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History Lesson 1
Transcript of History Lesson 1
Setting the scene
The Hunt for Early Humans
Where did People first appear on Earth?
STUDY OF EARLY HUMANS
Learning about humans is not easy. Until about 5,000 years ago people had no way to write things down.
2 million B.C
People make stone tools;
Paleolithic Age Begins
200,000 years ago
We are all interested in people. But certain people called Anthropologists, have made a science out of studying people.
Is the study of how human beigns behave, how they act together, where they came from, and what makes one group of people different from another.
In this section, we will look at the work of a particular group of anthropologists, known as archeologists.
They study human life in the past by examining the things that people left behind.
Let's Caption History
Human Life in the Stone Age
100,000 years ago
Modern humans appear
70,000 years ago
Last ice age begins
To study Prehistory, archeologists look for the places where people may have lived.
The time before written records
Hunting for fossils
Archeologists depend mainly on fossils.
Hardened Remains or imprints of living things that existed long ago. These remains may include plants, feathers, bones and even foot prints that are millions of years old.
Fossils form in several ways.
For example, after a living thing dies, it may quickly become covered by sand or mud. Once covered the soft parts of the plants or animal rot away.
The harder parts, such as bones, teeth, or woody stems, last much longer. Over many years, minerals from the soil slowly replace this once-living material. What remains is a rock like copy of the original.
Archeologists use several methods to determine the ages of fossils and other prehistoric objects.
Dating Ancient Remains
Valuable information from geologits.
Scientists who study the physical materials of Earth itself, such as soil and rocks.
Comparing objects found in similar layers of rock soil. Objects found in lower layers are generally older than those found in upper layers.
Radioactive dating determines the age of very old objects. Living things and rocks contain radioactive elements that decay or break down over time. Measuring the amount of radioactive left.
Other methods: DNA to compare human remains from the past with people living today. Genetic evidence unoveres new information on how people changed and moved from places.
Searching for Artifacts
Excavations in campsites or villages where prehistoric people settled.
Objects made and used by humans.
Artifacts help archeologists understand how the people who once camped there hunted for food or what they ate.
As archeologists dig up a site, they look for artifacts such as tools, pottery, or weapons.
Mary and Louis Leaky discovered a piece of human like skull at
Olduvai Gorge in East Africa
The Leakys called their find
Evidence showed that these early humans made and used tools.
Test showed that the Homo Habilis fossils were at least 1.75 million years old.
From that point on, the search for the origins on humankind has largely focused on Africa.
On november 30, 1974
American fossil hunter,
discovered evidence of early humans in Ethiopia, East Africa.
Johanson and his team uncovered hundreds of pieces of bone. They decided that all bones belonged to one individual.
A 3.5 foot tall woman
Found almost 40% of her skeleton.
She walked upright on two legs
In 1992 American antrhopologists Tim White found remains of humans who lived in Ethiopia at least 4.4 million years ago. Begining with a simple tooth.
In 2009, unveiled a nearly complete skeleton of a female that he named "Ardi". More than a million years old that Lucy.
Ardi was taller and heavier. She probably walked upright, but slowly and awkwardly.
Archeologists know very little about how early hunter-gatherers such as Lucy lived. Many groups apperared for a time and died out.
To survive and grow, early humans developed technology.
The development of tools
Humans that lived by hunting small animals and gathering plants.
Tools and skills that people use to meet their needs and wants.
About 2.5 million years ago, early humans learned how to make tools out of stone. This technology was so important to human survival that archeologists call this period the
The word Paleolithic comes from Greek words meaning "old" and "stone". The Paleolithic Era lasted from 2.5 million to 10.000 years ago.
At first the tools made by early humans were simple. Toolmakers split stones to make cutting tools for chopping down small tress, cutting meat, or scraping animal skins clean.
Overtime, toolmakers became more skillful making thinner and sharper stone blades. They also began making weapons from bones and antlers.
AS their skills and weapons improved, Paleolithic hunters were able to turn from hunting small animals to hunting larger animals such as deer.
The use of Fire
At some time during the Paleolithic Era, people also learned how to use fire. Making fire was a technology that had many different uses.
With fire, people could have light on dark nights. They could cook meat and plants, and use flames to scare off dangerous animals.
Making fire also had important long-term effects. Here, a British archaeologist explains why learning to control fire was an important step in human development.
“The control of fire was presumably the first great step in man´s (freedom) from the bondage of his environment…. Man is no longer restricted in his movement to a limited range of climates, and his activities need not be entirely determined by the sun´s light. But in mastery of fire man was controlling a mighty physical force”.
V. Gordon Childe, Man Makes Himself
Fire made it possible for hunter-gatherers to live in places where it would have otherwise been too cold to survive.
Stone Age hunter-gatherers lived in small groups, or bands. A typical band included 10 or 12 adults and their children.
The culture of early societies was simple.
Culture includes many different elements that make up the way of life of a people.
Elements of culture include social and family organization, beliefs and values, technology, shelter and clothing, common activities, storytelling, rituals, and art.
Many of these people were nomads
People who move from place to place with the seasons.
After gathering as much food as they could in one area, they moved on to a new campsite. These wandering bands sometimes used caves as shelters. More often, they built temporary huts out of branches or tents from animal skins, another major advance in technology.
Men and boys generally did the hunting. Women and girls usually gathered fruit, grains, seeds, and nuts. They also may have picked herbs for medicine.
Later Stone Age People
Toward the end of the Paleolithic Era, two groups of larger-brained humans appeared. Both groups had more developed cultures then earlier peoples.
However, only one of these groups would survive past the Stone Age.
Appeared in Europe and parts of Asia about 200,000 years ago. Their name comes from the Neander Valley in present-day Germany, where their fossil remains were first found.
Some archaeologists believe that the Neanderthals were the first people to bury their dead. Remains of flowers and other objects in burial sites may be evidence that Neanderthals carefully buried bodies and may have believed in life after death. Other archaeologists, however, disagree. Even if Neanderthals did bury their dead, their burial practices were much simpler than those of later people.
About 100,000 years ago, the last new group of humans appeared. The scientific name of this group is Homo sapiens, which means “wise people”. Homo sapiens were the first modern humans, or people like us.
These people were like Neanderthals in some ways. Both groups made tools, used fire, and hunted animals. But modern humans were taller and less muscular. They also developed a powerful new skill- complex language.
The ability to form words is probably not a skill that Neanderthals had. One scientist who has studied the remains of Neanderthals claims they made a sound resembling a froag’croak or a burp. Homo sapiens, on the other hand, did have the ability to form words. Having a shared language gave them a great advantage in the struggle to survive. They could organize a hunt, warn of danger, or pass knowledge and skills on to their young.
For thousands of years, Neanderthals and modern humans lived near each other, but the Neanderthals eventually dissapeared. Some archaeologists believe they fought with the newcomers and lost, while others think the groups mixed together. Whatever the cause, there is no fossil evidence of Neanderthals in Europe after about 28,000 years ago.
Neanderthals VsHomo Sapiens
Populating the Earth
Over millions of years, many groups of early humans appeared and then died out.
Homo sapiens, modern humans, were the last of these groups to appear.
Scientists still have much to learn about the development of the first modern humans. But one thing is certain:
These large-brained “wise people” are often on the move.
Over many thousands of years, they spread out to populate.
Become inhabitants of, almost every land area of the world.
Study questions to think about.....
First appeared about 20.000 years ago.
Had short, sturdy skeletons
Had only very simple language skills
Made no art or music
Had simple burial practices
First appeared about 10.000 years ago
Had taller, slimmer bodies
Had complex language skills
Made art and music
Had more complex burial practices
Made hunting tools
Buried their dead
Had large brains
Lived in the same regions about 30,000 to 40,000 years ago
The Human Migration
Populating the Earth
Some scientists think that Homo Sapiens, like other early humans, originated in Africa.From there, they argue, Homo Sapiens began a ling migration to other regions of the world.
Occurs when people leave their homeland to live somewhere else.
Scientists who support the "out of Africa" theory suggest that as modern humans migrated from Africa to new places, they gradually replaced the older groups who were already living there.
Not all scientists agree that modern humans migrated from Africa. Some argue that large-brained humans developed separately in many different parts of regional populations mixed together, the different groups eventually became the one group known today as Homo Sapiens.
Adapting to Varied Environments
As modern humans migrated, they settled in a variety of envrionments.
Each new place had its own climate, plants, and animals. With each move, people had to adapt, to suit their new environment.
Change their way of life
A Changing Climate
People had to adapt to the world´s climate. During the past two million years-including most of the Stone Age- the Earth has experienced four long ice ages. The last great Ice Age began soon after modern humans appeared.
During this last Ice Age, thick sheets of ice, called glaciers, sperad across large regions of Earth. Glaciers covered the northern parts of Europe, Asia, and North America.rts of the Southern Hemisphere were also under ice. Moving glaciers created many of the world´s mountains, lakes and rivers.
Ice Age hunter-gatherers adapted to climate change in many ways. As winters grew longer, people learned to use whatever materials they could find to build warm shelters. Example: In Eastern Europe, they built huts made out of mammoth bones, and covered it with other animals skins.
Forming Larger Communities
Some groups adapted by forming larger communities. Growing communities might be organized into clans. A clan would be made up of perhaps 25 to 50 people. Clan leaders took on decision-making roles, like organizing hunts.
Everywhere human society developed, networks of clans and families played a vital role in creating strong communities.
Ston Age communities began to trade with one another for special stones or shells.
Developing Complex Cultures: ART
On of the most important signs of a complex culture is the existance of artwork such as paintings and statues.
Paintings in Caves
In 1940, four French teenagers and their dog discovered the caves in Lascaux, in southern France. They were amazed to see that the walls were covered with paintings of horses, bison, bulls, and other prehistoric animals. Other paintings showed human figures or abstract designs. Scientists determined that the caves dated from the Last Ice Age. Some of the art was painted with pigments by grinding up minerals of various colors, other were carved into the stone.
Other caves: in Spain....
Developing Complex Culture: Religious Beliefs and Practices
Toward the end of the Old Stone Age, some people began burying their dead with great care. This practice suggests a belief in life after death. They provided the dead with tools, weapons, and other needed goods.
Evidence suggests that these early people believed that the natural world was filled with spirits, a belief know as animism
Spirts and forces that might reside in animals, objects, or dreams.
By the end og the Paleolithic Era, human beigns occupied many regions of the world. They had developed a complex language, had tools and weapons, and adapted to environments.
Then around, 10,000 years ago, humans learned a new skill that forever changed how they would live.
This development marked the end of the Paleolithic Era, and the beginning of what we call the Neolithic Era, or New Stone Age.
1. How do scientists date fossils and artifacts?
2. Why are the discoveries of the Leakeys and Donald Johanson considered important?
3. How did early Hunter-gatherers get what they needed to survive?
4. Examples of Paleolithic technology
5. What are some of the elements that make up culture?
6. How did the Paleolithic Era get its name?
7. Similarities and differences between Homo Sapiens and Neanderthals
8. How did forming larger communities help people survive?
9. What are two signs that people who lived during the Ice Age developed more complex culture?
10. What do burial costumes suggest about the beliefs of early people?