Early Humans for Kids
TREES & SHELTERS: Very early humans learned to stay away from caves as shelters. Caves were often already occupied by dangerous animals. Instead, they looked for trees to climb into, or rocks and clifts to shelter under. The discovery of fire had a huge affect on early humans. A fire allowed them to pick where they camped. Animals were afraid of fire. And fire could be used to drive animals out of caves.
CAVES: From remains found, scientists have discovered that Neanderthals lived in caves and had fires in which they cooked their food. Neanderthals preferred caves as sleeping places and temporary homes. They were good hunters. They removed any dangerous animals, and then moved in. Neanderthals, like other early people, were hunters and gatherers. They did not plant crops. They gathered food and followed the herds.
HUTS: Some early humans, like Cro-Magnon Man, had two homes, one they brought with them, and one they left behind them in a more permanent location. These early people were hunters and gatherers. In the summer months, while following the herds, these early people lived in easy to pack and set up tents or tee-pees. The summer tents were set up by either stringing them between two trees, or by covering some sticks tied together with the tanned hides of animals. During the winter months, they lived in larger more permanent type huts. The winter huts were usually in a permanent location and were built much sturdier. They would be roomy enough for a family to stay in. They were also made from tanned hides that had been sewn together and wrapped around logs which had been placed into holes that they dug. They had an opening in the top to let out smoke, and were weighted at the bottom with rocks or dirt to keep them anchored during storms.