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Governance                  15,000 BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

Africa

 

Southwest Asia

 

Egypt

 

Indus Valley

 

China

 

Europe

 Named after the cave at La Gravette in the Dordogne, in southwest France, the Gravettian culture existed between twenty-eight thousand and twenty-two thousand years ago. Like their predecessors, their culture was widespread. Settlements ranged from southwest France to Wales and eastern Europe. Artifacts have also been found in mammoth hunters' campsites in Russia. Although regional differences exist, Gravettian lifestyles are remarkably similar wherever artifacts have been found. Speculatively, communication between settlements may account for such similarities. When Gravettian culture appeared, a significant behavioral shift emerged. Large, organized settlements, comprising mostly simple tent structures, were founded in open lands. Animal remains suggest that some settlements were occupied for most of the year. Other settlements were quite elaborate, such as Dolni Vestonice, in modern-day Czechoslovakia. There, huts were made from mammoth bones and included storage pits for food preservation. (70)

After reviewing the detailed findings presented in their 1997 book Dossier Malta Frendo concludes that the Mifsuds' claim, though revolutionary, is in fact correct and that their work has proved 'beyond any reasonable doubt' that human beings were present in Malta during the Palaeolithic as early as 15,000 to 18,000 years ago and that 'Malta's history is thus extended backward by eight millennia'. (124)

South America

 Around the turn of the twentieth century Professor Arthur Posnansky, who spent his life studying the ruins, concluded that Tiahuanaco was founded about 15,000 BC. His reasoning was based on two observation points in the enclosure, which marked the summer and winter solstices. At the moment, the two tropics are located 23 degrees, 30 minutes on either side of the equator, but when the Kalasasaya was built, the tropics were slightly closer to the equator--to be exact, at 23 degrees, 8 minutes and 48 seconds. This change in the width of the tropics results from a slight rolling motion of the earth known as the obliquity of the ecliptic, and it enabled Posnansky to calculate when the Kalasasaya was built. (123)

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 

Other

 The Australian Aborigones offer a wonderful subject for meditations on the nature of humanity. Consider: these people lived in what may have been nearly complete isolation for more than 40,000 years in an ecologically diverse continent, and when first encountered by Europeans in the 17th century, their technology hardly approached the sophistication of the Neanderthals: just simple stone tools and rudimentary wooden implements; and yet they evolved a kinship system and cosmology that most graduate students in anthropology have struggled to comprehend in all its complexity--and probably never do.(24)