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Prehistory Overview
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Prehistory Overview


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  • 1. Prehistory History without a written word
  • 2. DISCLAIMERThis presentation is an overview of the material in your text. It is notcomprehensive, nor is it meant to be. This presentation allows you to introduceyourself to concepts and images in the respective chapter. Best practice says toview this presentation with your book open, as many of the images in thispresentation are small or incomplete.
  • 3. Where in the world are we? Near East in Neolithic Era Climate good for growing crops and raising animals Fertile soil and flooding waters for growing crops Western Europe in Paleolithic EraMountainous, so lots of caves Heavily forested, sogood for foraging and hunting
  • 4. Guiding Historical EventsPaleolithic Period, ca. 30,000—9,000BCECharacterized By:1. Hunter-Gatherer/Nomadic Culture2. Cave Paintings3. Primarily of animals4. Humans seem peripheral5. Strong presence of Female FigurinesNeolithic Period, ca.8,000—2,300 BCECharacterized By:1. Domesticated animals2. Systematic Agriculture3. Weaving, Metal working, and Pottery4. Human Settlement5. Monolithic Funerary Structures
  • 5. Guiding Questions • How do we know we are human? • How do we know what people believe and privilege when they do not have a written language?Guiding questions are meant to organize a largebulk of content. Rather than working from a strict chronological framework, we will try to answer broader questions in order to put the past in context.
  • 6. In the Stone Age , our ancestors began to make symbols and to decorate objects. They put their ideas into images.How do we know we are human? We think symbolically.
  • 7. In the Stone Age, our ancestors began to create with routine and performance in mind.How do we know we are human? We think ritually. Wemake images with “magical” thinking, for shamanicperformance, and/or for educating younger generations.
  • 8. Paleolithic Cave Paintings Lascaux Caves, France Altamira Caves, Spain Peche Merle, FranceSelf Study:What materials were used to create cave paintings?Why were cave paintings created? Think about WHOcreated the paintings and WHERE . Chauvet Caves, France
  • 9. As people settle, theyrepresent humans andanimals in different ways.Compare the Paleolithicbirdman with the Neolithichumans from the rock shelterpainting at Lerida, Spain,depicted below.What is the primary subjectin each painting? How arehumans representeddifferently in each painting?In what ways does humansettlement changes thehuman psyche to bring aboutthese changes?
  • 10. We create cooperatively for a common purpose. As Neolithic people settle, they acquire wealth and so a need to protect it.How do we know we are human? We think communally,and in the Neolithic age the community includes thedead.
  • 11. Neolithic Communities and Funerary Structures Newgrange, Ireland Stonehenge, England Catal Huyuk, ancient Anatolia, modern Turkey Jericho, PalestineSelf Study:How do the living and the dead commune together?What makes civilizations and funerary structures likethis possible? Think about materials, populationnumbers, and community economics as part of theanswer.
  • 12. In subsequent materials, you will explore:• The exaggeration of imagery in the Paleolithic era• Archeological study of cave paintings