prehistoric peoples what we know about the prehistoric people we learn from anthropologists who...
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Prehistoric PeoplesWhat we know about the prehistoric people we learn from anthropologists who study the remains of skeletons, fossils, using the artifacts, objects made and used by hominids. Hominids include humans as well as earlier humanlike creatures.
ToolsArtifacts such as tools, clothing, and works of art, weapons, and toys help us learn about the culture of the early civilizations. Culture is a set of beliefs, knowledge, and patterns of living that a group of people develops.
1st PeopleThe first people were hunter-gathers traveling from place to place like nomads. Much later they began to plant crops and have more permanent homes.
NeanderthalsAnthropologists found remains of early Homo Sapiens called the Neanderthals in the caves of Europe and Southwest Asia. They wore animal skins and used fire for warmth and cooking as well as, burying their dead. They were said to have lived c. 130,000 to 35,000 years ago.
Cro-MagnonC. 35,000 to 10,000 years ago the Cro-Magnon species appeared. Most of the information about them came from the paintings that were found on cave walls. both the Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon lived in a period called the Old Stone Age or Paleolithic period.
Neolithic PeriodThe New Stone Age or the Neolithic period was also called the Agricultural revolution. This was the time some people began to settle in permanent villages. They began to develop agriculture, the raising of crops for food.
Ring of Brodgar
AgricultureThey also began the domestication, taming of animals such as cattle goats, sheep, and pigs. Some groups practiced the slash and burn method of farming-cutting grasses and trees and burning them to enrich the soil.The ashes from the fire made a great fertilizer for a short period of time. Then they would move on and repeat the process.
CivilizationAs people began to settle in one place civilizations grew. A civilization is a complex culture that has at least three characteristics.People are able to produce surplus, or extra food.Establishment of large towns or cities with some form of government.People perform different jobs, specialization, instead of each person doing all kinds of work.
The First Four CivilizationsCivilizations developed in four regions along large river valley systems.Nile River valley in Africa (Egypt)Valley of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in southwestern Asia (Iraq)Indus River Valley in southern Asia (India)The Huang He, or Yellow River valley in eastern Asia (China)
Civilized AgricultureThe climate and flooding of rivers influenced the development of these civilizations. Farmers dug ditches and canals to move the water from the river to their fields.This was the first system of irrigation.
Other Civilized JobsAs farming improved people would specialize in other types of work.A class of workers called artisans, or skilled workers developed.Some people became merchants and traders.The traders spread ideas as well as products to other places in the world.This spread of ideas and other aspects of culture is called cultural diffusion.
Calendars and CoinsThe early river valley civilizations developed calendars to know when the yearly floods would start and stop.Some people bartered, traded goods and services for other goods and services, not money.
Into the Bronze AgePeople in both the Nile and the Tigris-Euphrates river valley used copper to make tools and jewelry. Later c. 3000 B.C. they began to use bronze.The invention of bronze tools ended the Stone Age and began the Bronze Age.