Evidence for Hominid Evolution

Question 1

Humans originated from Africa approximately 90,000- 75,000 years ago thus Africa has always been considered as the cradle of mankind. There are several types of evidence that confirm hominid revolution occurred. The most common kind of evidence includes fossil skull morphology, the use of stone tools, the study of human DNA and rock art among other (Bradshaw foundation, “Origins”).

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Rock art was evident during the Paleolithic or middle stone age period. Humans later spread to other parts of the world. Charles Darwin put across the theory of human evolution states that the ancient ancestors of men were known as the hominids who were a collection of primates. The earliest skulls of hominids that archeologists discovered are Sehelanthropus from Chad and one from Kenya known as Ororin tugensesis (Bradshaw Foundation, “Origins”). Based on this evidence, the common ancestry originates from fossil records and studying the DNA of humans.

Hominids later evolved into Australopithecus and final the Genus Homo. Australopithecus depended on trees as the source of food as well as protection. This genus existed 3 million years ago. The species of Australopithecus include Afarensis and Africanus. The skulls of the genus Homo, however, showed that they are the immediate ancestors of men that not only initiated rock art and the use of stone tools but were also intelligent. Their brain size was more advanced, that is 390-515cc. The genus includes Homo Habilies, home Erectus and Homo sapiens (Bradshaw foundation, ‘Origins”). Another type of evidence is the creation of rock art during the Paleolithic or middle stone age period. The rock art that was mainly found in underground caves shows that humans started to express creativity, feelings and other forms of emotion through art (Campbell, Human evolution, 11). The evidence provides a convincing of the evolution because early hominid fossils that were extracted from Africa shows the changes that have occurred over time from ape-like structures. The structures exhibit the anatomy of a typical human being. Some of these features include bipedal walking posture as well as small canines that are blunt unlike the teeth of other primates. I believe the cave people were not so primitive because most of the art made sense such as the drawings of animals. The underground cathedrals or castles had unique features of civilization such as the wine cellars (Hart, Man the hunted, 23). Besides, the cathedrals were built using sophisticated architectural designs and covered almost an entire town. This shows that the people actually understood the importance of engineering when the cathedrals were built.

Question 2: Neolithic revolution

Neolithic revolution refers to the transformation of human activities from pure hunting and gathering as the only source of food to the invention of agricultural activities. During the Neolithic period, agriculture is defined as the “domestication of plants,” a factor that immensely contributed to modernization. The Neolithic period began during the Ice Age after the warming of the Holocene thus increasing the frequency of rainfall and thus encouraging humans to cultivate (Berger, World History, 12). The increase in temperature also led to the extinction of megafauna. The cultivation of barley, wheat, and rye began in West Asia and Mesoamerica about 8000 years ago (Berger, World History, 12). Sedentary agriculture was first witnessed during the “Nafutian Adaptation” after an increase in rainfall during the 9600BC that made the Jordan River swell thus depositing fertile soil in the area.

Eventually, the people stopped domestication of animals and hunting to concentrate on agriculture marking the real Neolithic period. Agriculture did not only enhance religion and trade but also enabled people to be organized into classes. As a result, the communities constructed permanent structures to protect themselves from conflicts. At the beginning of civilization, Neolithic women herded animals and took part in other domestic chores (Berger, World History, 18). During the Bronze, people began to mine copper and other minerals.

The exploration on Gobekli Tepe aaltered the appreciation of the origins of the Neolithic Period because this piece of history revealed that civilization began a long time ago as compared to the previously documented history. Gobekli Tepe is approximately 6,000 years older than the evidence that was already used to mark the beginning of civilization such as the Pyramids of Ethiopia and Stonehenge among others (Bradshaw foundation, “Site map”). This fact, as well as other secrets that archeologists discovered in the site, justify that even though agriculture did not exist during that time, people were organized groups. This is the only factor that would have made it possible for the people to come together and build such as a large religious sanctuary. This is the earliest symbol of organized architectural construction thus aspects of civilization such as religion began during this era. The temples had been buried intentionally, and the first one was built during the Pre-Pottery Neolithic period (Notroff et al., Gathering of the dead? 65).

The evidence shows that approximately 500 people built the temple. First communities farmed there because of the climatic factors and the need to increase food production to feed the growing population. The communities in this area were not solely interested in farming because the presence of animal bones shows that they were using them as sacrifices.

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