Precursors of Civilization--Lower to Upper Paleolithic

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Information about Precursors of Civilization--Lower to Upper Paleolithic

Published on April 13, 2008

Author: PaulVMcDowell

Source: slideshare.net

Description

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

Precursors of Civilization Lower to Upper Paleolithic

Introduction to the Periods Pre-toolmaking hominins: Australopithecines Lower Paleolithic: Choppers and Handaxes Middle Paleolithic: Flake Tool Technology Upper Paleolithic: Specialized Tools, Rise of the Arts Mesolithic: Rise of Settlements (Nittano, Japan) Neolithic: Domestication of Plants and Animals

Pre-toolmaking hominins: Australopithecines

Lower Paleolithic: Choppers and Handaxes

Middle Paleolithic: Flake Tool Technology

Upper Paleolithic: Specialized Tools, Rise of the Arts

Mesolithic: Rise of Settlements (Nittano, Japan)

Neolithic: Domestication of Plants and Animals

Lucy: a.k.a Australopithecus Afarensis No, no, not that Lucy! Jeeves, can’t you get anything right?

No, no, not that Lucy!

Jeeves, can’t you get anything right?

Australopithecus Afarensis and Homo Sapiens Notice the following: Apelike features, such as Heavy brow ridge Forward-projecting lower face Long arms Curved fingers Humanlike features, like S-shaped vertebrae Bowl-shaped pelvis Arched feet Hands capable of manipulation

Notice the following:

Apelike features, such as

Heavy brow ridge

Forward-projecting lower face

Long arms

Curved fingers

Humanlike features, like

S-shaped vertebrae

Bowl-shaped pelvis

Arched feet

Hands capable of manipulation

Homo habilis: The Handyman Notice its brow ridges and its sloping forehead But its face is somewhat flatter And its teeth are small Average cranial capacity was 680 cubic centimeters Compare that with Lucy’s kind: 440 cc. on average Chimps average 400 cc

Notice its brow ridges and its sloping forehead

But its face is somewhat flatter

And its teeth are small

Average cranial capacity was 680 cubic centimeters

Compare that with Lucy’s kind: 440 cc. on average

Chimps average 400 cc

Homo habilis and the Oldowan Tradition The first known toolmaker (upper left) His cranial capacity averaged 680 cubic centimeters, compared to 440 of A. afarensis’s skull Hands were better adapted; fingers were not curved Choppers (lower left) involved knapping a few flakes off the core Both cores and flakes were used.

The first known toolmaker (upper left)

His cranial capacity averaged 680 cubic centimeters, compared to 440 of A. afarensis’s skull

Hands were better adapted; fingers were not curved

Choppers (lower left) involved knapping a few flakes off the core

Both cores and flakes were used.

Homo erectus or ergaster Note: Apelike but larger cranium Postcranial Skeleton Vertebrae: S Shaped Ribcage: Not funnel shaped, now like ours Pelvis: Bowl shaped Angle of Thighbone

Note:

Apelike but larger cranium

Postcranial Skeleton

Vertebrae: S Shaped

Ribcage: Not funnel shaped, now like ours

Pelvis: Bowl shaped

Angle of Thighbone

Homo erectus, the Acheulean Handaxe, and Fire Notice the following; Homo erectus is fully bipedal Cranial capacity is 1000 cc on average Has learned to control fire (above left) Signature tool: a well-designed handaxe, very symmetrical, with 25-75 retouches. Handaxe had multiple uses, from cutting to chopping to piercing.

Notice the following;

Homo erectus is fully bipedal

Cranial capacity is 1000 cc on average

Has learned to control fire (above left)

Signature tool: a well-designed handaxe, very symmetrical, with 25-75 retouches.

Handaxe had multiple uses, from cutting to chopping to piercing.

Homo heidelbergensis or “Archaic” Homo sapiens Left: Skull. Note heavy brow ridge, prognathism Right:: Artist’s conception of “Heidelberg Man”

Left: Skull. Note heavy brow ridge, prognathism

Right:: Artist’s conception of “Heidelberg Man”

Levallois Flake and Flaking Technique

Manufacturing Levallois Cores and Flakes Knapper drew outline of flake on stone module Strikes flake of desired shape This required knowledge of the rock’s pattern of fracture 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

Knapper drew outline of flake on stone module

Strikes flake of desired shape

This required knowledge of the rock’s pattern of fracture

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

Homo neanderthalensis or Neanderthals A controversial figure Some say they were a lot like us, and that we might have his genes Others would say that they were too different from us to even be our ancestors. Top: a preconceived notion of Neanderthal as “caveman” Bottom: artists conception of Neanderthal child

A controversial figure

Some say they were a lot like us, and that we might have his genes

Others would say that they were too different from us to even be our ancestors.

Top: a preconceived notion of Neanderthal as “caveman”

Bottom: artists conception of Neanderthal child

Humanlike Attributes of Neanderthals In Shanidar, Iraq, the Neanderthals show signs of compassion. One individual had a disability, yet lived to be 40 years They also seemed to have a conception of an afterlife 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). An artist’s conception of a burial taking place in Shanidar (below)

In Shanidar, Iraq, the Neanderthals show signs of compassion.

One individual had a disability, yet lived to be 40 years

They also seemed to have a conception of an afterlife

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).

An artist’s conception of a burial taking place in Shanidar (below)

Mousterian Tradition Positively identified with Neanderhals Le Moustier, France is a Neanderthal site Belongs to Middle Paleolithic More sophisticated than Oldowan or Acheulean, both Lower Paleolithic François Bordes categorizes the Mousterian into 63 types

Positively identified with Neanderhals

Le Moustier, France is a Neanderthal site

Belongs to Middle Paleolithic

More sophisticated than Oldowan or Acheulean, both Lower Paleolithic

François Bordes categorizes the Mousterian into 63 types

Mousterian Tool Assemblage Sample includes scrapers, points, and handaxes Other types included notched objects (probably for spear shafts), burins for engraving, and knives

Sample includes scrapers, points, and handaxes

Other types included notched objects (probably for spear shafts), burins for engraving, and knives

Chatelperronian: First of the Upper Paleolithic Here are the later tools made by Neanderthals, the Chatelperronian Compare the Chatelperronian point with the scraper and burin from the Blades, characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic, are at least twice as long as they are wide, and usually longer

Here are the later tools made by Neanderthals, the Chatelperronian

Compare the Chatelperronian point with the scraper and burin from the

Blades, characteristic of the Upper Paleolithic, are at least twice as long as they are wide, and usually longer

Upper Paleolithic: The Great Leap Forward? Probably begins about 50,000 BP Primary Attributes Shift from flake tools to blades, and more recent sites yield small and smaller blades--microblades Populations subsist on greater range of animal and plant species The sites themselves increase in size Increase of bone, antler, ivory, shell, and other materials for tools

Probably begins about 50,000 BP

Primary Attributes

Shift from flake tools to blades, and more recent sites yield small and smaller blades--microblades

Populations subsist on greater range of animal and plant species

The sites themselves increase in size

Increase of bone, antler, ivory, shell, and other materials for tools

Upper Paleolithic: Associated Attributes Associated Attributes Greater use of “imported” goods: Raw materials found that are obtainable only at great distances from inhabited sites. This either suggests long distance travel or more likely trade. More elaborate burials, with grave goods. Appearance and elaborate use of symbols and works of art.

Associated Attributes

Greater use of “imported” goods:

Raw materials found that are obtainable only at great distances from inhabited sites.

This either suggests long distance travel or more likely trade.

More elaborate burials, with grave goods.

Appearance and elaborate use of symbols and works of art.

Upper Paleolithic: The Blades Blades begin roughly 40,000 Years BP Comparative efficiency Levallois cores may produce 5 flakes Many more blades could be produced from same core--and with longer cutting edge Unlike other traditions, blade traditions are shorter lived

Blades begin roughly 40,000 Years BP

Comparative efficiency

Levallois cores may produce 5 flakes

Many more blades could be produced from same core--and with longer cutting edge

Unlike other traditions, blade traditions are shorter lived

Upper Paleolithic Assemblage 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)

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)

The Solutrean Points Note the following There is an aesthetic as well as a practical side to these points There is a conscious effort to shape them like a laurel leaf There is variation in design.

Note the following

There is an aesthetic as well as a practical side to these points

There is a conscious effort to shape them like a laurel leaf

There is variation in design.

Magdalenian Tool Tradition Notice that the harpoon heads (to the left) are made of bone; ivory and wood also become important materials in addition to stone Art is also coming into being, as evidenced by this horse’ head carving to the right.

Notice that the harpoon heads (to the left) are made of bone; ivory and wood also become important materials in addition to stone

Art is also coming into being, as evidenced by this horse’ head carving to the right.

Upper Paleolithic Art: Cave Paintings This illustration from Lascaux Cave, S. France, shows how much fine detail goes into animals (upper left) Humans in contrast are drawn, if at all, as stick figures, such as shown by this sketch at Lascaux (lower left) The bird-like stick the man is dropping could represent a totem or symbol of a clan All this, of course, is based on speculation and inference from living cultures.

This illustration from Lascaux Cave, S. France, shows how much fine detail goes into animals (upper left)

Humans in contrast are drawn, if at all, as stick figures, such as shown by this sketch at Lascaux (lower left)

The bird-like stick the man is dropping could represent a totem or symbol of a clan

All this, of course, is based on speculation and inference from living cultures.

Upper Paleolithic Art: Portable Sculpture Figurines also figure prominently in Upper Paleolithic art Top: Venus figure from Willendorf, Austria; this is the style of figurine most often represented The lower figure is a frieze imitation of a Paleolithic statuette She is somewhat thinner than the “classic” Venus She is also holding a cone-shaped object, which some archaeologists interpret as a cornucopia There are several variations of the Venus motif; some are even thinner than the lower figure Patricia Rice, an archaeologist specializing in Paleolithic art, points out that the styles vary considerably.

Figurines also figure prominently in Upper Paleolithic art

Top: Venus figure from Willendorf, Austria; this is the style of figurine most often represented

The lower figure is a frieze imitation of a Paleolithic statuette

She is somewhat thinner than the “classic” Venus

She is also holding a cone-shaped object, which some archaeologists interpret as a cornucopia

There are several variations of the Venus motif; some are even thinner than the lower figure

Patricia Rice, an archaeologist specializing in Paleolithic art, points out that the styles vary considerably.

Commonalities of the Paleolithic The Paleolithic is the longest of all stone ages, covering roughly 2 million years. Several hominin species lived side by side The last non-modern form, the Neanderthal, died off about 30,000 BCE (Before Common Era) They were all foragers, or hunters or gatherers The first signs of the arts—cave murals and portable sculptures-- begins in the Upper Paleolithic Next, we will look briefly at the Mesolithic, which included the first settlements Then focus on the Neolithic: we will look at the Neolithic for both the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians.

The Paleolithic is the longest of all stone ages, covering roughly 2 million years.

Several hominin species lived side by side

The last non-modern form, the Neanderthal, died off about 30,000 BCE (Before Common Era)

They were all foragers, or hunters or gatherers

The first signs of the arts—cave murals and portable sculptures-- begins in the Upper Paleolithic

Next, we will look briefly at the Mesolithic, which included the first settlements

Then focus on the Neolithic: we will look at the Neolithic for both the Egyptians and the Mesopotamians.

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