Chapter 1: Intro to the Material
This chapter offers an overview of the evolution of humans, beginning with their common origins in Africa.
Debates exist as to the origins of humans and the research techniques used to support current scholarship. The text explores information about early hominids and their adaptation.
The text also discusses the competition between Cro-Magnon humans and Neanderthals. Complex thinking aided in the creation of art and language for Homo sapiens, and helped them emerge as the sole surviving hominids.
Humans engaged in migration almost from the start and across the globe, ultimately crossing the land bridge from Asia to North America (The Bering Strait). When the climate warmed and that land bridge melted, those living in the Americas were cut off from Afro-Eurasia, developing independently for millennia.
Further environmental changes led to the domestication of plants and animals. Southwest Asia, East Asia, the Americas, and Sahel Africa were incubators for settled farming communities, harvesting grains, or fish. That change did not come evenly or completely. Many groups maintained hunter and gatherer or pastoral lifestyles, following herds of animals.
Communities that did settle began the process of job specialization and social stratification. Gender differences arose, and patriarchy emerged as certain tasks became specialized. As settled communities continued to advance, they were poised to create the complex civilizations that the next chapter reveals.
National Geographic: Human Migration – https://genographic.nationalgeographic.com/human-j…