Published on March 13, 2014
PREHISTORY María Jesús Campos learningfromhistory.wikispaces.com
HISTORICAL PERIODS Historians have divided the past in different periods or stages to help people understand past events: Prehistory Ancient Age Middle Ages Early Modern Age Contemporary History
Prehistory: is the historical period that began with the appearance of the first human beings on Earth and ended with the invention of writing (3500 B.C.)
STAGES: Prehistory is divided in different stages or ages usually connected to the material of the tools used at the time: The Stone Age: dividided into Palaeolithic and Neolithic. The Metal Age: dividided into the Copper Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
THE PROCESS OF HOMINISATION Hominids: upper primates who walked upright and all their descendants, including human beings. The evolution of hominids does not follow a direct line.
Hominisation had different stages starred by different species that developed several features that distinguish them from apes: Bipedalism (upright walking) Cranial changes: smaller jawbone and teeth, vertical forehead, increased brain size. Changes in the hand: opposable thumb which made holding objects easier.
PRINCIPAL HOMINIDS Australopithecus Homo Habilis Homo Erectus Homo Antecessor Homo Neanderthalensi s Homo Sapiens
AUSTRALOPITHECUS Chronology: 5-1 million years ago Geographical location: Africa Height: 1 m Characteristics: Brain not very developed Bipedalism, walking erect Used tools but did not make them (sticks and stones in their natural state)
HOMO HABILIS Chronology: 2,5-1,6 million years ago. Geographical location: Africa Height: 1,55m Characteristics: Small brain but bigger than the Australopithecus Legs better adapted to bipedism. First hominid to make tools (by knocking one stone against another to sharpen it)
HOMO ERECTUS Chronology: 1,5-0,3 million years ago Geographical location: Africa and Asia Height: 1,70 m Characteristics: Bigger brain Made fire Made tools: bifaces (two- sided stone tool for cutting) Animal hides as clothes
HOMO ANTECESSOR Chronology: 800 000 years ago Geographical location: Europe (found in Atapuerca, Burgos, Spain) Height: 1,60 m Characteristics: Mixed physical features: old ones as protruding eyebrows, new ones as fine jaw. Made more evolved tools to cut, break…
HOMO NEANDERTHALENSIS Chronology: 130 000-35 000 Geographical location: Africa, Europe and Asia Height: 1,60 m Characteristics: Strong complexion Big face, protruding eyebrows, sunken forehead and no chin. Brain similar size to a human brain today. Various stone tools. Buried their dead (culture)
HOMO SAPIENS SAPIENS Chronology: 195 000-today Geographical location: Europe, Asia, Afirca, America and Oceania Height: 1,70 m Characteristics: Human beings of today: spherical skull, straight forehead, prominent chin Developed inteligence: same size of brain as the neanderthalensis. Varied tools made of stone, bone, animal horns… Art (culture)
PREHISTORY IS DIVIDED IN DIFFERENT STAGES: The Stone Age: dividided into Palaeolithic and Neolithic. The Metal Age: dividided into the Copper Age, the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.
THE STONE AGE Palaeolithic: 4.2 million years ago to 10,000 B.C. Neolithic: 10.000 B.C. to 3.500 B.C
THE PALAEOLITHIC 4.2 million years ago to 10 000 B.C.
ECONOMY IN THE PALAEOLITHIC Hunter-gatherers: they consumed nature’s products but did not produced anything by themselves. Stone and bone tools. Made fire for light, heat and cooking. Used animal hides to make clothes, bags, vessels, etc.
SOCIETY IN THE PALEOLITHIC Humans lived in small groups (20-30 members) Nomadic hordes or tribes: caves and huts. When resources run out in a place, they moved to another one. Hierarchy within each group: the strongest warrior, the wisest old man, the witch doctor or sorcerer…were the most
RELIGION IN THE PALAEOLITHIC Worshipped the natural elements (rain, thunder, lightning) as they depended on them. Practised magic rituals to promote fertility (food and members). Buried and commemorated their dead
ART IN THE PALAEOLITHIC Realistic style (tried to copy nature). Magical purposes Cave paintings Mobile art
Cave paintings: Colours obtained from natural elements (blood, coal, minerals…) mixed with grease. Isolated animal figures (bison, deer, horse…) and their own hands. Used the parts of the rock and the cave ceilings to give an impression of relief Purposes: Magical Personal expression of what they saw Examples: Altamira cave (Santillana del Mar, Cantabria, Spain) Lascaux cave (France)
Mobile art: Portable artistic objects. Animals, amulets, Venus. Venus statues: female figurines made of stone, ivory or bone. Large pregnant bellies and breasts symbolising fertility. Purposes: Magical Ornamental Examples: Venus of Lespugue (France) Venus of Willendorf (Austria) Baston of deer/horse
THE NEOLITHIC 10.000 B.C. to 3.500 B.C. (invention of writing)
ECONOMY IN THE NEOLITHIC: THE NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION It started in the Fertile Crescent (Middle East) located between River Tigris and River Euphrates (Mesopotamia) and around river Nile (Egypt). Invention of farming: agriculture and livestock. Humans became producers: cereals, goats, sheeps, pigs… Animals provided: meat, milk, hides and dung (fertilise) Bartering: exchange of products among groups
Specialised tools: axes, sickles, mortars, hoes Pottery, textiles, baskets to contain the food.
SOCIETY IN THE NEOLITHIC Sedentary as they produced their own food. Houses made of clay and wood. Later also of stone Population increased:more food meant more safety. Social division according to their activity (division of labour)
RELIGION IN THE NEOLITHIC Worshipped the natural elements such as the stars and the sun as their crops depended on them. Believed in spirits. Cult of the dead: necropolises close to the villages. The dead were buried with their personal possesions (pots, jewels, tools, etc.)
ART IN THE NEOLITHIC Realistic style and abstract style Idols Rock painting Ceramic pots
THE METAL AGE 5000 B.C. to 1000 B.C
ECONOMY IN THE METAL AGE It started in the Fertile Crescent (Middle East). Metal tools: Cooper Age (from 4000 B.C) Bronze Age (from 2200 B.C.) Iron Age (from 1000 B.C. to the Roman Empire) Metallurgy (extraction an use of metals) More durable and resistant tools Weapons Agriculture and livestock
Specialised tools: axes, sickles, mortars, hoes Pottery, textiles, baskets to contain the food. Metalworking: the ore was extracted with stone picks. The ore was smelted in an oven and left to cool, then the slag was removed by hitting the metal with a hammer. Then it was smelted again and poured into a mould in the shape of the required object.
SOCIETY IN THE METAL AGE Permanent settlements in high places (watch and defense) Surrounded by palisades or walls. Circular or rectangular dwellings with a stone base, wooden or adobe walls, and roofs made of thatch and branches.
Greater specilisation of labour which brought greater social differences. Metal became a symbol of wealth. Conflict and war expanded. Possesing weapons made some settlements gain power over others.
RELIGION IN THE METAL AGE Worshipped the forces of nature such as the stars and the sun as their crops depended on them. Believed in spirits. Ceremonies in caves and sacred places where they offered metal objects to their gods. Cult of the dead: constructions with funerary function. The dead were buried with their personal possesions (pots, jewels, tools, weapons,etc.)
ART IN THE NEOLITHIC Megalithic constructions Schematic paintings on rocks and caves
Megalithic constructions: Mega =big; lithos=stone Funerary function and sanctuaries Types: Menhir: a big stone standing vertically on the floor Alignments: parallel rows of menhirs. Carnac (France) Cromlech: stones ordered in a circle. Stonehenge (United Kingdom) Dolmen: large standing stones supporting a larger horizontal stone.
Schematic paintings: On rocks and in caves Often in red and black Depicting simplified human and animal figures. Signs and geometric figures (circles, spirals, dots, zigzag lines…) Idols: depicted with big eyes and triangles with arms and legs.
Developed by María Jesús Campos Chusteacher wikiteacher
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