Who were prehistoric humans? What does it mean? Hmm. Let us start by explaining what pre-history means. Pre-history is the time before the inventions of writing. We have no written records of those times. Pre-historic time is a bit different from different civilizations. For example, in places like Ancient Egypt, things were recorded from very early times (around 3200 BCE) and these records can be studied. However, places like New Guinea people only started recording history around 1900. Mostly mankind started to record history around 5,500 years ago.
Shall we try and answer again who prehistoric humans were? They lived in times of pre-history. Not a lot is known about those ages, and now you know why? There is no recorded information. However, we have collected some information about them through the study of ancient caves that scientists called archaeologists believe early humans probably lived in.
Looking at all the data that scientists have collected, we can safely say that the first human beings probably lived around 4.4 million in caves along the southern coast of Africa. This region provided food as well as a warm climate. Animals that were like humans and walked upright were known as hominids.
Sometimes a lot of bones are found buried in the caves, they give us a clue about the size and shape of pre-historic humans.
Three phases of development of hominids-
- Homo habilis (, which means ‘a person with abilities’. They were called Australopithecus (read as aw-strey-loh-pith-uh-seen). They were around three to five feet tall and fed on leaves, fruits, and the remains of dead animals. There is proof that they used sticks and bones to help them dig and defend themselves. Homo habilis evolved into Homo erectus.
- Homo erectus means ‘a person who walks upright’. Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapiens about 150,000 years ago. They were first of their kind to start using linguistic or symbolic communication.
- Homo sapien means ‘a person who can think’. We are all Homo sapiens.
Try telling your friends that you are a hominid belonging to the Homo sapiens species and look at their expression 😉