Prehistoric Settlements of the Middle East

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middle east: paleolithic, mesolithic, neolithic, chalcolithiccomparison with sites in india at the same time

Text of Prehistoric Settlements of the Middle East

THE CRADLE OF CIVILIZARTION

MIDDLE EAST

THE MIDDLE EAST

TIME PERIODSLOWER PALEOLITHIC 2,700,000- 200,000 BC

2,700,000- 1200 BC

CHALCOLITHIC 4500- 3300 BC

EARLY BRONZE 3300- 2200 BC

MIDDLE PALEOLITHIC 200,000- 30,000 BC POTTERY NEOLITHIC 4500- 3300 BC UPPER PALEOLITHIC 40,000- 12,000 BC MIDDLE BRONZE 2200- 1550 BC

MESOLITHIC12,000- 5000 BC

PRE-POTTERY NEOLITHIC 9500- 4500 BC

LATE BRONZE 1550-1200 BC

PALEOLITHIC : SUSTENANCE

2,700,000- 200,000 BC

Throughout the Palaeolithic, humans were hunters, fishers, and gatherers; in fact for the greater part of the Lower Palaeolithic, early humans (Australopithecus, Homo habilis, and Homo erectus) were probably scavengers rather than hunters.It was during the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic that hunting really came into its own, and became more efficient, with more specialized tools and communal drives. Hunters concentrated on herbivores such as the horse, bison, deer, goats, and antelopes, depending on the climate which fluctuated through the Ice Ages.

www.methodfitness.com

Artists rendition of hunting scene.

PALEOLITHIC : SHELTERPalaeolithic peoples appear to have been highly mobile, or nomadic, moving with the animals that they hunted or with the seasons.Throughout the Lower Palaeolithic, they must have lived mostly in flimsy camps, traces of which are found primarily in open-air sites and river terraces, though some caves were also occupied. In the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic cave-mouths and rock-shelters were far more intensively and extensively used, but people also continued to live in open-air settlements. In the Lower Palaeolithic, simple windbreaks or crude huts were erected, but by the Upper Palaeolithic there is evidence for light tents sophisticated huts made of hundreds of mammoth bones.

2,700,000- 200,000 BC

An assortment of prehistoric tools provides evidence of the hunting and gathering methods of early peoples. Slabs of bark were often used to gather nuts and berries and functioned as crude dishes or bowls (top left). Reproductions of fishing tackle and arrows believed to have been used around 8000 BC are displayed on the lower left. Recovered tools for digging and cutting (right) are shown with recreated wooden handles. The heads of the adzes are made from flint, as is the fire-starter shown below them.

Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia

PALEOLITHIC : FIRE

2,700,000- 200,000 BC

Fire appears to have been mastered by 1.5 million years ago, and hearths are commonplace in living-sites of the Middle and Upper Palaeolithic. Fire was probably used originally for light, warmth, and protection from wild animals, but eventually also for cooking food. By the Upper Palaeolithic it was also being used for heating flint to make it more workable; for changing the colours of mineral pigments; and in some areas for firing clay figurines and vessels.

www.dkimages.com

PALEOLITHIC : BURIALThe first clear evidence of burial practices occur during the Middle Palaeolithic. One Neanderthal burialat Shndr Cave, Iraq appears to have been accompanied by flowers. It is in the Upper Palaeolithic that burial becomes more elaborate, with red ochre, grave goods, and beads, as well as other forms of ornamentation, and tools.

2,700,000- 200,000 BC

The Red Lady of Paviland is a fairly complete Upper Paleolithic-era human male skeleton dyed in red ochre.

www.pembroke story.org

PALEOLITHIC : ARTSimilarly, while some rudimentary examples of art are known from the Middle and even the Lower Palaeolithic, it is in the Upper Palaeolithic on every continent that figurative art appears, as rock or cave art or as portable engravings and carvings.

2,700,000- 200,000 BCHorse (c. 15,000-10,000 BC), Lascaux, France

arthistory.about. com

OLDOWAN ERA

2,580,000- 1,500,000 BC

The Oldowan era is the earliest formally recognized cultural tradition of the Lower Paleolithic and Oldowan tools are the oldest known, appearing first in the Gona and Omo Basins in Ethiopia. They are named after the Olduvai Gorge site in northern Tanzania, and are associated with Homo habilis and Homo rudolfensis. Oldowan hominids primarily gathered fruits and vegetables and scavenged medium and large size game. Possibly, like chimpanzees, Oldowan hominids occasionally killed small game to supplement their diet.

insidethecosmiccube.blogspot.com

OLDOWAN TOOLSThe tools likely came at the end of a long period of opportunistic tool usage: chimpanzees today use rocks, branches, leaves and twigs as tools. The key innovation is the technique of chipping stones to create a chopping or cutting edge. Most Oldowan tools were made by a single blow of one rock against another to create a sharp-edged flake. Flakes were used primarily as cutters, probably to dismember game carcasses or to strip tough plants. Fossils of crushed animal bones indicate that stones were also used to break open marrow cavities. And Oldowan deposits include pieces of bone or horn showing scratch marks that indicate they were used as diggers to unearth tubers or insects.

2,580,000- 1,500,000 BC

Oldowan stone tools were simply broken to give a sharp edge

www.ushumans.net

OLDOWAN SITESYIRON, ISRAEL : 2,400,000 BC

2,580,000- 1,500,000 BC

The oldest occurrence of Oldawan art is in Yiron, in the north of the Israeli Rift where flint artefacts were found.

RIWAT, PAKISTAN :>1,900,000 or 2,500,000 BCThe early human colonization of south Asia is represented by stone tool assemblages in the Siwalik hills at Riwat, near Rawalpindi in Pakistan. Pebble core, flake and chopping tools have been found. ERQ-EL-AHMAR, ISRAEL :1,96,000- 1,78,000 BC Erq-el-Ahmar is a rock-shelter located in the Wadi Khareitoun southeast of Bethlehem. The site had pebble tools belonging to the Oldowan era. UBEIDIYA, ISRAEL :1,400,000- 1,100,000 BC El-`Ubeidiya in the Jordan Rift Valley preserves traces of the earliest migration of Homo erectus out of Africa. The site yielded core-flake (developed Oldowan) tools. KASHAFRUD, IRAN : 800,000 BC Kashafrud Basin provides evidence of the oldest-known human occupation of Iran. There are some collections of simple core and flake stone artifacts made of quartz, indicating skill and good knowledge, since quartzs friable nature requires experience and control.

ACHEULEAN TRADITION

1,400,000-100,000 BC 100,000 BC

The Acheulean Tradition gets its name from the site of St. Acheul, France. The Acheulean tradition originated in Sub-saharan Africa, and early forms of Homo spread the culture out of Africa into the near east, southern and western Europe. They continued with large, medium and small game hunting, scavenging and gathering. By 500,000 years ago the Acheulean methods had penetrated into Europe, primarily associated with Homo heidelbergensis, where they continued until about 200,000 years ago. The industry spread as far as the Near East and India, but apparently never reached Asia, where Homo erectus continued to use Oldowan tools right up to the time that species went extinct.Bhimbetka, Auditorium Cave, Madhya Pradesh: Acheulian Petroglyph Site, c. 200,000 - 500,000 BC. Acheulian artisans who placed the cupules on Chief's Rock may have seen the rock as a figuration of one or even two elephants. The larger 'elephant' appears to have a flake removed to create the eye. The possible smaller 'elephant' which appears to have two eye chips (noted in highlight) has a very steeply sloping back, which suggests a very young elephant.

www.originsnet.org

ACHEULEAN TOOLSThe tradition is characterized by bifaces i.e. large bifacially flaked stone tools, such as hand axes, cleavers and picks. The most common tool materials were quartzite, glassy lava, chert and flint. Making an Acheulean tool required both strength and skill.

1,400,000-100,000 BC 100,000 BC

The key innovations were chipping the stone from both sides to produce a symmetrical (bifacial) cutting edge the shaping of an entire stone into a recognizable and repeated tool form variation in the tool forms for different tool uses.Acheulean tools show a regularity of design and manufacture that is maintained for over a million years. This is clear evidence of specialized skills and design criteria that were handed down by explicit socialization within a geographically dispersed human culture. 11: http://www.handprint.com/LS/ANC/stones.html

Phases in the experimental reduction of a hand axe.

blogs.sciencemag.org

ACHEULEAN SITES :INDIALarge cutting tools have been known for a long time in South Asia and have always been considered to be related to the Acheulian. The character of the Indian Acheulian, however, has not been well described and its evolution is poorly known, as there are few sites which are dated. The large cutting tools (especially cleavers but also hand axes) are mostly based on the production of large flakes. They compare well with the early Acheulian from other parts of the world.

1,200,000-100,000BC 69,000 BC1

2

3 5 6

4

7

8 9

1 Dina and Jalalpur, Pakistan 3 Adi Chadi Wao & Umrethi, Guj. 5 Navasa, Maharashtra 7 Yudurwadi, Maharashtra 9 Attaripakkam, Tamil Nadu

2 Didwana, Rajasthan 4 Pilkasaur, MP 6 Bori, Maharashtra 8 Isampur, Karnataka

www.assemblage.group.shef.ac.uk

ACHEULEAN SITES :INDIASITE Adi Chadi Wao, Gujarat AGE 69,000 BC

1,200,000-100,000BC 69,000 BCCHARACTERISTICS Final Acheulian

KaldevanhalliUmrethi, Gujarat Didwana, Rajasthan Teggihalli, Karnataka Sadab, Karnataka Nevasa, Maharashtra Yudurwadi, Maharashtra Dina and Jalalpur, Pakistan

174,000- 166,000 BC190,000 BC > 390,000 BC &

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