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    Neolithic pottery

    Paleolithic carving

    2PrehistoricPeople8000 B.C.3000 B.C.


    8000 B.C.New Stone Age begins

    6500 B.C.Catal Hykestablished

    4000 B.C.World population reaches

    about 90 million

    3000 B.C.Writing isinvented

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  • Terms to Learnprehistorycivilizationmigratespecialization

    People to KnowLucyNeanderthalsCro-Magnons

    Places to LocateOlduvai GorgeJerichoCatal Hyk

    Why Its Important Most archaeologists believe people havelived on the earth for millions of years. The period of timebefore the invention of writing is called prehistory. It lasteduntil about five thousand years ago, when people learned howto write. Through the use of artifacts, archaeologists havetraced the milestones that paved the way from prehistory tothe rise of civilizationa time when people progressed cultur-ally and began to live in cities.


    Chapter OverviewVisit the Human Heritage Web siteat humanheritage.glencoe.comand click on Chapter 2ChapterOverviews to preview this chapter.

    Chapter FocusRead to Discover

    How tools, language, clothing, and the discovery of firehelped early people advance.

    What Neanderthals and Cro-Magnons were like. How people changed from food gatherers to food producers. Why specialization, government, and religion were impor-

    tant in Neolithic societies.

    SECTION 1 The Paleolithic AgeAlthough there were no written records during prehistory,

    scientists have learned a great deal about prehistoric people.They have learned how early human beings lived and whatimportant discoveries were made. Scientists also think theyknow why people moved out of Africa to other parts of theworld.

    Many scientists believe that until about 1.75 million yearsago, people lived only on the grasslands of eastern and southernAfrica. Then the earths climate changedit became colder.Ocean water froze into huge glaciers that spread out from theNorth and South poles. As the ice sheets grew, the sea level felland uncovered land that had been under water. Land bridgesthen connected Africa to both southern Europe and southwest-ern Asia.

    Reading Check When did

    prehistory end?What helped bringabout the rise of civilization?

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    People were able to migrate, or make their way, around thedesert of northern Africa and across the land bridges. Betweenabout 1.75 million and 700,000 years ago, people made their wayinto Europe and Asia. Much later, between about 40,000 and15,000 years ago, they also migrated to the Americas.

    Scientists call the first age in which people lived the Pale-olithic (pa le uh lith ik) Age, or Old Stone Age. It lasted fromabout 2.3 million years ago until 10,000 years ago. During thisperiod, people obtained their food by hunting and gathering.

    Obtaining Food Paleolithic people lived in small bands,or groups, of about 30 members. When the food supply wasgood, the bands grew to about 40 or 50 members. Most of thegroup members lived to be no more than 20 or 25 years old. Morethan half of the children died from illnesses or were killed by ani-mals before their first birthdays.

    The people within a group lived and worked together andshared their food. They fed and cared for people who becameinjured or sick.


    GROUP LIFE Experts believe that most early people lived in groups made up ofseveral families. Here, a group of hunters use stones to sharpen tools. Two men carry alarge animal killed in a hunt, as a few women tend fires near their tents. How didPaleolithic people use fire?

    Reading Check How did early

    people migrate out ofAfrica?

    Reading Check How did living

    in bands help peoplesurvive?

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    Each band searched for food within an area known as itshome territory. This usually covered about two square miles, orfive square kilometers, for every band member. There werecampsites at various places throughout the home territory. Theband stayed at a campsite until the available food supply wasused up and then moved.

    Women and children gathered berries, nuts, fruit, and eggsout of bird and turtle nests. They poked sticks into bee nests toget honey and into the ground to dig roots.

    Men of the group obtained meat. They caught fish usingtheir bare hands and hunted small animals with sticks andstones. Occasionally, they were able to kill a large animal thatwas too young, too old, or too badly hurt to run away. A goodkill meant that the group would have enough meat to last forseveral days.

    Making Tools Life for hunters and gatherers became easierwhen they learned to make tools. At first the only tools peoplehad were sticks and stones they found on the ground. Soon theylearned to shape stones to make them more useful.


    EARLY TOOLS For more than 2 million years, prehistoric people lived by huntinganimals and gathering plants. They used tools made of wood and stone. The woodentools have decayed. Archaeologists, however, have found many stone tools. For whatpurposes did prehistoric people use stone tools?

    Oldest Tools In 1995,archaeologists working inEthiopia found stone spearpoints more than 2.6 mil-lion years old, makingthem the earliest toolsfound on Earth.

    Reading Check What were some

    of the features of abands home territory?

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    Among the earliest shaped stones are the Olduvan pebbletools, named after the Olduvai Gorge in eastern Africa where theywere first discovered. Pebble tools were made from pebbles orstones about the size of a fist. The toolmaker hit one pebble withanother, removing chips and creating a jagged cutting edge. Thisedge was sharp enough to cut the meat off of small animalsbones, split animal bones, and chop up plants.

    Later people learned to knock long, sharp-edged chips, calledflakes, from stones and use them as tools. Using flakes for knives,they could butcher, or cut up, animals as big as elephants quicklyand efficiently. People also used flakes to scrape one end of awooden branch into a sharp point for a digging stick or a meatskewer.

    Making Fire People also learned to make fire during thePaleolithic Age. The first fires they knew about were made bynature, such as those started by lightning. Eventually, people dis-covered how to make fire themselves. They created sparks byrubbing two sticks or stones together, or rapidly turning a stick ina hole in a dry log.

    People used fire to keep themselves warm and dry. Theyalso used it as a weapon, throwing burning sticks of wood at ani-mals to drive them away. Sometimes they used fire to drive biganimals into mudholes. The heavy animals would sink in themud and people could then kill them.

    People also used fire to clear out brush and undergrowth.Finally, people used fire to cook food. Cooked food was mucheasier to chew and digest than raw food. As a result, peoplespent less time eating and more time doing other things.

    Seeking Shelter Early people usually camped out in theopen. They protected themselves from the wind by digging pitsin the ground or by crouching in dry river beds. They also tookshelter under an overhanging rock or piled up brush.

    At first, early people used caves only for such emergenciesas escaping from a sudden storm or a large animal. By about100,000 years ago, however, people in China, western Europe,and southwestern Asia were living in caves most of the time.

    Making Clothing After hunters began killing large ani-mals, they found that the animal skins could be used for protec-tion and warmth. They scraped the skins clean and then laidthem out in the sun to dry. Later, people discovered that pound-ing fat into the skin while it was drying would make it softer.

    At first people wrapped the skins around themselves. Later,they learned how to fasten the skins together. Clothing made abig difference in where people lived. Before they had clothing,most people stayed in areas that were warm and dry. Once they


    LucyC. 3,200,000 B.C.

    Hominid SkeletonLucy made headlinesin 1974 when two sci-entistsDonald C.Johanson and TomGraydiscovered herskeleton in the desertsof Ethiopia. Theynamed her after apopular Beatles song,"Lucy in the Sky withDiamonds." AlthoughLucy walked the earth3.2 million years ago,her skeleton was near-ly complete. She gavethe world its first lookat an early prehuman.

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    had clothing to protect them from the weather, they were able tomove into areas that were cooler and wetter.

    Developing Language In addition to learning to maketools, fire, and clothing, early people developed language. Beforethey learned to talk, early people simply made sounds or pointedto objects to express meaning. Hand signals were probably usedfor common things such as water, food, animals, and weapons.Gradually, because of new social needs, sounds and hand signalswere no longer enough. The development of language was a great human achievement. It made it possible for people towork together, share ideas, and pass on their beliefs and stories.The younger generations could learn more easily from older generations, and greater progress was made in all areas of civi-lization.

    The Neanderthals The first people on Earth are known asHomo habilis (ho mo huh bil uhs), or skillful man. Next cameHomo erectus (ho mo e rekt uhs), or man who walks upright.Then, between about 300,00


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