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Pamela Hayes-Bohanan

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 42: Prehistoric Cultures

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Prehistoric Cultures
Prehistoric cultures

The study of prehistoric culture concerns preliterate societies from their earliest development until the beginnings of the first political structures-the Greek and Roman empires. Neanderthals, Homo erectus, and Homo sapiens were among some of these early peoples. Of these, only the Homo sapiens survived. Some of these peoples coexisted for periods of time. There is not always a clear indication of the time frame when different societies lived, as some developed at faster rates than others. Evidence of humans in Africa is millions of years older than evidence in the Americas. Even today, there are some hunter-gatherer societies that are without written language. The study of these societies is called protohistory.

Anthropologists make determinations about prehistoric cultures based on the best available evidence. ...

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