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Homo erectus

Homo erectus

The ‘upright man’ used tools and could set fire.

History

Keywords

Homo erectus, upright man, upright posture, Homo sapiens, prehistoric man, chipped stone tool, prehistory, lifestyle, gathering, skull, brain, toolmaking, hand ax, brain volume, development, fire, tool use, control of fire, history, species, origin

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Scenes

Hand ax

  • Hand ax - The teardrop-shaped tool was made by chipping off parts of a large flint pebble. This paleolithic stone tool was used for many purposes, it is the longest-used tool of human history.

Narration

Homo erectus is an extinct species of primitive man. The Latin word ‘homo’ means human, while ‘erectus’, meaning upright, describes the posture.

The ‘upright man’ is believed to have appeared on Earth about 1.5 million years ago and to have disappeared about 200 thousand years ago. The exact time of its appearance, its origin and its classification have been and continue to be a subject of controversy. What is certain is that Homo erectus originated in Africa and then migrated to Europe and Asia.

Homo erectus walked upright, its body was more athletic and muscular than that of modern man, featuring longer legs and shorter arms.

The ‘upright man’ also had distinctive cranial features. These include a long and low neurocranium, a sloping forehead, strong and protruding brow ridges and a wide mandible.

Homo erectus was partly nomadic, partly sedentary; presumably, it lived on hunting and gathering. They made their own simple tools; their stone tools were shaped by chipping.

Their typical implement was the teardrop-shaped hand ax, which was used for many purposes. They probably also used tools made from bone and wood, but this has not yet been proven by archeological finds.

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