Civilization paleolithic/Neolithic Periods



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CIVILIZATION Paleolithic/Neolithic Periods


Time

Period

P:

Generally accepted to start around 2 Million years ago and ended at Neolithic’s start

N:

Began About 12,000 Yrs ago (10,000BCE), ended at the start of the river valley civilizations

Geographic

Description

P:

There were shifts in the Earth’s climate which at time included ice ages. Early people began to migrate in search of food (followed wild herds);nomads hunted and gathered food

N:

Ice sheets rescinded and in the more temperate zones, domestication of plants and animals occurred with the 1st area being the Middle East; farming spread along similar line of latitude

Political:

P:

The Political aspects of this time period were rather simple and tended to be focused around clans and elders of the clans making decisions due to experience

N:

The settlement of the people led to the more developed gov’t, but still organized around elders

Economics

P:

Almost no trading took place during the time period; some groups may have traded items that they saw what other groups’ had. If it did exist it was a BARTER system. Women (gathered) and Men (hunted) had more equal status than Neolithic and beyond.

N:

With the development of agriculture, internal trade was common amongst each village, because of job specialization and some trade occurred between villages; mostly BARTER; development of traditional economy. People were existing at a SUBSITANCE level.

Religion

P:

N:

Both time periods shared a similar set of beliefs, never having a named religion. It was Polytheistic, and was centered on Gods and Goddesses to explain the unexplainable. There was an afterlife, and was created to explain death. Dead were buried with their personal belongings to be used in the afterlife. The Neolithic age would see the development of dedicated places to burry their dead in the village. Priests held high power.

Social

P:

Small Hunting/Gathering groups. Slow Population growth. During the Middle Stone age, Growth was faster, and warfare took place. Since they were nomadic, they traveled in small groups; gender rolls but equally important. EGALITARIAN.

N:

There was more interaction, larger population (due to more consistent food and sedentary societies) and wealth was also common among sedentary societies; women’s roles began to become confined to the household and SUBORDINATION begins

Intellectual

P:

Crude shaping of stone, animal bones & wood implements for tools and weapons, use of fire

N:

Farming began in 10,000 BCE with the discovery that seeds dropped grew plants (women gathers discovered this), 1st place was the Middle East; animals were domesticated (goats, pig, horses and cattle around 8,000 BCE , a potters wheel created 6,000 BCE. Irrigation was also created. Copper and bronze metal was a used material.

Art

P:

Keep in mind…art is a reflection of culture--Cave Paintings showing the hunt

N:

Art also took on another dimension; beads and pottery.

DECLINE:

P:

Although nomads do not disappear, due to the environment getting warmer, there are less as time goes on. Hunters and Gathers (Foragers) exist but many evolve into pastoralists (followed domesticated herds) Discovery of agriculture led to the Agricultural/Neolithic Revolution. SEDENTARY society began. Sedentary society would interact with pastoralists.

N:

Neolithic Age began to end with the dawn of civilizations. Start of River Valley Civilizations (3500BCE). The biggest difference between the Neolithic villages and the River Valley civs is consistent food surpluses led to more advanced settlements which allowed for contributions to further civilizations

Global Connections/Interactions

P:

Migrations of people throughout the globe; peopling of the earth. (check out the site…notice how the Americas are populated. http://www.bradshawfoundation.com/journey/


N:

Agriculture was spread through the world, population increased, and civilization started from this. Domestication of animals spread throughout the eastern hemisphere; the only significant large breed animal domesticated in the Americas would be the llama and that was kept to the Andes Mts.


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