Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What is the meaning of Paleolithic? Concept, Definition of Paleolithic


Definitions and concepts of Paleolithic

Definition of Paleolithic

The Paleolithic (παλαιός, palaios = old and λίθος, Lithos stone) etymologically means old stone, term coined by archaeologist John Lubbock in 1865 as opposed to the Neolithic (modern stone age). It is the longest period in the history of mankind (in fact covers 99% of it) and extends from ago 2.85 million years ago (in Africa) until about 10,000 years ago. Constitutes, together with the Mesolithic/Epipaleolithic (transition phase) and the Neolithic, the so-called stone age, so called because the elaboration of lithic utensils has served the archaeologists to characterize it (as opposed to the later age of metals).
Although this stage is identified with the use of carved stone tools, other organic raw materials were also used to construct various artifacts: bone, antler, wood, leather, vegetable fibres, etc. During the greater part of the lower Palaeolithic lithic tools were thick, heavy, rough and difficult to handle, but over time they became more and more light, small and efficient. The Paleolithic man was nomadic, i.e. his life was characterized by a continuous scroll or newspaper (seasonal).
The Paleolithic is traditionally divided into three periods:
• Paleolithic bottom, up 127,000 years ago and covering the lower Pleistocene and environment;
Paleolithic • medium, up to 40,000-30,000 years before present (AP), representing almost all the upper Pleistocene;
Upper Paleolithic • up to around 10,000 a. C.
This periodization is only valid in its entirety for Europe and most nearby areas of Africa and Asia. For the rest of the old world and the two Americas have begun to develop different April but still consensus have not been established regarding its use.

Concept of Paleolithic

The Paleolithic goes from 2 500 000-10 000 b.c.
It is the oldest period in the history of humanity
-Is a period of continuous climatic changes, alternate periods of glaciation and the interglacials (between 2 glaciations)
-There were 4 glaciations, Gunz, Mindel, Riss and Würm. The glaciations were times of polar climate
-Europe, except the shores of the Mediterranean was totally frozen.
-In the interglacial periods the climate was temperate and rainy.
-We live in an interglacial period (Holocene)
-Gunz-(Gunz-Mindel interglacial period) - Mindel-(Mindel-Riss) - Riss-(Riss-Würm) - Wurm-(Holocene).

Lower Palaeolithic

-Its economy was based on hunting, gathering and fishing
-Paleolithic man was nomadic and transhumant
-Camping tools and weapons of carved stone
-Demographic stability
-Were organized in bands
-Carved chant is the oldest artifact ever human being manufactured
Carved edges have received many names: Oldowan, Pebble Culture,
Pre-Achelense, archaic lower Paleolithic culture of carved edges)
-Emergence of hominids:
In Africa
-Appears Homo habilis (first manufacturer of tools)
-Enters the scene homo ergaster (probably comes from Homo habilis and is)
basically the African version of Homo erectus, which is a predecessor
In Asia
-The H. erectus lived in East Asia (China, Indonesia) were the first to use fire
The Homo erectus was called: Sinanthropus (China) and Pitecantropus (Indonesia)
In Europe
: Homo antecessor, fossil species of the genus Homo. Considered the oldest schweitzerbart'sche species in Europe
Homo heidelbergensis (nicknamed "Goliath") Homo genus, is a direct ancestor of the Neanderthals in Europe

Middle Paleolithic

Also called Mousterian fossils found at Le Moustier, France
the Middle Palaeolithic era was defined by the existence of Homo neanderthalensis,
In Europe: Homo sapiens Neanderthalensis (perfected lithic industry management)
Feature lithic industry is basically done on chips, called Levallois technique.
Neanderthal man was a hominid Hunter and nomad who lived in caves
the Neanderthal lived for 70,000 years
He were due the first funeral rites, the improvement of techniques of hunting, the use of fire for lighting and a degree of social solidarity fairly accused.
Appears in Africa: Homo Sapiens Sapiens (modern man)

Upper Paleolithic

-Extinction of Homo sapiens Neanderthalensis
-Role of the homo sapiens sapiens
-Invention of the bow and propeller
-Domestication of the dog
-Art is a characteristic element of the culture.
-Invention of the rock art and mobilar
-Created recorded in caves, artistic expression (Altamira or Lascaux).
-they are still hunters and gatherers
-Development of the techniques of work, lithic tools are perfect
-Period of supremacy of current man

Definition of Paleolithic

The Paleolithic era is a period in the history of humanity that began 2.85 million years ago and lasted about 10,000 years ago. It is the initial stage the so-called stone age, the era marked by the development and use of tools made with this material.
The three phases of the Paleolithic (lower Paleolithic and Upper Paleolithic, Middle Paleolithic) represent the most extensive period of human history. The key to these millions of years lay in the improvement of stone tools and developing utensils made with other components such as wood and bones.
Homo sapiens (i.e. the human current) is not the only member of the genus Homo which lived in the Paleolithic. Homo habilis, elHomo erectus, Homo neanderthaliensis and Homo floresiensis, among others, also formed part of this extensive historical period in which people were nomadic.
Paleolithic man was devoted to gathering and hunting for their vital needs. In the first years of the period, the main method of subsistence consisted of collecting fruits, tubers and other foods. These prehistoric men also fed on animals already dead (they were scavengers). Already in the final stages Delpaleolitico, members of the genus Homo were able to hone their skills and became more experienced hunters.
It is said that the art was born in the Upper Paleolithic with the creation of carved stones, engraved bones and cave paintings, among other manifestations. Unfortunately, we only know of those that have survived over time through material supports.

Concept of Paleolithic

In Paleolithic times, the struggle for survival was a struggle of humans with the natural environment and its competitors in other animal species. Life was very hard, only a minority of human beings would meet the 40 years of life and those who arrived at that age probably would have a difficult age, afflicted pains of arthritis, rheumatism, scurvy, and threatened with death with every broken bone or infected tooth.
The survival of humanity during the Paleolithic period was achieved largely to community life, his wit, his technical discoveries and social capacity developed to communicate and keep the memory of their culture.
Prehistoric man power basically depended on the collection of plants, tubers, and other vegetables, as well as the ingestion of insects, eggs, insects and small animals. Early humans hunted small prey, but with the development of community life and the technology of hunting, Homo erectus could become a predator of herds of animals wild or large, such as mammoth and bison or fish once he invented networks. Prehistoric man not maintained a balanced diet and in many cases their food consisted of meat in a State of semiputrefaccion.
Groups or hordes of this era generally lived in caves that protected them from the cold and wet. These places also served as a place of burial, cults and rites. The appearance of rock art cave becomes a sanctuary, which makes it the center of the family universe. The caves had well-defined activity areas: place to light the bonfire, workshops for the work of stone, bone, wood, etc., areas sacred ceremonies, worship and magic, natural pools for water. Outside, there were areas for work and dry skins, quartering areas, fires of nighttime protection and warm season huts.
Archaeologists have also found remains of cabins used as housing. There were several types, constructed with different materials: bones, fur, straw, etc. Human groups generally settled in certain places where plentiful food, as fertile areas and where they lived large size animals. Some of these settlements were occupied for thousands of years.
At this stage he began a differentiation of tasks between men and women. As the human young need maternal care until long after birth, human mothers were much more tied to those of the majority of the primates, and parents charged with the task of hunting animals, a prolonged and arduous activity that were not females because they had to care for the pups to obtain food.

Language and learning

To succeed in life, even the most primitive man needed to have a considerable set of astronomic, botanical, geological and Zoological knowledge. Acquiring and transmitting this knowledge, our ancestors were establishing the foundations of science.
No one knows which communication system used the Australopithecus. Perhaps the first steps toward language were the transformation of shouting on concrete sounds, susceptible of variations, whereby messages could be transmitted. Little more than two million years later, Homo erectus, who lived in groups governed by a certain discipline, already had the ability to crudely communicate through speech.
In the course of the evolutionary development of man, primitive communities had to build a scientific tradition, scoring and passing on what were the best stones, Woods, or bones, where could be found and how should be manipulated to produce their instruments.
Also in hunting success could only be achieved by a prolonged and careful habits of dams; observation the results must have formed a collective tradition of knowledge about hunting. Same way, the distinction between nutritive and poisonous plants, also must have been learned by experience and, then incorporated into the communal tradition.
Aware of the characteristics of the environment learning and reflection on them gradually overcame mutation genetics and natural selection as a fundamental engine of change among the hominids. What was learned was so important to survival as biological heredity. Especially in a species as humans, that takes so much time to reach adulthood.
A conception of the world with groups of distinct objects and the construction of objects (instruments) were phenomena that were simultaneously developed in the course of the hundreds of thousands of years during which evolved language. As a result could emerge thinking abstract (think about things when present are not physically), makes 60 to 40 thousand years, allowing humans to analyze the past and participate in the future; make plans, create art and a complex language.

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