Man in Prehistory

The first phases of human evolution began about 7 million years ago in Africa. At this stage of life on Earth, according to scientists, there were three species of superior primates, the chimpanzees, gorillas and humans.

Three million years ago, the first human beings were already walking upright and had a developed brain half the size of the current one. Only 2.5 million years ago appeared proto-humans, who are the first known human beings and who begin to use crude tools, like chipped stones.

Researchers point out that a million years ago, human beings migrated out of Africa and from it to the rest of the world. The process ended around 10,000 BC, when most of the planet was populated.

Evolution allowed the human being to gain height, capacity and intelligence. These are characteristics observed from the species Australopitheus in Homo habilus and Homo erectus , which appeared 500 thousand years ago.

Neanderthal man

Modern man, known as Homo sapiens, evolved from these ancestors. The Neanderthal man, considered an early subspecies of Homo sapiens , lived between 200,000 and 30,000 years ago.

Learn more about Homo sapiens sapiens .

It was the Neanderthal man who started the process of building shelters, the first pieces of clothing for protection from the weather and, mainly, hunting artifacts. Scientists have found evidence of the Neanderthal man’s presence in Africa, Europe and the Middle East.

Cro-Magnon man

Modern man, Homo sapiens sapiens , or Cro-Magnon , descends directly from Neanderthal man and started to appear about 40,000 years ago. There is evidence of its presence in that period in Malaysia and Europe.

Cro-Magnon’s man, at the beginning, was similar to that of Neanderthal in terms of the use of hunting artifacts, the methods of collecting food and the use of primitive clothing. However, there were important physical differences between the two species.

More evolved, the Cro-Magnon man walked completely upright, had a larger brain, a thinner nose, a more pronounced chin and a skeletal structure very similar to that of the current man. With greater capacity, it moved around the world and started to constitute the first settlements.

They were hunters and gatherers, which made them nomads, constantly searching for food sources. Their way of life required the existence of a small group. As soon as they perfected the manufacture of pieces for hunting, made from stone and animal bones, they were also able to develop ways to resist the cold.

They used animal skin as clothing. It was a period of low temperatures, marked by successive glaciations. There are also the first signs of body adornments, using the skin and bones of animals.

With the warming of the climate, the population of human beings increased, as well as the geographical displacements. Thus, more developed settlements appear, around 7 thousand BC in the Mesopotamia region, near the Tigre and Euphrates rivers.

Living in permanent settlements, human beings start to grow their own food and domesticate animals. Under these conditions, they develop handicrafts, using clay, learn how to spin sheep wool and start to develop the first trade systems, which expanded throughout the Middle East, Europe and Asia.

The clothes are perfected by the civilization of Egypt, although the skins of animals are also still an important part of the clothing.

 

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