Key Concept 1.1 Big Geography and the Peopling of the Earth
World History is not just a traditional history class with the added burden of a huge subject. It's a relatively new method of doing history. Instead of chronicling an encyclopedic volume of information across all ages and locations, World History considers global currents and trends. This approach is called Big Geography. Dispensing with most details, Big Geography uses broad historical themes to analyze history. Dates, individuals, belief systems and political forms are only considered as they explain changes and continuities in these themes. This is the approach of AP World History.
The first such trend we see in World History is the migration of Paleolithic people throughout the world. The word Paleolithic, or “old stone age,” refers to a way of life in which stones were the most prominent tools and people led nomadic lives of hunting and gathering for food. Not strictly a time period in history (people today live the nomadic lifestyles of hunter gatherers), it is to be contrasted with agricultural and industrial economic systems and the social patterns emanating from them. Archaeologists have found evidence that paleolithic people traveled around in small, foraging bands that were basically egalitarian. Because they had no consistently reliable source of food, they were almost always on the move.
1. Archeological evidence indicates that during the Paleolithic era, hunting-foraging bands of humans gradually migrated from their origin in East Africa to Eurasia, Australia, and the Americas, adapting their technology and cultures to new climate regions
Humans used firein new ways: to aid hunting and foraging, to protect against predators, and to adapt to cold environments.