As I wrote about the Acheulian Goddess being the Goddess of Beginnings for Homo erectus, I now present my ideas about our ancestors – Early Man. Who were they? What can they teach us?
The next Family to come after the earliest of humans, was the Homo family (of which H. sapiens (Modern Humans) is a later member), about 2.4 million years ago (mya). Meanwhile, the Families of the Earliest Humans – Australopithecus and Paranthropus lived near the Homo family. However, these earlier Families had little interaction with the Homo Family. About two mya, several distinctive members (who had larger brains than the previous Early Humans) of the Homo Family appeared – H. gautengensis, H. habilis, and H. rudolfensis. With his larger teeth, H. guatengensis specialized in eating plants. Slimmer H. habilis (“Handy Man”) could make simple stone tools, while stocker and heavier H. rudolfensis ate grass roots.
About 1.8 mya, H. ergaster and H. erectus of the Homo Family appeared. These Early Humans developed a complex tool making culture, such as using hammer stones to break open nuts. Furthermore because of the hot African climate, their bigger brains needed more cooling. Therefore these Humans possessed more sweat glands and was less hairy.
Then H. erectus did something remarkable: She migrated out of Africa to Eurasia, adapting to the new places with strange plants and animals. Since the seasons in Eurasia were more pronounced and cooler, H. erectus was forced to become more inventive: She discovered fire. From the evidence found in the campfires of Peking Man of Asia, H. erectus built and used fire about 1.8 mya. This gave Her a means to cook food and keep warm, which meant that She could master the environment.
The Early Homo Family urges us to leave the safety of our homes and venture out in the unknown. They will show us how to meet the challenges of new ways of living. With their help, we can discover our own inner fires, thereby changing our own lives.