Scientists divide the Earth’s land into what are called vegetation regions. Vegetation regions can be divided into five major types: forest, grassland, tundra, desert, and ice sheet. Climate, soil, the ability of soil to hold water, and the slope, or angle, of the land all determine what types of plants will grow in a particular region.
Forests are areas with trees grouped in a way so their leaves, or foliage, shade the ground. Forests can be found just about anywhere trees can grow, from below sea level to high in the mountains.
Grasslands are flat and open areas where grasses are the dominant type of vegetation. Grasslands can be found on every continent except Antarctica.
Tundra is an area where tree growth is difficult because of cold temperatures and short seasons. Vegetation in tundra is limited to a few shrubs, grasses, and mosses. There are two types of tundra: alpine tundra and arctic tundra.
Deserts have almost no precipitation, or rainfall. Deserts usually have really high daytime temperatures, low nighttime temperatures, and very low humidity. Desert soil is often sandy, rocky, or gravely.
The interesting thing about the ice sheet “vegetation region” is that there really isn’t any vegetation there at all! An ice sheet is a large stretch of glacier ice that covers the land.
File on cooking herbs: Filé powder
Filé powder, also called gumbo filé, is a spicy herbs made from the dried and ground leaves of the North American sassafras tree. Several different varieties exist. In New Orleans, what is known as Creole gumbo generally ranges from house to house though still retaining its African and Native American origins.
Filé powder is made by harvesting the young leaves and stems of the sassafras plant and grinding them. Filé powder is generally not added until after the vegetables and meats and/or seafood are finished cooking and removed from the heat source
File on medicinal properties of cooking herbs: Sassafras as a Medicinal Herb
Sassafras was known primarily as a medicinal herb to the American Indians and, later, to the Europeans, who shipped great quantities to shops in England and on the Continent. The leaves could be made into teas and poultices, while the root bark was either chipped or crushed and then steeped in boiling water—one ounce of bark to one pint of water—and taken in doses of a wineglassful as often as needed to reduce fevers; soothe chronic rheumatism, gout, and dropsy; relieve eye inflammation; ease menstrual and parturition pain; help cure scurvy and various skin conditions; and act as a disinfectant in dental surgery. It was thought to be a blood purifier and effective against excess mucus discharge, the plant was even regarded as a cure for syphilis and gonorrhea.
What natural medicines were used during the Ice Age: Prehistoric medicine
Prehistoric medicine is any use of medicine from before the invention of writing and the documented history of medicine.The study of prehistoric medicine relies heavily on artifacts and human remains, and on anthropology. Previously uncontacted peoples and certain indigenous peoples who live in a traditional way have been the subject of anthropological studies in order to gain insight into both contemporary and ancient practices.
Basil is also called great basil or Saint-Joseph's-wort, is a culinary herb of the family Lamiaceae (mints). Basil is possibly native to India, and has been cultivated there for more than 5,000 years.
Rosemary is a woody, perennial herb with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native to the Mediterranean region.It is a member of the mint family Lamiaceae, which includes many other herbs.
Thyme is an evergreen herb with culinary, medicinal, and ornamental uses. The most common variety is Thymus vulgaris.
Oregano is a flowering plant in the mint family (Lamiaceae). It is native to temperate western and southwestern Eurasia and the Mediterranean region.
Foods gathered in pre-history
-For most of the Stone Age, humans lived as hunter-gatheres. This means that instead of growing their food, they went out and found it. They hunted and fished for food, especially during the Ice-Age. Later they learned to gather edible plants, collect eggs from birds' nests and they took honey from wild beehives. What hunter-gatheres ate depend on what they could find each season, eating fruits and berries when they ripened and eating meat from animals when they were most plentiful. They travelled place to place in search of the best hunting grounds, living in temporary shelters. Humans who lived by the sea, rivers or lakes used barbed spears to catch fish and later traps to catch eels, crabs and lobsters. Eventually, humans learned to grow their own crops and began to settle in one place. These people became the first farmers.
Preservation of food in pre-history.
-Food preservation is as old as human civilization. Preservation of foods inhibits spoilage cause by bacterial growth, oxidation, insects or desiccation. Early humans, probably by trial and error, also started to develop basic forms of food preservation e.g. drying, salting, fermentation. The earliest recorded instances of food preservation date back to ancient Egypt and the drying of grains. The stored grain could be kept for several years to insure against famine in case the Nile River flooded. Fermentation, oil packing, salting and smoking are all ancient preservation technologies. Refrigeration in caves or under cool water were also well known ancient techniques of food preservation. People in many parts of the world developed techniques for drying and smoking foods as far as 6000 BC. Microorganism need water to carry out their metabolic processes. Salting was so important in Roman life that Roman soldiers received salt, as payment. This is the origin of today’s term, ‘salary.’ Ancient Mesoamericans used salt as a preservative for trade in fish as well as for storing food for long periods of time.
Anthropological differences between Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon.
Neanderthals were discovered first in Germany's Neander Valley in 1856. They emerged between 100,000 and 200,000 years ago in the early and middle Paleolithic era, and they used rocks, bones and sticks. And they used fire, too. Neanderthals were more muscular than the later Homo sapiens, and their skulls were flatter, with broad noses. They were also capable to speak.
Cro-Magnons take their name from a cave in France where Louis Lartet found them in 1868. Unlike Neanderthals, Cro-Magnons are not a separate species from Homo sapiens. In fact, they're the earliest known European example of our species—living between 35,000 and 10,000 years ago. They had broader faces, a bit more muscle, and a slightly larger brain. Cro-Magnon man used tools, spoke and probably sang, made weapons, lived in huts, wove cloth, wore skins, used burial rituals and made cave paintings.
How to make fire
The first attestations of primitive fires became from 500.000 years ago. Before the match was invented, flint and steel was a common method of fire starting. Flint (or flint-stone) is a hard, sedimentary cryptocrystalline form of the mineral quartz, categorized as a variety of chert. It occurs chiefly as nodules and masses in sedimentary rocks, such as chalks and limestones. They used to pick two stones and beat them, so they arrive to very hot temperature and burn. With some practice, this fire starting method would produce a flame faster than some of the primitive methods of fire.
Flint has been used by humans to make stone tools for at least two million years. The conchoidal fracture of flint causes it to break into sharp-edged pieces. Early people recognized this property of flint and learned how to fashion it into knife blades, spear points, arrowheads, scrapers, axes, drills, and other sharp tools using a method known as flintknapping. If these tools were broken or damaged in use, they were often reshaped into smaller tools of similar function. The value of flint for making sharp tools was discovered and utilized by Stone Age people in almost every early culture located where flint could easily be found. Their survival depended upon having a durable material that could be used to produce sharp tools.