Class 11 History Notes Chapter 1 From the Beginning of Time

  • The origin of human beings can be divided into many stages.
  • Subgroup of a larger group of mammals is known as Primates.
  • About 36-24 mya, Primates existed in Asia and Africa.
  • The existence of Hominoids can be traced by about 24 mya.
  • Apes came under Hominoids and had comparatively smaller brain.
  • Hominoids had four legs. Although they moved on their four paws but were unable to walk erect. Hominids which
  • evolved from Hominoids originated in Africa in 5.6 mya.
  • The Hominids belonged to Hominidae family.
  • Hominids are further subdivided into branches known as genus.
  • Homo is originally a Latin word which means ‘man’. Homo came into existence approximately in 2.5 mya. Their fossils
  • date back to 2.2 mya to 1.8 mya.
  • Homo habilis were more intelligent in comparison to Australopithecus.
  • Homo erectus were familiar with the art of walking.
  • In many parts of Asia and Africa, fossils of Homo erectus have been found.
  • Homo sapiens were the modern men. They were intelligent and wise.
  • Homo sapiens came into existence between 0.19 to 0.16 mya.
  • Fossils of Homo habilis have been found at Omo in Ethiopia and at Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. The fossils of Homo
  • erectus have been found in Africa and Asia.
  • Homo sapiens were quite intelligent. They used sophisticated tools and languages.
  • Homo neanderthalensis were also called Neanderthal men. Because their fossils have been found in Neander valley in Germany.
  • Terra Amata in Southern France gives the most important evidence. The hut was made of thatch.
  • The life of early men underwent a sea change due to the discovery of fire.
  • Chesowanja in Kenya and Swartkrans in South Africa are the places where the traces of the use of fire have been found.
  • The tools of early men were made of stones. The tools constituted hand axes, choppers and flake tools.
  • The earliest evidence of stone tools were found in Ethiopia and Kenya.
  • About 21,000 years ago, sewing needle was invented.
  • The art of speech helped the man to develop culturally.
  • The early human beings painted the pictures of flora and fauna, sun, moon, rivers and their daily activities.
  • Paintings were done on the walls and roofs of the caves. Altamira, Lascaux and Chauvet are considered to be the earliest famous cave paintings.
  • The early humans also made small sized sculptures.
  • The Hadza were also fond of hunting and lived around the salty lake, Lake Eyasi.
  • Altamira is a cave site in Spain.
  • Marcelino Sanz deSautula and his daughter Maria brought into notice the cave paintings.
  • Mary and Louis Leakey identified Otduvai.
  • Some historians think that ethnographic data cannot be used without understanding of the past society.
  • Ethnography stands for the analytical study of contemporary ethnic society.
  • The early humans were completely dependent on nature.
  • They gathered food by fishing and hunting.
  • Hooks and harpoons were used to gather small and large fishes.
  • Early men lived on trees, in caves and later on in huts.
  • Early men began to live in caves around 400,000 years ago.
  • Cave Lazaret is the earliest example of cave dwelling. It is in Southern France.

Important terms:

  • Fossils: The remains of ancient plants, animals and humans which have become hard and turned into rock.
  • Species: A group of organisms that can be bred to produce healthy and fertile offspring which are divided smaller than Genus.
  • Primates: They are subgroup of a larger group of mammals, and have a long gestation period followed by birth, mammary glands, different types of teeth, and ability to maintain a constant body temperature.
  • Artefacts: Objects made by human beings such as tools, painting, sculpture, engravings, etc.
  • Anthropology: A branch of science which deals with human culture and evolutionary aspects of human biology.
  • Ethnography: The study of contemporary ethnic group. It studies the modes of livelihood, gender, political institutions, social customs, etc.
  • Australopithecus: Southern apes.
  • Homo: A Latin word which means man.
  • Homo erectus: Human who could walk erect on their legs.
  • Homo sapiens: Wiseman, also known as modern humans.
Timeline 1 (mya)
36-24 mya Primates; Monkeys in Asia and Africa
24 mya (Superfamily) Hominoids; Gibbons, Asian orang-utan and African apes (gorilla, chimpanzee and bonobo or ‘pygmy’ chimpanzee)
6.4 mya Branching out of hominoids and hominids
5.6 mya Australopithecus
2.6-2.5 Earliest stone tools
2.5-2.0 Cooling and drying of Africa, resulting in decrease in woodlands and increase in grasslands
2.5-2.0 mya Homo
2.2 mya Homo habilis
1.8 mya Homo erectus
1.3 mya Extinction of Australopithecus
0.8 mya ‘Archaic’ sapiens, Homo heidelbergensis
0.19-0.16 mya Homo sapiens (modern humans)

 

Timeline 2 (years ago)
Earliest evidence of burials 300,000
Extinction of Homo erectus 200,000
Development of voice box 200,000
Archaic Homo sapiens skull in the Narmada valley, India 200,000-130,000
Emergence of modern humans 195,000-160,000
Emergence of Neanderthals 130,000
Earliest evidence of hearths 125,000
Extinction of Neanderthals 35,000
Earliest evidence of figurines made of fired clay 27,000
Invention of sewing needles 21,000

Flow-Learning:

Class 11 History Notes Chapter 1 From the Beginning of Time 1

Class 11 History Notes Chapter 1 From the Beginning of Time 2

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