World Prehistory- Exam I Study Guide

World Prehistory- Exam I Study Guide - Chapter 1 Era a time...

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Chapter 1 Era- a time span used to represent major episodes, usually separated by significant changes in the plant and animal kingdom. There are 4 major eras: 1. Precambrian- origin of the earth = 600 bya; oldest rocks; a few multicellular invertebrates; earliest fossils at 3.6 bya; single-cell organisms appear. 2. Paleozoic- the appearance of the 1 st vertebrate species: fish and the 1 st amphibians; plants spread onto the land; and reptiles began to appear. 3. Mesozoic- the Age of the Dinosaurs; 245 mya. 4. Cenozoic- our current era; began about 65 mya; expansion of modern animals, birds, and flowering plants; major extinction of dinosaurs; divided into 7 epochs (but only the last 4 are relevant to the evolution of human species a. Miocene- 25-5.5 mya; witnessed the emergence of our 1 st humanlike ancestor. b. Pliocene- began around 5.5 mya; a variety of hominins (humanlike creatures) appeared. c. Pleistocene- beginning about 2 mya; marked by a series of major climactic fluctuations; completely modern forms of the human species appeared toward the end of this epoch. d. Holocene- aka Postglacial/ Present Interglacial; the recent epoch; began 11,000 ya; origins of agriculture; and the industrial age. The path of evolution from self-replicating molecules to fully modern humans of today- change, modification, variation. Culture- a 2 nd means of human adaptation based on experience, learning, and the use of tools- e.g.: cultural and biological responses to cold conditions; culture enables us to modify and enhance our behavior without a corresponding change in our genetic makeup. Artifacts- the objects and materials that people in the past made and used.
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Sites- accumulations of artifacts, representing the places where people lived or carried out certain activities. There are 2 methods in which archeologists discover artifacts 1. Surveys- field crews walk up & down cultivated fields and exposed surfaces; the intervals between the walks are determined by the size of the sites that may be in the area & the nature of the ground cover- when an artifact is found, it’s put in a bag & the location of the find is recorded; the surrounding close intervals; it’s important to determine whether the object is a single, isolated find or whether there’s more artifacts; surveyors look for discolorations on the surface that might indicate features like fireplaces or pits; record 1.) location/ site #/map #/which field/position in field; 2.) what archeological material was found/ types & # of artifacts; 3.) observations about the site (e.g.: discolorations in the soil/presence of mounds/stone foundations or walls) in field notes. 2.
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World Prehistory- Exam I Study Guide - Chapter 1 Era a time...

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