hunters and gatherers
Lesson: Pre-historic hunter gatherers
2.1: Telling our story: hominid evolution and the stone age 2.2: Palaeolithic cultures
2.3: Mesolithic cultures
Pre-historic hunter gatherers
2.1: Telling our story: hominid evolution and the stone age
Understanding hominid evolution: in search of ourselves
In biological terms, evolution means that living organisms have their origin in other pre-existing forms and biological changes in successive generations over time can result in substantial differences and the emergence of new species. Zoologically speaking, humans belong to a family called hominid with the genus or structural characteristics called homo. So, when we refer to hominid evolution, we are referring to the gradual process by which we developed as human beings from now extinct primates. The tale begins when, along with apes, we formed a part of a larger group called the primates, which was the earliest order of mammals. Over time, for reasons uncertain, we diverged from the apes and moved towards becoming what we are today through various, now extinct stages like Homo habilis (handy man), Homo erectus(upright man) and Homo sapiens (thinking man).
Value addition: Did you know?
The difference between species and genus
By species we mean a group of biological populations that can actually or potentially interbreed and have fertile offspring and are reproductively isolated from other species.
Genus includes a group of closely related species. For instance, Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Homo sapiens belong to the same genus – Homo. The second word, in each case, for instance, habilis, erectus, sapiens, represents the species. Hence, the genus is the same but differences in physical aspects like height, body build, facial features etc. determine the species.
What makes us human?
Human-ness, according to Singh (2009, 61) includes
References: Bryson, Bill. 2005. A Short History of Nearly Everything. London: Transworld Publishers. Chakrabarti, D. K. 2006. The Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology: The Archaeological Foundations of Ancient India: Stone Age to AD 13 Century Jain, V. K. 2006. Prehistory and Protohistory of India: An Appraisal: Palaeolithic Non-Harappan Chalcolithic Cultures Chakrabarti, D. K. 2006. The Oxford Companion to Indian Archaeology. The Archaeological Foundations of Ancient India