before human society and culture, earth existed for billions of years. before we decided to exploit and destroy the planet and all its non-human inhabitants for our pleasure, the vast majority of time passed.
this period of precultural existence gave way to the beginning of human society. we will consider prehistory to be the time before the rise of modern religious movements and empires. in europe, this is the time before the rise of greek, etruscan and roman civilizations. in asia, this is the time before the shang dynasty. in countries with more recent changes to urban civilization, we will think of prehistory as the time before standardized agriculture and the rise of nations.
you can think of “prehistory” as the time before the development of hinduism, buddhism and judaism, the three early systems of culture and/or faith. from a human perspective, we’ll loosely think of this as 13000 to 4000bce, approximately from the mesolithic period to the beginning of the bronze age. we will discuss prehuman time and early human society but the focus will be on the neolithic period, approximately 8000 to 4000bce.
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here are sample questions to help you get started with your study.
- general questions (comparative or more than one period)
- unit 1 – our beginnings (-550bce)
or see the complete set of questions here.