The base of all human accomplishment derives from the Paleolithic era. These beginnings of mankind could be considered our most important. The first tools were developed, stone tools used to shape wood, dig for food, or weaponry. The progression in tools shows the growth in thinking, first using objects for tools then creating tools to fit a certain need such as sharpening stone for cutting. Tools were used to fashion weapons like a bow and arrow. Man learned how to make fire with friction for heat and cooking food (Baldwin).
Art provides an insight into life for early man, their location and migration, and the animals they hunted or domesticated. Paintings, statues, and carvings show ingenuity and awareness to the surrounding world. Languages developed with migration allowing communication. Human behaviors were established on religious ideas and formal conduct. An idea of the afterlife was present, burying the dead with prized possessions. These slow developments foreshadowed the advance to come. With the end of the ice age, changes in available game and a warmer climate encouraged a new idea on how to live.
Fostering the agricultural developments already learned the hunter/gatherer way of life was no longer necessary. With dogs already domesticated, new animals became useful – farms owned pigs, sheep, goats, and cattle. These animals were vital several ways, providing meat, milk, or labor. As well as food, they could also be used for leather and furs. Working the land aggressively enough to live off was difficult and required many hands. Families began to grow. Women were able to produce more offspring with a more permanent settlement.
The children were raised with strong work ethics, expected to be useful cultivating what might one day be theirs. The society became largely patriarchal since men harvested the land and women spent most of their time caring for children. The population growth was immense, multiplying tenfold. The need for access to water created small communities resulting in culture and society changes. Houses were built, some more extravagant than others depending on profits generated from the farm. Social statuses were developed.
Art, in all forms – painting, sculpture, embellishment in clothing and accessories – were encouraged. Some farms produced excess and gained the ability to trade for items they could not themselves produce. This surplus of food allowed people to learn other trades. A weekly system was prevalent in almost all societies, based on market days, seasonal harvest, or religion. Language began to meld together making communication with a broader range of communities. This culture is the first to spread worldwide (Baldwin). With technological progress, recovering artifacts and what we can learn from them advances daily.
Weather and climate changes can unearth new artifacts and expand knowledge of prehistoric life. The ability to accurately pinpoint the age of an artifact, and historians interpretation of an object could give us insight into many aspects of prehistoric life. “It’s very important, telling us something about species close to us but not quite ‘us’” (Cornoe). (Baldwin) http://socsci. gulfcoast. edu/rbaldwin/early_man. htm (Cornoe) http://www. smh. com. au/national/scientists-stumped-by-prehistoric-human-whose-face-doesnt-fit-20120314-1v3m0. html