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10

There are two issues here. The first is the old romantic idea that societies in ancient times went through some kind of matriarchal phase, which they presumably outgrew. This further implies that matriarchal setups are somehow less advanced (but perhaps more natural and/or idillic) than patriarchal ones. That has indeed been discredited. The other is the ...


8

Our ancestors started using tools well before there were humans. They have had cutting tools for about 2 million years produced by various means and sharp enough to cut hair. Whether they used them to cut hair, I don't know. Human hair does not stop growing, but it does fall out after a certain period of time with a new one replacing it. The ultimate length ...


8

Perhaps this is what you are looking for. In particular, look at the bottom graph in red, which is an estimate of global ice volume. The data was taken from oxygen measurements in Antarctic ice cores. Assuming they have their data and estimates close to right, it looks like our current worldwide volume of ice is not a record low for the Pleistocene. ...


7

in the current historical view has the onset of agriculture stimulate permanent settlements, and food surplus and storage allow the onset of specialized "careers" (including priests) This is incorrect. Permanent settlements and specialized societies require large food surpluses. This is generally produced by agriculture, but can also (in rare cases) be ...


7

Writing emerged from indecipherable protowriting in the 4th millennium BC. Here's a really cool graph of the earliest dates we can ascribe to writing systems, from a long analysis of the question: The oldest "written work", in the sense of visual symbols with a modicum of abstraction from being mere pictograms, is from Egypt circa 3400 BC. "Oldest ...


6

In addition to Schwern's answer, it should be pointed out that not all humans grow beards and long straight hair. The Khoisan peoples in Africa instead grow sparse curly short hair (often termed "peppercorn"), and no beards at all. They don't need haircuts or shaves. Photo by Ian Beatty CC BY-SA 2.0 Their natural range (prior to the Bantu expansion) ...


6

Most likely because they never had it to start with. There are two big problems with this portion of the book's thesis: I see no evidence whatsoever put forth in the above text supporting the assertion that human women were socially equal or superior prior to the agricultural revolution. Such evidence should not be hard to come by, simply by talking with ...


6

Let me introduce you Alexander Marshack, who in his book "The Roots of Civilization: the Cognitive Beginning of Man’s First Art, Symbol and Notation", published in 1972, proves that notches and lines carved on certain Upper Paleolithic bone plaques were in fact notation systems, specifically lunar calendars notating the passage of time. It was developed by ...


5

The invention of writing, roughly in the 4th millennium BC divides human history in two major periods: Prehistory, the period before the invention of writing, and Recorded history, the period after the invention of writing. The divide isn't uniform for all civilizations, obviously not all civilizations invented writing at the same time. Furthermore some ...


5

Ah. The issue is Marija Gambutas, a well-respected anthropologist, archaeologist and scholar of linguistics. She did some groundbreaking work on the dissemination of Indo-European languages and the history of the baltic and slavic peoples, and was pretty near the top of her profession. Then she went a little nuts. She became involved in Second Wave ...


5

China actually had two separate ones: The Yellow river and the Yangtze. The Yellow river is likely the initial homeland of the Han people. However, the Yangtze is where the staple crop of rice was most likely domesticated. Eventually the Han expanded and overran the Yangtze basin as well, supplanting the locals. However, they kept their rice. Other places ...


5

Such stippling is a common feature at prehistoric Maltese sites. They are often considered a primitive decorative pattern - somewhat of a forerunner of a modern art form. It is the best preserved of all the Maltese temples ... The two left-hand lobed chambers are linked by a trilith niche of stones decorated by stippling; the inner of these two chambers ...


4

The oldest texts that have been successfully deciphered are from Sumer (Southern Iraq) and Egypt. In both countries decipherable writing begins around 2700 BC.


4

Our closest genetic relative, the chimpanzees, have been observed to fashion themselves tools. That link even has a video showing one doing it, if you are interested in the process. So most likely this is a behavior that was shared by our common ape ancestor over 7 million years ago. The only real tool innovation early man initially brought to the table (or ...


4

That sounds like just one person's theory. There is really no consensus on when humans acquired language, but most do seem to think that it was at the least part of the package of being an anatomically modern human (Homo Sapiens), so it is at least 100,000 years old. Thus any finds that predate language are probably not human (as we tend to think of it), ...


4

One of the theories of how agriculture was invented (the most popular today, at least among archaeologists) say that the people of natufian culture grew to too big numbers during a period of good climate (younger dryas; Anubhav already explained that it's possible to get such food surplus by hunting with plenty of game) and they needed to survive while the ...


3

First of all let me say that this is an excellent and well researched question. A quick recap from Wikipedia is handy: Outside the mainland of Afro-Eurasia, [...] megafaunal extinctions followed a distinctive landmass-by-landmass pattern that closely parallels the spread of humans into previously uninhabited regions of the world, and which shows no ...


3

WHICH icecaps? If you mean glaciers, WHICH glaciers? Some no doubt extend further, some less far, some didn't exist before the last ice age, for example. As to the polar icecaps, the northern one sits entirely on top of water, if floats, so there's no way to know if it was larger or smaller in the past beyond where we have photographic record The southern ...


3

From a technical taxonomical point of view, it is impossible to have domestic dogs depicted in a Paleolithic cave painting, simply because domestication of plants and animals is one of the features of the Neolithic. So by definition, any art that depicts a canid is either Neolithic, or it is showing a wild relative such as a wolf. Now this is a bit overly ...


3

Are you completely sure the Philippines' amount of fossils are unusually small? I know of no less than 2 anthropological finds there, the oldest dating back nearly 50,000 years. That isn't bad at all, for a place that would have required boats (or a very unusual accident) to reach. Its thought that no hominid had boats before that time, so any significantly ...


3

I'm not exactly sure how to answer this question because there seems to be a hundred factors involved, including the definition of healthy. Healthy may mean: to survive certain extinction events; to be able to pass on the genes to the next generation (to reproduce); to survive a long time; to be able to successfully compete with conspecifics; etc etc. Then ...


2

This paper in Nature is fascinating - unfortunately, the chemical studies described were not performed on ancient East Asians, but it lines up with archaeological and anthropological evidence worldwide. There have only been two studies of Palaeolithic modern humans, Homo sapiens sapiens. A study of the isotope values of humans from the late Upper ...


1

I would also recommend Coursera courses like: Ancient Egypt: A history in six objects by the University of Manchester, or Roman architecture by the Yale Univ There is also an introduction to Egyptology course by the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, which I quite like, but unfortunately this last one is only available in Spanish


1

Well, I don't know much about bonobos, but many primate communities consist of a group of females /young with a dominant male, who guards his access to females and resources from others. However, I would suggest, off the top of my head, that once property eg fields, woods, etc - became a distinct concept, it was down to who could get it, keep it and ...


1

First off, it really shouldn't shock anyone that some ancient mummies in the Tarim Basin show European-esque features. That is the far, far western extreme of what is now considered China. Until as late as the middle ages (6-8 AD) an Indo-European language was spoken there. It really shouldn't be surprising that an area whose culture left behind ...


1

I'm not clear what your question is exactly. I believe it's were some of the blue-eyed or pale characters in Chinese legend based real people of European origin. Pale skin and blue eyes aren't exclusively European. Kafiristan is an example of somewhere which has blue-eyed people. While living in Kazakhstan I once met someone (an ethnic Kazakh, not a ...


1

If you are asking about rhyme: Ancient Sanskrit, Avestan, Greek, Latin, Germanic, Akkadian, Biblical Hebrew etc etc. all have poetry, but none of these use rhyme as a poetic tool.You need to separate the concepts of "poetry" and "rhyme" if you want a reasonable answer.



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