BEFORE THE NEOLITHICREVOLUTION:HOMINIDS AND SKILLSSocial Studies for 8th E.G.B.Teacher: Mauricio Torres
What is a Hominid? Hominids are a group that includes humans and their closest relatives. All walk upright on two feet. Humans are the only hominids that live today.
Background With the Ice Age: The north African tropical forest began to retreat, being replaced first by open grasslands and eventually by desert (the modern Sahara). This forced tree-dwelling animals to adapt to their new environment or die out. Some primates adapted to a partly or fully ground-dwelling life.
Bipedalism Some Hominids adapted to this challenge by adopting bipedalism: walking on their hind legs. This gave their eyes greater elevation, the ability to see approaching danger further off, and a more efficient means of locomotion. It also freed the forelimbs (arms) from the task of walking and made the hands available for tasks such as gathering food.
Lucy The first hominids were called by scientists: Australopithecines. The oldest fossil found was that of “Lucy”, in Ethiopia.
Homo Habilis At some point the bipedal primates developed handedness, giving them the ability to pick up sticks, bones and stones and use them. Two million years ago emerged a new hominid: homo habilis. They were the first to make stone tools. In other words, these primates developed the use of primitive technology.
Homo Erectus Also around two million years ago, another hominid appeared: homo erectus. The name was given because they walked fully upright. They had larger brains and bones, smaller teeth and different characteristics from other hominids. They were the first to use fire! They also built more complex tools. It’s also suspected that they were the first to develop spoken language.
Homo Sapiens Around a hundred thousand years ago, a new group emerged: homo sapiens… the “Wise Man”. They evolved further than their predecessors and split into two categories: Homo sapiens Homo neanderthalensis Both species migrated out of Africa and settled different parts of Europe and Asia. They also developed the first real signs of culture.
One happy family Sahelanthropus sediba Homo gautengensis Sahelanthropus Paranthropus Homo habilis tchadensis Paranthropus Homo rudolfensis Orrorin aethiopicus Homo ergaster Orrorin tugenensis Paranthropus boisei Homo georgicus Ardipithecus Paranthropus Homo erectus Ardipithecus kadabba robustus Homo cepranensis Ardipithecus ramidus Kenyanthropus Homo antecessor Kenyanthropus platyops Homo Australopithecus heidelbergensis Australopithecus Homo rhodesiensis anamensis Homo Australopithecus neanderthalensis afarensis Homo sapiens idaltu Australopithecus Homo sapiens (Cro- bahrelghazali Magnon) Australopithecus Homo sapiens africanus sapiens Australopithecus garhi Australopithecus Homo
Ask yourself What skills did humans develop in order to outlive their own “cousins”?
Bibliography For further reading, use your books and check pages 28 through 31. Burstein, S. M., & Shek, R. (2012). World History (Teacher´s Edition). In H. McDougal (Ed.). Orlando, Florida, US.: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Ellis, E. G., & Esler, A. (2009). World History. (P. Hall, Ed.) Upper Saddle River, New Jersey, US: Pearson Education INC.