Pre historic man

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  • civilizationsThe First Humans: Cro-Magnon ManBiologically modern human beings (species Homo sapiens) first appear about 120,000 years ago. Cro-magnon man, with prominent chin, a sharply rising forehead, and a gracile skeleton existed some 40,000-10,000 years ago. Remains were first found in France in 1868 and then throughout other parts of Europe. Cro-Magnon man was anatomically identical to modern humans and differed significantly from Neanderthal man, who disappeared in the fossil record shortly after Cro-Magnon's appearance. They were skilled hunters, toolmakers and artists. Their upper Paleolithic culture produced a markedly more sophisticated tool kit, using a wider variety of raw materials such as bone and antler, and containing new implements for making clothing, engraving, and sculpting. They produced fine artwork, in the form of decorated tools, beads, ivory carvings of humans and animals, shell jewelry, clay figurines, musical instruments, and polychrome cave paintings of exceptional vitality. back to all things mike dust
  • Image Credit: http://www.azstarnet.com/~gallae/mater5.htm Venus Figurines have been found throughout Europe, from western France, to western Russia. They are in essence, small Paleolithic figurines of women, and sometimes (but a limited few) of men. The age of the Venus figurines covers a time span from 27,000 years ago, to 20,000 years ago. The Venus figurines have been found carved in stone, ivory and wood, and also crafted of clay. The most famous Venus figurine is the "Venus of Willendorf." The Willendorf was found in an area of Willendorf, Austria, and continues to be the standard for descriptions of this specific type of figurine. However, the Venus of Willendorf is only one small portion of the diversity of all the figurines found through out Europe. The sizes and proportions of the Venus figurines vary. The Willendorf figurine, and several others of its type are endowed with large breasts, a large stomach, and swollen thighs, and is obviously pregnant. Other figurines are shown carrying horns (cornucopias) with much the same characteristics of the Willendorf type figurines. Other figurines differ in shape and size, some are thin but obviously pregnant, other figurines differ in age and are small. Still other figurines have been found with traces of red ochre paint on them.Analysis of the Venus figures has yielded many interesting theories concerning their purpose within the lives of Paleolithic people. The statues themselves were crafted during the prehistoric time period known as the Aurignacian. Characteristic of the Aurignacian (32,000 to 25,000 years ago) is the use of new tool types with a strong dependence on blades, and the use of finer tools and points than were found in the prior period of the Peragordian. In addition, the Aurignacian also represents a hunter gather culture which moved through out Europe, and hunted many of the big game animals, such as cave bears, mammoths etc. Aurignacian art and tools are found throughout Europe and are made of many diverse materials such as antler, bone, clay, ivory, and wood. The life of a Paleolithic person often times centered around the hunt, however archeological evidence has also shown the importance of gathering. What is clear is that the Venus figurines are found through out Europe in a variety of places. With their differing physiques, and the symbolism attached to them, they are thought by the majority of scholars to be fertility objects, or symbols of an earth goddess cult.Image courtesy of L.A.Jullien CollectionPierre Bolduc, curatorThe differing theories of the Venus figurines and their purposes, have ranged from the figurines simply being fertility objects, and examples of Paleolithic art, to being representative of the various population phases and periods of the Aurignacian. The theory that they may represent different segments of the Paleolithic population has been proliferated by anthropologist Patricia Rice. After studying 188, Venus figurines Rice found that the figurines were quite varied in shape and size, and that their ages could possibly be ascertained by the number of lines on their faces. The final theory of Rice, was that the varying degree and age of the figurines was quite similar to the same variations as found within historical hunter-gatherer societies. Rice's theory has been strongly supported by other anthropologists, however, the question still remains what exactly were the Venus figurines used for. It is accepted by most anthropologists that the figurines were fertility symbols, but other theories exist. Among these theories is that the statuettes were created by the women they represented. Another anthropologist has theorized that the shape, size and design of the figurines are similar to how a pregnant woman may view themselves, thus the figurines are representative of their creator. Other theories have said the figurines were examples of portable pornography, portable art, or charms, due to their small size (roughly 11cm high). Still other theories have questioned whether the figurines were goddess's or actual human beings. Yet another theory holds that the Venus figurines were symbols of a matriarchy in the hunter gatherer tribes. Regardless of the theories, the consensus is that the figurines had to have some purpose due to their distinctive and unique artistry which is quite intricate.From a historical perspective the Venus figurines, and their off shoots, occupy a large expanse of time within human history. The idea of a fertility goddess or mother goddess is found through out most (if not all) cultures of the world. Within Europe, the Venus, or female form, has had it's proliferation into the many pantheons of goddesses and gods through out Europe. The Venus of Willendorf itself, does not cease to hide it's feminine aspects, and is quite similar in characteristics to the Gaia figure within Greek mythology. Similarly Venus/Aphrodite (Roman and Greek classical), are both goddesses of fertility, love and sexuality, and are depicted in similar ways as the Venus figurines, (in particular the nudes of Venus). However, the name Venus should not be taken to mean that the figurines were earlier forms of the classically known Venus' (The name Venus figurine was given by the anthropologists who discovered them, not by the Paleolithic peoples). From the perspective of Diffusion...Diffusion is a word used to describe the borrowing of cultural elements from one people to another, or the giving of cultural elements from one culture to another. The borrowing of elements can be found in many different places in many different ways. For example, the introduction of wine to Greece, from Crete in trade, eventually led to a wine trade in Greece, and a ritualistic use of the wine (as the originators of Crete had also used it in many rituals). The Venus of Willendorf is at best a sketchy example of diffusion, but serves a definite purpose in the scheme of human history. With the Willendorf figurines, are seen the first images of a Paleolithic female, or goddess figure, and with them the ability of humans to take from their own minds and create an image in the form of art. The Willendorf figurines also and most importantly represent fertility in some form, and can easily be translated to the later fertility goddesses of older civilizations. This on it's own is an example of the diffusion of the Willendorf figurines, however there is a more finite form of diffusion with them. For the figurines to have traveled to such vast territories between Western France and Western Russia, one hunter gatherer tribe could not have necessarily made the journey. There had to be other hunter gatherer groups through out the area. Perhaps it was a systematic trading of the figurines to other cultures which occurred, where specific groups took the icons and crafted them to represent fertility figurines of their own group, or perhaps it was a universal image which only with the advent of sculpture was incorporated into the lives of the Paleolithic peoples. All of the above mentioned are examples of possible diffusion of the Venus figurines, which have played an important role in Paleolithic culture.Menu
  • Cro-Magnon man, for whatever reason, painted marvelous and astonishing paintings on rock walls, deep within caves. Paintings were added, until a cave might have hundreds of different paintings, by many different painters.  Most cave paintings focused on hunters and animals. COLOR:Early man used natural colors. You may have heard that they used charcoal to create these paintings. Actually, most art was not made with charcoal, but rather with mineral pigments, such as iron oxide (red ochre) or black manganese. They drew stick figures for people, but the animals were well drawn, and usually filled in with natural colors, to give them even more shape and substance. DANGER: When you think cave, you might think of a big place, with high ceilings.  Not so. In order to reach the places where cave paintings have been found, Cro-Magnon man had to crawl on his belly, through mazes of narrow, dark tunnels, by the light of a flicking torch or a spoon-like oil lamp (which had to be hand carried and balanced carefully to hold the burning oil in the rounded part of the spoon - while crawling along on your belly), and carrying the paints he had carefully prepared, with no idea if he might run into, oh .. a cave lion or a bear, on the way. Certainly he wasn't decorating his home, as these marvelous paintings were hidden deep within the darkest portions of the cave. The other thing found in cave paintings, besides stick figures of people and well drawn animals, are stencils of hands.   It would appear that Cro-Magnon man, after crawling on his belly and creating his addition to these cave walls of art, then put his hand against the cave wall, and outlined it with charcoal or paint.  What were they saying? (I was here? I made this?) Was this a way to sign their art? Or to prove they had achieved their ... mission? It's not easy to figure out because not all paintings include a stenciled handprint. Why did early man seek out these caves, to add their paintings to the many others that had been painted in the cave before them? And why such dark, secret, hidden places? It might have been one of Cro-Magnon man's recreational activities. It might have had something to do with their religion or their rites of manhood. Nobody knows! It's a fascinating mystery. Like many discoveries, the existence of cave paintings was discovered accidentally. The caves in Lascaux, France were found around 1940, during World War II, by some kids. They stumbled across the entrance to a cave that had been hidden by the roots of a tree. If you would like to see some of these cave paintings, go here!Once people knew these paintings existed, people went looking for more such caves, and found them! There are probably more caves with cave paintings yet to be found!  Wouldn't it be neat to discover such a cave? But, be careful. Caves can be very dangerous places. If you find a cave, it would be wise (very wise!) to get some adult help, before you go tearing inside, and find yourself in some very serious trouble.  
  • Skara Brae is a large Neolithic settlement on the Bay of Skaill on the west coast of Mainland, the main island of the Orkney Islands, just off the north coast of Scotland. It is a cluster of eight dwellings and it was occupied roughly 3100-2500 BC. It's Europe's most complete Neolithic village and it was discovered only in 1850. It was well preserved when it was discovered, and the early excavations were unusually careful for that time. The settlement was built on, and into, a midden heap from a previous settlement. That is, a mound of domestic refuse, or bluntly, an old garbage dump. That material provided insulation against the harsh winter climate at that latitude. The structures were connected with narrow curving passageways that were also covered to protect the entire settlement from the weather. The small size and curving paths of the passageways limited the wind blowing through the communal structure. The walls and furniture are built from stone. The local sandstone splits into plates or sheets suiting it for certain types of construction. There were few trees on the Orkney Islands in the Neolithic era, and almost none today. They used driftwood and whalebone to form frames for the roofs. Some of the driftwood came from northeastern North America along the clockwise gyre of the north Atlantic. Sheets of turf would have been laid over that framework with thatch on top, much like what has been used in the Highlands and the Outer Hebrides through the early 20th century. Here is where the settlement fits into prehistoric and historic periods as they're commonly divided for Britain based on cultural and technological developments there:
  • CatalHuyuk was one of the world's first towns. It was built in what is now Turkey about 6,500 BC not long after farming began. CatalHuyuk probably had a population of about 6,000. In CatalHuyuk the houses were made of mud brick. Houses were built touching against each other. They did not have doors and houses were entered through hatches in roofs. Presumably having entrances in the roofs was safer then having them in the walls. (CatalHuyuk was unusual among early towns as it was not surrounded by walls). Since houses were built touching each other the roofs must have acted as streets! People must have walked across them.In CatalHuyuk there were no panes of glass in windows and houses did not have chimneys. Instead there were only holes in the roofs to let out smoke. Inside houses were plastered and often had painted murals of people and animals on the walls. People slept on platforms.In CatalHuyuk the dead were buried inside houses. (Although they may have been exposed outside to be eaten by vultures first).Although CatalHuyuk was a true town (defined as a community not self-sufficient in food) as least some of its people lived by farming. They grew wheat and barley and they raised flocks of sheep and herds of goats. They also kept dogs.As well as farming the inhabitants of CatalHuyuk also hunted animals like aurochs (wild cattle), wolves, foxes and leopards.People in CatalHuyuk wore clothes woven from wool. They also wore jewellery made of stone, bone and shell.The people of CatalHuyuk wove baskets of reeds. They also made pottery and they used obsidian, a hard volcanic rock to make tools and weapons. Craftsmen made dishes of wood. They also made carved wooden boxes for storage.We do not know what the people of CatalHuyuk believed but religion was obviously important to them. They made figurines of clay and stone, which may have been gods and goddesses. They also mounted bull's skulls on the walls of some buildings and covered them in plaster to resemble living heads. It is believed these buildings were shrines.CatalHuyuk was abandoned about 5,000 BC. Nobody knows why but it may have been due to climate change.CatalHuyuk was then forgotten for thousands of years till it was rediscovered by James Melaart in 1958. He began excavating CatalHuyuk in 1961.
  • Pre historic man

    1. 1. Early Human & Civilization<br />Pre History <br />
    2. 2. Hominid<br />Any member of the 2 legged family of primates including…<br />
    3. 3. You guessed it!<br />Humans<br />1.6% of our DNA<br />Large differences <br />Intelligence<br />Tools<br />language<br />
    4. 4. Australopithecus 4mya-1mya<br />“Southern Ape”(not really)<br />Oldest human ancestor<br />Short & hairy<br />Limited intelligence<br />Hind legs<br />Well developed hands<br />Communication skills<br />
    5. 5. Australopithecus 4mya-1mya<br />Tools: choppers, scrapers, other items for food prep<br />Died out about 1mya<br />
    6. 6. Homo Erectus2mya-2htya<br />“Upright Walking Man”<br />Lager brain=<br />More adv. Lg. skills<br />Hunting large game<br />Increased control over the environment<br />Migrated throughN.AF.- Eurasian Landmass<br />
    7. 7. Homo Sapiens 2htya<br />“Consciously Thinking Man”<br />Large Brain=remarkable intel.<br />Cooperate & communicate<br />Deal with complex tasks<br />
    8. 8. Homo Sapiens<br />Approx. 100,000ya<br />Ventured out into cooler lands<br />15,000 HS communities globally<br />tools: spears, knives, bows & arrows<br />Dwellings: caves, huts<br />Complex spoken language<br />
    9. 9. “Old Stone Age”<br />Hunter gathers<br />Homo Erectus(focus)<br />Survival-moving efficiently<br />What are the implications of having to move often?<br />Paleolithic Society2,500,000 BCE to 8,000 BCE<br />
    10. 10. Where my riches?<br />No accumulation of wealth<br />Very EGALITARIAN!<br />Courage, age, wisdom, strength<br />Small bands (30-50)<br />Don’t wander aimlessly<br />Coordinate large game hunt<br />
    11. 11. Where My Ladies at?<br />Very egalitarian<br />Not just men<br />Women also (why)<br />
    12. 12. Women supply most of the dietary calories<br />Women come through when the men come up short.<br />
    13. 13. Permanent Paleolithic societies<br />Natufians<br />Eastern Mediterranean<br />
    14. 14. Jomon in Central Japan<br />
    15. 15. Paleolithic Culture <br />Neandertal Peoples<br />Europe<br />SW Asia<br />100,oooya-35,000ya<br />
    16. 16. Baby Don’t Cry—Dry Your Eyes!<br />Careful <br />Deliberate burials<br />What is the implication here?<br />
    17. 17. Cro-Magnon peoples<br />Homo Sapien Sapiens<br />First modern peoples<br />40,000ya<br />
    18. 18. Venus Figurines<br />Fertility<br />
    19. 19. Cave paintings<br />Animals<br />Spain & France<br />Why?<br />
    20. 20. Theories<br />Decorative<br />Magical properties<br />Successful hunt<br />
    21. 21. The Transition to agriculture<br />New Stone Age<br />Refined tools and agriculture<br />Neolithic Era <br />
    22. 22. 12,000ya-6,000ya<br />Women<br />Systematic cultivation of plants<br />Men<br />Commence the domestication of animals<br />
    23. 23. Early Agriculture<br />Approx. 9,000ya<br />Emerged<br />Independently in several parts of the world<br />
    24. 24. OMG!!!<br />How could agriculture emerge independently in several parts of the world?<br />
    25. 25. Merchants, migrants, travelers <br />Trade goods<br />Trade ideas<br />Knowledge about food domestication<br />
    26. 26. Slash & Burn<br />Clear areas for cultivation<br />Move and let regain fertility<br />
    27. 27. What comes with the domestication of food?<br />
    28. 28. AHHA EXACTLY<br />Increase in population<br />Agriculture is more work<br />Steady large supply of food<br />
    29. 29. Population EXPLOSION!<br /><ul><li>Caused by a food surplus</li></li></ul><li>Earliest Neolithic Village<br />Jericho<br />Mud huts<br />Defensive walls<br />
    30. 30. Speialization of Labor<br />CatalHuyuk<br />8,000 inhabitants<br />Prehistoric craft industries<br />Pottery<br />Metallurgy<br />Textile production<br />
    31. 31. Oh You FANCY Huh!<br />Social distinctions<br />Private land ownership<br />Evident in the homes<br />Differences in décor <br />
    32. 32. Neolithic Culture<br />Depended on earth<br />Early applied science<br />Knowledge of calendrical rhythms of the earth<br />Sun & seasons<br />
    33. 33. Neolithic religion<br />Similar Venus figurines<br />More developed religion<br />Other gods/edging to polytheism<br />Clay figurines, drawings, paintings on tools<br />Deities <br />Cycle of life<br />Death<br />Regeneration <br />Pregnant goddess of vegetation<br />Gods assoc. with animals<br />

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