This early man lived
This was the beginning of the Stone Age,
and the dawn of early man. This period of time is called the Stone Age
because these very early men created tools made of stone.
The Stone Age ran from about 2 million
years ago to about 10,000 years ago, which was the end of the last Ice
Age. As far as we know, true humans first appeared in Africa.
Man had to get
smart to survive.
Man did not have strong claws to help them
fight. They could not out run early tigers or cave lions. The Homo
habilis man is credited with inventing stone tools to help live more
comfortably, and to better protect themselves against the many carnivore
(meat eating) animals of the time.
Homo habilis were taller than their
ancestors, the human-like primates (Lucy's people), and had
larger brains. They followed food sources, and set up camp as needed.
They sheltered under cliffs, whenever possible. You might think they
would look for caves to spend the night, but caves quite often had
dangerous occupants, just as they do today. Although this group made
stone tools and weapons, these weapons were still pretty basic. Their
main diet was probably fruits, roots, nuts and vegetables that they
found growing wild.
groups banded together for protection and efficiency.
size of the group depended upon the amount of food available.
Groups would disband and move on, as food required. Scientists are
pretty sure that homo habilis built campfires. But they did not
know how to make fire.
Since man had
not yet learned how to make fire, these early people
had to wait until they found something burning from natural
causes, set aflame for example from a lightening strike. A
campfire had to be carefully watched, because if the fire went
out, they did not know how to start it again.
The area around the campfire was
probably used as a sleeping area. A roaring campfire would keep
most wild animals away, as most are afraid of fire. When they
broke camp, these early people probably attempted to bring their
fire with them by carrying several lit branches, with which to
start a new campfire when they stopped again. If their branches
went out, they did without fire until they found something burning
of their campfires have been found and dated. Scientists have
found stone tools at these sites! Animal bones have been found, as
well. Technically, although animal bones would be called
"trash", they indicate that Homo habilis man hunted game
and/or scavenged fat-rich marrow from bones. These remains also
tell us that Homo habilis probably did not stay in one place very
long, but were always on the move, in search of food.