Technology: Prehistory to 1500 CE Kayla Martino 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 idealized types” (Hellenisitic Greece). Sculptures and painters make their art representation of Gods look like one of them or like an idealized version of what the Gods looked like.
One great building achievement was the University of Alexandria where mathematicians Eucid, Apollonios, and Archimedes and the inventor of the water clock, Ktesbios, and the inventor of the 1st model steam engine, Heron belonged to. Last, the Middle Ages or the Medieval period had many advancements in technology as well. In Europe, they had a three field crop rotation. They used horses instead of oxen thanks to their horse collar that allowed them to pull more weight and their iron horseshoe that lets horses work on wet ground. The horses were able to work more hours and faster.
Another invention for horses was the stirrup that made it possible for a knight to mount a horse. Europe also created water power with the water wheel and mills. The water power was used for fulling wool cloth, beating hemp, water driven trip hammers, water powered bellows, edge runner wheels, saw mills, grind stones, and for pumps. Wind mills were also used in areas of flat land, or where needed during the winter (Mack). Technologies during the Middle Ages in Asia have a lot to do with things we have today. They created gun powder, compasses, paper and printing.
The compass lead to a more advanced mapmaking and made improvements with methods to measure longitude and latitude (Mack). In the Middle East, they introduced Arabic numbers from India through west Asia to Europe. This is our current number system today (Bellis). During the medieval period was also the start of inventions such as the printing press. Universities developed more frequently in the middle ages, which made a demand for books. Gutenberg had made a moveable type in 1452 which let the books be cheaper for its buyers, as well as having a more abundant supply of books.
Bibles were also printed and sold with the moveable type (Mack). There were also voyages during the medieval ages such as with Columbus and Magellan. Columbus’ ships were also a new design during this time because his ships had multiple masts, a permanent rudder, and his ships had a rounded shape. The previous eras have all advanced throughout time. In the Mesolithic Era, people used stone tools to hunt animals and chop wood. As time went on, the production of metals were used for tools and even used for animals. As seen during the Middle Ages, the inventions of horse shoes were used so that heir horses could work in the wet ground. The language of the people during the Mesolithic Era, was barely a language, but sounds that could have meant many things (Mahdavi). Language then advanced overtime as seem during the Hellenistic and Middle Ages, to speaking and writing in a certain language. Today, we still used many of these inventions from our ancestors. Pottery is still used today with our plates, cups, and bowls that we use every day. Tools and ornaments are also still used today, however much different, the original tools were stepping stones to our current tools like the hand axe.
The languages are also used very similarly with our ancestors; however some may have adapted over time, as well as buildings, art, and jewelry. Farmers still use horses for some farm tasks, and horses still use stirrups and horse shoes. Currently, water power is used as an alternative form of energy. However, many economists are trying to get people to use alternative energy because it is safer and better for the environment. Gun powder is still used today with people who own guns and for our military and police services. Paper and printing is very common today with the invention of the computer.
Lastly, the compass is also still used today for navigation, but was a stepping stone to what we use today as Global Positioning Systems. Our ancestors have left us with a lot of inventions and technologies that are beneficial to our survival and needs of everyday life. From prehistory to the 1500 CE, there was much advancement that stood as building blocks for new technologies to come. Technologies have advanced drastically over time as seen throughout the the Mesolithic Era, Hellenistic Era, and the Middle Ages. References Bellis, Mary. (2013). Middle Ages Timeline 1000-1399. About. com Inventors.
Retrieved from http://inventors. about. com/od/timeslines/a/MiddleAges. htm This article was helpful because it gave me information on the Middle Ages and how our current number system is what was introduced to us during this period of time. Ganges Valley. (2008). In Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com. proxy-library. ashford. edu/entry/estarch/ganges_valley This source is helpful because it talks about the Middle East in the Mesolithic Era and how the Mesolithic people were buried and sometimes buried with weapons symbolizing they were killed by man.
Hellenistic Greece. ( 2013). The History Channel website. Retrieved from http://www. history. com/topics/hellenistic-greece. This source is helpful because it talks about the Hellenistic Era in Greece and how communication helped with trade, as well as art during the Hellenistic Era in Greece. Mack, Pamela E. (2007). The Medieval Technological Revolution. Retrieved from http://Clemson. edu/caah/history/FacultyPages/PamMack/lecl22sts/ hobsbawml. edu This article was helpful because it listed many technological advancements during the medieval ages in Europe. Mesolithic Cultures. (2008).
In Encyclopedia of Archaeology. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com. proxy-library. ashford. edu/entry/estarch/ mesolithic_cultures/1 This source is helpful because it talks about the different evidence of weapons found in the Europe from the Mesolithic Era. Mahdavi, F. (2012). World History: The Human Experince to 1500. San Diego, CA: Bridgepoint. This source is helpful because the textbook gives a lot of information on the Mesolithic, Hellenistic, and Middle Ages, as well as gives you a time line of how things have advanced. Nubia. (2008). In Encyclopedia of Archaeology.
Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com. proxy-library. ashford. edu/entry/estarch/nubia This source is helpful because it talks about the Mesolithic Era in Africa and its pottery. PALEOLTHIC AND MESOLITHIC AGES, The (Old and Middle Stone Ages: c. 250,000-4000 bc). (2008). The Welsh Academy Encyclopedia of Wales. Retrieved from http://www. credoreference. com. proxy-library. ashford. edu/entry/waencywales/palaeolithic_and_mesolithic_ages_the_old_and_middle_stone_ages_c_250_000_4000_bc This source is helpful because it talks about the different evidence of