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Prehistory the era before the invention of writing. Dating of the prehistoric era varies.
Writing a technology for storing, manipulating and communicating data. It was invented independently in three places. 3100 BC - Sumer Near East, Iraq 1500 BC - China 300-500 BC - Mesomerica
Linguistic anthropology human language
Physical or biological anthropology bio: human genetics phy: fossil record of humans
Archaeology study of ancient things that are the by products of human activities
Culture Shared ideas held by members of a society or social group
Material culture Physical manifestations of culture in the form of artifacts, features, and sites.
Artifact Any object or material made or used by a human being in the past
Ecofact Remains of plants or animals that result from human activities but were not intentionally modified.
Feature An artifact that cannot be moved such as a house foundation, pyramid, or a hearth.
Site Accumulations of artifacts, features, ecofacts, and/or human skeletal remains that represent places where people lived, died, or carried out certain activities in the past.
Fossil Petrified remains of a once living organism (earliest human ancestors)
Midden Deposit of prehistoric garbage (contains eco-facts, where people live)
Human skeletal remains Remains of humans or human ancestors resulting from either accidental or intentional burial or some other preservation activity (mummy)
Association The proximity of an archaeological artifact or feature to other artifacts or features in the same matrix (the soil around an artifact)
Context the relationship between an artifact and its setting
Stratigraphy layering of soil or rock deposits "strata, stratum"
Law of superposition the deepest levels are the oldest
Paleolithic era of stone tools
Neolithic new stone age
Cenozoic ERA: 65 MYA - present
Quaternary PEROID: 2 MYA - present
Miocene 25 - 5.5 MYA
Pliocene 5.5 - 2.0 MYA
Pleistocene 2.0 MYA - 12,000 YA
Holocene 12,000 YA - present
Dendrochronology tree ring dating 1 ring = 1 yr
Natural selection most well adapted to prevailing conditions will pass on their superior characteristics to succeeding generations with more frequency
Colonization Africa -> Asia -> Europe/Australia -> New World (North America)
Adaption adjusting to new environmental circumstances to accomplish basic survival.
Social complexity labor specification
Bipedalism (walking upright) a. Advantages i. Long distance walking ii. Frees hands iii. Can view surroundings
Basal Paleolithic dating 2.5—1.8 mya based on finds from Kada Gona (Gona River)
Lower Paleolithic is defined by Acheulian hand axes and non-handaxe (choppers)– the tools associated with Homo erectus begin at 1.8 million and continue
Middle Paleolithic technologies, dating 200,000 – 35,000 YA
Levallois is a technique that involves heavy preparation of the core—in order get a particular shape of flake that was a ready-made tool. Only one flake would be obtained from each prepared core.
Mousterian Mousterian tools that have been found in Europe were made by Neanderthals and date from between 300,000 BP and 30,000 BP (Middle Paleolithic) FLINT
Upper Paleolithic 35,000-12,000 YA i Extensive use of stone blades—which are flakes that are at least twice as long as they are wide. ii Manufacture of objects from a wider variety of raw materials including bone, ivory, and wood. iii Greater specialization and standar
Pleistocene climate glaciation: a Glacial coverage b Sea levels lower than present
Last glacial maximum (LGM) 20,000 years ago
Diluvium flood-like deposits
Great Rift Valley Ethiopia
Palynology (Pollen analysis) study of fossil pollen to infer past vegetation and climate.
Megafauna Giant or large animals
Created by: wolvess