Middle Prehistory #1

This is roughly the period from 50,000 years BP to about 8000 BC. It is thought that during this period, modern humans were replacing Neanderthal man and expanding into the Americas. This was the latest Ice age. Oceans were at their lowest level, providing for a land bridge between Asia and North America.

In the 19th century, as the field of prehistoric archaeology was beginning to develop, archaeologists and anthropologists were primarily interested in Europe, with some interest in Asia. In the 20th century there was more attention given to African peoples, which has caused some revision of older concepts.

The primary focus of human and cultural development shifted from Africa to Asia. This was still the stone age, but social institutions presumably developed and cultural changes can be traced through artifacts that can be dated to this period. At present, I can most easily follow the Middle East. There are comparatively few developments in Egypt. Although I presume that the Nile river provided a convenient migration route from Africa, there have not been many remains of this period. Arabia and North Africa are still being considered in later periods.

In Africa, I am still concentrating on East Africa, although Northern East Africa takes priority over Central East Africa. I am working here on connecting Ethiopia. Northern East Africa is also being considered. For Southern Africa, I am still working the history of South Africa back through antiquity. For European civilization, I am considereing Balkan and Latin peoples, and bringing back the history of Greek peoples. I am also giving some attention to American Indian peoples.

I still don’t have much detail on the stone ages, although I am giving attention to institutional changes, cultural changes, and demographic changes such as migrations, and cultural innovation. What I term horticultural societies began to develop late in this period, although hunting and gathering societies predominated. Religion was mostly pagan, although I am not yet prepared to discuss details. I can begin to follow government and economics in this period, although the details are still fuzzy.

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