Early Humans: First Time Line
- The Prepared Time Line beginning about 500,000 years ago up to 1 AD.
- As much appropriate fossil material as you have.
- As many appropriate illustrations as you have.
- <u</u>Explain that there were earlier hominid examples, but this time lime begins with Homo habilis, "The Toolmakers."
- If you met one of these "men" today, you would not think it looked very human.
- They were only four to four and a half feet tall.
- They weighed less than 60 pounds.
- They had low brows and protruding jaws.
- But, they did something no other creature had ever done before - they picked up a rock and used it to help with their work.
- Scientists have found actual examples.
- Homo habilis, lived in small groups and one factor in their ability to survive was their ability to work together.
- They established home bases where they would camp for a while rather than roam.
- The picture of the man eating raw meat is to represent the fact that these early hominids did not have fire.
- They did not have a language with words.
- They communicated with grunts, screams and meaningful gestures.
- This is a great place to stop and direct a play between two groups of Homo habilis bands.
- The children must not speak words.
- They must gesture and grimace while uttering growls, hoots, groans, grunts and screams.
- The children love to do this!
- Don't forget that the dominant males will probably form a defiant protective shield in front of the females, adolescents and children.
- Assure the students that they will perform this play with their clothes on.
- Some may be reluctant as they think they will have to remove all their clothes.
- Find examples of Homo habilis in pictures by different artists.
- Have the children discuss the differences and figure out what is speculative and what is known.
- A child can draw or copy scenes.
- Information cards should be available for research.
- NOTE: Older books will have little or no information of Homo habilis in them.
- <u</u>Homo erectus, "The Upright Man" was short (five feet tall).
- Their skulls were thicker than modern humans but compared with earlier hominids, their heads and brains were considerably larger and their faces were flatter.
- The hand of H. erectus was becoming more dexterous with the pincer grip of thumb and fingers supplanting the power grip of H. habilis.
- Because of this, they were able to fashion large hand axes that functioned as cleavers.
- Perhaps the greatest achievement of these people was their use of fire, which may have been related to the ice age.
- With fire, they were able to cook wooden spear points to harden them enough to jab into much larger animals with much tougher skin.
- Fire also served to keep the people warm night and day and to keep predators away at night.
- Although these people originated in Africa, they could carry fire with them and were able to move into the temperate regions of the world including China and Germany.
- Vey important NOTE: First person to discover the remains of H. erectus was a Dutch man named Eugene Dubois.
- H. erectus hunted in larger groups and used fire to drive animals into swamps or off cliffs.
- By cooking their food, their jaw muscles and teeth were able to diminish in size, allowing the brain size to increase.
- While the vocal apparatus of H. erectus would not allow much vocalization, it is possible that a few sounds were used to "name" individuals or objects (NOUNS).
- H. erectus built the first shelters recognized as such.
- There is no evidence that they made clothing, but those living in the temperate climates probably wore animal skin capes during the winter at least.
- Similar to that for Homo habilis.
- Using a carefully tended briquette grill outside, the children can harden wooden points.
- Have the children scrape the bark from freshly cut saplings.
- The toasting must be done carefully so that no charcoal (which is soft and crumbly) forms.
- If it does, use it with your history of writing activity!
- You may be able to find a local archeologist or Native American who is adept at chipping flint tools.
- A visit from such a person is always a treat for everybody.
- Homo neanderthalensis, take their name from the little valley in Germany where they were discovered.
- They were very powerful with strong muscles and thick bones.
- It is easy to understand why scientists mistook them for stooped, hulking brutes with a vacant expression.
- We now know that this is false, but this mistaken image of a "caveman" lingered for a long time - even into today in some people's minds.
- Their skulls were low in front with a heavy ridge of bone above their eyes.
- They barely had any chin at all.
- They had a brain capacity greater than modern humans.
- This does not mean they were smarter than we are.
- Intelligence depends on size and organization of the brain.
- Studies show that their vision was probably better than ours, but their language was not as developed and they couldn't think ahead as well as we do.
- The Neanderthals were great hunters.
- They hunted large animals such as mammoth and woolly rhinoceros with little more than fire hardened wooden spears.
- There is no evidence that they used stone spear points, but they did chip stone scrappers off flint cores.
- Neanderthals buried their dead, including small children, with food and tools, probably indicating some kind of religion.
- This practice has contributed to the numerous skeletons in museums and to a greater knowledge of the customs of the Neanderthal.
- There is evidence that they cared for sick and elderly members of their clans.
- They used animal skins as clothes and may even have used certain plants for medicine.
- They continued the tradition of building simple shelters.
- There are indications of huts made from saplings built inside some of the European cave sites.
- About 30,000 years ago, the Neanderthals died off and the cause remains a mystery, but we have a clear idea of what came next, the Cro-Magnons.
- Similar to those after the other early hominids.
- Just adjust your information and give it a go!
- Over 100,000 years ago, a new line of humans began to develop.
- They were called Homo sapiens, "the wise men."
- These people were nicknamed Cro-Magnons after the name of the place where they were first discovered.
- About 30,000 years ago, the Neanderthals died out and left the Cro-Magnons as the only kind of human on earth.
- Today all humans, even you, belong to this species.
- The Cro-Magnons had brains larger than ours today.
- They were taller and more slender than the Neanderthals.
- Their faces looked much the same as ours.
- If you were to meet a Cro-Magnon dressed in a business suit, you would probably not notice anything strange about them.
- They were hunters, artists, dreamers, seekers and doers.
- They invented music (Scientists have found a flute dating from 32,000 years ago.), art (found in Altamira and Lascaux caves dating from about 17,000 years ago) and language.
- The more people know, the faster changes occur.
- In the Paleolithic, it sometimes took 100,000+ years for a new way of making tools to develop.
- As time went on, our prehistoric ancestors learned to use fire, the wheel and the bow and arrow.
- The pace of change grew faster.
- This is still happening today.
- Our technology may change more in one year than did that of our prehistoric ancestors in a thousand centuries (1,000,000 years).
- Prehuman and early human individuals lived for over 3 million years at the technological level characterized as the Lower Old Stone Age.
- The Upper Old Stone Age will span only 30,000 years, or 6 inches on our time line.
- In the last two inches are contained the Middle Stone Age, the New Stone Age, the Copper and Bronze Ages and our own Modern Age.
- Obviously it is time to expand the scale of the time line so we can study these last important stages in greater detail.
- Unroll the Second Time Line after demonstrating the expansion of an elastic between your hands.
- NOTE: This time line is 9-12 material and is usually not given in detail at 6-9.
- The Human Question. Each species has its own special survival tools, for example: fangs, claws, speed, the ability to hide or the ability to withstand drought.
- Our tools are our hands and our brains.
- With these tools, we have the power to choose to shape the world around us.
- We are the only creature that has ever had that choice.
- The great questions that arise from this are:· How will we shape the world? Will we make it better, or will we destroy it?
Control Of Error
Points Of Interest