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About Me:I'm a graduate student studying International Criminal Law and first started writing for King's News almost 4 years ago! My hobbies include reading, travelling and charity work. I cover many categories but my favourite articles to write are about mysteries of the ancient world, interesting places to visit, the Italian language and animals!
Whilst it may feel, today, like humankind is the most advanced and intellectual species on planet Earth, we haven’t always been, in fact we haven’t always existed! In this series of articles I’m going to take you far far back in time to uncover the origins of humankind and see how we have grown over millions of years.
Now of course it is very difficult to be precise and certain in matters dating back millions of years and our knowledge is limited primarily to archaeological findings. That being said with modern technology we can at least estimate with reasonable accuracy our dating. The origins of humankind that stood upright on two feet as we do (albeit with a slightly different bone structure) is called homo erectus, literally meaning upright man in Latin. The origins of homo erectus is thought to be from the Australopithecina in East Africa, about 2.58 million years ago! The Australopithecina was a collection of species, often referred to as the Hominini tribe. In short, the Hominini were a collection of species developed from chimpanzees which bore resemblance to humankind, particularly in their teeth and some of their bones, but still possessed the sloped skull and smaller brain size of the apes they had evolved from. They were the tribe that bridged the gap between apes and humans. Of course it wasn’t that simple in apes evolving to humans overnight, rather this collection of hominini developed over thousands of years, until they became homo erectus with upright spines in East Africa.
Over the next few thousand years the homo erectus migrated from Africa, primarily in to Asia, going as far as Georgia, Armenia, Indonesia, Vietnam and China. The main reason for this migration, it is thought, was due to the desertifying of parts of Eastern and Northern Africa. To explain, this is the theory that large desert regions in Africa today such as the Sahara were once covered by water and at low periods of rainfall/in harsher winter conditions created much larger land bridges than connect Africa and Asia today, allowing homo erectus to literally walk to Asia from Africa in multiple areas. According to this theory the Nile, already the longest river in the world used to cover a much larger area that is now desert and sand. As water is so important to survival this explains why the homo erectus migrated, beyond perhaps curiosity, to escape the inhospitable desert and sand.
The other main theory states that homo erectus originated in Eurasia (the landmass of Europe and Asia) and migrated to Africa looking for warmer climates in the harsh winters. As we have found archaeological remains of homo erectus’ skeleton in both Eurasia and Africa and it can be so difficult to narrow down an exact date on bones that are millions of years old it’s hard to say where they exactly originated, but it certainly seems to be within the ‘central’ area of planet Earth. If this article has spiked your interest in the origins of mankind then follow this series of articles to find out what makes you the person you are today!
IMAGE SOURCE: https://blogs.commons.georgetown.edu/gufoodstudies/2013/07/03/an-evolutionary-recipe-cooking/