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    Resources: 6 listings
    Name and DescriptionNationLocation
    Caveman to Chemist Projects: Fire
       
    Without fire, man would have remained a rather unremarkable animal in the African landscape. It was fire which extended our waking hours beyond sunset, sterilized food that might have been contaminated or spoiled, and, perhaps most importantly, allowed us to change the properties of the aterials around us. Wood became hardened, bone was more easily broken to expose the utritious marrow within, stone became more easily fractured. Fire's heat allowed us to venture orth into climates that would otherwise have been inhospitable. But as important as these initial pplications were, even they pale in comparison to the new materials which came out of the fire. Clay became pottery, ash became soap, sand became glass, and various minerals became metals. We we more of our material culture to fire than to any other single phenomenon.
    Caveman to Chemist Projects: Pottery
       
    Fire, as I have said, is probably the most important technology to be mastered by humans. But in order to proceed in the use of fire, we need containers that can withstand the heat. Wood containers burn; metal and glass containers melt. Ceramic materials are the ones best suited to high-temperature work. Ceramics predated and were used in the development of metal and glass.
    Caveman to Chemist: Dye
       
    We have seen that from very early times (about 20,000 BC) clothing made of spun yarn had been used, in large part to communicate the identity and status of the wearer. There is indirect evidence of woven cloth (loom weights) dating to 5500 BC. Much of the appeal of woven cloth comes from the use of colored yarns to produce patterns in the weave. In order to survive repeated uses and washings, these colors must be fast, that is, they must not wash out with water.
    Caveman to Chemist: Stone Tools
       
    To be able to do anything technological, we need the ability to cut, grind, pierce, and pound various materials. In the beginning, teeth were undoubtedly the first tools to be used for these purposes. It's hard to skin an elephant or carve a statue using your teeth alone, however. Tools made of wood, bone, and stone appeared very early in prehistory, certainly more than a million years ago.
    Caveman to Chemist: Twine
       
    Textiles decay much more quickly than artifacts made of stone or bone. Consequently there are very few surviving examples of the earliest textiles. However, the earliest cave art and in clay sculptures depict clothed human figures. From this and other indirect evidence it is believed that clothing made of spun fibers (as distinct from hides) goes back at least 20,000 years. The earlist style of clothing, the string skirt, was worn exclusively by women and consisted of a simple belt with strings hanging from the waist to above the knees.
    Caveman to Chemist: Weaving
       
    By this point in the semester we have the basis of a small industry whose primary motivation is the production of textiles. Sheep are being raised for their wool, wool is spun into yarn, soda ash, lime, and lye are produced to feed a soap industry, and the primary use of soap is to wash the yarn in preparation for dyeing. While these colored yarns may be used simply as tassels in primitive garments, they become even more important if the yarn is to be woven into cloth. There the colored yarns can be used to make patterns within the cloth which can convey status or social position. The device which weaves yarn into cloth is called a loom.




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