Question 1: Look at the diagram showing the positive feedback mechanism on page 13. Can you list the inputs that went into tool making? What were the processes that were strengthened by tool-making?
Answer: In the diagram, we have lines of two colors. The red-colored lines indicate the ‘inputs’, whereas the blue-colored lines indicate ‘processes’ that was, in turn, strengthened by tool making.
Considering the red-colored lines, we have enlisted (below) the inputs that facilitated the tool-making process.
- Increase in the size and capacity of the brain: Over time, the continuous evolution of human beings has witnessed the increase in brain size along with its increased thinking capacity. This directly led to the development of basic intelligence, which in turn boosted the problem-solving skills of the early man. With better intelligence, he could now design newer weapons and tools for self-defense, killing animals, and gathering food for his subsistence.
- Upright walking: Once the early man started walking upright, his front limbs got free. This helped him utilize those extra limbs for making tools and using them.
- Visual surveillance: With the development of the skills of visual surveillance (or simply observation powers), the early man could now understand and keep a track of the events happening around him and, accordingly, could prepare himself by making proper tools that could withstand similar events.
- Hands freed for using tools and carrying infants and objects: As the early man started walking upright, his forelimbs got free. He started using his hands to carry his infants and objects such as tools, utensils, etc. In addition, it also led him to use his tools with more pressure and force.
Now, let us consider the blue-colored lines.
The processes that were strengthened by tool-making are mentioned below.
- Increase in size and capacity of the brain: The tool-making process, in turn, enhanced the technical know-how of the early man. This also infused the power to think, concentrate, understand, and memorize. All these developments further increased the capacity of early man’s brain.
- Upright walking: It enabled the early man to use hands for making, carrying, and using tools. This further added to his potential and got him extra hands to do a lot more things than he did previously.
- Visual surveillance: With more analytical and observatory powers, the early man developed enhanced tools and weapons. Simultaneously, he could now undertake the journey to exploit the unexplored tracks for food.
Question 2: Humans and mammals such as monkeys and apes have certain similarities in behavior and anatomy. This indicates that humans possibly evolved from apes. List these resemblances in two columns under the headings of (a) behavior and (b) anatomy. Are there any differences that you think are noteworthy?
Answer: Humans and mammals such as monkeys and apes have certain similarities in behaviors and anatomy. This shows that humans possibly evolved from apes.
|Basis of Similarities between humans and other mammals ||Similarities|
- Living in groups: Both primates and humans live in groups. While primates live in groups especially for survival needs, humans, on the other hand, live in groups for reasons such as nationality and also due to cultural factors.
- Communication: Both primates and humans have the ability to communicate. On one hand, primates use sounds and gestures as modes of communication, humans, on the other hand, use advanced communication mediums such as writing and talking besides gestures.
- Prehensile hands and feet: This is common between primates and humans. This enables both to have a strong grip.
- Flattened face: Both of them have flattened faces, with two eyes next to each other. This allows them to have a vision that further helped to have a wider and complete view of the surroundings.
Besides the aforementioned similarities, both humans and primates have considerable differences in their behavior and anatomy.
|Points of difference||Mammals or Primates||Humans|
- Communication-based on limited sound and gestures only
- Social groups are based on their survival needs
- Use advanced communication skills to interact with each other
- Social groups are based on nationality, culture, and other important factors besides survival needs
- The face is larger than the cranium
- Facial structure
a. Flattened nose
b. Very large jaws (for eating)
c. Thin lips
- The face is smaller than the cranium
- Facial structure
a. Protruding nose
b. Flattened jaws
c. Large lips (beneficial for facial expressions)
Question 3: Discuss the arguments advanced in favor of the regional continuity model of human origins. Do you think it provides a convincing explanation of the archaeological evidence? Give reasons for your answer.
Answer: Two different views have been expounded regarding human origins:
- Regional continuity model: According to this human has multiple origins.
- Replacement model: According to this human has a single origin.
- Regional Continuity Model: According to this, modern homo sapiens evolved in different regions at different rates. So there was a difference in the appearance of humans in different parts of the world. It was based on the regional differences in the features of present days humans. The dissimilarities are due to the differences between the homo-Erectus and homo heidelbergensis populations of the same regions.
The regional continuity model does not give a convincing explanation of the archaeological evidence.
Question 4: Which of the following do you think is best documented in the archaeological record: (a) gathering, (b) tool making, (c) the use of fire?
Answer: The technique of tool making is best documented in archaeological records. The earliest evidence of making and using stone tools comes from the archaeological sites in Ethiopia and Kenya. The remains of various types of tools found after excavations prove that man had mastered the skill of tool making. Moreover, according to the need of the time, the shape and size of the tools were also changed.
Question 5: Discuss the extent to which (a) hunting and (b) constructing shelters would have been facilitated by the use of language. What other modes of communication could have been used for these activities?
Answer: Early man was a food gatherer and scavenger. These were more of an individual’s activities. With homo- Erectus social groups because larger and man matured from being a scavenger to hunting.
Hunting activities of humans
- They could also discuss the nature and behavior of animals.
- They can also discuss the nature of tools used in hunting.
- They can exchange ideas where the specific animals were found
- People now could organize and manage hunting expeditions.
Construction of shelters by human beings
- People now could discuss secure places for the construction of their shelter.
- They could now get information about the resources available around their surroundings.
- People become edible to get knowledge about the materials used for places for the construction of their shelter.
- There could also discuss the means to protect their shelter from the severe condition.
Signs, symbols, oral, voice shouting, cave painting, engraving on the walls and ceiling on the caves are the other useful modes of communication used for these activities.
Question 6: Choose any two developments each from Timelines 1 and 2 at the end of the chapter and indicate why you think these are significant.
1. Earliest stone tools: The making of the earliest stone tools is significant as it marked the initial phase of technological innovation. As the early man started making tools, executing daily tasks such as hunting and construction got easier. Simultaneously, he started crafting tools to suit farming needs. Farming provided a comparatively secure and stable source of food. This allowed early man to give up his nomadic life and settle down in one place. It can thus be rightly stated that the making of the earliest tools marked the beginning of the initial phase of human civilizations.
2. Development of the voice box: The development of the voice box in early humans around 200000 years ago helped man to start speaking or communicating. Gestures, as a mode of communication, were replaced by speech. Expression and communication of ideas and emotions became less cumbersome. The power to speak also helped the early man to conduct hunting and constructing shelters in the following manner:
The man could now inform his group about any sighting of an animal that could be hunted.
Planning and executing hunting strategies became easier.
Sharing of experiences led to easy diffusing of the tool-making technical know-how and successful hunting techniques. These shared stories of success, in turn, infused early men with the confidence to hunt more efficiently.
The use of language enabled early man to caution his associates of any approaching danger. Thus, they acted as support for each other in times of any exigency.
b) Constructing shelters:
- Besides facilitating hunting, the evolution of language also enabled the early man in constructing shelters. He could now discuss the choice of the site for building shelters along with his construction plans.
- Coordination in the process of construction of shelters was also possible by communication.