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However, considering there was little to no knowledge of the new world I wonder why would the tribes risk to travel to far . . . it seems unreasonable [humans would] risk it to migrate towards the north in search for a place that may or may not exist In a general sense, this is not particularly remarkable. All humans evolved in Africa, and from there we ...


18

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 ...


17

The direct answer is that in modern Egyptian geographical terms, they came from central Egypt. In ancient historical terms, from "Upper Egypt". First off, I need to address a misconception in the question. Modern Egyptians mostly speak Arabic, but the Egyptian language spoken by the Ancient Egyptians was not Semitic. It was part of another branch of the ...


16

I also believe the answer is "no". It sure is tempting to put forth one's own theories here, but I'm unaware of any one that is generally accepted. I will point out one thing though: That chart you posted is essentially a chart of literacy. If you use the dates there, you are asking a question about the discovery of writing in various places, not the "...


16

Farming societies typically support 60 to 100 times the population of hunter-gatherer societies. Given that kind of population difference, what that one person wants/needs vs. the 100 simply doesn't matter. They become unimportant on the ground, and are simply genetically and socially washed away in the tide. The hunter's options are to retreat to unfarmed ...


15

(Most of what I'm writing is a summary of "After the Ice: A global human history 20,000-5,000 BC" by Steven Mithen - published 2003 so it's pretty up to date as an overview of what is known). It is indeed tied to the end of the last ice age. All the sites known from the ice age and immediately afterwards are temporary hunter gatherer camps. In the middle ...


15

The time period from roughly 7500 BP (years Before Present) to 4000 BP (5500 BCE to 2000 BCE), known as the Holocene Maximum (or Optimum) saw global temperatures: rapidly increase from slightly (~0.5°C) below current the present value to between 1 and 2°C higher; stay at those values for nearly 2000 years; and then return to values ~0.5°C below current. (...


14

That is a really good question. The truth is that evidence for any sort of "cultural continuity" is scant. One word of caution though. I generally hesitate to use the word "ritual" in an archaeological context. Too often, the word has been used as a synonym for "I don't know", or, as Paul Bahn put it: Ritual - All-purpose explanation used where nothing ...


14

From Pakistan to Japan is indeed a big region and "before rice" a long and varied time frame. But this question seems to imply that it is concerned with the early neolithic centers of agriculture in Asia and what the first main staple foods in these were, excluding all rice. Short answer to that for the North-Eastern region in question, over the course of ...


14

Short Answer The dating of cave art, while still a far from exact science, has come a long way in the last 25 years and includes: comparisons to known pieces of art and animals known to have existed at a given time parietal stratigraphy (order and position of layers of archaeological remains) radiocarbon dating uranium series dating (analysing carbonate ...


13

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 ...


13

Not exactly. Equus, the genus that contains modern horses and Zebras, most likely originated in the Americas. Fossil records shows all species from that genus dying out in the Americas about 12,000 years ago. Now the climate changed around then. This is pretty much exactly when the last ice age ended. Equus (horse species) weren't the only ones to die out. ...


12

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 writings,...


11

This area has evolved much in the past few decades of research. You are asking 'ethnicity' not race (there are only 3, possibly 4, 'races' of humans on the world. I should include as an edit that this is considered an outdated model). Ethnicity divides us into smaller groups from there. http://blog.world-mysteries.com/science/how-many-major-races-are-...


10

There are lots of dogs in paleolithic cave paintings. For example: Dogs can be used for hunting in the woods, like deer, but for hunting large herds in open areas like bison, they are not useful and are more of a nuisance than an aid. (Notice that in the above image the quarry is a deer, not an accident.) A recent journal article on the subject: New ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

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 ...


9

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. However,...


9

The earliest undisputed purposeful burial we have found was from about 100,000 years ago. There's some more controversial evidence that Neanderthal man was performing burials far earlier than that. Given the body painting on the find, it is generally assumed there was some kind of ritual purpose to it. I suppose its possible there may have been sanitation ...


8

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 ...


8

The horses of the Great Plains Indians escaped from New Mexico during the Pueblo Revolt of 1680, in New Mexico.. The "native" horses of North America became extinct shortly after the paleo-Indians arrival. This site describes the spread of horses on the Great Plains. French traders operating out of St. Louis first reported that the Cheyenne Indians had ...


8

Blame the weather. The reason it took so long for agriculture to develop can be summed up in this chart which shows variation in global temperature against time. The analysis in the academic paper from which this chart is taken, isn't terribly insightful. But, the chart really says it all. In a nutshell, temperatures fluctuated wildly (as much as four ...


8

Note: I read the question this morning, then wrote my answer tonight. Somehow I came to think it included language and culture. It's now a bit of TMI, but I'm going to let it hang out there for a little bit because I worked on it for a few hours (sigh). Their is some controversy surrounding the relation of Brittonic and Gaelic people. One theory says that ...


8

No, Cheddar Man's culture would not have been ancestral to any modern English peoples. First off, while its kind of fun to see, the man's body coloring isn't really any more significant than the color of his clothes. His people likely had issues with Rickets (as did early modern Londoners due to the smog), but that's about the only impact it would have had ...


8

Its exceedingly unlikely. There's no feasible route to the Americas at their level of technology that doesn't go through the Beringa (NE Sibera/Alaska) area. The period in question covers an unusually long interglacial, but there was a colder period in there where the land bridge would probably have been available (around 225,000 years ago) However, it is ...


7

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) ...


7

From watching the old series "Time Team" it is common to find Iron Age and even Saxon graveyards built in and around old neolithic mounds. I don't think that this indicates great continuity in culture as much as a recognition that this was a site with some kind of power to it. In a similar fashion, Saxons sometimes clustered graves in and around Roman ...


7

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 ...


7

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 ...


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