Module 1: Cultural Beginnings


In this module, you’ll study the earliest examples of human creativity and the rise of permanent communities in the Neolithic Age. By the end of the module, you’ll be expected to be completely familiar with all content, which will detail early art and architecture, our ancient ancestors’ diet, and even some speculative music!


  1. Read the Cunningham-Reich scans and review the slideshowto understand the nature of art, the Six Steps of Civilization, and the overall content of this module.
  2. Read the Sayre chapter reading, which is included here for this first module only.
  3. Read the three linked essays: Composer’s Neanderthal Recreation, and listen to the music; How We Got So Big, at least the section on ancient diet; and World’s Oldest Calendar, and if possible, watch the brief Vince Gaffney interview embedded there (which requires Flash Player).
  4. Join the discussion board on those readings, using the questions posed there for a jump-off point as directed. Thisincludes responding to your peers as well.
  5. View the Stonehenge documentary — and enjoy the comedy links too!
  6. Take the module exam (posted on Saturday). Expect questions on all of this material as part of it.

All of this must be completed/submitted by the end of Week One, after which assignments become unavailable.


After completing this module successfully, you’ll be able to:

  • Interpret prehistoric art.
  • Describe aspects of the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
  • Define Paleolithic and Neolithic.
  • Summarize the Six Steps of Civilization.
  • Define megalith, and give a scientific explanation for Stonehenge.

MODULE PROCEDURE RECAP: Following directions, complete all assigned readings and viewings, and by the end of the last day available, do the Discussion Board and the module exam.

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