Unit 1 – The beginnings of civilization

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					Unit 1 – The Beginnings of Civilization
   Who were the earliest humans and how did they learn to interact successfully
with their environments? What ideas- particularly, what different religious ideas
did people develop to explain and interpret their world? What ways of living did
people develop, and how did these ways change over time? How did groups of
people learn to interact through trade? As you read this unit, look for answers to
these questions in the remarkable achievements of our ancestors.
   Chapter 1- Prehistoric Times (4,000,000 – 3500 BC)
      I.     Prehistory is the word used to describe the several million years of
             human development before human beings learned how to keep
             written records of their life & culture.
             A. Fossil Evidence written history begins only about 3,000 years
                 ago. Before that date, we must rely upon fossil evidence-
                 remnants that have been preserved in the earth’s crust.
             B. Anthropologists study human development.
             C. Archaeologists study humans’ material remains

      II.    Scientists Search For Human Origins
             A. Hominids Most researchers now agree that hominids- upright
                 walking beings- first made their appearance on the continent of
                 Africa at least 4 million years ago.
                 1. Australopithecines are the first species of primates to walk
                    completely upright
                    a. Laetoli the earliest remains of human-like creatures (in
                        this case Australopithecines) uncovered so far are those
                        found in the Laetoli region of northern Tanzania in 1977.
                    b. Mary Leakey led the research team that discovered
                        fossilized footprints that belonged to the earliest known
                        hominids. These footprints were made by creatures now
                        known as australopithecines
   c. Characteristics The australopithecines were small in
      stature (3 to 5 feet tall) and of limited intelligence (with
      brains only one-third the size of modern humans). They
      were the first species of primates to walk completely
      upright. This made it possible for these early hominids to
      travel long distances more easily and to use their hands
      for carrying food and children.
2. Homo habilis Around two and a half million years ago, a
   more advanced creature, Homo habilis (“skillful man”),
   a. Eastern Africa is the place where Homo habilis first
   b. Characteristics. Fossil remains indicate that the brain of
      Homo habilis was 50 percent larger than that of the
      australopithecines. These creatures were probably
      intelligent enough to use stone tools. Most researchers
      agree that Homo habilis is the first known species.
   c. Beginning of the Stone Age the appearance of this
      creature marks the beginning of a 2.5 million-year era in
      human prehistory known as the Stone Age.
3. Homo erectus Approximately 1.6 million years ago, yet
   another species of hominid appeared, which anthropologists
   refer to as Homo erectus (“upright man”).
   a. Characteristics Homo erectus had a bigger body than
      Homo habilis and a brain almost three-fourths the size of
      modern human brains. It reached a height of 6 feet and
      was the first hominid to learn how to control fire, for both
      warmth and cooking.
   b. Migration while Homo habilis and Homo erectus
      apparently coexisted for tens of thousands of years, the
      latter was the first species of hominid to leave Africa for
                other continents. A few miles at a time, over many
                thousands of years, Homo erectus gradually began
                spreading across Asia and Europe.
III.   Modern Humans Spread Across the World- Over the next million
       years, Homo erectus continued to develop and change.
       A. Homo sapiens By 200,000 B.C., a new species Homo sapiens
          (“wise man”)- had evolved. Probably because of superior
          intelligence, Homo sapiens was able to adapt to harsher
          environments than any earlier hominid.
             1. Neanderthals Europeans hominids of this species are
                called Neanderthals, after their place of discovery (thal
                means valley in German). Altogether, anthropologists
                have found the remains of some 400 different
                 Neanderthal skeletons.
                a. Discovery The first remains were uncovered in 1856
                   in Germany’s Neander Valley.
                b. Resourcefulness these hominids were resourceful
                   enough to survive harsh winters, by living in caves or
                   by building simple huts of wood, mud or animal skins.
                c. Characteristics These particular hominids had thick
                   bones and slanted foreheads. The Neanderthals were
                   short in stature, but powerfully built, with well-
                   developed muscles and thick bones even heavier
                   than those of modern humans. They were skillful
                   hunters, and their rugged physique no doubt helped
                   them survive in the harsh world of the Ice Age, when
                   snow covered much of Europe most of the year. The
                   Neanderthals seem to have cared for one another
                   and to have carried out some sort of burial ritual.
                d. Theories for disappearance Around 30,000 years
                   ago, the Neanderthals vanished from the scene At
                least two theories have been offered to explain the
                disappearance of the Neanderthals and their
                contemporaries around the world.
                i.    Multi Regional Theory The multiregional
                      theory argues that they gradually evolved into
                      Homo sapiens sapiens independently in
                      different parts of the world.
                ii.   Out of Africa Theory- The out-of-Africa theory
                      suggests that anatomically modern humans
                      first appeared in Africa and then slowly spread
                      across Eurasia, replacing the Neanderthals
                      and their contemporaries
B. Homo sapiens sapiens Around 30,000 years ago, the
   Neanderthals vanished from the scene, leaving another species
   homo sapiens sapiens (“doubly wise man”) as the only surviving
   1. Earliest Evidence The first evidence of this early-modern
      human dates from around 100,000 years ago in southern
   2. Cro-Magnons- Homo sapiens sapiens found in Europe are
      called Cro-Magnons, after the site in France were skeletal
      remains were first found in the 1800’s.
      a. Technological Revolution- Cro magnons & their
         contemporaries brought about a revolution in technology,
         or tools and the skills to make and use them. The Cro-
         Magnons developed more than a hundred different new
         tools, including the sewing needle, which allowed these
         early modern humans to make the first real clothes worn
         by hominids.
      b. Art. These people were also the world’s first artists.
         Lifelike wall paintings of hunting scenes have been found
               in more than 200 caves across Europe and on rock
               outcroppings in Africa and Australia. Although the exact
                purpose of the cave paintings is still unknown, they
                demonstrate how Stone Age people, slowly but surely,
                were becoming ever more creative.
IV.   Neolithic People Began to Farm
      A. Rate of Change The rate of change depends upon which era of
         the Stone Age is being referred to.
         1. Paleolithic Era Change occurred only very gradually during
            the first part of the Stone Age, a period called the Paleolithic
            (“old stone”) Era, which began about 2.5 million years ago.
         2. Neolithic Era During the much shorter Neolithic (“new
            stone”) Era- from about 8000 B.C. to 3500 B.C.- changes
            occurred at a much faster rate.
      B. Agricultural Revolution The key development of this period
         was the development of agriculture- the systematic planting and
         harvesting of crops, as well as the taming of animals such as
         dogs, cows and sheep.
      C. Organization By depending upon farming rather than hunting,
         people could begin living more settled lives and organize
         themselves to live together in villages and towns.
         1. Contributing Factors Scientists still do not know exactly
            why this agricultural revolution took place during this
            particular period, but there are many factors that may have
            a. Climate. Climate was probably important, however. The
               last great Ice Age ended just before this period.
               Worldwide temperatures rose an average of 9 F-
               providing longer growing seasons.
            b. Population the population- only 10 million people on the
               entire planet in 10,000 B.C.- began growing rapidly.
          While tiny by today’s standards, this growing population
          may have put pressure on hunting grounds.
      c. security- farming may have offered more security.
D. Development of Communities Neolithic life was dramatically
   different from what had gone before. Beginning about 3500
   B.C., thriving agricultural communities developed in many major
   river valleys around the world.
      1. Fertile Crescent The first to develop were in the so-
          called Fertile Crescent around the Tigris and Euphrates
          rivers in what is now Iraq
      2. Nile Valley In Africa, the Nile Valley became a rich
          farming region
      3. Yellow River Valley new cultures developed along the
          Yellow River in China.
      4. Benefits These new agricultural communities provided
          wealth and security for their inhabitants. They also
          enabled these people to pursue other interests, and learn
          ways to record and preserve their ideas and opinions.
      5. 3500B.C. The year 3500B.C. , marks the dawn of history,
          as humans begin to transform the world around them and
          began writing.
Key Terms

Mercator Projection
Polar Projection
Goode’s Interrupted Projection
Robinson Projection
Prime Meridian
Compass Rose
Relief Map
Political Map
Physical Map
The Four Types of Landforms
Tropical Climates
Cold Climates
Population Density
  Homo habilis
  Stone Age
  Homo erectus
  Homo sapiens
  Homo sapiens sapiens
  Fertile Crescent

1. How were autralopithecines different from earlier primates?
2. How was homo habilis different from the australopithecines?
3. In what ways was Homo sapiens sapiens different from earlier hominids?
4. As neolithic people gave up a nomadic way of life to live in permanent
   settlemants, what new needs and problems did they face? Give examples.
5. How did modern humans’ earliest ancestors develop in prehistoric Africa?
6. In what ways were the Neanderthals and the Cro-Magnons more advanced
   than the hominids who preceded them?
7. What was the primary new development of the Neolithic period?
lithic period?

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Lingjuan Ma Lingjuan Ma MS
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