view8/1/2015Learned patterns of action and expression. Cave paintings near Lascaux, France. Dwellings, clothing, ... Shelter through wool and leather. Disadvantages:

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Paleolithic: Old stone age: 1.5 million- 8,000 BC

(90% of humanity is Paleolithic)


Expanded diet







Made chipped from stone, flint

One design found around the globe, meaning transmission of design or knowledge

Economic Structure:

Small kinship groups (bands)

Consisted of one or two families



Migration tied to season of plants and animal migration patterns


Culture developed PRIOR to civilization

Learned patterns of action and expression

Cave paintings near Lascaux, France

Dwellings, clothing, tools and crafts, beliefs, and languages

*The development, transmission, and transformation of cultural practices and events are the subject of history

Cooking~12,500 years ago

East Asia shows woven clothing ~26,000 years ago

Visual artwork occurred ~32,000 years ago

Keys to Humanity:

Dominance over animals

Understanding of requirements necessary to cohabitate withenvironment

Development of Fire

Development of Animal and Plant domestication techniques

The first three are PALEOLITHIC achievements the last is a Neolithic


Neolithic: New Stone Age: 8,000 B.C.E.- 3,000 B.C.E.

Agricultural Revolution

Neolithic Revolution

Independent across civilization

Development of civilization


Controllable food supply

Allowed permanent settlement

Rise in economics


Food surplus; Supported more people than hunting

Cities possible

Specialization of labor

Beginnings of science and technology

Can be practiced everywhere


Must radically change the environment

Farming is hard: Slavery

Spread of disease

Cultural development

Religious values due to controlling of the necessary ingredients of agriculture (rain, floods, drought, etc.) beyond our control


Stone heads on sticks to work soil

Sharp stone chips in handle to cut gain

Stone mortar to grind grain


Discovery of metal tools around 4000 B.C.E. (copper then bronze)

Metalworking- 3000 B.C.E. (Bronze Age)

Stone tools disappeared in the Middle East

Metal hoes allowed farmers to work the ground better

Metal weapons

Development of tool-maker class of people


The Middle East (wheat and barley)

Greece; Central Europe; Asia (rice)

Americas (maize)


First domesticated animal: dog (hunting)

Domestication of Animals probably developed from taking in weak or young animals that were hunted...they were then tamed and began to breed: Food source.

Provided meat and milk

Shelter through wool and leather


Must move around frequently for fresh grass

Not many animals conducive to domestication

Why did the Agricultural Revolution occur?

Uncertain: No written record

Most likely occurred by accident

Population increase

More significant is the climate change.

Global warming contributed to a decline in animals for hunting

The retreat of big game animals like the mastodon

Hunters had to turn to smaller game like deer and boar

Increasingly humans became dependent on regular harvests of wild grains, berries and nuts (foraging)

This set the stage for the deliberate planting of seeds

Grain provided a dietary staple and source of beer making.

Concept of Revolution:

That's not really a revolution, that's just people trying to increase available calories. But one non-revolution leads to another, and pretty soon you have this, as far as the eye can see.

Many historians also argue that without agriculture we wouldn't have all the bad things that come with complex civilizations like patriarchy, inequality, war, and unfortunately, famine. And, as far as the planet is concerned, agriculture has been a big loser. Without it, humans never would have changed the environment so much, building dams, and clearing forests, and more recently, drilling for oil that we can turn into fertilizer.

Many people made the choice for agriculture independently, but does that mean it was the right choice? Maybe so, and maybe not, but, regardless, we can't unmake that choice. And that's one of the reasons I think it's so important to study history.

History reminds us that revolutions are not events, so much as they are processes; that for tens of thousands of years people have been making decisions that irrevocably shaped the world that we live in today. Just as today we are making subtle, irrevocable decisions that people of the future will remember as revolutions.