Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Humans Searching For Foods by Hunting and Gathering

Humans Searching For Foods by Hunting and Gathering
Scientists believe that humans evolved for millions of years before they learned to use fire about 500,000 to one million years ago.

The oldest fossils so far excavated mainly in Africa put the beginning of human like creatures – hominids - at between six and seven million years ago.

From the jaws and teeth of these hominids, scientist deduce that they were primarily plant eaters or herbivores.

Our back teeth the molars, are flat like stones for grinding grain and plants and that is what we still use them for when we chew.

Scientist think that over millions of years, early humans developed two survival advantages:
  • 1. Between 4 million and 2 million BC human brain size tripled, growing to what it is today, approximately 1,400 cubic centimeters
  • 2. They stood upright in two feet - became bipedal - which allowed them to see farther and left their hands free to use weapons for protection and to kill animals for food.
Food historians speculate that early humans learned to like the taste of meat from small animals that could be caught and killed easily, like lizards and tortoise and from scavenging the leftover carcasses of large animals killed by other large animals.

These early humans were hunter-gatherers , nomads who followed the food wherever it wandered or grew.

Between 40,000 BC an 12,000 BC, Asian peoples went east and crossed into North and South America.

The Ice Age had dried up the seas, creating dry land between Asia and Alaska, making it possible to walk from one continent to the other. So the first people in the Americans were Asians.

Work related to food was divided by gender. Men left the home to hunt animals by following them to where they went for food, especially salt.

Women gathered fruits, nuts, berries and grasses because their lives revolved around a cycle of pregnancy, birth and child rearing.

Gathering was more reliable than hunting. Becoming carnivores – meat eaters – probably helped humans survive, too. In case of a shortage of plants , there was an alternate food source.

Scientists believe than invented tools about 1.9 million to 1.6 million years ago. Early humans butchered animal meat, even elephants, with blades made out of of stone, which is why it is called the Stone Age.

Archeologists call this people Homo habilis – “handy man.”

Then, approximately 1,5 million to 500,000 years ago, another group appeared called Homo erectus – “upright man.”

These people migrated north to Europe and east to India, China and Southeast Asia. They had better tools than any of the other groups. And for the first time, they had fire.
Humans Searching For Foods by Hunting and Gathering