The first people
Geologists decided the beginning of the Quaternary period from the appearance of the first fossil remains of primitive people. But there is a major problem: paleontologists continue to find more ancient traces of their existence. Thus, the beginning of the Quaternary period extended farther, which inevitably leads to a new question: whether found fossil remains of the man or the APE-like man?
The first people — who are they?
Nowadays scientists unanimously believe that the first people could be considered not monkeys, and almost people — the Australians. These two-legged creatures, whose remains were first found in 1920 in South Africa, taking us to distant times. Here the footprints date back 3.5 million years ago, where the skeleton has an age of 3.1 million years. There are findings, which is indicative of an even more distant past: 5, b even and 7 million years ago. It seems that these humanoid creatures lived only in Africa. Some of them, undoubtedly, were the ancestors of the first true man — Noto of Gains, which appeared a little over 2 million years ago, and now for him almost immediately followed by Homo erectus. The first type lasted about a million years. The second, which is also called Pithecanthropus, was a real wanderer. It leinahtan almost everywhere in the Old World. The most ancient of them have an age of 150 thousand years. But only some 100 thousand years ago in Europe, a more developed person, possessing even the rudiments of culture: Homo sapiens neanderthalensis, or as often say, “Neanderthal”. He disappeared from the face of the Earth about 35 thousand years ago, but our direct ancestor, Noto was his contemporary. Recently in a cave on mount Qafzeh, in Israel, paleontologists discovered fossil remains of this ancient “modern” man. Their age – about 90 thousand years. Thus, the man was much older than scientists thought until now.
The Australopithecines are divided into four species have already disappeared. Most likely, they became victims gradually intensified to the dry climate in southern and Eastern Africa.
Several large cemeteries with the remains of prehistoric man:
According to researchers, 40 thousand years ago on Earth lived less than a million people. This figure may seem very modest, considering that their prehistory lasted millions of years. However, over time, these prehistoric people, part have not belonged to our species, inhabited Europe, Middle East, India, China and even the island of Java — in fact, all the land that we call the Old world.
Their ingenuity is impressive. They invented effective stone tools (the very first primitive are aged about 3 million years). 400 or 500 thousand years ago prehistoric people were learning tricks of taming fire. They begin to bury their • merchich; the most ancient of all known graves – 60 thousand years. Perhaps there is a primary form of art: some drawings in Tanzania, more than 40 thousand years and they may be the works of the predecessors of Homo sapiens sapiens. Finally, these people are certainly less advanced than we, have adapted to very diverse living conditions, varied and from region to region, and from era. Some lived in tropical Africa, while others approached the limits of the glaciers in Europe and in the spurs of the Himalayas. Of course, they wouldn’t be able to get there, if they were not already organized in the community and do not possess sufficient inventive mind.
This is one of the greatest achievements of prehistoric man. The ancient hearth remains discovered in Vertelsels, on the territory of present Hungary. It was lit by 450 thousand years ago Noto agesis. However, the more ancient people, of course, tried animal meat, roasted on fires forest fires, and quite possibly even were able to keep the fire. In France the most ancient hearth was found near nice (Terra Amata). He 380 thousand years.
People were thrown into the fire not only wood, but also bone and fat, which made the flame brighter. This tamed the fire, attracting to themselves primitive people, United them, gave them more peace of mind and allowed to cook.
The most ancient footprints, left by our ancestors, the Australopithecines, have age 3 680 OOO years. They were found in the Olduvai valley in Tanzania. To the North, in the OMO valley in Ethiopia, was found the skeleton of Lucy. This young female Australopithecus lived about 3.1 million years ago.
From the first hominids, Australopithecus to modern human form, who is often called CRO-magnon, have passed at least 5-6 million years. During this time changed several species of prehistoric humans: Australopithecus (southern APE); Homo (meaning “man”) first habilis (skillful), then erectus (upright), then sapiens (reasonable). To the latter species and is the most famous of all ancestors of Neanderthal man. Our immediate predecessor was Homo sapiens sapiens, or CRO-magnon man.