Chapter 11 textbook notes
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CHAPTER 11: NEW IDEAS, NEW WORLD: Life in the Upper Paleolithic
There are early evidence for artistic and sympbolic expression reflected in nonutilitarian objects.
71 lumps of red ochre found in Qafzeh Cave, Israel = dating 90 000 ya
oRed ochre is a form of hermatite – a mineral consisting of iron oxide
oCan attribute this to human intelligence
Items of adornment (decorate ourselves with) have been found in Blombos Cave in South Africa.
oFound 40 perforated mollusc shell beads = dating to 75 000 ya
oThe Blombos shells was perhaps used to hang the beads from a necklace
Comparing the Middle and Upper Paleolithic
Upper Paleolithic (Europe) = Late Stone Age (Africa) -> 40 000 to 10 000 ya
oExhibit increases in technological sophistication
Middle Paleolithic (Europe) = Middle Stone Age (Africa) -> 250 000 to 40 000 ya.
Major differences were examined btwn these two cultures:
1. Stone tool technologies based on the production of elongated blades rather than flakes
oBlades: flakes that are twice as long as they are wide
o52 000 ya we see systematic movement toward method of stone tool production
Upper Paleolithic stone tool technologies marked the elongated blades seen at
Ksar Akil in Lebanon dated to 52 000 ya
oBlade-based stone tool technology developed in western Europe by about 35 000 B.P.
The Aurignacian tools include long, sharp cutting tools; engraving tools called
burins; and stone scrapers.
Gravettian tradition: an upper paleolithic toolmaking tradition, characterized
by the production of small and denticulate knives – dated from 27 000 to 21 000
Solutrean tradition: dated from 21 000 to 16 000 ya, includes stone toolmaking
tradition of the European Upper Paleolithic.
•Bifacially flaked, symmetrical, leaf shaped projectile points (pointed
tool/weapon, bone, antler tip hafted onto a shaft – which is thrown or
shot at target. Includes sprear points and arrow head.
Magdelanian: from 16 000 to 11 000 B.P. produced very small microblades (set
into handles bone, wood, antler)
•Known for manufacture of bone and antler tools.
•A late upper paleolithic culture in Europe
•Barbed harpoons, carved decorative objects and cave paintings.
2. Broadening of the subsistence base to include big-game hunting, small-mammal trapping,
fishing, and catching birds.
oMiddle Paleolithic inhabitants were opportunistic hunters, killing what they could when
oUpper Paleolithic were habitual hunters
Hunting and trapping small mammals supplied food for them
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Nets were used for hunting small game (net impressions found in Czech 26 000
•Indicates weaving technology
Seeds, fruits and roots used by these people. Also edible taproots of plants from
Late stone age people of Africa - invention of new technologies (snares and
fishing and fowling grear)
Most members in society contributed to the food quest
oHunters used animal hides for clothing; foxes and small mammals were used for their
3. Increased use of bone, ivory, and antler for making tools
oIn the Upper paleolithic
4. Manufacture of nonutilitarian objects, particularly items of personal adornment
oPersonal adornment often manufactured from exotic material that has been difficult to
obtain – diagnostic of the Upper Paleolithic
Imply growing awareness and significance of hte indiv in Upper Paleolithic
5. Larger, perhaps more sedentary, settlements
oUpper Paleolithic and Late stone Age sites are not larger than those that date to Middle
Paleolithic or Middle Stone Age
Although there are some sites in Upper Paleolithic that wre larger than sites datng
to earlier periods
These sites were interpreted as places of aggregation, stites that pplz visited at
time of hte year when resources in teh area may have been abundant.
6. Movement of raw materials across long distances, implying greater social integration of
distant and diverse groups.
oInstances of trade across great distances are found in Late Stone Age Africa (Upper
7. Elaborate burials including personal items to accompany the deceased.
oNeandertals burial was much more simpler that those of modern humans in teh Upper
oSungir graves (dating to 30 000 to 25 000 ya) were filled with objects – adornments.
Represent investment in time and energy for burials
Also reflect care and love to the dead
8. Production of the First recognizable works of the art in teh form of paintings and sculpture.
oFrom 43 000 ya to 10 000ya human groups in Europe, Africa and Australia produced
some of hte world’s first art.
oUpper Paleolithic carved stone, bone, antler and ivory; produced bas-releifs; made
ceramic figurines; engraved objects with both naturalistic figures and abstract designs and
painted freizes on cave walsl
oEarliest African art dated to 28 000 ya – stone slabs with painted and engraved images of
animals excavated at Apollo II Cave site in southern Namibia
oOldest art in the New World dates to 11 200 and 10 000 ya in Brazil – red pigment images
in caves showing human handprints, and spirit beings
oArt from Ancient Australia dating to 20 000 to 30 000 yrs old – stencil like design
Arts in teh European Upper Paleolithic
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