Technology: Prehistory to 1500 CE
HIS103: Word Civilizations I
Prof. Paul Toro
March 4, 2013
From prehistory to the 1500 CE, our ancestors have created technologies that we use today. These technologies have been building blocks that get more advanced throughout time and are still progressing with the inventions that we have today. Throughout history, people had to come up with new ways to making life easier to survive. Transportation, communication, and production are just a few different technologies that have advanced over time as seen in the Mesolithic Era, Hellenistic Era, and the Middle Ages.
To begin, the Mesolithic Era was a period of time whose technologies were based on stone tools (Mesolithic Cultures). In Europe, they have found evidence of hand axes, knives, points, scrapers, and flakes made out of stone or flint (Paleolithic and Mesolithic Ages). Bows and arrows were also found made out of wood which was an important technology achievement in hunting (Mesolithic Cultures). Humans made tools by chipping off pieces of rock and sharpening them. They created tools and technologies that helped them work with the world rather than working around the issues of the world. The tools allowed them to hunt, which gave them access to meat for food and the skin for clothing (Mahdavi).
The homo erectus are the first to make a flaked stone axe, better known as the Acheulian hand axe. It was named because of the location it was found, in France. It was sharp, heavy and chipped on both sides into a point. It was able to be used for chopping, slicing, and digging. As time went on people began making polished stone axes. When the tools were polished they became stronger and made it easier to chop wood (Mahdavi). In the Middle East, there was also evidence of butchering animals and debris from making tools and ornaments. They also buried their men, women, and children which was a sign that they had affection for their people and had an understanding of life and death. In some of their skeletons they had arrow heads and other weapons buried with them suggesting that some were killed by man (Ganges Valley).
Meanwhile, in Africa they had discovered pottery from the Mesolithic era. Their pottery had either a wavy line or a dotted wavy line for decoration. Their pottery was found in surrounding areas, where we can believe that they could have been used for trade (Nubia). They made beads, baked clay pottery, reed baskets and stone bowls. They also figured out how to make fire-baked ceramic pottery to hold their liquids and dry goods (Mahdavi).
Next, the Hellenistic Era had much advancement in technology. Most of the Hellenistic Era had technology advancement in Greece. Everyone in the empire spoke and read the same language. Speaking the same language was a great advancement because it was a form of communication. With communication allowed the Greeks to trade with surrounding areas. “This allowed them to import ivory, gold, ebony, pearls, cotton, spices and sugar for medication from India. Furs and Iron from the Far East, wine from Syria and Chios, Papyrus, linen, and glass from Alexandria, olive oil from Athens, dates and prunes from Babylon and Damaskos, silver from Spain, copper from Cyprus and tin from Cornwall and Brittany” (Hellenistic Greece). The Hellenistic Era worked with other parts of the world through their trade system because of their communication.
Greece had also built extravagant palaces and art, sculptures, and jewelry. Greece had a lot of gold since Alexander the Great conquered the Persian Empire. Their jewelry also made use of enamel and colored stones. The contact with other cultures allowed for the Hellenistic art to be inspired from other cultures. There are many Hellenistic sculptures of Greek Gods that are still in great shape today and viewed at many different museums. “Sculptures and paintings represented actual people rather than gods or...
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