Human Life In Paleolithic Times
Our class will be going outside to try to help us understand Paleolithic times. We will experience the world as Paleolithic people did – bringing only what we can carry, having no permanent shelters, creating our own art from the materials around us and having to figure out the best place to stay. For this activity, we will assume that you are traveling in a small family group that Is part of a larger group of 31. You can be with either two other people or work with a partner, representing the core family group. It was typical of Paleolithic times that related core family groups would join together o form a larger group.
This “family” would work together to gather food and protect each other. The group was usually between 15 and 30 people, though smaller and larger groups existed. As they traveled, different family groups would meet to exchange goods that they had made and they likely shared Information about the local environment. Young people likely moved between groups in order to share expertise (a group with several artists might exchange an artist for a skilled hunter) or to meet the needs of both groups (a group with extra males may send some to another group in exchange for goods or services).
Over time, the larger group size allowed for some specialized roles to develop. The majority of people in the group would supply food for everyone, giving some people free time. For instance, a religious leader, artist or expert craftsman might supply the group’s spiritual or technological needs rather than hunting or parenting. Women could take on a leadership role in the group. Women who gathered plants and hunted for small animals in many cases supplied most of the food for the group. In their role as mothers, they were protected from the most dangerous tasks, such as hunting or participating In battles with enemies.
Instead, these types of tasks would be left to the “extra” males (the young and unattached men who were not yet In religious, artistic or craftsmen roles). Your task is to imagine yourself as part of Paleolithic times and to complete the following tasks. Your teacher will check that you are done at least Number 1 and Number 2 before the end of the period: 1. Use the map you have been given to decide where you will camp and have at least one person in your core family group record your reasons in the space provided. Consider the wants and needs of your group in addition to the geography of the area n your decision. . Using the tarp, sucks, butter knife and string, create a stable shelter. It will be 3. Using the modeling clay (which we are pretending is natural clay or soft stone), carve a Paleolithic figure and place it at the door of your shelter. 4. As a group or pair, explain what you think the daily life of Paleolithic people might have been like by creating a daily timeline to explain what your family would do at your campsite between the time you woke up and the time you went to sleep. Try to include the challenges you faced today, such as weather, teamwork, etc. In your experience.