erectus, unlike H. habilis and all of the Australo-
H. erectus (inclusive) is characterized by large
robustus possesses a combination of
of this species have massive flat or concave
remains identified as belonging to A. robustus
bones found alongside A. robustus skeletons
"... 1.8 & 1.6 million years ago. - East Africa
The omnivorous Homo habilis are an intelligent adaptible
omnivore. Homo habilis have become smart by eating
carrion and bone marrow among other things, and evolv-
ing a basic social behavior ... Also viewed, a Homo
ergaster skull from 1.6 million years ago ..."
~1.7 million ....
Hominids in Europe - Skulls probably represent
first populations to migrate from Africa - Homo
ergaster - falls between H. habilis and H. erectus.
These partial human-like skulls were found in
the former Soviet Republic of Georgia, dated at
1.7 million years, making them the oldest human
ancestral fossils ever found outside of Africa:
~1.6 million ....
Massive volcanic eruption at Valles Caldera,
(6 of 10) Walking With Cavemen
"... 1.6 million years B.C. - East Africa
Homo ergaster is depicted as the first creature to master
the art of tracking. This was made possible because their
diet has grown increasingly more carnivorous, and the
nutrients in meat made them even smarter than Homo
habilis of the previous episode.
They also begin to form into tribal societies, with genuine
bonds between their men and women, though violence is
still occurring. Homo ergaster spreads into Asia, becom-
ing Homo erectus and encountering the enormous herbiv-
orous ape Gigantopithecus ..."
evidence of the use of fire, at Chesowanja,
"... Filming Location: Brazil
1,000,000 years ago — Early Pleistocene — Paraguay
[featured in this episode]
"... 1.6 million years ago (Homo ergaster) - East Africa
& 800,000 years ago (Homo erectus) - Asia
Homo erectus confronts Gigantopithecus.
Long Valley, California
Yellowstone Super Volcano Alert - History Channel Special
(600,000 to 100,000 years ago)
skulls of this species share features with both Homo
~500,000 ....(8 of 10) Walking With Cavemen
"... 500,000 & 140,000 years ago -- Europe
500,000 years ago, Homo heidelbergensis is shown as
intelligent and sensitive and as not yet creating fantasies
about a supposed afterlife (i.e., not yet burying their dead).
140,000 years ago, Homo neanderthalensis is battling ice
age conditions in Europe.
erectus, H. neanderthalensis had a protruding jaw,
short, stocky bodies are similar in proportion to those
scientists consider Homo neanderthalensis to be
Neanderthals 'distinct from us'
"... Scientists think they have found the first of many genes
that gave humans speech. Without it, language and human
culture may never have developed.
Key changes to a gene in the last 200,000 years of human
evolution appear to be the driving force.
The gene, FOXP2, was the first definitively linked with
human language. ... Changes to two single letters of the
DNA code arose in the last 200,000 years of human
evolution. They eventually spread throughout the human
population along with our unique capacity for speech. ..."
Early Modern Humans Used Fire To Engineer Tools
From Stone; Complex Cognition Older Than 72,000
"... We show that early modern humans at 72,000 years
ago, and perhaps as early as 164,000 years ago in coastal
South Africa, were using carefully controlled hearths in a
complex process to heat stone and change its properties,
the process known as heat treatment ... Heat treatment
technology begins with a genius moment – someone dis-
covers that heating stone makes it easier to flake ...
... There is no consensus as to when modern human behav-
ior appears, but by 70,000 years ago there is good evidence
for symbolic behavior ... some time around 50,000 to 60,000
years ago, these modern humans left the warm confines of
Africa and penetrated into the colder glacial environment
of Europe and Asia, where they encountered Neanderthals.
"By 35,000 years ago these Neanderthal populations were
mostly extinct, and modern humans dominated the land from
Spain to China to Australia ...
... The command of fire, documented by our study of heat
treatment, provides us with a potential explanation for the
rapid migration of these Africans across glacial Eurasia
– they were masters of fire and heat and stone, a crucial
advantage as these tropical people penetrated the cold
lands of the Neanderthal ...
The afore-mentioned discovery occurred after the
following reference which uses a more recent date
for Homo sapiens:
(100,000 years ago to present)
The modern form of Homo sapiens first appeared about
100,000 years ago. This species is distinguished by large
brain size, a forehead that rises sharply, eyebrow ridges
that are very small, a prominent chin, and lighter bone
structure than H. heidelbergensis.
Even in those 100,000 years, anatomical trends toward
smaller molars and decreased bone mass can be seen in
the Homo sapiens fossil record. For example, contem-
porary humans in Europe and Asia have bones that are
20 to 30 percent thinner and lighter than those of upper
Paleolithic humans dating from about 30,000 years ago.
About 40,000 years ago, with the appearance of the Cro-
Magnon culture, tools became markedly more sophisti-
cated, incorporating a wider variety of raw materials such
as bone and antler. They also included new implements
for making clothing, engravings, and sculptures. Fine art-
work, in the form of decorated tools, beads, ivory carv-
ings of humans and animals, clay figurines, musical instru-
ments, and cave paintings, appeared over the next 20,000
~150,000 to ~140,000 ....(9 & 10 of 10) Walking With Cavemen
"... 140,000 years ago -- Europe (Homo neanderthalensis)
... life of a Homo neanderthalensis clan, how they lived and
hunted, including the mighty mammoth during the latest Ice
150,000 years ago -- Africa (Homo sapiens)
"Follows the trek of Homo sapiens from battling drought in
Africa, to spreading across the planet, to developing art in
European caves. ..."
volcano in existence that can be described as Yellowstone's
A hypothesis about recent human evolution suggests
that humans came close to extinction because of
a 'volcanic winter' that occurred 71,000 years ago.
Some scientists estimate that there may have been as
few as 15,000 humans alive at one time. The 'volcanic
winter' lasted about six years.
It was followed by 1,000 years of the coldest Ice Age
on record. It brought widespread famine and death to
human populations around the world. It also affected
subsequent human evolution:
~70,000 ....When humans faced extinction - humans may have come
close to extinction about 70,000 years ago, according to
the latest genetic research - the research also suggests that
humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) made their first journey
out of Africa as recently as 70,000 years ago:
"... The study suggests that at one point there may have
been only 2,000 individuals alive as our species teetered
on the brink. The research also suggests that humans
(Homo sapiens sapiens) made their first journey out of
Africa as recently as 70,000 years ago. ..."
Anatomically modern humans in Linjang, China.
Neanderthal Mousterian culture as revealed in
Shanidar Cave (layers D, C) in Iraq.
Cro-Magnon people were nomadic hunter/gatherers and
had elaborate rituals for hunting, birth, and death. Artifacts
they left behind include carvings of people and animals.
Symbolic representation through adornment of the dead
also became more common during this period.
Barringer Meterorite Crater
"... a gigantic hole in the middle of the arid sandstone
of the Arizona desert. A rim of smashed and jumbled
boulders, some of them the size of small houses, rises
150 feet above the level of the surrounding plain. The
crater itself is nearly a mile wide, and 570 feet deep. ..."
When Europeans first discovered the crater, the plain
around it was covered with chunks of meteoritic iron
- over 30 tons of it, scattered over an area 8 to 10
miles in diameter. ..."
Homo sapiens migrate out of Africa into Asia and
Australia - abstract designs painted on rocks in
Australia - the aborigines' way of life, involving
hunting and gathering and the use of Stone-Age
technologies, was well adapted to the Australian
environment and changed very little until the advent
of the Europeans.
Prehistoric skulls found in Brazil match those of the
aboriginal peoples of Australia and Melanesia. Other
evidence suggests that these first Americans were
later massacred by invaders from Asia. It's likely
that these aboriginal people reached Brazil by boat,
based in no small part on the earliest known art
depiction of a boat in cave paintings at Kimberley,
a region at the northern tip of Western Australia:
Evidence of first humans to reach the Americas
via land, due to the hunting of herds of mammoth,
bison, and mastodon across the wide bridge of iced
over land connecting Asia to North America until
the end of the last ice age, ~12,000 years ago.
Aurignacian tools were used from 40,000 to 30,000
years ago. Diverse tools characteristic of modern
humans, dominated by blades flaked from prepared
cores, use of ivory, bone and antler as raw material,
in addition to stone.
Aurugnacian stone tools
This technology consists of sharp-edged blade tools
used for cutting and scraping. Homo sapiens employed
a wide variety of materials during this period, including
stone, ivory, bone, and antler, to create knives, scrapers,
and spear points. People also began using these materials
to make non-utilitarian items, such as jewelry.
Ivory Venus Figurine From the Swabian Jura
"... excavations at Hohle Fels Cave in the Swabian
Jura of southwestern Germany recovered a female
figurine carved from mammoth ivory from the basal
Aurignacian deposit. This figurine, which is the earliest
depiction of a human, and one of the oldest known
examples of figurative art worldwide, was made at
least 35,000 years ago. ...
... The figurine originates from a red-brown, clayey
silt at the base of about one meter of Aurignacian
deposits. ... Radiocarbon dates from this horizon
span the entire range from 31,000 – 40,000 years
ago. ... that figurine is indeed of an age corresponding
to the start of the Aurignacian around 40,000 years
Baradostian cultures as revealed in Kebara
(layer D) in Israel and Zarzi, Iraq.
Chatelperronian tools were used from 36,000 to
27,000 years ago. An advanced Neanderthal
technology, perhaps influenced by the technology
of modern humans living in the same area.
Cave bears, cave lions, wooly rhino extinct; Homo
sapiens migrate in large numbers to Europe; first
evidence of round huts and mortars in Ain Gev,
Chavet Cave Art
Chauvet Cave holds some of the oldest and most sophisti-
cated examples of cave art in the world. The age and ad-
vanced nature of the paintings suggest that carved and
engraved objects did not necessarily precede painted
images, as archaeologists once believed.
Science shows cave art developed early
"... Carbon isotope analysis of charcoal used in pictures of
horses at Chauvet, south-central France, show that they are
30,000 years old ...
The remarkable Chauvet drawings were discovered in 1994
when potholers stumbled upon a narrow entrance to several
underground chambers in a rocky escarpment in the Ardeche
Because the paintings are just as artistic and complex as the
later Lascaux paintings, it may indicate that art developed
much earlier than had been realised.
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