues that have
                                       6   Herders and farmers now started         social leadership and organization?      been found, and what they tell us
8                                          to come together. ‘Each had half                                                 about people at the time.
18 There is a large public building that   24 At this time farming and urban          Fertile Crescent the old way of life
   the archaeologists show in the film         life were having an impact on the       was in crisis. The land that had once
   and four large stone pillars. Go to        environment. Explain why this hap-      sustained the world’s first farmers
   the How do we know? page and               pened.                                  was worn out and ruined. Over two
   record what archaeologists have                                                    thousand years villagers had slowly
   found and what they tell us about       43:00 – 51:20                              changed the land.
   people at the time.
                                           25 How did the different environment       By 7000 years ago a key settlement,
32:30                                         and climate in Europe make farm-        Ain Ghazal, was abandoned and
                                              ers change their technology?            others were soon to follow. Many of
19 The development of farming and          26 Why were these things break-            the survivors were forced to become
   herding led to a growth of popu-           throughs: planting with the sea-        nomadic herders ranging across the
   lation and a need to expand, to            sons; the plough?                       exposed highlands.
   find more land. Farmers began to         27 Hunter-gatherers and farmers lived
   move in small groups into southern         side-by-side for a long time in Eu-     The remaining hunter-gatherers aban-
   Europe.                                    rope. Why did the hunter-gatherers      doned a life on the edge of starvation
20 What did the farmer/traders take           eventually change their style of life   for the more secure harvests of settled
   with them?                                 and become farmers?                     life. In fusing, the farmers and hunter-
21 Why had these areas not devel-                                                     gatherers created the culture that
                                                                                                                                 ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION

   oped farming for themselves?            Bringing it all together                   started our western way of life.
22 What new challenges to farming
   did the forest environment create?      28 Go back to the list of key ques-        People across the region came
23 By 7000 years ago, the hunter-             tions to answer. What are your          together to worship. Archaeologists
   gatherers of Europe were now               answers to them?                        can see how religion became a huge
   being confronted by the change                                                     public display and rituals were played
   brought by the farmers from the         Telling the story                          out in open air sanctuaries.
   Middle East. Devise a way to show
   this on your Time and place page.       As these pioneers built their new way      The challenge came from the green
                                           of life in Europe they lost touch with     hills of the Middle East. There, the
39:00 – 43:00                              the Middle East. Behind them in the        hunter-gatherers had lived very well.          9
                                       They had abundant food and they had       make straight corners, staircases and        continued felling the forests. But they
                                       learnt to hunt with dogs. But when the    shaped doorways and windows—                 found their old farming methods no
                                       Middle East was hit with a sudden and     4000 years before the first pyramids.         longer worked. It took a thousand
                                       catastrophic climate change (and over                                                  years for them to find an answer to the
                                       a thousand years of drought) the hunt-    They invented the first artificial             bitter northern winters. And once they
                                       ers were forced to change. To save        building material. Smooth, clean             did, their new and uniquely European
                                       themselves they took control of their     and waterproof, it was instantly             lifestyle spread with amazing speed.
                                       prey. They began to manage the wild       popular—plaster. They used it on their       Within three hundred years the con-
                                       herds and breed selectively—keeping       floors and their walls. Then they took        tinent was literally dotted with thou-
                                       the animals alive, rather than killing    it even further and made it part of their    sands of villages. The face of Europe
                                       them.                                     ritual lives. Covering the skulls of their   was forever changed.
                                                                                 ancestors, they preserved the images
                                       It was the domestication of animals,      of their dead.                               Eight thousand years ago the idea of
                                       like goats and sheep, that brought                                                     farming spread out from the Middle
                                       farming to a new level. For the first      Twelve thousand years ago early              East towards Europe where they faced

                                       time our ancestors had a secure food      Europeans lived a hard life in nomadic       the challenge of a new landscape and
                                       supply and could plan for the future.     bands. For hundreds of generations           a new climate.
                                       Herding, combined with cropping,          they had followed the wild herds
                                       led to urban expansion. New towns         depending on them for survival. But          Mental Map—Change and
                                       spread down the valleys. Today, ar-       they were about to face a new chal-          Causation
                                       chaeologists are tracking the architec-   lenge. It would come from a different
                                       tural revolution that followed. Inside    people and a different world. They           The film is about the way nomadic
                                       the neat, square structures, they         would either have to change or disap-        hunter-gatherers living in small groups
                                       have found evidence of meticulous         pear—forever.                                became farmers living in large socie-
                                       housekeeping—even spring-clean-                                                        ties, and the ways this changed the
10                                     ing. The first builders learnt how to      In Europe the advancing farmers              way people lived.

                                       ABOVE: BULLOCKS PLOUGHING
There are lots of ideas and connec-       tween TOWNS and DOMESTICATION           POPULATION CHANGE.
tions between ideas in this film.          OF ANIMALS and write ‘Towns devel-
                                          oped when animals could be domesti-     See what connections you can draw
Here are some words from the film          cated, because there was food on the    between other words connected with
placed around the central idea of         spot’. You could then draw a line be-   the development of earliest towns and
‘farming’. Your task now is to draw       tween DOMESTICATION OF ANIMALS          urban settlements.
a line between words which have a         and POPULATION and write ‘Available
connection and write that key idea on     food increased population’. What you    You can also add new words to the
the line.                                 are doing is making a statement of an   grid if you want to. (See chart 06)
                                          idea or connection between TOWNS,
For example you can draw a line be-       DOMESTICATION OF ANIMALS and


                                      RESOURCE USE                     ENVIRONMENT
                                                                                                                          ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION


     BELIEFS                                            TOWNS                                               DISEASE

                   ARCHITECTURE                                                           PLASTER

                                      MODIFICATION                    DOMESTICATION
                                       OF STOCK                        OF ANIMALS

                                                       OF SKILLS
                                                         Understanding the story—Waves of Change
                                       In Stories From the Stone Age, Episode 3: ‘Waves of Change’ you will see how people from the
                                       Middle East started to bring new materials and ideas with them to Europe, and how these would
                                                                           change people’s lives.

                                       Aspect of the story                                                              How did the Ghassoulians change
                                                                                  The key things to decide as you       the environment to overcome the
                                       (Approx. time shown in bold)               watch the film are:                    problem with water?
                                                                                                                    6   Look at the evidence for this
                                       00:00 – 02:20                              •   When did this happen?             changing of the environment. Go
                                                                                  •   Why did it happen then and        to the How do we know? page
                                       The film introduces the key focus of            not some other time?              and record what the evidence is
                                       the story of this episode of the devel-    •   Why did it happen in this         for this change and what it tells us
                                       opment of Stone Age people: the huge                                             about people at the time.
                                                                                      place and not some other
                                       change in life brought about by the                                          7   Why was this activity so signifi-
                                       development of metal 4000 years ago.                                             cant in showing how society was
                                                                                  •   What impacts did this             changing?
                                       02:20 – 12:40                                  change have on people’s       8   How might the ‘Star of Ghassoul’
                                                                                      lives?                            show us how this great task was
                                       We now see the significance of the de-      •   How do we know about              possible?
                                       velopment of trade about 7000 years                                          9   If this theory is correct, what does
                                                                                      these things?
                                       ago in the Jordan Valley.                                                        it tell us about a change in religious
                                                                                                                        beliefs and attitudes?
                                       1   Devise a way to mark this on your
                                           Time and place page.                                                     17:40 – 23:00
                                       2   Why does Ghassoul become a key
                                           trading place? Consider its loca-                                        While this is happening, Stone Age
                                           tion, its access to natural resourc-                                     farmers have become well-established
                                           es, and its development of means                                         in Europe.

                                           of transportation of goods.
                                       3   How is trade starting to reflect a                                        10 How do the stone burial chambers
                                           move towards individualism, rather                                          show that people still had a com-
                                           than community values?                                                      munity attitude, rather than the
                                       4   How does trade also start to create                                         individualistic or leader-follower
                                           means of record-keeping?                                                    attitude developing in the Middle
                                       12:40 – 17:40
                                                                                                                    23:00 – 29:40
                                       5 The narrator says that ‘Everything
12                                        in the Middle East is about water’.                                       The film describes the discovery of

                                       ABOVE: METAL SMELTING
  copper smelting at this time as a revo-      emphazise this?                       20 How does the bronze age burial
  lutionary change.                         15 How does the development of              show this development?
                                               smelting of bronze objects show
  11 Why is this discovery so important        the rise of a warrior group?          43:30 – 50:20
     in changing people’s lives?
                                            36:45 – 38:00                            21 What is the significance for indi-
  29:40 – 34:10                                                                         viduals and society of the develop-
                                            16 How does the introduction of rid-        ment of iron tools and weapons?
  In Europe we soon see the arrival of         ing horses show it?
  the Beaker People.                                                                 Bringing it all together
                                            38:00 – 39:00
  12 How does the Beaker burial show                                                 22 Go back to the list of key questions
     individualism, as opposed to the       17 How does the introduction of the         to answer. What are your answers
     communal attitude of the stone            wheel help this attitude to devel-       to them?
     monument burials?                         op?                                   23 The narrator says that the society
                                                                                                                                ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION

  13 The Beaker People are traders.         18 Devise a way to mark the arrival of      we are today can be traced back
     How do their trade goods stress           the wheel on your Time and place         to the earliest farmers. Write one
     this change of values from sharing        page.                                    or two sentences that summarizes
     as a community to having private                                                   how the film says this happened.
     individual possessions?                39:00 – 41:00
                                                                                     Telling the story
  34:10 – 36: 45                            19 How does the development of fine
                                               wool and dyes show this process?      Four thousand years ago, on a
  14 There are several key develop-                                                  windswept sea cliff in Europe, a girl is
     ments that show this change. How       41:00 – 43:30                            gathering eggs from a rookery. Sud-
     does the introduction of bronze                                                 denly, bronze clad strangers appear        13

                                                                                RESOURCES                      ENVIRONMENT

                                                              LOCATION                                                          COMMUNITY

                                            BELIEFS                                               TRADE                                              SOCIETY

                                                              WEAPONS                                                              IDEAS

                                                                                   TOOLS                      INDIVIDUALISM


                                       on a ridge behind her. She’s never                                                crafts people, archaeologists are able
                                       seen a horse or a wagon with wheels                                               to trace an intriguing shift from a col-
                                                                                       Evidence        Interpretation
                                       before. Fearfully she watches one of                                              lective sense of identity to the ‘rise of
                                       the archers kneels to make an offering.                                           the individual’ as a new and mysteri-
                                       He fires an arrow tipped with bronze.                                              ous culture appeared across Europe.
                                       Later, she drops the bronze tipped ar-
                                       rowhead into the lap of the village flint                                          Innovation upon innovation spread
                                       knapper.                                                                          from the Middle East to Europe. The
                                                                                                                         horse was now being ridden. The
                                       In the arid land beyond the city walls                                            wheel drawn carts and wagons made
                                       archaeologists have found evidence of                                             the transport of heavy loads over long
                                       early irrigation—and groves of olives.                                            distances possible. For the first time,
                                       This was long-term investment farm-                                               trade began to move from Europe
                                       ing—a major step towards civilization.                                            back to the Middle East.

                                       In the give and take, the elite offered                                           The Ghassoulians had placed them-
                                       social organization and protection.                                               selves directly on a major trade route
                                       Both safety and danger came from the                                              that linked two great emerging pow-
                                       armed warrior chief. It is through their                                          ers—the Sumerians on the Euphrates
                                       graves that we have a sudden window                                               and the Egyptians on the Nile. The
                                       on what life was like four thousand                                               Ghassoulians were the providers of
                                       years ago.                                                                        the mass-produced staples, like olives
                                                                                                                         and salt. Their trading culture was
                                       In the Middle East the story of the first                                          successful and sophisticated. But the
                                       farmers ends with armies and the rise                                             puzzle has been to discover how they
                                       of the first cities; while in Europe there                                         managed to thrive in one of the driest
                                       is evidence of boundary fences, stock-                                            places on earth.
                                       aded villages and the first recorded
                                       images of violence are depicted on                                                The arrival of metal revolutionized
                                       rocks.                                                                            the European economy. This period
                                                                                                                         saw the emergence of an elite class
                                       And they had discovered something                                                 and the introduction of tributes and
                                       else even more precious than olives—                                              taxes, and the ability of bronze to hold
                                       copper. The smelters cast axe-heads                                               a sharp edge inspired the making of
                                       and ornate ritual objects. It was a                                               deadly war axes and slashing swords.

                                       prime trade item and the prime traders
                                       were the Ghassoulians. The idea of                                                Our search takes us back to the Mid-
                                       trading and how to live by it—rather                                              dle East some six thousand years ago,
                                       than farming—moved from the Middle                                                to a thriving town at the edge of the
                                       East to Europe.                                                                   Dead Sea—Teleilat Ghassoul. Here,
                                                                                                                         we find an extraordinarily sophisticat-
                                       In the now established European                                                   ed culture, two thousand years before
                                       farming cultures, the last great stone                                            the first pyramids.
                                       age builders were leaving their phe-
                                       nomenal legacy: the megaliths. From                                               The last hunter-gatherers disappear
14                                     ancient tombs and the handiwork of                                                forever. The rule of stone was over.

                                       FROM TOP: CHART 07; CHART 08
Then around three thousand years           The daily farming life of the community   make a connection like: ‘TRADE was
ago the smiths discover a new cheap        was bound by a network of exchange        helped by LOCATION and the availa-
effective tool, iron. It sweeps Europe.    and obligation.                           bility of RESOURCES and the SKILLS
It loosed the sword and the soldier on                                               to use those resources to create
the world.                                 Mental Map—Change and                     wanted products’.
These people, named the Beakers af-                                                  See what connections you can draw
ter their enormous pottery cups, were      This documentary series is about the      between other words connected with
the traders of Stone Age Europe. They      evolution from nomadic hunter-gather-     the development of earliest towns and
knew the secret of making bronze.          ers living in small groups to farmers     urban settlements.
And with their precious metal objects      living in large societies, and how this
they brought a new set of ideas that       changed the way that people lived.        You can also add new words to the
turned the place upside down. It                                                     grid if you want to. (See chart 07)
included the new fermented drinks,         There are lots of ideas and connec-
alcohol.                                   tions between ideas in this series.       How do we know?
                                                                                                                              ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION

This ‘Stone Age’ period of history was,    Here are some words from the film          Identify some evidence that archae-
indeed, a turning point for our species.   placed around the central idea of         ologists have found, and explain what
By its conclusion the seeds of our         ‘farming’. Your task now is to draw       they have interpreted this evidence to
world had already been sown.               a line between words which have a         show. (See chart 08)
                                           connection, and write that key idea on
Whether these people guessed it or         the line.
not, this moment signalled the end of
an era. How did this final revolution       For example you can draw a line
unfold?                                    between TRADE, LOCATION, RE-
                                           SOURCES and SKILLS. You could                                                      15
                                                                                  Natufians.                                    family members. They don’t seem to
                                                                                                                               us like a people who have comfortably
                                                                                  When she found bone sickles with flint        moved to full sedentary living.
                                                                                  blades, polished through cutting cere-
                                                                                  als, she concluded that the Natufians         So what caused this beginning of the
                                                                                  were the world’s first agriculturalists.      greatest settlement and subsistence
                                                                                                                               transformation in human history—the
                                                                                  Later archaeologists clarified that they      shift into farming?
                                                                                  only harvested wild plants and hunted
                                                                                  wild animals. Gazelle was their main         Two recent research surveys in Green-
                                                                                  source of hunted protein. But they also      land have given a startlingly accurate
                                                                                  ate a broad variety of animals, birds,       and new understanding of the climate
                                                                                  reptiles, fish and shellfish.                  at this time. Researchers now believe
                                       Background Notes                                                                        a bitterly cold and arid cold snap,
                                                                                  They also established the first rudi-         called the Younger Dryas, occurred
                                       Prepared by Beyond Productions             mentary villages and developed the
                                                                                  tools and methods indispensable for
                                       THE NATUFIANS—Wild                         the later appearance of farming.
                                       Harvesters become First
                                       Farmers                                    One of the big debates over the
                                                                                  Natufian period surrounds how sed-
                                       The Natufian culture appeared in the        entary they were; whether they lived
                                       Jordan Valley area of the Middle East      in one village all year, year after year,
                                       12-13,000 years ago towards the end        like modern farmers or if they moved
                                       of the last Ice Age. They represent a      around, returning to their base camps
                                       crucial point in human history—the         only part of the year. At this stage the
                                       transition to our modern way of liv-       jury is still out and there is no unequiv-
                                       ing, paving the way for settled life in    ocal answer to this question.
                                       villages and an existence based on
                                       farming.                                   What is clear, is their preoccupation
                                                                                  with place, with the structures built in     and that caused the rapid return of
                                       The Natufians were a culmination of         homesites. Many of these excavated           the northern Eurasian ice before they
                                       the ancestral ways of hunting and          huts have yielded burials beneath the        finally retracted.
                                       gathering. But they also foreshadowed      floors. In what appears to be a mark-
                                       elements of the first farming villages.     ing of place, and of hut sites, shallow      This had a dramatic effect on the rest
                                       Our story concentrates on Wadi Ham-        graves were dug with bodies laid out         of the world. The Younger Dryas hit in
                                       meh in Jordan, while also drawing on       carefully. It marked the beginning of a      the middle of the Natufian period and
                                       evidence from other archaeological         tradition that would be taken further        most Natufian sites seem to be aban-
                                       Natufian sites, including Shukbah,          by later farmers and advanced urban          doned. It lasted for nearly 1500 years
                                       El-Wad and Ain Mallaha in Israel. Their    peoples in the area.                         and flipped back almost as suddenly
                                       culture lasted from around 12,500                                                       to near today’s climate conditions.
                                       to 10,500 years ago—a significant           It appears Natufians dropped most
                                       period of time on Earth for one distinct   of their rubbish in their houses right       Immediately after good environmen-
                                       people.                                    where they lived; among their work-          tal conditions returned, at the end of
                                                                                  places they stored sets of tools, even       the Younger Dryas, those Natufian
                                       They were discovered and named by          fragments of human bones—their               communities who had survived led
                                       Dorothy Garrod in 1932 who was a                                                        to a dramatic new development—the
                                       pioneer of Middle Eastern prehistory.                                                   sudden appearance of bigger villages,

                                       Her excavations were the first profes-                                                   built by communities who were ex-
                                       sionally-run prehistoric excavations in                                                 perimenting with cultivation on a much
                                       the Middle East.                                                                        larger scale.

                                       Garrod found tools and portable                                                         From around 10,000 years ago, in
                                       artworks of a high quality that was                                                     various regions of the Fertile Crescent
                                       unexpected from such deep reaches                                                       in the Middle East, a strong momen-
                                       of Middle Eastern prehistory. She                                                       tum towards permanent settlement
                                       also found burials which were quite                                                     and agriculture occurred—from the
                                       different to those that had preceded                                                    Euphrates River Valley in northern
16                                     them and named these people, the                                                        Syria and southern Turkey, to the

                                       THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE: NATUFIANS
                                                                                  we see the shift from round houses         like traditional village architecture we
                                                                                  to rectangular houses. But later the       might recognize in parts of the Middle
                                                                                  extraordinary community buildings or       East today. The floors were beauti-
                                                                                  meeting houses also occur.                 fully plastered, made up carefully with
                                                                                                                             layers of reeds, with fitted basins, and
                                                                                  Here archaeologists found carved           kept clean of rubbish, and often over-
                                                                                  stone benches and images signify-          laid with well-woven mats.
                                                                                  ing the taming of wild nature: snakes,
                                                                                  wild cattle horns and stone-sculpted       By this period, a sophisticated style
                                                                                  vultures swirl as if in some dark tale     of architecture, village life and crafts
                                                                                  with beheaded humans, witnesses            had developed. The quality of arts and
                                                                                  to ancient rites held by our ancestors     crafts are shown in an extraordinary
                                                                                  who were creating a new world under        cache of artefacts found in 1983,
                                       Jordan Valley in the south as far south    their control.                             stuffed in the small cave of Nahal He-
                                       as the Dead Sea. It’s now we see a                                                    mar, preserved in the arid conditions
                                       transitional period from early agricul-    Animal Domestication                       below sea level by the Dead Sea. Here
                                       ture when wild cereals were cultivated.                                               archaeologists found basketry frag-
                                                                                  Between 8000 and 9000 years ago,           ments and cordage boxes, some lined
                                       These people lived in the first villages,   farming spread extensively across the      with bitumen from the Dead Sea.
                                       such as the dramatic settlement of         Fertile Crescent of the Middle East—
                                       Jerf al-Ahmar on the Euphrates with        from the south of Jordan all the way to    So it was that a new way of life found-
                                       its spectacular communal buildings.        the lower Zagros in modern Iran.           ed on agriculture emerged—compris-
                                       Other excavated sites include the well-                                               ing fully domesticated plants, wheat,
                                       known Jericho, Netiv Hagdud in Israel,     Many large, crowded villages of well-      barley, legumes. Some way during
                                       Tel Mureybet in Syria.                     built rectangular houses emerged.          this period comes the domestication
                                                                                  These villages were based on econo-        of goats, then sheep and slightly later
                                       This once-only event in human history      mies dependant upon cereal agricul-        cattle and pigs.
                                       has been called the Neolithic or (late)    ture and animal herding.
                                       Stone Age Revolution and implies the                                                  Animal domestication seems to come
                                       strong influence that climate had on        There is evidence for widespread           southward from the hilly distribution of
                                       the beginning of farming.                                                             goats, then sheep; perhaps from the
                                                                                                                             foothills of Turkey and Iraq. But the
                                       At the time, the houses were often                                                    jury is still out on this.
                                       small round, and very poky and
                                       cramped. But they all had a central                                                   Similarly the new rectilinear style of
                                       hearth—and can be called proper                                                       architecture seems to arise first in
                                       houses.                                                                               northern Levant, such as at Jerf, as
                                                                                                                             the ideas are believed to have spread
                                       Many had built-in storage bins (this is                                               south.
                                       crucial evidence of storage). Grinding
                                       equipment was less elaborate, as it                                                   But it appears there was a down side
                                       was apparently needed more often,                                                     to the rapid spread of farming. People
                                       so there was no time for decorative                                                   were living in cramped, crowded vil-
                                       additions.                                                                            lages, communicable diseases prob-
                                                                                                                             ably spread rapidly amongst the large
                                       Now we see a development in the burial     contacts between villages, with the        settled populations. There would also
                                       practice. Skulls began to be removed,      beginnings of trade, and even rudi-        have been the problem of refuse dis-
                                       often found elsewhere in the house site,   mentary accountancy. New religious         posal which may have compounded

                                       sometimes re-interred in collections,      beliefs become widely established,         some these issues. Sometimes signs
                                       perhaps signifying an ancestral log or     represented through an emphasis on         of such problems are present in the
                                       lineage to the place or territory.         human figures in their artwork.             human skeletons excavated, such as
                                                                                                                             signs of tuberculosis and poor nutri-
                                       Jerf al-Ahmar in Syria is a stunning       Clearer pictures of ancestral lineage      tion.
                                       new site, recently excavated by a          and linkage to place appear, empha-
                                       French team headed by Danielle             sizing the decorated heads of ances-       Settled village life involved staying in
                                       Stordeur. Stordeur found an elaborate      tors, and imposing shrines.                one spot for hundreds or even thou-
                                       sequence of the gradual development                                                   sands of years. While this new way of
                                       of rectilinear from circular houses.       For the first time, well-made rectilinear   life provided security, it also came at a
18                                     Dated from 10,000 - 9400 years ago         mudbrick houses appear, not un-            cost. Previously hunter-gatherers were

                                       THIS PAGE AND OPPOSITE: NATUFIANS
constantly on the move and their resi-     One other important development             ments. They were remarkably stere-
dential territories were able to recover   happened in this period—items of            otyped culturally and it seems there
over time. Once farming took hold the      trade begin to appear. Turkish obsidian     was no real limit to their expansion,
recovery period was no longer pos-         arrived throughout the Fertile Cres-        which occurred rapidly over most of
sible. Settled life produced substantial   cent. This is one of the first clear signs   the plains area between 6500 - 6200
changes to the landscape.                  of networking between settlements           years ago.
                                           and is seen as the precursor to the
One of the earliest and most notable       Copper (Chalcolithic) trading routes
examples of this problem is at Ain         that crossed the Middle East.
Ghazal in Jordan. Here the scenario
of environmental degradation can be        The Spread of Farming into
seen spanning over 2000 years.             Europe

Settlement began around 9200 years         For a long time there’s been contro-
ago and grew rapidly to a one to           versy over the degree of influence the
two hectare settlement—Ain Ghazal.         Middle East had on European farming
Expansion continued unabated and           practice. The question has generally
within a few hundred years later it had    been asked: was there an indigenous
reached twelve to thirteen hectares.       European development? Most experts
                                           agree that many of the early principles
Archeologist Gary Rollefson and his        and domesticated plants and animals
team found that the earliest period has    of the ‘farming package’ arrived in
large, single-roomed structures up to      Europe from the Middle East.                Pollen profiles show that in some
five by five metres in area, with plas-                                                  areas, LBK expansion resulted in mas-
tered floors and large posts, and fifty      The nature of the ‘farming package’         sive clearance of forests.
to sixty centimetre posts as roof sup-     transmission is still in question—
ports. But these posts had decreased       whether it was due to the spread of         Conditions are even colder here than
to fifteen to twenty centimetres by         actual people, invasions or migrations,     in the Balkans so farming techniques
8,500 years ago.                           or just the exchange of the basic ele-      had to be altered. Sheep and goats
                                           ments—grains and animals.                   almost disappear and cattle become
Room sizes shrink to about two by two                                                  the dominant farm animal.
metres. The use of timber for building     Archaeologists now know farming
is scaled down and replaced by interior    came to Cyprus around 9000 years            THE EXPANSION OF
stone wall segments, culminating in        ago. Farmers actually stocked the is-       METALLURGY
convoluted ‘corridor buildings’.           land on arrival, not only with domestic
                                           goats and cultivated emmer (wheat),         Between 6500 and 5500 years ago
Huge numbers of trees were felled in       but also brought wild fallow deer from      more complex societies had also been
order to meet the demand for posts.        the mainland .                              developing in the Middle East. This
In the later period of occupation the                                                  period is known as the Copper Stone
practice was discontinued. Meanwhile       Being a similar Mediterranean habitat,      Age or the Chalcolithic. This period led
the forests were being heavily ex-         farming could spread around the base        to the rise of the state in Egypt.
ploited to fuel kilns that produced lime   of Mediterranean by sea. The ideas
plaster. Houses were plastered and         also spread overland through Turkey         Though they were much less complex
re-plastered. Studies show that each       to Greece.                                  and much smaller in size than the
house-plastering required an average                                                   Egyptian or Sumerian societies, they
of thirteen tons of wood for fuel. Under   Glaciations of Europe resulted in rich,     had a significant part to play in the rise
such heavy demands, it appears that        fertile ‘loess’ soil deposits on the        of later Bronze and Iron Age civiliza-
the area became logged out.                northern continental lowlands, spread-      tions.
                                                                                                                                      ISSUE 36 AUSTRALIAN SCREEN EDUCATION

                                           ing from the Czech Republic through
This decrease coincides with a notice-     Germany and Russia to France. This          One such society is called the Ghas-
able increase in the numbers of goats      was the setting for a dramatic expan-       soulian (rassoolian) culture. Though
and sheep. Unprecedented grazing           sion of farming into Europe.                these people were illiterate, the remains
pressure by goats short-circuited the                                                  from their sites show increase in the
normal regeneration process.               Here the LBK culture ( in archaeologi-      scale of town life, the development of
                                           cal circles known more correctly as         irrigation and orchards, a token-control-
Before the plaster gave out, Ain           Linearbandkeramik or Linear pottery         led trade economy, a greater elaboration
Ghazal produced the most startling         culture) appears quite suddenly and         in ritual, including in the architecture and
evidence of the ancestor cult—almost       the period is named after the charac-       the objects used ritually.
life-size sculptures.                      teristic pottery found in these settle-                                                    19
                                       This dramatic broadening of the ag-          one carrying a hooked sceptre over           rather than dead; for instance, milk,
                                       ricultural base was probably stimu-          the shoulder.                                wool, transport, traction and plough-
                                       lated by a demand from Egypt for the                                                      ing; and for plants there was orchard-
                                       Ghassoulians’ consumer goods. There          Further discoveries have fleshed out a        ing, requiring long term capital invest-
                                       was also a huge natural abundance            more rounded picture of Ghassoulian          ments before a yield is gained. It’s a
                                       of copper from mines in south Jordan         ritual. The Ein Gedi sanctuary over-         surprisingly contemporary concept,
                                       and this advanced the knowledge of           looks the Dead Sea from a 500m high          and all of this required the invention of
                                       metalurgy—the most sophisticated in          bluff. It’s a dramatic setting with a long   irrigation, traces of which are argued
                                       the entire Middle East at this period.       history of use. The Ghassoulians built       to be in evidence at Teleilat Ghassoul.
                                                                                    a substantial temple complex, with
                                       The Ghassoulian culture is named             open air courtyards and gates set at         This study guide was produced by
                                       after the site of Teleilat Ghassoul in the   each point of the compass. There are         ATOM. For more information about
                                       southern Jordan Valley, and stretches        large well-built rooms with evidence of      ATOM study guides, The Speakers’
                                       down to the Negev desert. It’s a fea-        ritual practice that appears to be cen-      Bureau or Screen Hub (the daily online
                                       tureless flat site, right near the Dead       tred on the veneration of water—a pre-       film and television newsletter) visit our
                                       Sea and large—about thirty hectares.         occupation easy to understand in the         web site:
                                       The site has been dug by many people         arid conditions of the Jordan valley.        or email:
                                       throughout the twentieth century. But

                                       the first to really understand the site’s     Just a little further south a cave
                                       significance was J.B Hennessy in the          yielded a spectacular haul of ritual
                                       1960s and 1970s.                             objects. The Mishmar cache consisted
                                                                                    of a heap of clearly ritual items; what
                                       Most dramatic of all was the find of          was also extraordinary was the early         Stories from the Stone Age is available on
                                       wall-paintings at Ghassoul, apparently       date for lost-wax casting—as early           video from ABC Video Program Sales.
                                       portraying elaborate ritual ceremonies.      as any known example—some 6200               Contact: 1300 650 587 or email:
                                       In a star painting found in 1931, there      years ago.                          or visit
                                       is not as much notice taken of partial                                           for how to
                                       masked figure. Later, Hennessy found          During this period there was further         order information.

20                                     another extraordinary fresco, of cos-
                                       tumed figures wearing horned masks,
                                                                                    concentration on the uses provided
                                                                                    by animals while they were kept alive
                                       ABOVE: A GHASSOULIAN MARKET

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