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Lec 15 Holocene updated.doc

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The early Holocene: From Epipaleolithic/Mesolithic hunter gatherers to Neolithic farmers Spread of Upper Paleolithc People • Beringia Land Bridge o Northern Asia (Siberia) to Alaska o Open by 30,000 ya o Ice sheets covered  Western Canada (Cordilleran)  Eastern Canada & Northern U.S. (Laurentide) • Pacific Coastal Route o Moved along Pacific Coast from Asia on boats o 17-15,000 ya o H2O transport along Pacific Rim o Diverse coastal ecosystems The Paleoindians of North America • 13,000 ya • Fluted projectile points • Hunters of megafauna • Kennewick Man Holocene • 10,000 ya to present • End of Ice Age (Pleistocene) • Glaciers melted • Rising global temperatures • Temperate forests • Seasonality • Regional diversity in ecosystems • End of megafauna Holocene hunter gatherers • Foragers o Small groups o Move camp frequently o Little investment in shelters, storage facilities • Collectors o Less mobile o Stay in camps for long periods of time o Middens o Storage facilities o Cemeteries, mounds Cultural Regionalization Epipaleolithic (Near East) Mesolithic (Europe) Archaic (New World) • Approximately 12,000-10,000 ya • Last glaciation nearly over  Increase in global temperatures  Glaciers receded  Sea levels rose  Beringia flooded o Tundra replaced by deciduous forests o New game o New lakes & rivers o New edible plants The Middle Stone Age Microliths Characteristic meso/epipaleolithic tool o Small, hard, geometric sharp flint blade • Ground stone tools o Axes & adzes • Advance: o Mass produced o Wider array of composite tools • 1st appear 40,000 ya in Africa • t/o Old World 12000 ya Epipaleo/mesolithic advances • Regionalization • Worldwide shift in subsistence • Unique adaptations to local environments • Ground stone tools o Axes & adzes • Boats • Permanent dwellings • pottery Regional Cultures • Maglemosian (N. Europe) • Azilian (France) • Tardenosian (N of Mediterranean) • Capsian (N. Africa) • Archaic (Americas) Epipaleolithic Culture (Near East, Levant) • Kebaran o Late Pleistocene foragers o OHALO II o 23,000 ya o Collectors o transhumanance • NATUFIAN (Eastern Mediterranean) o Israel, Lebanon, Western Syria o 12,500 – 10,200 ya o Earliest shrine in Jericho 10,500 ya o Earliest sickle o Caves, rock shelters, small villages o Communal cemeteries o Storage pits o Semi permanent pit houses Cultivation & Domestication: The Neolithic Revolution NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION The New Stone Age • “revolution” of massive cultural change • Characterized by transition from foraging to dependence on domesticated plants & animals Domestication vs agriculture Domestication • “An evolutionary process whereby humans modify, either intentionally or unintentionally, the genetic makeup of a population of plants or animals, sometimes to the extent that members of the population are unable to survive &/or reproduce without human assistance” (Haviland et al., 2009: 292) Vs Agriculture (farming) • Cultural activity associated with planting, herding & processing Domesticated species Domesticated Plants • Increased size (grain size) • Reduced natural seed dispersal • Reduced protective devices • Loss of delayed seed germination • Simultaneous ripening of seed & fruit • Tougher stems (Less brittle rachis) • “Unconscious selection” Animal Domestication • Changes in skeletal structure • Change in size of certain parts • Different age & sex ratios Why Did Humans Become Food Producers? MYTHS TO BE DISPELLED: • The Great Man Theory • The myth that food production was a great labor-saving development  e.g. The HADZA  The myth that food-producing communities are better nourished. • The myth that food production is a more secure means of subsistence than food foraging. • The myth that domestication had one place of origin THEORIES OF THE ORIGINS OF FOOD PRODUCTION STRESS MODELS (environmental determinisn) • Desiccation or Oasis Theory (desertification),
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