History of The World - Prehistory - Early Humans

Early Humans

Genetic measurements indicate that the ape lineage which would lead to Homo sapiens diverged from the lineage that would lead to chimpanzees (the closest living relative of modern humans) around five million years ago. It is thought that the Australopithecine genus, which were likely the first apes to walk upright, eventually gave rise to genus Homo. Anatomically modern humans arose in Africa about 200,000 years ago, and reached behavioral modernity about 50,000 years ago.

Modern humans spread rapidly from Africa into the frost-free zones of Europe and Asia around 60,000 years ago. The rapid expansion of humankind to North America and Oceania took place at the climax of the most recent Ice Age, when temperate regions of today were extremely inhospitable. Yet, humans had colonised nearly all the ice-free parts of the globe by the end of the Ice Age, some 12,000 years ago. Other hominids such as Homo erectus had been using simple wood and stone tools for millennia, but as time progressed, tools became far more refined and complex. At some point, humans began using fire for heat and cooking. They also developed language in the Palaeolithic period and a conceptual repertoire that included systematic burial of the dead and adornment of the living. Early artistic expression can be found in the form of cave paintings and sculptures made from wood and bone. During this period, all humans lived as hunter-gatherers, and were generally nomadic; this means they hunted and foraged for food, and moved constantly from place to place.

Read more about this topic:  History Of The World, Prehistory

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Famous quotes containing the words early humans, humans and/or early:

    For the writer, there is nothing quite like having someone say that he or she understands, that you have reached them and affected them with what you have written. It is the feeling early humans must have experienced when the firelight first overcame the darkness of the cave. It is the communal cooking pot, the Street, all over again. It is our need to know we are not alone.
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