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Prehistory II ( liths)
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Prehistory II ( liths)



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  • 1. Prehistory II: Rise of the Megaliths
  • 2. Tracking Man’s Evolution
    • You can trace man’s technological development by tracking the weapons:
      • Stone axe
      • Flint arrowhead
      • Obsidian spear
      • Copper hatchet
      • Bronze dagger
      • Iron sword
  • 3.
    • Tools
    • Farming
    • Settling
    • Villages
    • Cooperation and Communities
    • =
    • Government, Shared Ideas,
    • Leisure Time, Common Language, and the Beginnings of Writing
  • 4. Division of Prehistoric Ages
    • Tracks the progression of stone/metal tools
    • Paleolithic 40,000-8000 BC
    • Mesolithic 8000-4500 BC
    • Neolithic 4500-2000 BC
    • Copper Age 3000-1800 BC
    • Bronze Age 1800-500 BC
    • (Lith = Stone)
    • (Dates are approximate and the periods can overlap because people developed at different rates in different places.)
  • 5. The Megalith Structures
    • Megalith = “big stone”
    • Found all over Europe, especially in the north (Britain, Ireland, western France, and Scandinavia) – over 1200 have been found in France!
    • There are two types:
    • Dolmens and Menhirs
  • 6. Dolmens
    • Tombs made of several upright stones topped with a giant slab, then covered with earth
    • = Burial chambers for warrior chiefs
    • Meant to carry the warrior’s soul into the next life
    • Chiefs were buried with all of their possessions.
  • 7. Newgrange c. 3200 BC
  • 8. Newgrange c. 3200 BC
    • Found in Ireland
    • Made of 200,000 tons of stone
    • More than 300 feet in diameter
    • All designed for ~15 minutes of fame:
      • On the winter solstice, a ray of light enters the tomb, creeps down a narrow passage, and briefly illuminates the sacred central chamber
      • (presumably to transport the sun-worshipping warrior chief’s soul to the next life).
  • 9. Menhirs
    • Large, upright rocks
    • Often inscribed with a hunter or symbol
    • Can stand alone or be arranged in a circle
  • 10. Stonehenge c. 2500 BC
  • 11. Stonehenge c. 2500 BC
    • Most famous of the ~300 megalith structures around Britain.
    • The stones weigh up to 400 tons each (13-24 feet tall) and probably came from Wales (240 miles away)
    • A GIANT calendar, made to calculate celestial movements/patterns
      • On the summer solstice the rising sun perfectly filters through and hits the alter stones
  • 12.
    • BBC’s animation of it’s history.
  • 13. The Age of Metals
    • Once man figured out you could melt rocks to make metal, Europe forged ahead (Get it? “ Forged ”?)
    • Recipe for making copper:
      • Mine copper ore
      • Build a clay furnace
      • Put the ore inside, light a fire
      • Heat to
  • 14.
    • Mine copper ore
    • Build a clay furnace
    • Put the ore inside, light a fire
    • Heat to 2300 o Fahrenheit
    • Remove the molten copper and pour into a stone mold within 12 seconds
    • After cooling, reheat the copper to hammer it into shape
    • Grind to a sharp edge and polish
    • Use your new weapon to threaten the Stone Age losers up north.
    Recipe for making a copper axe:
  • 15.
    • What else can you make?
      • Farming tools, cooking pots, statuettes, jewelry, keys, etc.
    • Once they figured out the wheel and the plow, things really got moving in Europe.
    • But! While Europe was figuring all this out, Mesopotamia was already hopping....