One: The Peopling of the World
The first attempt humans had to
explore the world took approximately a million years to only get only as far
east as China. Humans then did not have all of the same wants that we as humans
have. They were not out to colonize and populate the world. The first humans that did venture out, eventually
died. The only way that humans today can identify what happened in those seven
million years is by the few fossils, tools, and the DNA of people still living
today. Over these millions of years very few things happened, but those very
few thing were huge on the grand scale of homo-sapiens. Everything from learning
to make fire to learning how to make tools happened in the millions of years.
Since it was so long ago and so spaced out it is too hard for us humans today
to pin point exactly when individual things happened. Whereas today technology
is changing vastly in each decade.
Scientist believe that the evolution
of homo-sapiens started approximately seven million years ago with a species of
a skull found nicknamed “Toumai”. This species had facial features a lot like
humans but their brain was around the same size of a chimps and their body
structure was small statured as well. They believe this species was the first
of the bipedal species. In 1975 anthropologist found the remains of “Lucy”.
Lucy was found in modern day Ethiopia, while she had flexible and very useful thumbs,
her brain was only around the size of a softball. Lucy is believed to be from approximately
3.2 million years ago. In the past several years scientist have also found more
fossils in Ethiopia. One of the fossils being a full fossil of what they
believe to be a small child. This fossil showed scientist that they had gorilla
like structures for scavenging and escaping predators but also had a lot of
features similar to modern day humans.
Even though today we often see the Neanderthals
as brute, ugly creatures, fossils and technology proves that they were actually
a lot like todays humans but short and muscular. Their brains were on average
the same size as ours. Even though they lived in caves, they controlled fire, worked
together for food, and buried their dead with valuables, which make scientist
think that they believed in some kind of afterlife. They also helped care for
their sick and injured, as fossils show us that they lived for months to years
after breaking bones and being injured. They also migrated with the weather.
For the last millions of years they earth has been going through long periods
of time in ice ages then only 10 to 20 thousands of years where it is warm
enough to melt the glaciers. When these glaciers are frozen it makes the land bridges,
which the early hominins used to travel between continents, appear. Without
there being these ice ages hominins would have never discovered other lands
even though today many do not look at them as being intelligent, all of these
scientific finding prove them wrong.
This chapter shows that even though
we lack a vast amount of evidence about the first hominins that they very
slowly made the first big changes to make the world the way it is in the
simplest way. At the beginning they did not have fire or the basic tool to
survive and make what they needed. They did not have the knowledge to build
houses with fireplaces nor to make simple tools for millions of years.
Everything that we take for granted is because of the advances that they made.