A Study On Prehistoric Anthropological History Essay
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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016
Anthropology is a set of disciplines involved in the study of a person. The emergence of the term “anthropology” dates back to ancient philosophy. The ancient Greek philosopher Aristotle (384-322. BC.) first used it to refer to areas of knowledge, studying primarily the spiritual side of human nature. Despite the fact that the term in this sense was used by many classical and non classical thinkers (Kant, Feuerbach, and others), the special philosophical discipline and the school as such, are made only at the beginning of the XX century under the name of “philosophical anthropology”. In the original meaning of the term “anthropology” is also used in many of the humanities (art history, psychology, etc.) and in theology so far. For example, in teaching there is an anthropological approach to parenting. Later anthropological knowledge to differentiate and it has become more complicated.
Traditionally, there are allocated some to varying degrees separate from each other and interrelated disciplines. Philosophical anthropology is a philosophical doctrine about the nature and essence of a person, considers a person as a special kind of being. Anthropology, as a philosophical doctrine, is historically the first form of representation of man as a man, as a special subject of understanding and learning. Religious anthropology is the philosophical doctrine of a human nature, developed in line with the theology and examines the nature and essence of the person in the context of religious teachings. Self-determination is the subject of anthropology to theology – the disclosure of the teachings of the church about the person. Physical anthropology, including pale anthropology and forensic anthropology, is an applied discipline, considers the human being as a biological species in the context of its evolution, and in comparison with its closest relatives – the modern and fossil anthropoid primates. Social and cultural anthropology is a discipline that is close enough to ethnology, which is engaged in a comparative study of human societies. In the context of the problem field and methodology of socio-cultural anthropology, there are also highlighted as specific disciplines the linguistic, cognitive, political, economic, historical anthropology and anthropology of law. The anthropological data in studying prehistory has both positive and negative aspects. Positive aspects include the facts that the information can be true, useful, that there will follow further studying and perspectives to move forward in the research. The negative aspects include the possibilities of the false data, of the invented theories or incorrect information. Although it may seem almost unreal to find something very useful or even crucial for people these days, to surprise the humanity with some details from the past, as there are still many secrets and mysteries that people who lived long time ago have left unresolved. Despite all the technological progress the humanity is living in these days, there are still many strange and unsolved questions that are complete mysteries and the cleverest people of the century cannot explain them. That is why, studying the past people are able to study, to find out something new and useful for the future, as it is always unknown what can be found from the past.
Archaeology is a historical discipline, studying for real sources of the historical past of mankind. Real sources – these are the means of production and created with the help of their material wealth: buildings, weapons, ornaments, crockery, and works of art – all that is the result of labor rights. Real sources, in contrast to the writings do not contain a direct narrative of historical events, and they are based on these historical conclusions are the result of scientific reconstruction. A significant peculiarity of real sources has necessitated the study of their specialists, archaeologists who excavate archaeological sites, investigate and publish the findings and results of excavation, restore the data on these historical past of mankind. Archaeology has a special significance for the study periods, when there was still writing at all, or the history of those peoples who had no written language and lived in later historical times. Both sciences anthropology and archaeology have similarities in studying the past that can help people understand and solve the current problems, the life of people in the past, the peculiarities and the important data from the past. These sciences are meant to help people and to facilitate their lives, to make their lives more interesting, enriched with history, with values people had in the past and way they lived.
Archaeology unusually extended spatial and temporal horizon of history. Writing has appeared almost 5000 years ago, and the entire preceding period of human history (which is equal, according to the latest data, is nearly 2 million years old) came to be known only through the development of archeology. Yes, and written sources for the first 2,000 years of their existence (Egyptian hieroglyphs, Linear Greek letter, and Babylonian cuneiform) were discovered for science by archaeologists. Archaeology is also important for the ages when there was writing, for the study of ancient and medieval history as well as information gleaned from the study of real sources, essentially supplement the data written sources. Mention of Archaeology known in ancient Greece. Plato under the term “archeology” understood the antiquity. In the Renaissance, under this concept was often mentioned the history of ancient Rome and Greece. Often in foreign science, the term “archeology” is used as part of the human sciences – anthropology.
Mesolithic period is the period between Paleolithic and Neolithic, with options dating from the XV to VI thousand years BC. The beginning of the Mesolithic period is associated with the end of the Ice Age in Europe and the disappearance of mega fauna, which affected most of the cultures of the European region. For regions not affected by this process, instead of the term “Mesolithic” is used chronologically identical to the term “epipaleolithic”; for epipaleolithic border with Paleolithic cultures is not so sharp, sometimes it is rather conventional. It began in the late Pleistocene and ended with the spread of agriculture, which appeared in different geographic locations at different times. In some areas, such as the Middle East, agriculture already existed in the late Pleistocene, and therefore the Mesolithic period was brief and almost imperceptible. This period marks the end of the Ice Age, on the ground established customary for us, climate, flora and fauna. During the Mesolithic period people settled far north, have mastered the area of Scotland, the Baltic States, parts of the Arctic coast. The most important achievements were the invention of the Mesolithic bows and arrows and the domestication of animals. Dogs were used for hunting and protection of the home. This era is characterized by small composite flint tools (microliths, characterized by the use of technology micro cutting). In some places there were preserved fishing nets, stone adzes and wooden objects, such as canoes and rafts.
Mesolithic period certainly marked progress in the development of social factors: the articulate speech, development of common standards and rules, prohibitions and regulations, which were fixed by the ideology and became part of tradition, religion and taboos. There were distributed forms of violence, not related to the problem of survival, and in violation of social norms when the perpetrators consist of various forms of coercion, and sometimes physical violence. There has also been accumulated new knowledge about the world, developing and improving skills to help people survive. So, people needed to know features of the stern area, the habits of animals, plants and properties of natural minerals. There was a first experience in treating injuries while hunting, sprains, boils, snake bites, etc., conducted by the first surgeries: removal of teeth, amputation of limbs.
Formation of the first so-called “residential hill” (an area of approximately 4.2 hectares, sometimes about 10 hectares) refers specifically to the Mesolithic period.
Considering the evolving art, there were found numerous images of people, animals, plants, sculpture, in contrast to the previous so-called Paleolithic Venus with hypertrophied secondary sexual characteristics have become more complex, as there were even images of fantastic creatures (such as “man-fish”). Rudiments appear in pictography – a prototype picture-writing. There was also music and dancing, which were used during festivals and rituals. Deepen the pagan religious beliefs. In ancient Paleolithic, the artists saw and, therefore, represented an object of hunting. And in the Mesolithic artists’ attention they have been transferred to the tribesmen. Each human figure was depicted quite arbitrarily; the emphasis was on action, which a person commits: archery, strikes with the spear, and rushes after the fleeing prey. Rock paintings of the Mesolithic period were multi figured. The artist was aware of being a part of society that was in constant motion, in the heart of bustling life. The details were not important. Important was unity, movement – and the proof of Mesolithic rock art. In forest areas of the world, there were the first signs of deforestation, which becomes massive in the Neolithic period, when it took more space for farming.
In archeology, in pre-Columbian America, the term “Mesolithic” is not used to avoid the chronological confusion, since the phenomena similar to the European Mesolithic (domestication of plants, local ceramics), originated in America considerably later, around 2000 BC. (Late Archaic period of American history). One of the earliest examples of plant domestication in the Americas is a monument of Edgewater Park, which dates from around 1800 BC. In most tribes of North and South America, hunting and gathering dominated farming until contact with Europeans.
Primitive society (as a prehistoric society) is a period in human history before the invention of writing, after which it is possible to do the historical research, based on the study of written sources. The term prehistoric came into the use in the XIX century. In a broad sense of the word “prehistoric” is applicable to any period before the invention of writing, beginning with the inception of the universe (about 14 billion years ago), but narrow – only to the prehistoric human past. Usually in the context the sense provides guidance, what kind of “prehistoric” period is discussed, for example, “prehistoric Miocene apes” (23 – 5.5 million years ago) or “Homo sapiens of the Middle Paleolithic” (300 – 30 thousand years ago). Since, by definition, about this period there are no written records left by his contemporaries, but it is still possible to get information about it, relying on information sciences such as archeology, ethnology, paleontology, biology, geology, anthropology, archaeoastronomy. Since writing emerged at different peoples at different times, to many cultures the term prehistoric either was not applicable, or its meaning and temporal boundaries do not coincide with humanity as a whole. In particular, the periodization of the pre-Columbian America was not the same in stages from Eurasia and Africa. The sources of the prehistoric times of cultures, until recently devoid of writing may be oral tradition, passed down from generation to generation. Because data was on the prehistoric times, it rarely refers to individuals and did not always say anything about ethnic groups, as the basic social unit of prehistoric mankind is an archaeological culture. All terms and periodization of the era, such as Neanderthal or Iron Age are retrospective and largely conventional, but their exact definition is subject to discussion. Synonymous with “prehistoric” is the term “Prehistory”. To denote the final stage of prehistory of any culture, when it still has not yet created a written language, but it is mentioned in the written monuments of other nations, foreign literature often uses the term “protohistory”. In Marxism there is used the term “primitive society”, signifying the first ever socio-economic structure. According to Marxists, all members of society at that time were in the same relation to the means of production, and the method for the share of social product, which they called “primitive communism”, was the same for all. From the following it stages of social development of primitive society, it was distinguished by the absence of private property, class and state. Modern studies of primitive society denies the existence of such a device at least since Neolithic.
All in all, the importance of the studying of anthropological and archaeological is obvious, as it can determine the future of the humanity. The mysteries that are deeply hidden can surprise the humanity and change people’s lives. The proper usage of the data and to be able to foresee the perspectives of the knowledge and new information can help to solve the current problems that all countries face, to make improvements and new discoveries that will lead to the better life of people.
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