intro to hist Essays

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HIST1016 World History: The Big Picture

3/15/2008

HIST1016 World History
Dr. Shawn Ross

The Paleolithic Era & the Neolithic Revolution

Thursday 13 March 2008

Announcements
•Course convenors: Nick Doumanis & Shawn Ross – come see us on the 3rd floor of Morven Brown
•You may also email us at: n.doumanis@unsw.edu.au or shawn.ross@unsw.edu.au, but please:
–Include your course # in the subject line
–Include your name
–If relevant, include your Tutorial time

•WebCT is active; information such as the Course Outline will be posted over the next week
•Essay topics will be distributed via WebCT during Week 02
•As a consequence of the new 12-week semester, Tutorials meet during
Week 01

World History?
Why study World History?
•To understand the human community
•To contextualize the Nation State
•The get the big picture – the themes that permeate history but are not always apparent in local or national history

Themes
•Connections and interactions
•Ways of life (hunter-gatherer, agricultural, industrial)
•Changing economic, social, and political structures
•The rise of the state / forms of the state
•The environmental and ecological context of human history

This course is thematic rather than comprehensive

Shawn Ross

1

HIST1016 World History: The Big Picture

3/15/2008

The Paleolithic
(to 10,000 BC in the Near East – later elsewhere)

The Ice Age: Maximum Extent

The Ice Age: LGM

Shawn Ross

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HIST1016 World History: The Big Picture

3/15/2008

Climate Change since the Last Glacial Maximum

The Upper Paleolithic: Population
•The Upper Paleolithic is the Late Stone
Age, from ca. 50,000 – 10,000 years ago
•Paleolithic hunter-gatherer groups range from 20-25 people each; larger clans of
150-200 people meet occasionally for trade and exogamy
•Humans need ca. 30 square km each, ca.
600-750 for a typical group
•10-20k (?) people in all of Europe; world population ca. 5 million (?)
•Population low, but interaction continues; a “web” of genes and technology reaches most parts of the world

Reconstruction of a Paleolithic tent

Upper Paleolithic: Humans & Nature
•Humans impact all ecosystems they encounter
•Across the globe, extinctions of “charismatic megafauna” coincide with advent of Man
•Less dramatically, pollen analysis reveals dramatic changes in vegetation, often induced by large-scale intentional fires
•Modify environment so that it is more congenial, but do not control it

Drawing of paintings found in
Lascaux Cave including extinct cave lions (France, 17-15,000 years ago)

Shawn Ross

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HIST1016 World History: The Big Picture

3/15/2008

Upper Paleolithic: Technology
•Despite remarkable advances, change is still very slow between before
12,000 BC (e.g., thousands of years for particular tools to develop & spread) •Important milestones reached prior to 12,000 BC
−Diverse tools from durable materials, esp. stone (also bone, wood, antler, etc.)
−Fire
−Speech
−Song & Dance
−Clothing
−Boats
−Projectile weapons: javelin, then javelin thrower, then bow & arrow
−Domestication of Dog
−Food storage / more sedentary way of life

Upper Paleolithic: Culture
•Cave art & petroglyphs in Europe, North
Africa, Australia, elsewhere
•Stone “Venuses” and other figurines in
Central Europe and elsewhere
•Burial ritual becomes more elaborate
•More complex social groupings
•Language(? – perhaps earlier)

The Venus of Věstonice
(Czech Republic, ca. 25,000
BC, world’s oldest ceramic)

Finds of Upper Paleolithic art in Europe

Shawn Ross

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HIST1016 World History: The Big Picture

3/15/2008

After the LGM: Transitions I
•Peak of glaciation passes ca. 21k BC; climate begins to improve
•Human population rises
•Only ice-covered areas and remote islands uninhabited by Man
•No large-bodies species had ever spread so far; transcended “natural” environmental limits (tropic savannah)
•After the LGM, the…