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Stone age Life. Becoming Human. Man’s Evolution goes back at least 6 million years ago; the first appearance of Orrorin Turgenensis Man’s descendants had already split from apes at this point

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becoming human
Becoming Human
  • Man’s Evolution goes back at least 6 million years ago; the first appearance of OrrorinTurgenensis
  • Man’s descendants had already split from apes at this point
  • Genus Australopithecus (about 4 mya) gave rise to Afarensis, Africanus, Boisie and Robustus and they died out about 2 mya
  • Genus Homos gave rise to Habilis and eventually Erectus from about 2 mya to about 200,000 ya
  • Finally Neanderthal and Homo Sapiens emerged and encountered each other around 80,000 ya
  • They interbred and by about 30,000 ya only Homo Sapiens Sapiens(Cro-magnon) remained.

All this is genealogy but what makes us human as opposed to Afarensis?

Devolve Me

human traits
Human Traits
  • Bi-pedalism
  • Opposable Thumbs
  • Large Brain Size
  • Human Teeth
  • Speech and Language
  • Tool Making; controlling out environment
  • Society and Culture
hunters and gatherers
Hunters and Gatherers


Geography Early humans adapted to the natural environment.

Culture Humans created tools to ensure survival and to improve life.

Culture Early humans developed language, religion, and art.


How did early humans interact with the environment?

hunter gatherers adapt to environments
Hunter-Gatherers Adapt to Environments
  • Early humans were hunter-gatherers

- hunted animals, gathered plants for food

- moved to a new location when food ran out

- Depended on natural environment for shelter

- lived in caves and shelters made of rocks, branches, animal skins

  • Small Bands

-Lived in small bands of about 30 people

- group included several families

- group size reflected how many people could live off food in region

- Men hunted, fished

- Women gathered nuts, berries; cared for children

- children also worked

early humans on the move
Early Humans on the Move
  • Hunter-gatherers were nomads—people who moved from place to place

- Groups returned to the same places with the changes of seasons

- bands joined together at certain times of year, formed communities

  • Moved to new, distant lands while following animals to hunt

- migration—moving from one place to settle in another

the earliest human societies on the move
The Earliest Human Societies on the move
  • By 15,000 B.C., hunter-gatherers had migrated through much of world

- crossed land bridge between Siberia and Alaska, entering Americas

  • Migrating groups entered territory of other groups

- groups shared knowledge, tools

- sometimes caused violent conflicts if groups feared each

the development of tools
The Development of Tools

ESSENTIAL QUESTION What were some tools created by early humans?

The Use of Fire

  • Early humans made and controlled fire around 800,000 years ago

- Fire provided heat and light, cooked food

- also protected from animals, tempered metal tools

the development of technology
The Development of Technology

Technology—the ways knowledge, tools, inventions are applied to meet needs

  • Stone tools for cutting were made at least 2 million years ago

- other tools included axes, bags, awls, drills

  • Later complex tools included bows, flint spearheads, metal tools
  • Tools used to hunt and butcher animals, build simple shelters
  • Technology helped humans control environment, led to settled lives
  • How did early humans use fire?
early human culture
Early Human Culture


What kind of culture did early humans create?

  • Language

- Language probably developed so people could work together

- possibly developed to aid in hunting, gathering, sharing food

  • Religion - worship of God, gods, or spirits

- Early humans probably believed all things in nature had a spirit

- some think cave paintings honor spirits of animals killed for food

Venus of Wilendorf, Austria

26,000 ya


Virtual cave Tour


  • Prehistoric art found in Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, Americas

- Over 200 cave art sites discovered in France, Spain

- images show bulls, stallions, bison

  • Early humans may have worn portable art (jewelry, figurines)

- items may have had religious meaning

  • Other art included music, dance, stories


What were the main elements of prehistoric culture?

the start of civilization
The Start of civilization
  • About 40,000 ya humans made what’s called the “Great Leap Forward” and began to develop culture
  • About 15,000 – 10,000 ya humans began to develop agriculture and settle down
  • This is the moment when civilization begins and the earliest towns and eventually cities are formed
  • It has taken over 6 million years but humans as we think of them have finally arrived