Definition: Period before people kept written records

Earth= 6 billion years old

Age of Earth = 6 billion years x Human-like- creatures on Earth - 3-5 million years x Species= Homo Sapien on Earth at least 50,000 years x Writing invented (end of Pre-History) = 5,000 -6,000 years ago

Dating System
B.C. =Before the Christian Era (Pope Gregory miscalculated birth of Christ by 4 years, according to modern scholars. Jesus thought to be born in 4 B.C. x A.D.= (Anno Domini) In the year of our Lord x B.P.= Before the present (years ago)

Unwritten Evidence
Fossils= human and animal bones & teeth or traces left in rocks of plants & animals. Example - footprints x Artifacts= Objects shaped by humans

Marine Fossils


Dating Processes: Carbon 14
most commonly used x based on radioactive carbon in living organisms decaying at a fixed rate x discovered in 1948 by Willard Libby x Limitation: can be used only on once living things (not minerals) x Limitation: not accurate for items over 100,000 years old.

Other processes: Amino Acid Racemization
can be used to date items up to 1 million years old

Other processes
Potassium -40 x Uranium x Thorium x each is used to date rocks and minerals

Man Superior to Other Animals?
Thumb- ability to grasp something x Upright Posture- frees hands for manipulation and carrying x Speech- allows us to think abstractly and pass on culture to next generation x Large Brain- allows more complex thought and memory

Human-Like creatures
Australopithecus x 3.7 million years old x walked upright on two legs x found in Tanzania, Africa x uncertain of relationship between them and modern Humans

Paleolithic Age or Old Stone Age
called so because almost all of the artifacts were made of stone x used caves as shelter x ate seeds, nuts, fruits, plants x began to hunt small animals x made tools and weapons x Developed spoken language to pass on information and skills to next generation

Early Flint Tools

Early People Java Man or Peking Man
Hunters migrated long distances in search of food. x Expanded into Asia 1-1.5 million years ago x Remains found on island of Java in Indonesia in 1891 x Remains also found in 1929 near Beijing, China (Formerly called Peking)

The Ice Age
Periods of Glaciation x Actually there were 4 periods x Each period lasted 10-20 thousand years each x During each the Earth had periods of extremely cold weather

Ice Ages
Ice covered 1/3 of the Earth’s surface from each pole x Normally 1/12 Earth’s surface covered x Water becomes trapped in great sheets over 1 mile thick x Ocean levels dropped several hundred feet as more and more water is trapped. x Moving ice changed the shape of Earth’s surface

Ice Ages (3)
As sea level dropped underwater ridges were exposed and became “land bridges” x Example: BERINGIA - Connected America and Asia across Bering Strait

Extent of Ice during Ice Age

Cause of Ice Ages?
Large Meteorite crashing into Earth causing smoke and dust to be thrown up into the stratosphere blocking out the Sun x Volcanic action worldwide causing smoke and dust to be thrown up into the stratosphere blocking out the Sun x Large Meteorite causing volcanic action.

Neanderthal Man
lived 100,000 to 30,000 years ago x Remains were first found in Neander Valley in Germany in 1856 and also in Asia and North Africa x Buried their dead with tools and weapons and thought to have religious concept of life after death. x Powerful builds, thick eyebrow ridges

Neanderthal Man (2)
Lived in caves x Wore clothing made of animal skins x Were first people to cook food x Nursed sick and helped weak to survive x Disappeared for unknown reasons during last Ice Age

Cro-Magnon Man
Appeared almost as modern man does today x lived on Earth many thousands of years x By end of Old Stone Age no longer existed as a distinct type of people. Became HOMO SAPIEN

Mesolithic Age Middle Stone Age
from 10-12,000 years ago to 5,000 years ago. x domesticated animals- dog -goat x invented bow & arrow, fishhooks, spears x first vehicle of transportation- (dug-out canoe) x People were NOMADIC- moved from place to place

Neolithic Age New Stone Age
Ground and polished stone tools to a fine point or edge rather than chipping x Made tools from wood x Made specialized tools- awl-wedges-sawsdrills-chisels-needles

Neolithic Revolution
ECONOMY- the way in which a people make their living x Previous economy: HUNTING & GATHERING x New economy: FOOD PRODUCING x 1. Herding- cattle, sheep, horses, pigs - for food and clothing x 2. Agriculture- plant and grow wheat, barley, rice, and millet for food

Tools of Neolithic Revolution

Results of Neolithic Revolution
Established permanent homes as farmers were tied to the soil x Formed villages of several thousand people about 8,000 years ago x Farming was so productive that not everyone was needed for it x Developed specialized skills for nonfarmers

Neolithic Results Specialized Skills
Making tools and weapons x Making shelter and clothing x Weaving baskets x Making pottery for cooking and storage x ARTISANS= people skilled in these crafts x Concept of PRIVATE PROPERTY developed

Neolithic Results (3)
BARTER ECONOMY developed = exchanging goods for other goods x TECHNOLOGY = new methods and materials to create new tools for their work

Neolithic Technology
Baking Pottery and bricks x Potter’s Wheel & Transportation wheel x Grinding Wheel and spinning wheel x Plow pulled by oxen x Looms for making cloth x Sail for Transportation x The use of metals

Neolithic Metals
COPPER- first metal to be used. x easy to extract and work but tools were soft and did not remain sharp x BRONZE- made by mixing Copper and Tin x much harder and more durable than either metal

Bronze Age
Period in which bronze replaced copper and stone as the main tool material x First came from Southwest Asia x about 5,000 years ago x Spread to Egypt and China

Bronze Age Weapons

Iron Age
Began around 3,200 years ago in Asia Minor x Required the invention of the FORGE- a furnace to hold and concentrate the heat x Also invention of the BELLOWS to force air on the fire to make it burn hotter

First Civilizations 4 cradles of civilization
MESOPOTAMIA- earliest location - in South West Asia -land between Tigris River and Euphrates River- located in what is today IRAQ x EGYPT- located in Africa on the Nile River x INDUS- On the Indus River just West of the Indian Peninsula x CHINESE- On the Huang He River in China

Developing Civilization Flood Control & Irrigation
Involved building canals and dikes x Cooperation needed for this x Was the cause of the first Governments

Spreading Civilization
Merchants and Traders developed x Bought goods from farmers and sold to people in the towns x Passed along ideas also x CULTURAL DIFFUSION - is what this is called

Making a Calendar
Observed changes in seasons x When floods occurred x Phases of the moon and stars x Lunar month based of cycle of moon phases x Lunar Year (12 months) = 354 days x 11 days short of Solar Year= 365 1/4 days

Needed to preserve and pass on Information x to record events and keep tax records x step 1: Picture = a thing = PICTOGRAM x step 2: Picture = an idea = IDEOGRAM x step 3: Picture = a sound = PHONOGRAM or a syllable x step 4: Picture = single consonant or vowel

Early seal writing