Prehistoric Cultures - PowerPoint by fjhuangjun

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Human Culture
               Major Periods
¤ PALEOLITHIC: old stone age
   ¤ Lower paleolithic 2.5 million-75,000 bp
   ¤ Middle paleolithic 75,000-35,000 bp
   ¤ Upper paleolithic 35,000-12,000 bp
¤ MESOLITHIC: middle stone age
  12,000-10,000 bp
¤ NEOLITHIC: new stone age began 10,000 bp
¤ BRONZE AND IRON AGES: civilization began 5000 bp
The Paleolithic Period
             Paleolithic Period
         Began 2,5oo,ooo Years Ago

 Also called Old Stone Age culture
 Characterized by the use of rudimentary chipped stone
 Hominids, homo habilis, homo erectus, homo sapiens --
 neanderthal and cro-magnon
 Hunter-gatherer culture
              Lower Paleolithic
            2.5 Million-70,000 bp
 Hominids and earliest human ancestors
 Gatherer/scavengers
 Simple pebble tools, pebble chopper tools, and hand
 axes associated with homo habilis and homo erectus
 Remains found in Europe, Africa and Asia
Immediate ancestors of humans: intermediate
 between apes and humans
Classified hominidiae because of biological
 similarity to humans
   Large brains
   Bi-pedal: walked upright
Began evolving 5 million years ago and were
 widespread 3 million years ago
        The First Tool Makers ?

Evidence of habitation in one place for an
 extended period of time
Plant gatherers/meat scavengers
Meat eaters -- used tools to smash bones and skin
Chipped stone turned into crude hand-held
          Homo Habilis
    2.4-1.6 Million Years Ago

Early transitional human fossils first
 discovered in Olduvai gorge in 1960s
Homo habilis -- “handy or skilled humans” --
 strong evidence of stone tool usage
Larger brains, smaller mouths and teeth than
                         HOMO ERECTUS
First fully human
 species                 Ca. 1.9 Million bp-
 Moved out of Africa to  Ca. 100,000 bp
 populate tropical,
 subtropical and
 temperate zones
 throughout the old
 Skilled tool makers
 Highly successful
 Paralleling the biological evolution of early
   humans was the development of cultural
  technologies that allowed them to become
increasingly successful at acquiring food and
  surviving predators. The evidence for this
evolution in culture can be seen especially in:
    the creation and use of stone tools
         new subsistence patterns
 the occupation of new environmental zones
                 Subsistence and Living
 Much fuller exploitation of animal food resources
 through hunting and carcass scavenging: sheep, pigs,
 buffalo, deer, turtles, birds, etc..
 Movement out of Africa to populate colder temperate
 zones made possible through new inventions and
 increased meat consumption
 Began to occupy caves and build shelter
 Family units
 Use of fire

    reconstruction of a possible dwelling at Terra Amata, France
           The Coming of Fire
What are the implications of
            fire use?
    Animal management
         Cooked food
   Communal gatherings
Special status for fire-bearers
       Early Archaic Homo Sapiens

 Blurry dividing line between homo erectus and homo
 Evolutionary changes extended over several hundred
 thousand years: ca. 600,000 bp-100,000 bp
 Fossils of archaic homo sapiens have been found
 throughout the old world.
 Extent of the interaction between these diverse and
 widely distributed populations is not clear.
 No agreement as to which of these populations were
 the ancestors of modern humans.
            Human Evolution

Hominids appeared ca. 4 million years ago (bp)
Homo erectus: ca. 700,000-400,000 bp
Homo heidelbergensis: ca. 600,000-300,000 bp
Archaic homo sapiens: ca. 300,000-200,000 bp
Neandertals: ca. 130,000-29,000 bp
Modern homo sapiens: ca. 100,000 bp
                     Important Early Archaic Homo sapiens Sites

          Site Location                     Years Ago (approximate)

Africa:   Lake Ndutu (near Olduvai Gorge)   400,000?
          Broken Hill (Kabwe), Zambia       130,000+

China:    Dali, Shaanxi Province            230-180,000
          Jinniushan, Liaoning Province     200,000

Europe: Arago Cave, France                  400-300,000?
          Bilzingsleben, Germany            425-200,000
          Terra Amata, France               400,000 -----
          Petralona Cave, Greece            300-200,000?
          Steinheim, Germany                300-250,000?
          Swanscombe, England               300-250,000?
          Vértesszöllös, Hungary            210-160,000?
              Middle Paleolithic
              75,000-35,000 bp
 Major leap forward in tool making traditions: The
 Mousterian tool tradition
 Employed by Neandertals, other late archaic homo
 sapiens and by such early modern homo sapiens as Cro-
 Part of successful adaptation to hunting and gathering,
 especially in sub-arctic and temperate environment
 during the last ice age which began about 75,000 years
            ca. 130,000-29,000 bp
 Best known of late
 archaic homo sapiens
 Bones first discovered
 in late 1820s
 First humans to live
 successfully in sub-
 arctic regions of
 northern hemisphere
 during ice ages
        Neandertal         modern human
Continuing controversy over relationship to Homo
  sapiens: Homo sapiens neandertalis or Homo

Genetic evidence indicates that Neandertals were a
separate variety of Homo sapiens, but successfully
      interbred with Homo sapiens sapiens
         Indications of Neandertal
              Burial Rituals
 Burials contain food and tool offerings
 Some sites have hearths built around skeletons
 In many sites skeletons are carefully arranged in sleep-
 like positions
 A burial at Teshik-Tash is surrounded with animal
 A body a Le Moustier, France, was covered in red
 ochre powder
 Stone slabs are found over some burial sites
           Shanidar Cave, Iraq
Corpse placed in fetal position on bed of
 Variety of flowers carefully arranged around
 body: yarrow, cornflowers, St. Barnaby's
 thistle, groundsel, grape hyacinths, woody
 horsetail, and a kind of mallow.
Many of these have medicinal qualities.
   La Chapelle-aux-saints Cave

Individual was buried on his back, with his
 head to the west, the left arm extended and his
 legs flexed to the right.
 Next to the head were burnt animal remains,
 which could represent some feast that took
 place before this individual was buried.
           Community Paradox
 Social concern: social organization allowed disabled
  members of community to be cared for: La Chapelle-
  aux-Saints man had crippling arthritis and Shanidar
  man had degenerative joint disease caused by early
  bone injuries

 Cannibalism: evidence from the cave at Moula-
 guercy, Ardeche, France indicates that humans were
 butchered and brain and bone marrow removed to
 be eaten
                Cave Bear Cult
Ritual burial of the heads of cave bears in at least 2
 caves in western Europe.
  Regourdou cave in southern France
  Drachenloch cave in Switzerland
12 feet tall standing up, these animals were larger than
 any bear species today.
Cave bears hunted the same animals that the
 Neandertals did, and they probably would have
 considered people to be food as well.
Cave bears would have engendered considerable fear
 and respect as powerful, dangerous creatures.
        Drachenloch Cave in Switzerland
Stone chest built by the Neandertals, who also inhabited
 the entrance of the cave.
Top of the structure covered by a massive stone slab.
 Inside were the skulls of seven bears arranged with
 muzzles facing the cave entrance, and deeper in the cave
 six more bear skulls in niches along the wall
Supposed symbol of the "cult of the cave bear"
 consisted of the skull of a three-year-old bear pierced in
 the cheek by the leg-bone of younger bear.
Few artifacts in archeological record
   Bones and rocks with scratched      Art
   Highly polished, colored mammoth’s
 Pendant from Arcy-sur-Cure, .Ffrance
   Bone with clear markings
   Amulet
   May indicate interaction between
    Neandertals and Cro-magnons
               Neandertal Music

               Neandertal Flute Website

In 1996, a flute made from a juvenile bear femur with
 two intact pierced holes was found at the former
 Neandertal hunting camp of Divje Babe I, in Slovenia
The notes on the Neanderthal flute, if possible for it to
 reach the total air-column length of about 42cm, are
 consistent with 4 notes of the minor diatonic scale
 (flatted 3rd and flatted 6th included).
              Upper Paleolithic
              35,000-12,000 bp
 Movement of homo sapiens sapiens throughout the
 Extinction of at least 50 types of large animals
 Height of old stone age technical sophistication
 Most advanced tool tradition was the Magdalenian
 tradition of Western Europe
 ca. 17,000-10,000 bp
 First major art works:
  Cave paintings
   Small sculptured figurines
              Modern Humans:
 First fossil remains of homo sapiens sapiens -- named
 Cro-magnon--found in 1868 in a 28,000 year old rock
 shelter in Les Eyzies-de-Tayac, France
Homo sapiens sapiens very likely evolved from archaic
 homo sapiens in Africa and/or the Near East
Earliest remains dated to 120,000-100,000 years ago in
 Near East and South Africa
Began to appear in Europe and East Asia. 50,000-40,000
 years ago
    Les Eyzies-de-Tayac,
   known as the "Capital
   of Prehistory" because
  remains of Cro-Magnon
        man were first
       discovered here.

In the cliffs above town, caves provided shelters for
   the practice of magic. For thousands of years,
humans inhabited these caves and left bones, tools,
           Cro-magnon Hunters

 Developed coordinated group hunting techniques
 Increased importance of small game and plant food
 New specialized hunting weapons:
   Toggle-head harpoons
   Bow and arrow
   Fishing spears, hooks and nets
        Cro-magnon Tools
Development of tools for making tools
   Burins: narrow gouging chisels --
   used to carve bone, tusks and antlers
   Punches and pressure flakers
Compound tools: detachable points
 connected to spears -- allowed for
 replacement and repair
 Sewing needles
           Cro-magnon Artists
  "If the total span of human existence on earth
  equals one year, then art originated within the
                  last two weeks."
Paleographics: any activity that results in the
 production of visual signs in any medium -- what is
 generally referred to as "art” as well as images
 typically designated as signs and symbols.
Beginnings of graphic activity-prior to 33,000 b.p.
 There are two very general classes of graphic activity:
   Mobiliary statuary and graphics in stone, bone, ivory, horn, antler,
   Painted or carved graphics in rock shelters and caves.
 The graphics consist largely of
   Megafauna (large animals: mainly horses, bison, aurochs (wild
    cattle), mammoths, various species of deer, and goats)
    A few birds and smaller mammals,
    Enigmatic signs (rectilinear shapes, wedges ("claviforms"),
    tectiforms (like a roof), dots, lines, strands ("spaghetti")
    Human figures are rare (except for the so-called "venus" figurines)
    and in contrast to some of the animal images, almost always
    abstractly rendered.
    Hand prints
            La Grotte Chauvet
    30,000 bp -- World’s Oldest Painted Cave
 Discovered in 1994 near Vallon-Pont-d’Arc in
 southern France
 The cave was not used for human habitation
 A hearth measuring 2 1/2 feet in diameter was
 possibly used to provide light for Paleolithic
Scores of cave bears appear to have hibernated
 in the grotto, and the ground is littered with
 their bones
         Lascaux, 1700 bp
   The Cave of Lascaux Website“the
               Sistine Chapel of Caves”

 The  western edges of the Massif Central and
the northern slopes of the Pyrenees are noted for
an exceptional concentration of Paleolithic caves.
 No fewer than 130 sanctuaries, the most
renowned of which is Lascaux
 Discovered in 1940 by 4 teenagers, closed to
public in 1963, Lascaux II opened in 1980
Contains over 1500 paintings
                 Altamira, Spain
                 19,000-11,000 bp
 Paintings located in the deep recesses of caves in the
 mountains of northern Spain
Altamira is the only site of cave paintings in which the
 signs of domestic life extend into the first cavern which
 contain the actual paintings
 The paintings at Altamira primarily focus on bison,
 important because of the hunt.
The groups of animals portrayed, particularly those on
 the walls, are of bison, deer, wild boar, and other
 combinations which do not normally aggregate in nature
           “VENUS” or GODDESS
 The distinctive features
 consist of breasts, buttocks,
 bellies and vulvas, emphasized
 and greatly exaggerated,
 The extremities: head, arms,
 hands, legs and feet, are very
 much diminished or missing.
 The fact that many of these
 figures are often faceless, and
 sometimes headless, further
 suggests that these images are
 signs of woman rather than
 images of women.
Woman of Willendorf
 24,000-22,000 bce
The Caves of Balzi Rossi
      explored in
     late 1890s by
     Louis Jullien
         Woman, Doll or Goddess?
                      Earth mother or
                       mother goddess?
                       Fertility symbol or
                       Some figurines daubed
                       with red ochre in vulva
                       area -- connection with
                       menstrual cycle?
                       Tradition of making
                       figurines lasted 17,000

Venus of Kostienski                              Venus of Respugue
      Russia                                          France
   Venus of Laussel
   20,000-18,000 bce
 Left hand rests on pregnant belly

Right hand holds a horn marked
with 13 lines: 13 lunar months
in a year.
                                     Click here to continue

 Bowmen and Deer, Cliff Painting
Los Caballos, Spain,10,000-9000 BC

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