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When did humans become modern - Essay Example

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Human beings have had a long and what can only be considered to be a prosperous history since the beginning of their modern era. While this has been the case, there has also developed plenty of speculation concerning when humans became modern, and the factors which influenced such a transformation…
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Download file to see previous pages Human beings have had a long and what can only be considered to be a prosperous history since the beginning of their modern era. While this has been the case, there has also developed plenty of speculation concerning when humans became modern, and the factors which influenced such a transformation. The fact that modern humans developed can be considered to be a great feat of resilience and adaptation on the part of human which has enabled the species to thrive and ensured that it has propagated itself all over the world. The ability of this species to adapt has also ensured that it has been able to settle even in the most inhospitable regions of the world, where its members have been able to develop the necessary physical characteristics that have promoted their survival (Bar Yosef, 2002). All of the modern human beings are considered to be members of the Homo sapiens species of humans which developed some two hundred thousand years ago with the development of those physical as well as physical characteristics that are also associated with the Neanderthal man. It has now been proven that the Neanderthal man was not a direct ancestor of modern man, and that in fact, they seem to have been contemporaries, each of them competing for the same resources. While this has been the case, most archaeologists now believe that these two species of humans may have been descended from a common ancestor known as Homo heidelbergensis. Despite their being contemporaries, when compared to other species of humans such as the Neanderthal man among others, the modern human seems to have developed a more delicate bone structure. The skull structure of the modern humans seem to have been more rounded than those of the other humanoid species that existed at the time, and this was also accompanied by high foreheads, and less pointed chins (Renfrew, 1996). The latter characteristics have come to be used as a means of identifying modern humans and it is these features which enable scientists to determine a homo sapiens. The first human fossils that were discovered in the modern age were known as the Cro-Magnon and these were found in modern France where they were considered to be very similar to modern Europeans in appearance (Bjelcevic, 2013). The skeletons of these people seemed to be less dense than those of the Neanderthals, and their brain capacities seemed to be large, larger even when compared to that of modern man. The data that has been collected over the past century and a half shows that the early modern humans developed from an archaic ancestor in the region of East Africa. The first skull that depicted the development of modern human beings was one believed to be some 195000 years old found in the Omo valley in Ethiopia. However, while it is the common assumption that modern humans developed in East Africa and latter dispersed to other parts of the world, there have developed new theories concerning the development of the modern humans and their settlement in the rest of the world (McBrearty & Brookes, 2000). As has been stated above, the common assumption is that modern humans developed in Africa and latter scattered to the rest of the world. This is known as the replacement model, and it states that modern humans developed in Africa and later migrated to the rest of the Old World where they gained dominance, eventually replacing the Neanderthals as well as other archaic species of humans. According to this model, modern humans developed between some 200000 and 150000 years ago and over time scattered to the rest of the Old World where they replaced other archaic humans between 60000 and 40000 years ago, as a result becoming the only surviving human species (Mithen, 1998). While this assumption is disputed in some quarters, it is possible that if it is correct, then it can be speculated that all the humans on the planet today may have a common African ancestry since all the other human species that were descended from the Homo erectus are considered to have become extinct (Blythe, 2002). While the African origins of ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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