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No Sub-men In America
There is no convincing evidence of man in America before the end of the Pleistocene. The same relaxation of the climate that permitted the retreat of the reindeer hunters into Russia and Siberia, as the Neolithic tribes advanced, may have allowed them to wander across the land that is now cut by Bering Strait, and so reach the American continent.
Neolithic Man In Europe
THE Neolithic phase of human affairs began in Europe about 10,000 or 12,000 years ago. But probably men had reached the Neolithic stage elsewhere some thousands of years earlier. Neolithic men came slowly into Europe from the south or southeast as the reindeer and the open steppes gave way to forest and modern European conditions.
Where Did Neolithic Culture Arise
We do not know yet the region in which the ancestors of the brownish Neolithic peoples worked their way up from the Palaeolithic stage of human development.
Everyday Neolithic Life
It will be of interest here to give a brief account of the life of the European Neolithic people before the appearance of metals. We get our light upon that life from various sources. They scattered their refuse about, and in some places (e.g. on the Danish coast) it accumulated in great heaps, known as the kitchen-middens.
Primitive Trade
All these early beginnings must have taken place far back in time, and in regions of the world that have still to be effectively explored by the archaeologists. They were probably going on in Asia or Africa, in what is now the bed of the Mediterranean, or in the region of the Indian Ocean, while the Reindeer man was developing his art in. Europe.
Flooding Of The Mediterranean Valley
So far we have been telling of a history without events, a history of ages and periods and stages in development. But before we conclude this portion of the human story, we must record what was probably an event of primary importance and at first perhaps of tragic importance to developing mankind, and that was the breaking in of the Atlantic waters to the great Mediterranean valley.
Primitive Philosophy
BEFORE we go on to tell how 6,000 or 7,000 years ago Men began to gather into the first towns and to develop something more than the loose-knit tribes that had hitherto been their highest political association, something must be said about the things that were going on inside these brains of which we have traced the growth and development through a period of 500,000 years from. the ape-man stage.
Old Man In Religion
Certain very fundamental things there may have been in men's minds long before the coming of speech. Chief among these must have been fear of the Old Man of the tribe. The young of the primitive squatting-place grew up under that fear.
Fear And Hope In Religion
Another idea probably arose early out of the mysterious visitation of infectious diseases, and that was the idea of uncleanness and of being accurst. From that, too, there may have come an idea of avoiding particular places and persons, and persons in particular phases of health.
Stars And Seasons
Out of such ideas and a jumble of kindred ones grew the first quasi-religious elements in human life. With every development of speech it became possible to intensify and develop the tradition of tabus and restraints and ceremonies.
Story Telling And Myth Making
The capacity for telling things increased with their vocabulary. The simple individual fancies, the unsystematic fetish tricks and fundamental tabus of Palaeolithic man began to be handed on and made into a more consistent system. Men began to tell stories about themselves, about the tribe, about its tabus and why they had to be, about the world and the why for the world.
Complex Orgins Of Religion
With the beginnings of agriculture a fresh set of ideas arose in men's minds. We have already indicated how easily and naturally men may have come to associate the idea of sowing with a burial.
Races Of Mankind
IT is necessary now to discuss plainly what is meant by a phrase, used often very carelessly, The Races of Mankind.
Main Races Of Mankind
It is only in the last fifty or sixty years that the varieties of men came to be regarded in this light, as a tangle of differentiations recently arrested or still in progress. Before that time students of mankind, influenced, consciously or unconsciously, by the story of Noah and the Ark and his three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, were inclined to classify men into three or four great races...
Burnet Peoples
The Mediterranean or Iberian division of the Caucasian race had a wider range in early times, and was of a less specialized and distinctive type than the Nordic.
Peopling Of America
The original American population belonged to the Mongolian race, and seems to have reached the American continent by way of Behring Strait at an early Neolithic stage of development.
Languages Of Mankind
IT is improbable that there was ever such a thing as a I common human language. We know nothing of the language of Palaeolithic man, we do not even know whether Palaeolithic man talked freely.
Aryan Languages
The students of languages (philologists) tell us that they are unable to trace with certainty any common features in all the languages of mankind. They cannot even find any elements common to all the Caucasian languages.
Semitic Languages
Next to Aryan, philologists distinguish another group of languages which seem to have been made quite separately from the Aryan languages, the Semitic. Hebrew and Arabic are kindred, but they seem to have even a different set of root words from the Aryan tongues; they express their ideas of relationship in a different way ; the fundamental ideas of their grammars are generally different.
Hamitic Languages
Philologists speak with less unanimity of a third group of languages, the HAMITIC, which some declare to be distinct from, and others allied to, the Semitic. The weight of opinion inclines now towards the idea of some primordial connection of these two groups.
Ural-Altaic Languages
Across to the northeast of the Aryan and Semitic areas there must once have spread a further distinct language system which is now represented by a group of languages known as the TURANIAN, or URAL- ALTAIC group. This includes the Lappish of Lapland and the Samoyed speech of Siberia, the Finnish language, Magyar, Turkish or Tartar, Manchu. and Mongol...
Chinese Languages
A fifth region of language formation was south-eastern Asia, where there still prevails a group of languages consisting of monosyllables without any inflections, in which the tone used in uttering a word determines its meaning. This may be called the Chinese or Monosyllabic group, and it includes Chinese, Burmese, Siamese, and Tibetan.
Other Languages
In addition, the following other great language families are distinguished by the philologist. All the American-Indian languages, which vary widely among themselves, are separable from any Old World group. Here we may lump them together not so much as a family as a miscellany.
Primitive Language Group
The fundamental tongues of these nine main language groups we have noted were not by any means all the hmuan speech beginnings of the Neolithic Age. They are the latest languages, the survivors, which have ousted their more primitive predecessors.
Some Isolated Languages
The Hottentot language is said to have affinities with the Hamitic tongues, from which it is separated by the whole breadth of Bantu-speaking Central Africa. A Hottentot-like language with Bushman affinities is still spoken in equatorial East Africa, and this strengthens the idea that the whole of East Africa was once Hamitic-speaking.
First Civilizations
IT was out of the so called heliolithic culture we have described in Chap. XII, that the first beginnings of anything that we can call a civilization arose. It is still doubtful whether we are to consider Mesopotamia or Egypt the earlier scene of the two parallel beginnings of settled communities living in towns.
Sumerians
This alternation of settlement, conquest, refinement, fresh conquest, refinement, is particularly to be noted in the region of the Euphrates and Tigris, which lay open in every direction to great areas which are not arid enough to be complete deserts, but which were not fertile enough to support civilized populations.
Empire Of Hammurabi
Upon the western edge of this country appeared nomadic tribes of Semitic-speaking peoples who traded, raided, and fought with the Sumerians for many generations.
Assyrians And Their Empire
Higher up the Tigris, above the clay lands and with easy supplies of workable stone, a Semitic people, the Assyrians, while the Sumerians were still unconquered by the Semites, were settling about a number of cities of which Assur and Nineveh were the chief.
Chaldean Empire
The Assyrian empire lasted only a hundred and fifty years after Sargon II. Fresh nomadic Semites coming from the south-east, the Chaldeans, assisted by two Aryan speaking peoples from the north, the Medes and Persians, combined against it, and took Nineveh in 606 B. C.
Early History Of Egypt
Parallel with the ancient beginnings of civilization in Sumeria, a similar process was going on in Egypt. It is still a matter of discussion which was the most ancient of these two beginnings, or how far they had a common origin or derived one from the other.
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