The Upper Paleolithic Essay

997 words - 4 pages

The upper paleolithic era brought us many social and cultural innovations. From the development of art, to the continued development of useful tools and weapons, the people existing in this time were the true forbears of modern human civilization. The advances made in self-awareness are extremely apparent as well, with significant new trends in social networks and personal adornment leading to what would be the foundation of society as we know it. These things combined make the upper paleolithic one of the most important periods of human development.
Although there were many advances before this period, the upper paleolithic brought us traditions which form the basis of modern art. While ...view middle of the document...

These were the tools that lead to the development of knives, spears, and to continued improvement and refinement of the techniques required to make them. As we know them, these tools are quite basic, but to the average person living 25,000 years ago in Europe, having a proper blade would mean the difference between life and death - being able to fend for yourself or be left behind. Like art, this type of innovation lives on into the modern age, with continued refinement and development of the tools we use. We find ways to do things better, faster, and easier - all through the development of tools.
The culture of change was also prominent in other ways during the upper paleolithic. There were numerous revolutions and changes in the social networks that bonded people together. During this period, people began to explore larger distances, and network with others in the region. This is something that had not previously been done on any large scale, and brought about exchange of ideas and technology. The spread of ideas is one of the things that has not changed, even in the modern day. We network ourselves to communicate with others and share history and knowledge. This brought knowledge to previously isolated populations, such as in Italy and the hunter-gatherers that lived there in the upper paleolithic (Milliken, 2007). Had populations like these not received ideas and technology from outside sources, the rate of technological innovation would not have been as fast as it was.
During this exchange of culture and ideas, people begin to see themselves as unique and individual, unlike other groups. This realization is what sparked a new trend of personal adornment or ornamentation. People were tattooing themselves, painting themselves, crafting and wearing jewelry - things to make themselves stand out as unique within the group. Again, in France, the sites of Roche au Loup and Grotte Du Trilobite provided many artifacts from this era to...

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