Who was the first man?

Still a lot of controversy raises the question about who made the earliest Oldowan tools found in East Africa. As the main “candidate” scientists call Homo habilis (Homo habilis). The first remains, which were later attributed to Homo habilis, found by L. Leakey in Olduvai gorge. These were the bones of young creatures: deformed lower jaw, a relatively large fragment of the upper part of the skull, bones of hands, feet and fragments of bones of extremities. Homo habilis is considered by anthropologists as a transitional link between the Australopithecines and complete human being. 10 years after the opening of Leakey, his son Richard made a sensational find in Koobi handicap. They discovered the skull had distinct human features. Measurements showed that the volume of the brain the owner of this skull could achieve 800 cubic cm — this figure is found among modern humans. Internal prints on the skull also testified in favor of the fact that he belonged to a man. Initially, P Leakey dated his discovery of 2.8 million years, but after additional tests, which gave differing from the other results, it was decided to choose the date to 1.9 million years. In 1987, Johansen has published data on the skeleton, which on the basis of the structure of the mandible was classified as Homo habilis. However, getlineincrement long bones of this creature showed that it is very close to an APE. Anthropologists note the great diversity observed in morphology of skeletal remains, commonly referred to as “Homo habilis”. This is most likely a result of normal mixing in one heap of bones belonging to the man and to the monkey. So who was Homo habilis, who created the first gun?

Among all the finds, Dating from the lower Palaeolithic, there are bone remains, whose humanity no doubt. This is the so-called Homo erectus (Homo erectus). The story of its discovery begins in the XIX century and is also linked to the search for “transitional point”. However, the desire to get him was so high that led researchers to put it mildly, an uncritical assessment of the results of their work. In 1890-1892, on the coast of the island of Java Dutch physician E. Dubois has assembled a collection of bones, from which he selected thigh, clearly belonged to a man, and a skull cap, according to him combining human and monkey signs. These bones lay in a half dozen meters from each other, so it is not clear why they had to belong to one creature. Besides these were found and other skulls and bones. Published the remains of Dubois declared to belong to the Pithecanthropus is the APE-man. However, this conclusion met with strong opposition from the most eminent anatomist of the time of Rudolf Virchow, who concluded that the skull found belongs to a giant Gibbon, and thigh — really human. Other findings of the physician only became known in 1920 and before his death Dubois acknowledged the correctness of Virchow. Now, after more than 100 years, you can see that in this dispute were partially wrong on both sides. Modern researches confirmed the nationality of Javanese Pithecanthropus skulls of ancient people, but the name “APE” can no longer be used for their names. Currently, most scientists prefer to attribute these remains to the species Homo erectus.

In 1907, in Germany near the city of Heidelberg was discovered the lower jaw of a very archaic type, which however is human. Originally based on this discovery was created by the appearance of our APE-like ancestor, but now scientists also believe Heidelberg man Homo erectus representative.

In 1929, in a cave in Zhoukoudian, near Beijing, with the participation of Teilhard de Chardin began excavations that led to the discovery of skulls of archaic creatures, called “Sinanthropus” (“Chinese person”). All the skulls had characteristic lesions in the area of the foramen Magnum, which showed that they extracted the marrow for food. The damage was done by other people. Synanthropes now also belong to the Homo erectus.

Remains of Homo erectus found in East and North Africa. In East Africa discovered almost unbroken Homo erectus skeleton, which is fully human. Recently, bone remains of Homo erectus have been found along with the guns of Olduvai culture in the Parking lot near Dmanisi in the Georgian capital Tbilisi. Two skulls and one lower jaw from Dmanisi lies directly over volcanic lava, whose age is estimated at 1, 8 million years. This is the oldest human bones known in territory of modern Europe.

The face of Homo erectus differed from modern humans. He had big eyebrows, big jaw with a beveled chin and big teeth. These features are often cited as the origin of man from an APE-like ancestor. But there is another point of view, which was expressed by the anthropologist John Achterom. However, the scientist was talking about the Neanderthals, but his idea can apply to Homo erectus. Wachter believes that APE-like facial features of the Neanderthals are associated with feeding roughage to the diet and have no relation to the evolutionary process.

Disputes about the ancestors of man, the time and place of its occurrence, the criteria of distinction of man from beast continued unabated for many decades and with each new discovery inflame with new force. Perhaps the most surprising discovery for archaeologists was the discovery of some Acheulean sites of the traces of ochre and other natural dyes. They are recorded in Africa, (Parking twin rivers), Asia (Park in Hongsi) and Europe (Parking Ambron and bečov). In the Parking lot of Changsi pieces of hematite were found among the ruins of the complex edifice of granite blocks, brought from places located at a distance of 25 km. These discoveries suggest that Homo erectus worthy of the name “sapiens” (sapiens) to a greater extent than one might think. Unfortunately, no known visual art works and paintings of the era. But what scientists know, lets talk about ancient history as the history of mankind, not as the history of the transformation of the monkey into man.

The most unexpected archaeological finds of the season
On the eve of the day of archaeologist, celebrated on 15 August, the head of the Department of archaeology of the Moscow Russia of the Institute of archaeology Russian Academy…

Continue reading →

The opening of the Museum of archaeology of Moscow on Manezh square
Sergei Sobyanin has offered to replay the action "night at the Museum" and "parks Day" next weekend, 23 and 24 may. He said this during the opening ceremony after capital…

Continue reading →