Saturday, 6 March 2010

Prehistory: Basic Explanation of the Paleolithic, Neolithic and Metal Ages, plus Quiz

       

What is the meaning of prehistory? We can define prehistory as the period of human development during the time before the discovery of writing.

However, before we can understand history, it is essential to understand our dating system. The global calendar in use today is based on the Gregorian calendar, named after Pope Gregory XIII.

To label years in this system, we use the abbreviations AD and BC.

AD comes from the Medieval Latin term 'Anno Domini', translated as 'In the year of the Lord'. Traditionally, AD is written before the year (AD 587), although it is becoming increasingly common to see it written after it (587 AD). AD refers to the years following the birth of Jesus Christ.

BC, however, comes from English: Before Christ. (They enjoy confusing us, don't they?) BC is always written after the year number (2500 BC), and refers to the years before the birth of Christ.

To avoid the religious connotation of these labels, they are sometimes replaced by BCE and CE.

BCE stands for Before the Common Era or Before the Christian Era.
CE stands for the Common Era or the Christian Era.

To answer an often-asked question, there is no year 0. AD 1 (or 1 CE) immediately follows 1 BC (or 1 BCE).
Explaining AD and BC using Time Line

To complicate matters slightly, and to answer yet another common question, Jesus Christ wasn't born at precisely the time when 1 BC becomes AD 1. In fact, the time of his birth is almost impossible to predict with certainty. Any time between 7 BC and 1 BC is possible, but 6 BC is generally accepted to be the most accurate guess.

Another abbreviation, BP, is also sometimes used. BP stands for 'Before Present'. In other words, 12,010 BP means twelve thousand and ten years ago, which is the equivalent to 10,000 BC (we subtract the present year from 12,010).

Now that we understand how to label years, let's go back to the concept of prehistory.

Prehistory is broadly divided into the Stone Age and the Metal Age.

The Stone Age is further divided into the Old Stone Age (Paleolithic), the Middle Stone Age (Mesolithic), and the New Stone Age (Neolithic).

The Metal Age is divided into the Bronze Age and the Iron Age.

For the purpose of this post, we will classify prehistory into three groups:

The Paleolithic Age (beginning from about 2 million years ago)
The Neolithic Age (beginning around 9000 BC) and
The Metal Age (beginning about 5000 BC)

The Paleolithic humans made stone tools and survived by gathering plants and hunting animals. They were nomadic people. Nomadic means that they moved from place to place following the animals that they needed to hunt, and looking for plants they could eat. They slept in caves or in the open. Sometimes, they built wooden huts. They learned to make fires. They also started to decorate their caves with paintings.

The Neolithic human beings discovered agriculture and learned to domesticate animals, such as horses, goats and sheep. The first plants they cultivated were cereals: wheat, corn and rice. They stopped moving from place to place and started to live in villages, usually next to rivers.

They also discovered pottery and textiles.

In the Metal Age, the human beings made the first metal objects. First, they used copper, then they learned to use bronze, and much later, iron.

They made weapons, jewellery, and statues. The wheel, the sail and the plough were invented. They started making monuments with big blocks of stone (megaliths).

Now, try to classify the objects in the quiz in the correct age group: the Paleolithic Age, the Neolithic Age, or the Metal Age. To start the quiz, click on the image.

Chiew's ESL CLIL EFL Games Juegos Activities Actividades Blog: Prehistory Quiz - Paleolithic, Neolithic, Metal Ages
Teachers, please take note: some of my quizzes, like this one, for example, ask for an email. If an email is provided, the results get sent automatically to it. This allows you to grade/check your students' progress. If you haven't got an email for this purpose, I'd suggest creating one for this purpose.

17 comments:

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  3. <span>Hi, Chiew I understand the Paleolithic, Neolithic...</span>

    ReplyDelete
  4. hola yo estoi aki escribiendo desde el paleolitico aki se esta mui bien

    ReplyDelete
  5. hola maria te escribo des de la edad de lo metales xao wapa

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  6. jajajajaja ola maria tk muxo de tu amigo.... alfredo

    ReplyDelete
  7. antonia del monte8 April 2010 at 12:44

    <span>esto es un poco rayante....aparte paco no puedes estar en el neolitico ..... y sabeis e plantao un PINO no tuiene qe ver con nada pero bss de nomadas¡¡¡
    </span>

    ReplyDelete
  8. <span>tk antonia del monte</span>





                                         alfredo...

    ReplyDelete
  9. siii estoiiii O:-)
    tengo un amigo k t kere conocer alfredooo

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  10. antonia del monte8 April 2010 at 12:47

    <span>yo tambies os kiero </span>

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  11. <span>antonia del monte i love antonia del monte uff
    </span>

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  12. <span>¿En qué estás pensando...?</span>

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  13. Thank you a lot for a great quiz!!!

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  14. <span>antonia del monte i love antonia del monte uff
    </span>

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  15. siii estoiiii O:-)
    tengo un amigo k t kere conocer alfredooo

    ReplyDelete
  16. antonia del monte7 July 2011 at 09:01

    <span>yo tambies os kiero </span>

    ReplyDelete
  17. Maria Akifieva7 July 2011 at 09:01

    Thank you a lot for a great quiz!!!

    ReplyDelete

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