1.4 Time Matters - T -

1. The Age of Hunters and Farmers
1.4 Time Matters

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HistoryMiddelbare schoolhavo, vwoLeerjaar 1

This lesson contains 12 slides, with interactive quizzes and text slides.

Items in this lesson

1. The Age of Hunters and Farmers
1.4 Time Matters

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Slide 1 - Slide

What is this lesson about?
In history, it is very important to know when something happened and the order in which things took place. Historians have developed various methods to organise history, like timelines, calendars, periodisation and the ten ages.

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What you can do after this lesson
  • read a time line and different sorts of calendars
  • calculate dates using BC and AD dates
  • place dates in the correct centuries

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Word Duty

Timeline: a long bar with labels on it to show in which year or period something happened
Decade: a period of ten years
Century: a period of a hundred years
Millennium: a period of a thousand years
Calendar: a way of organising the days, weeks and months of the year
AD: Anno Domini, the period after Jesus Christ was born
BC: Before Christ, the period before Jesus Christ was born
CE: Common Era, a neutral way of describing the period after Jesus Christ was born
BCE: Before Common Era, a neutral way of describing the period before Jesus Christ was born
Periods: a way of organising history into smaller timeframes
Ten ages: these are ten periods that are used to organise history used in the Netherlands
Stone Age: the time when prehistoric man mostly used tools made of stone
Bronze Age: the time when prehistoric man learned how to make objects of bronze
Iron Age: the time when prehistoric man learned how to make objects of iron


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When you study history, a timeline is a very useful tool. You can use it to understand the order in which certain events took place. A timeline is a long bar with labels on it to show in which year something happened.
A timeline can be divided in periods of ten years, in decades. It can also be in periods of hundred years, in centuries. Especially in this chapter, a timeline will cover a large period of time. Timelines can cover a period of a thousand years, hundreds of thousands or even millions of years. A thousand years is called a millennium. Also in this book, timelines are used to help you understand history better.
two examples of a history timeline.

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Time is also measured with the help of calendars. A calendar is a way of organising the days, weeks and months of the year. Not every calendar organises time in the same way. Some calendars are based on the rotation of the sun, while others use the moon to count the passing of time. To make things even more complicated, not every calendar has the same starting point.
Calendars are also used to count the passing of the years. In our western society, the Christian calendar is used most often. This calendar measures time from when Jesus Christ was born. There is of course a large part of history that happened before Jesus was born. This is everything that happened Before Christ, or BC. Everything that happens after Jesus was born is After Christ, or AD. BC is a very logical abbreviation. AD is a bit more complicated. AD comes from Latin and means Anno Domini, in the year of Our Lord.
Other calendars still being used are for example, the Chinese and the Islamic calendar, and the calendar from Judaism. As you can see, most of these calendars are based on religion.
A calendar the ancient Egyptians used. For the Egyptians, one year was 365 days. They had 12 months. Every month had 30 days (c. 3000 BC).

 A timeline in which you can see the correct use of the abbreviations BC / BCE and AD / CE.

This present-day Tunisian calendar shows you what date it is on three different calendars, so everyone can use it.

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Organizing time
When you are studying history, you need to know why something happened, but of course also when something happened. A way of organising time is periodisation. History is split into smaller parts, in so-called periods.
An example of periodisation is the way time is organised in Dutch history education: in ten periods, called the ten ages. In Dutch this means the tien tijdvakken. The name of each age is based on characteristics of that age. The age of Prehistory is called the age of hunters and farmers, while the age when Columbus lived is called the age of discoverers and reformers. The age we live in is called the age of the television and computer. Every age also has a small logo to help you recognise it.
In studying history, another periodisation is used. You already know one of the periods: prehistory, the period this chapter is about. Other periods are Antiquity, the Middle Ages, the Early Modern Times and Modern Times. This periodisation is mainly used in western European history. The ten ages are only used in the Netherlands.
The ten ages.

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Periods in Prehistory

Since prehistory is such a big time period, it is split into three smaller periods. The oldest period lasts until 2000 BC and is called the Stone Age. It was the time when prehistoric man used stone tools. These were the hunter-gatherers and the first farmers. Then came the Bronze Age, between 2000-800 BC. In this period, man discovered how to make objects and tools out of bronze. Bronze is a metal that is made of copper and tin. But these two metals are not found everywhere, so stone was still used a lot. The burial mounds that you saw in the previous section, date from the late Stone Age and the beginning of the Bronze Age.
The last period in prehistory is the Iron Age between 800-12 BC. In this period, prehistoric man learned how to create objects made of iron. Iron ore needs to be heated to a much higher temperature than bronze. It was harder to make iron objects, but they were also much stronger. This did not mean that stone or bronze objects were no longer used. Iron was a new type of material that was now also being used.
A timeline on which you can see the different ages of prehistory in our region.

Some objects that belong to the three ages of prehistory. Can you place them in the correct age?

Some people believe that you should use a more neutral basis for a calendar. They prefer to talk about the Common Era, CE or Before the Common Era, BCE. These are the periods before and after Christ was born.

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fill in the gaps to make a summary

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Finished with the summary?
Now make a printscreen of the finished summary
and upload it here.

Slide 10 - Open question

You have finished with this lesson, meaning:
- You have read the texts
- You have made the summary
- You have done the practise questions.
Are you well prepared for a quiz / test or do you need extra help?

If you still need help, if something is not clear, you can ask your question here.

Slide 11 - Open question


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