Traditions and Encounters

5 May 2017

The Evolution of Homo sapiens Paleolithic Society The Neolithic Era and the Transition to Agriculture The Hominids Australopithecus: Developed in Africa 4 million to 1 million years ago Bipedal, able to plan Journeys (about 10 miles long), brain size 500 cc Part of brain used for speech underdeveloped Homo erectus: Lived 2 million to 200,000 years ago (after Australopithecus) Brain size 1000 cc, wielded fire Communicated with sounds (no language yet), Journeyed outside east and south Africa Homo sapiens More developed in frontal lobe, found ways to use Earth’s resources Found ways to se vocal cords to communicate 1 50,000 years ago, let them report more complex messages With languages, they were able to establish stationary homes around the world, moved across temperate zones Human population started to grow exponentially about 60,000 to 50,000 years ago Homo sapiens (continued) Crossed land bridges into Australia 60,000 years ago, crossed form Siberia into Alaska 25,000 years ago Migrated with animals Used tools to control surroundings, wore animal skin and used fire to keep warm Brought pressure on some animals and even drove others into extinction

Archaeologists study hunting and gathering societies today to gain insight on Paleolithic people Couldn’t collect wealth, followed migration of animals, lived equal Men hunted and women gathered, had 30 to 50 members (if too big, wouldn’t be able to provide for everyone) Understood environment, made weapons to hunt big animals, a group of men attacked the animal at the same time Paleolithic Culture Neandertal people not Just focused on survival, reflective thought was shown through burial Traded and lived in close proximity with Homo sapiens, little interbreeding Homo sapiens more creative than Neandertals, information was passed down (there was no need for trial and error) Were able to acquire more information 200,000 years ago – stone blades 140,000 years ago – learned to sustain themselves on shellfish 110,000 years ago – learned how to catch fish in deep waters 50,000 years ago – made beads and paintings 10,000 years ago – made bow and arrow Economy and Society of Hunting and Gathering Peoples (continued) When food was abundant, established permanent settlements Most dominant: Jomon in in Japan Chinook in NW North America

Traditions and Encounters Essay Example

Paleolithic Culture (continued) Made Venus fgurines, small sculptures of women Exaggerated sexual features, shows interest in fertility Also made cave paintings, date from 34,000 to 12,000 years ago, most in southern France and Northern Spain Either to make cave prettier or capture the spirit of the animlas they hunted Showed higher order of thinking The Origins of Agriculture Tool production and agriculture distinguished Neolithic from Paleolithic After the ice ages, agriculture possible Women cultivated plants and men herded animals 9000 B. C. E. SW Asia planted wheat and barley, 9000 B. C. E. Africans in Sahara yams and okra, 6500 B. C. E. east Asia grew rice and soybeans, 4000 B. C. E.

Mesoamerica grew corn, 3000 B. C. E. Peru cultivated potatoes Used slash-and-burn agriculture, spread around Eastern and Western Hemisphere Travelers spread seeds around world, labor intensive (most likely spent 4 hours a day doing agricultural activities) Early Agricultural Society More food meant more people, had to make villages Specialization of labor emerged (making pots, beads, leather, and baskets), improved ools Three types of crafts : Pottery – needed to store food in pots, by 7000 B. C. E. fgured out how to make clay, drew designs on the pot and then painted them with glaze Metalworking – Made jewelry and simple tools, by 5000 B. C. E. earned how to raise the temperatures of their furnaces, with smelting and casting able to make weapons Textile Production – used selective breeding of plants to make long fibers, women spun and weaved them while watching children Able to accumulate wealth, formed social classes Neolithic Culture Farmers noted natural world (like seasons), survival depended on predicting weather and seasons Associated positions of sun, moon, and stars with the seasons, first steps toward calender Neolithic gods represent birth, life, and death Economy and Society of Hunting and Gathering Peoples The Origins of Urban Life Lived in dense populated areas, farming done outside town Cities differed from villages in two ways: Larger population, professional crafters and cultural specialists Influenced large regions, marketplaces, traded over long distances, and claimed land in hinterlands

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