Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Olena V. Smyntyna
The earliest period of world human history, which is often regarded also as constituent part of cultural and/or social anthropology, prehistory is aimed at reconstruction of world diversity of forms, and ways of human being's and human society's development since their origin until the formation of early political structures. The perspective purpose of prehistoric studies is the detection of general and particular regularities in anthropological, social, ethnic, economic, and mental evolution of humankind at the early stages of its existence. The subject field of prehistory in its contemporary comprehension covers series of global theoretic issues; among them: problem of genus Homo and modern human beings' origins and physical anthropological evolution; formation of human community, family, kinship, and sociality; rise of ideology, mythology, arts, speech, and rational knowledge; origin and evolution of production, livelihood systems, household activities, economic systems, products distribution, exchange, and property; shaping of self-identification in different forms, ethnic ...