About This Chapter
Prehistory & the Development of Humankind - Chapter Summary and Learning Objectives
Trace the development of humankind from Paleolithic hunter-gatherers' use of stone tools to the creation of cities and empires by Neolithic agricultural societies. Instructors teaching this chapter's video lessons help you explore the geographical changes and technologies that made these developments possible along with the advantages and disadvantages associated with each type of civilization. Topics of study include:
- Uses of prehistoric technologies
- Causes of population migrations
- Impacts of the Neolithic agricultural revolution
- Characteristics of nomadic pastoralism
- The development of cities and empires
|The Paleolithic Age: Tools & Characteristics||Get an introduction to the defining features of this era's hunter-gatherers.|
|Stone Tool Industries of the Paleolithic Age||Survey the characteristics of stone tools used in the Oldowan, Acheulean, Clactonian and Mousterian industries.|
|The Mesolithic Age: Tools, Inventions & Archaeology||Learn how tools changed in the Mesolithic Age and examine archaeological finds from this era.|
|An Overview of Mesolithic Archaeology||Explore geographical changes during the Mesolithic Age and examine some of the technology used by hunter-gatherers and nomads.|
|The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities||Discover milestones in human development that resulted from the end of the last ice age.|
|Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications||Examine the benefits of an agricultural lifestyle as compared to a nomadic lifestyle.|
|Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in History||Survey the rules of hierarchy alongside characteristics of aristocracies and theocracies.|
|Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess||Examine the significance of mother goddess figures in prehistoric religion.|
|Prehistoric Human Migrations: History & Movements||Consider the archaeological records and theories used to explain the migration of humans out of Africa and into Eurasia and the Americas.|
|The Great Flood and Population Migrations||Compare and contrast flood myths. Examine geological records of a great flood and learn how linguistics are used to study human migration.|
|Villages to Cities: How Cities Were Invented||Trace the development of villages into cities and empires. Discover the benefits and challenges associated with maintaining large populations.|
|Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation||Learn how bronze tools and armor, fortifications, waterways and roads were used to build and maintain empires.|
|The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire Creation||Consider the significance of the horse and chariot in empire building.|
|Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?||Identify characteristics of the horse peoples and compare these pastoral societies to other types of civilization.|
|Foraging & Pastoral Nomadic Societies: Definition & Characteristics||Examine the egalitarian nature of foraging societies alongside the organization of pastoral societies.|
|Technologies of the Neolithic Era||Study the advantages brought about by pottery, weapons, textiles and other technologies developed by Neolithic people.|
1. The Paleolithic Age: Tools & Characteristics
In this lesson, you will explore the history of the Paleolithic Era and discover how early humans lived and developed stone tools. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.
2. Stone Tool Industries of the Paleolithic Age
This lesson will explain the different stone industries of the Paleolithic Age. In doing so, it will highlight the Oldowan industry, the Acheulian industry, the Clactonian industry, and the Mousterian industry and their corresponding tools.
3. The Mesolithic Age: Tools, Inventions & Archaeology
In this lesson, you will explore the history of the Mesolithic era, one of the greatest transitional periods in human history. Then, test your understanding with a brief quiz.
4. An Overview of Mesolithic Archaeology
This lesson will seek to explain archaeological theories concerning the Mesolithic Age. In doing so, it will highlight microliths, the nomadic lifestyle, the hunter-gatherer lifestyle, and the use of radioactive carbon dating.
5. The Last Ice Age: Thawing Ice and New Human Opportunities
What is an ice age? How did the latest period of glaciation form our species? How has the abundance of this latest period of interglaciation changed our behavior? Watch this lesson to find out.
6. Neolithic Agricultural Revolution: Causes and Implications
A long, long time ago, human beings roamed the earth looking for food. Then the agricultural revolution struck! What are the benefits of an agrarian society, and how have they shaped the way we live today?
7. Development of Hierarchical Structures: Chiefs to Emperors in History
This lesson will explore society's need for hierarchies, as well as kinship as a basis of hierarchical structures. Various forms of hierarchy will be briefly explored and...spoiler alert...they all come back to kinship.
8. Mystery Cults and the Early Mother Goddess
What kind of problems do we encounter when talking about ancient religions? What are the Mother Goddess figures, and where do they pop up throughout history? Watch this lesson to learn about one of the earliest forms of religious worship.
9. Prehistoric Human Migrations: History & Movements
This lesson will seek to explain the theories concerning prehistoric human migration. In doing so, it will highlight the effects of the Ice Age on modern Homo sapiens and their migration into Eurasia and the rest of the globe.
10. The Great Flood and Population Migrations
The Great Flood myth has been around for over eight millennia. Could it be more than a myth? What could have caused such a flood, and what effects has it had on humans?
11. Villages to Cities: How Cities Were Invented
In this video lesson, you'll meet Uruk, a lone farmer living in ancient Mesopotamia. As Uruk tries to become a successful farmer, he realizes the difficulties in sustaining a fruitful farm without the help of a community. Watch to understand how these difficulties contributed to the creation of villages and cities throughout history.
12. Walls, Roads & Bronze: Tools of Empire Creation
Learn some of the tools of the empire creation trade. In this video lesson, we'll explore the wall as a tough nut to be cracked, the strategic importance of roads and the advances made possible by bronze.
13. The Horse and Chariot: Tools of Empire Creation
Horses were first used in warfare to pull chariots. Though horses were eventually ridden by cavalry, it was the chariot that first moved soldiers faster than man. In this lesson, you'll learn about the creation of the chariot, and its benefits during wartime.
14. Horse People and Nomadic Pastoralism: What is Civilization?
This lecture examines the downsides and limits of settled agriculture and civilization. It then explores how 'civilized' forces are able to displace other systems. Horse people are introduced as a counterpoint to civilization and nomadic pastoralism as a successful alternative method of living. Finally it follows the conflict between nomadic pastoralists and settled agriculturalists throughout history.
15. Foraging & Pastoral Nomadic Societies: Definition & Characteristics
This lesson will discuss those who practice foraging and pastoralism for survival. We will also define the term 'nomadic' and focus on what it means to be egalitarian.
16. Technologies of the Neolithic Era
In this lesson, we explore some of the technologies invented, innovated, and changed by Neolithic people as well as the way it improved their lives and lessened their workload.
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Other chapters within the World History I course
- Civilization Begins at Mesopotamia
- Early Egyptian Civilization
- Early Civilizations of the Ancient Near East
- The Rise of Empires in the Ancient Near East
- Early Indian Civilizations & Empires
- Early Chinese Civilizations & Empires
- Early Greek Civilizations
- Classical Greek Culture & Philosophy
- Alexander & the Spread of Hellenistic Culture
- Rise of the Roman Republic
- The Roman Republic Becomes an Empire
- Roman Culture & Society
- The Development of Christianity
- Fall of the Roman Empire
- The Birth of the Muslim World
- Early African Civilizations
- Early Civilizations in Asia
- The Roman World in Transformation
- Feudalism in Europe & the Early Middle Ages
- The Byzantine Empire & the Crusades
- Rise of the Russians & the Turks
- Society & Culture in the Medieval Warm Period
- Medieval Civilization & Christianity
- European Kingdoms Emerge
- Culture of the High Middle Ages
- The Late Middle Ages
- Early Civilizations in the Americas
- The Muslim World Expands
- The European Renaissance