Precursors of Civilization Lower to Upper Paleolithic
Introduction to the Periods <ul><li>Pre-toolmaking hominins: Australopithecines </li></ul><ul><li>Lower Paleolithic: Chopp...
Lucy: a.k.a Australopithecus Afarensis <ul><li>No, no, not  that  Lucy! </li></ul><ul><li>Jeeves, can’t you get  anything ...
Australopithecus Afarensis and Homo Sapiens  <ul><li>Notice the following:  </li></ul><ul><li>Apelike features, such as </...
Homo habilis: The Handyman <ul><li>Notice its brow ridges and its sloping forehead </li></ul><ul><li>But its face is somew...
Homo habilis  and the Oldowan Tradition <ul><li>The first known toolmaker (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>His cranial capac...
Homo erectus  or  ergaster <ul><li>Note: </li></ul><ul><li>Apelike but larger cranium </li></ul><ul><li>Postcranial Skelet...
Homo erectus, the Acheulean Handaxe, and Fire <ul><li>Notice the following; </li></ul><ul><li>Homo erectus is fully bipeda...
Homo heidelbergensis  or  “Archaic”  Homo sapiens <ul><li>Left: Skull. Note heavy brow ridge, prognathism </li></ul><ul><l...
Levallois Flake and Flaking Technique
Manufacturing Levallois Cores and Flakes <ul><li>Knapper drew outline of flake on stone module </li></ul><ul><li>Strikes f...
Homo neanderthalensis  or Neanderthals <ul><li>A controversial figure </li></ul><ul><li>Some say they were a lot like us, ...
Humanlike Attributes of Neanderthals <ul><li>In Shanidar, Iraq, the Neanderthals show signs of compassion. </li></ul><ul><...
Mousterian Tradition <ul><li>Positively identified with Neanderhals </li></ul><ul><li>Le Moustier, France is a Neanderthal...
Mousterian Tool Assemblage <ul><li>Sample includes scrapers, points, and handaxes </li></ul><ul><li>Other types included  ...
Chatelperronian: First of the Upper Paleolithic <ul><li>Here are the later tools made by Neanderthals, the Chatelperronian...
Upper Paleolithic: The Great Leap Forward? <ul><li>Probably begins about 50,000 BP </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Attributes </...
Upper Paleolithic: Associated Attributes <ul><li>Associated Attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Greater use of “imported” goods: ...
Upper Paleolithic: The Blades <ul><li>Blades begin roughly 40,000 Years BP </li></ul><ul><li>Comparative efficiency </li><...
Upper Paleolithic Assemblage <ul><li>Upper Paleolithic Tools (left to right): biconical bone point, Perigordian flint blad...
The Solutrean Points <ul><li>Note the following </li></ul><ul><li>There is an aesthetic as well as a practical side to the...
Magdalenian Tool Tradition <ul><li>Notice that the harpoon heads (to the left) are made of bone; ivory and wood also becom...
Upper Paleolithic Art: Cave Paintings <ul><li>This illustration from Lascaux Cave, S. France, shows how much fine detail g...
Upper Paleolithic Art: Portable Sculpture <ul><li>Figurines also figure prominently in Upper Paleolithic art </li></ul><ul...
Commonalities of the Paleolithic <ul><li>The Paleolithic is the longest of all stone ages, covering roughly 2 million year...
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Precursors of Civilization--Lower to Upper Paleolithic

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Describe the evolution of bipedalism, of toolmaking, and of language as evidence by artifacts and art.

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Precursors of Civilization--Lower to Upper Paleolithic

  1. 1. Precursors of Civilization Lower to Upper Paleolithic
  2. 2. Introduction to the Periods <ul><li>Pre-toolmaking hominins: Australopithecines </li></ul><ul><li>Lower Paleolithic: Choppers and Handaxes </li></ul><ul><li>Middle Paleolithic: Flake Tool Technology </li></ul><ul><li>Upper Paleolithic: Specialized Tools, Rise of the Arts </li></ul><ul><li>Mesolithic: Rise of Settlements (Nittano, Japan) </li></ul><ul><li>Neolithic: Domestication of Plants and Animals </li></ul>
  3. 3. Lucy: a.k.a Australopithecus Afarensis <ul><li>No, no, not that Lucy! </li></ul><ul><li>Jeeves, can’t you get anything right? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Australopithecus Afarensis and Homo Sapiens <ul><li>Notice the following: </li></ul><ul><li>Apelike features, such as </li></ul><ul><li>Heavy brow ridge </li></ul><ul><li>Forward-projecting lower face </li></ul><ul><li>Long arms </li></ul><ul><li>Curved fingers </li></ul><ul><li>Humanlike features, like </li></ul><ul><li>S-shaped vertebrae </li></ul><ul><li>Bowl-shaped pelvis </li></ul><ul><li>Arched feet </li></ul><ul><li>Hands capable of manipulation </li></ul>
  5. 5. Homo habilis: The Handyman <ul><li>Notice its brow ridges and its sloping forehead </li></ul><ul><li>But its face is somewhat flatter </li></ul><ul><li>And its teeth are small </li></ul><ul><li>Average cranial capacity was 680 cubic centimeters </li></ul><ul><li>Compare that with Lucy’s kind: 440 cc. on average </li></ul><ul><li>Chimps average 400 cc </li></ul>
  6. 6. Homo habilis and the Oldowan Tradition <ul><li>The first known toolmaker (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>His cranial capacity averaged 680 cubic centimeters, compared to 440 of A. afarensis’s skull </li></ul><ul><li>Hands were better adapted; fingers were not curved </li></ul><ul><li>Choppers (lower left) involved knapping a few flakes off the core </li></ul><ul><li>Both cores and flakes were used. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Homo erectus or ergaster <ul><li>Note: </li></ul><ul><li>Apelike but larger cranium </li></ul><ul><li>Postcranial Skeleton </li></ul><ul><li>Vertebrae: S Shaped </li></ul><ul><li>Ribcage: Not funnel shaped, now like ours </li></ul><ul><li>Pelvis: Bowl shaped </li></ul><ul><li>Angle of Thighbone </li></ul>
  8. 8. Homo erectus, the Acheulean Handaxe, and Fire <ul><li>Notice the following; </li></ul><ul><li>Homo erectus is fully bipedal </li></ul><ul><li>Cranial capacity is 1000 cc on average </li></ul><ul><li>Has learned to control fire (above left) </li></ul><ul><li>Signature tool: a well-designed handaxe, very symmetrical, with 25-75 retouches. </li></ul><ul><li>Handaxe had multiple uses, from cutting to chopping to piercing. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Homo heidelbergensis or “Archaic” Homo sapiens <ul><li>Left: Skull. Note heavy brow ridge, prognathism </li></ul><ul><li>Right:: Artist’s conception of “Heidelberg Man” </li></ul>
  10. 10. Levallois Flake and Flaking Technique
  11. 11. Manufacturing Levallois Cores and Flakes <ul><li>Knapper drew outline of flake on stone module </li></ul><ul><li>Strikes flake of desired shape </li></ul><ul><li>This required knowledge of the rock’s pattern of fracture </li></ul><ul><li>H. heidelbergensis prepared the rock beforehand to control how it would break when it was struck and so ensure that the right shape (e.g. cutting, perforation, piercing) was produced </li></ul>
  12. 12. Homo neanderthalensis or Neanderthals <ul><li>A controversial figure </li></ul><ul><li>Some say they were a lot like us, and that we might have his genes </li></ul><ul><li>Others would say that they were too different from us to even be our ancestors. </li></ul><ul><li>Top: a preconceived notion of Neanderthal as “caveman” </li></ul><ul><li>Bottom: artists conception of Neanderthal child </li></ul>
  13. 13. Humanlike Attributes of Neanderthals <ul><li>In Shanidar, Iraq, the Neanderthals show signs of compassion. </li></ul><ul><li>One individual had a disability, yet lived to be 40 years </li></ul><ul><li>They also seemed to have a conception of an afterlife </li></ul><ul><li>As shown by the actual burial site at La Ferrassie, France, with seven tombs including a man, a woman and several children’s graves lying side by side (above). </li></ul><ul><li>An artist’s conception of a burial taking place in Shanidar (below) </li></ul>
  14. 14. Mousterian Tradition <ul><li>Positively identified with Neanderhals </li></ul><ul><li>Le Moustier, France is a Neanderthal site </li></ul><ul><li>Belongs to Middle Paleolithic </li></ul><ul><li>More sophisticated than Oldowan or Acheulean, both Lower Paleolithic </li></ul><ul><li>François Bordes categorizes the Mousterian into 63 types </li></ul>
  15. 15. Mousterian Tool Assemblage <ul><li>Sample includes scrapers, points, and handaxes </li></ul><ul><li>Other types included notched objects (probably for spear shafts), burins for engraving, and knives </li></ul>
  16. 16. Chatelperronian: First of the Upper Paleolithic <ul><li>Here are the later tools made by Neanderthals, the Chatelperronian </li></ul><ul><li>Compare the Chatelperronian point with the scraper and burin from the </li></ul><ul><li>Blades, characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic, are at least twice as long as they are wide, and usually longer </li></ul>
  17. 17. Upper Paleolithic: The Great Leap Forward? <ul><li>Probably begins about 50,000 BP </li></ul><ul><li>Primary Attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Shift from flake tools to blades, and more recent sites yield small and smaller blades--microblades </li></ul><ul><li>Populations subsist on greater range of animal and plant species </li></ul><ul><li>The sites themselves increase in size </li></ul><ul><li>Increase of bone, antler, ivory, shell, and other materials for tools </li></ul>
  18. 18. Upper Paleolithic: Associated Attributes <ul><li>Associated Attributes </li></ul><ul><li>Greater use of “imported” goods: </li></ul><ul><li>Raw materials found that are obtainable only at great distances from inhabited sites. </li></ul><ul><li>This either suggests long distance travel or more likely trade. </li></ul><ul><li>More elaborate burials, with grave goods. </li></ul><ul><li>Appearance and elaborate use of symbols and works of art. </li></ul>
  19. 19. Upper Paleolithic: The Blades <ul><li>Blades begin roughly 40,000 Years BP </li></ul><ul><li>Comparative efficiency </li></ul><ul><li>Levallois cores may produce 5 flakes </li></ul><ul><li>Many more blades could be produced from same core--and with longer cutting edge </li></ul><ul><li>Unlike other traditions, blade traditions are shorter lived </li></ul>
  20. 20. Upper Paleolithic Assemblage <ul><li>Upper Paleolithic Tools (left to right): biconical bone point, Perigordian flint blade, prismatic blade core, Soluterean Willow leaf point, double-row barbed harpoon point (various sites in France) </li></ul>
  21. 21. The Solutrean Points <ul><li>Note the following </li></ul><ul><li>There is an aesthetic as well as a practical side to these points </li></ul><ul><li>There is a conscious effort to shape them like a laurel leaf </li></ul><ul><li>There is variation in design. </li></ul>
  22. 22. Magdalenian Tool Tradition <ul><li>Notice that the harpoon heads (to the left) are made of bone; ivory and wood also become important materials in addition to stone </li></ul><ul><li>Art is also coming into being, as evidenced by this horse’ head carving to the right. </li></ul>
  23. 23. Upper Paleolithic Art: Cave Paintings <ul><li>This illustration from Lascaux Cave, S. France, shows how much fine detail goes into animals (upper left) </li></ul><ul><li>Humans in contrast are drawn, if at all, as stick figures, such as shown by this sketch at Lascaux (lower left) </li></ul><ul><li>The bird-like stick the man is dropping could represent a totem or symbol of a clan </li></ul><ul><li>All this, of course, is based on speculation and inference from living cultures. </li></ul>
  24. 24. Upper Paleolithic Art: Portable Sculpture <ul><li>Figurines also figure prominently in Upper Paleolithic art </li></ul><ul><li>Top: Venus figure from Willendorf, Austria; this is the style of figurine most often represented </li></ul><ul><li>The lower figure is a frieze imitation of a Paleolithic statuette </li></ul><ul><li>She is somewhat thinner than the “classic” Venus </li></ul><ul><li>She is also holding a cone-shaped object, which some archaeologists interpret as a cornucopia </li></ul><ul><li>There are several variations of the Venus motif; some are even thinner than the lower figure </li></ul><ul><li>Patricia Rice, an archaeologist specializing in Paleolithic art, points out that the styles vary considerably. </li></ul>
  25. 25. Commonalities of the Paleolithic <ul><li>The Paleolithic is the longest of all stone ages, covering roughly 2 million years. </li></ul><ul><li>Several hominin species lived side by side </li></ul><ul><li>The last non-modern form, the Neanderthal, died off about 30,000 BCE (Before Common Era) </li></ul><ul><li>They were all foragers, or hunters or gatherers </li></ul><ul><li>The first signs of the arts—cave murals and portable sculptures-- begins in the Upper Paleolithic </li></ul><ul><li>Next, we will look briefly at the Mesolithic, which included the first settlements </li></ul><ul><li>Then focus on the Neolithic: we will look at the Neolithic for both the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians. </li></ul>

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