Category Archives: European History

DW’s Compare and Contrast European Paleolithic Cultures

There are many different types of hominoids. The one with the most complex life-style is Homo Sapien. Homo Sapien is divided into smaller people groups: Aurignacian, Gravettian, Solutrean, and Magdalenian. All of these people groups lived in Europe and some lived in Asia, and they  all lived when mammoths were on the Earth.  They lived during the last global maximum which was below 15 degrees celsius.

Aurignacians lived in southern Europe and Asia. They lived during a period where the Earth was entering an ice age. Aurignacians used stone, antler, and bone to make their tools. They had spears, knives, scrapers, and invented the bow and arrow. They ate fish, large game, and a variety of plants. They lived in caves. They were not nomadic. They did not bury their dead which leads us to think they did not have a religion. They had simple, artless drawings which backs up the theory that they had a religion. So, if they had religion or not, that remains a mystery.

Magdalenians lived along the western coast of Europe from what is now Portugal to Poland. They lived in a period when the Earth was coming out of the ice age, although it was still cold. They used mostly bone and antler to make their tools, though they still used stone in small amounts. They made very complex tools like harpoons and weapons made for only one type of animal, though they still are using simple tools, too. They ate: herd animals, plants, and seafood. They lived in mobile homes that they carried with them. They buried their dead, leaving the dead with food, clothes, and burial rituals. They had cave art and sculpture; all of these things lead us to know that they had religion.

Both Aurignacians and Magdalenians were Homo Sapiens. They both lived before humans were recording things. They lived in Europe and hunted big game. During very cold temperatures, both cultures expressed themselves in art. Unlike later cultures, neither farmed nor raised animals. They both lived during a period called Upper Paleolithic and were stone age peoples.

Although they are very similar, they were very different. Magdalenians buried their dead and had a religion, while Aurignacians more than likely did not have a religion. They lived in different locations in Europe. Magdalenians used mostly bone for tools and weapons and had harpoons and snares, while Aurignacians used simple tools, like the bow and arrow.

Although Magdalenian died out about 9,000 years ago we still continue the generations of Homo Sapiens. Even though Aurignacian and Magdalenian had complex tools for their time, we have even more complex tools, like computers. No matter how complex our tools get, we owe some credit to them.


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Migration and geo-political spaces

We’ve been discussing the migration patterns of our Upper Paleolithic people groups – what drives migration, the different types of migration, and migration’s effect on cultures.  Although this is much more modern,  it has helped in the discussion of how for us right now the geo-political boundaries are very firm.  That hasn’t always been the case in other contents.

Map of Europe: 1000AD to present

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BW – writing at third year

BW began researching three of the four European Upper Neolithic groups.  He even began by writing a rough draft of each paragraph.  His dedication didn’t make it through the whole project.  Bu, he showed us that his writing has come so far and he is approaching the third year’s expectations.

To be working at a third year level means that the child has moved from just being able to make lists of items into outline form (first year), through the process of writing simple sentences into paragraph form (second year), and into writing multiple paragraphs based on a theme.  I also would hope for a bit of a conclusion at the end of the paper.

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Filed under "Coming of Man", BW, European History, Geography and World Studies, Letter Work, Students

MMcC – fundamental needs comparison

Mya had a history project that was essentially a discussion of the Fundamental Needs of Man.”   She had to look at two cultures and see how they met their fundamental needs.  The two cultures were the Greeks and the Romans.

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Going Out and Getting Busy – Part II

Stonehenge: New Discoveries

Thursday, February 16, 2012 – 7:00pm     College of Charleston, Simons Center for the Arts, Room 309   Dr. Parker Pearson

Stonehenge is one of the great mysteries of the prehistoric world. After seven years of new excavations and research, archaeologists now have a completely new understanding of the date and purpose of this enigmatic monument. One of the key break-through has been to understand how Stonehenge formed part of a wider complex of monuments and landscape features within Salisbury Plain. Professor Parker Pearson will present the results of the Stonehenge Riverside Project, and discuss the current theories about Stonehenge – an astronomical observatory, a centre of healing or a place of the ancestors – and the identity of its Neolithic builders.

We now know much more about the people who built Stonehenge – where they came from, how they lived, and how they were organized. Not only has the project discovered a large settlement of many houses, thought to be for Stonehenge’s builders, at the nearby henge enclosure of Durrington Walls but it has also re-dated Stonehenge and investigated its surrounding monuments and sites, many of which were hitherto undated and unknown. This presentation will provide a brief overview of some of the project’s highlights, including the recent discovery of Bluestonehenge. One of the greatest mysteries – why some of Stonehenge’s stones were brought from 180 miles away – is currently being investigated and its brand new results will be presented at the lecture.

Kolb Site

March 10, 2012 – 9:00am until 4:00pm

Last year we took an overnight trip to Darlington to visit the Kolb Site.  This year we are planning on going and joining the dig for a few days.

However, they have an amazing Public Day on March 10th which is worth the rutted entrance road.


Filed under "Coming of Man", American History, Camping/Basic Survival Skills, European History, Geography and World Studies, Going outs (Field Trips), Practical Life - Elementary

BW and DW Hittite Projects

BW and DW teamed up to look at the rise and fall of the Hittite civilization.  It is interesting to look at BW’s lower elementary project which was very focused on the fundamental needs.  DW’s upper el look was aimed at the story of their rise and fall.

The Hittites are an ancient civilization in Anatolia. The capital was Hattusa, in northern Anatolia. The Hittites were not native in the area they settled, they were from Europe. They had a kingdom from 1750-1450 B.C, from that point they made an empire which fell 1200 B.C.

Before the Hittites, three civilizations owned the land: Egyptians, Mesopotamians, and Nubbians. Then the Hittites moved from Europe. No one knows which country they came from, or when. All we know is they began growing. Soon the Hittites began to build an empire.

The Hittites made Hattusa in a very surprising place. In the middle of a mountain range it was miles away from a river. At first, archaeologists did not know how anyone could call this place home. The Hittites chose this place because it had natural protection. Even the protection the earth gave them was not enough, the Hittites built huge walls. Inside the wall the Hittites had a kingdom of order and rule. The Hittites had brutal punishments for rule breakers, and the gods had horrible punishments as well. The Hittite rulers made a vow, called the vow of brotherhood. It was made to the two main gods; the storm god, Teshub, and the sun goddess, Hebet.

Once the Hittites had the capital city of their future empire built, they began conquering cites. The Hittites and the ancient Egyptians were the highest super powers, and enemies. The Hittites and the Egyptians went to war. The Hittites made an amazing technological advancement. They moved the chariot wheel to the middle. Now the Hittite chariot could hold three people instead of one. With the new chariot, the Hittites crashed through the Egyptian army. It was a great victory for the Hittites.

When the Hittite army got back, the commanding general, prince Hattushili, was now a hero. The king was jealous of his victory, and began to strip the Hattushili’s power. Hattushili found out that the king wanted to make him powerless, so Hattushili sent the king into exile. A Hittite civil war began, all because the vow of brotherhood was broken. For a few generations the civil war continued. The people in Hattusa began to starve, until the Hittites knew it was over for them and empire. They burned all the important buildings, and took all their special things.

The Hittites walked out of the history books, and were lost for thousands of years. Hattusa was not discovered until 1893, and until 1906 no excavations were done in Hattusa. And today archaeologists are discovering more and more about the lost Hittite empire.

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Filed under BW, DW, European History, Geography and World Studies, Montessori, Projects, Students

DW visits a college professor

DW is looking deeply at the creation of the modern archetype.  She is studying early English literature through the Arthurian Tales.  She has read much of Beowulf, all of Sir Gowan and the Green Knight, the preface to the Canterbury Tales and the Nun’s Priest’s Tale.  She has also looked at Scottish faire tales and the Brother’s Grimm Tales.  She has taken the time to look at several character’s archetypes.  On her own she listed about 25 or 30 characters from the Harry Potter books and provided each with his own primary archetype.  That was rather impressive and well reasoned. I called and spoke with the chair of the English department at the College of Charleston, Dr. Trish Ward, who specializes in early and middle English literature and fantasy narratives like the Narnia series and the Harry Potter series and The Lord of the Rings.  She was very gracious and agreed to meet with us.


Randolph Hall

DW wrote a series of questions out and made sure she had her list of characters and archetypes.  We chatted with Dr. Ward for quite some time ranging in topics from the Pearl Poet’s origin and the conquest of his part of England by the Normans to the deep question as to what house would the Sorting Hat have chosen for you.

We had a very positive and fruitful experience.


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Filed under DW, European History, Geography and World Studies, Writing