Topic 2: Introduction to Ancient Mediterranean Cultures 1: The Neolithic Revolution,
Mesopotamia and Egypt
o Archaeologists only look for finds 2.5 million years old max.
Earlier human records exist.
o Early Humans
Humans began in Africa before spreading
Earliest Humans were hunter/gatherers
Dependent on seasonal variations of animals and plants.
Moved around often to find new food sources.
Small Objects related to their lifestyle.
o Crude and easy to construct.
o Huts of skin/wood
o Had to be light – they moved a lot.
o Leather and wood leaves no Archaeological record.
Same with fish and wool
o Would make more tools when they wore out.
o Stone does not decay.
2.5 Million Years old
Would hit stones until they had sharp edges for tools.
100s of thousands of years later
Used tools to make other tools.
Tools had a precise form/use
100,000 years ago
They would take a stone and use tools to remove sharp stone flakes.
Flakes would then be used to make better tools.
Old stone age.
35,000 to 10,000 years ago
Tools made of bone.
Tools had very specific purposes
“Ages” made by Archaeologists to divide human record for easy classification
Evolution of tools displays evolution of human mind.
Took 2.5 million years for this.
Wisdom is passed from old to young.
Old paleolithic stone age paintings. No domesticated animals
Paintings suggest free time
Paintings suggest an animal focused culture
Done to pass on knowledge
o The ability to think about time is what separates us from
Learning how to draw/make drawings.
Religious plea before a hunt – “give us this”
Emphasis not on them, they never show up.
Gives us information on a group of cultures we would otherwise know
Lived in the caves they painted
o Placed in fire to harden
Do show humans – emphasis on them
Speculation on meaning of human bodies
o Lot of fat – not appropriate for on the move society.
o Having fat sign of prosperity
o Could have to do with fertility
Are they showing real people or a god/ess?
o Goddesses have better lifestyle –