Evolution Of Man, Technology and Environment

Mtu kakaa katika daraja akitazama maji na milima.
Evolution means the changes that occur in a population over time. In this definition, a “population” means a group of the same species that share a specific location and habitat. Evolutionary changes always occur on the genetic level. In other words, evolution is a process that results in changes that are passed on or inherited from generation to generation. It does not, for example, describe how people can change their muscle mass by lifting weights.
Two theory explain about the origin of man. The first is the theory of evolution of man and the theory of creation of man.

Theory of evolution of man

By using fossils, archaeologists agree that man originated from a family of primates like monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas.
Man passed through four stages of evolution:
1. Primates
- They began more than 30 millions years ago.
- Their first group was called dryopithecus or proconsul which became an ancestor of the apes like monkeys, chimpanzees and gorillas.
- The second group was ramapithecus which became hominid which led to the emergence of man.
- They walked on two limbs.
- They had hairy body.
- They used the forelimb to catch insects, fungi and branches of trees in the forests.
2. Australopithecus family (Australopithecus Africanus)
- This was the second stage of evolution of man.
- The fossils of this family were discovered at Olduvai Gorge in Arusha.
- They lived in the early Stone Age.
Members of Australopithecus family are:
I. Zinjathropus
- Zinjathropus is an example among the member of this family.
- Zinjathropus lived during the early stone age between 1,750,000 and 1,500,000 years ago BC.
- Zinjathropus could not make tools.
- Zinjathropus had heavy lower jaw, he used the molars to crush and grind its food.
- The large molars made archaeologist to nickname it as the nutcracker man.
- Zinjathropus had thick skull bones
- Zinjathropus had a small brain around (450-550cc).
- Zinjathropus had no forehead.
- Zinjathropus had a hairy body.
II. Homo habilis
- This creature lived between 1,500,000 and 750,000 during the period of middle stone age.
- It was called a ‘skillful man’ because it was a systematic tool maker.
- Homo habilis had skills, hands and feet walking upright.
- It used tools such as chopping tools.
- The fossils of this creature were discovered in Olduvai gorge in Tanzania and Omo in East Rudolf of Kenya.
- Homo habilis had bigger brain of 700 cc.
- Had hairy body but not as much as that of Zinjathropus.
III. Homo erectus
- This creature emerged around 500,000 BC.
- Its fossils were found in Nsongezi, Uganda, Olorgesailie in Kenya, Isimila and Olduvai in Tanzania.
- The spread of man into Europe and Asia too was done by Homo erectus.
- Fire was discovered by Homo erectus during the middle stone age.
- Homo erectus had less hairy body than Homo habilis.
- They walked upright by using legs.
IV. Homo sapiens
- Came into being from 50,000 years BC to 1,500 BC.
- It is believed to be the ancestor of modern man.
Characteristics of Homo sapiens
- had ability to walk, stand and run on two legs.
- bigger brain than the Homo erectus.
- Taller than that of Homo erectus.
- The jaw and size of teeth became small.
- Man made speech which led to the beginning of language.

Theory of creation of man

This theory explains that man was created by God. Man remained the same since creation. So this theory opposes the fossil evidence which showed changes in man’s evolution.

Early stone age (old stone age)

Early stone age begun about 1,500,000 to 750,000 B.C in Africa.

The Types of Tools Used during the Old Stone Age

The tools made at this time involved chopping tools, pebbles, and hand axes.
The tools made were not very sharp but important for defending themselves against wild animals and digging up plant roots.
Some remains of these tools were found in East Africa in Olduvai Gorge, Tanzania, Ologa and Nsongezi Rock shelter in Uganda.

The Physical Changes of Man during the Old Stone Age

- Man had the ability to walk with two limbs though he could not stand upright.
- He also had a hairy body.
- He had brain capacity of 650-775 cc and a skull similar to that of the modern man but much larger.
- Man was practical and skillful.

How Man Obtained Food during the Old Stone Age

At this time man was involved in hunting and gathering that is their livelihood depended on collection of fruits, roots, vegetables and meat

Middle stone age

This is recorded from around 750,000 years to 50,000 years ago. During that time tools made were sharper compared to the Early or Old Stone Age.

The Types of Tools used during the Middle Stone Age and their Functions

During the middle stone age, man used smaller and sharper tools than those used during the Old Stone Age.
Such tools included spears and knives used for different activities like defense and security as well as in food preparation. During this age, fire was discovered and as a result man started to eat roasted food.

The Physical Changes of Man during the Middle Stone Age

- Development of well rounded forehead.
- Man walked upright using two limbs.
- Man used hand to perform different activities.
- His body began to be less hairy.

How Man Obtained Food during the Middle Stone Age

- Hunting edible animals.
- Gathering fruits, roots and eggs from the forest.
- Dug up roots for food.
- Man roasted and cooked food after the discovery of fire.

The Advantages of the Invention and Uses of Fire

- Fire was used to roast and cook food.
- Fire was used to Clear vegetation.
- Fire Keep man warm during cold seasons.
- Fire was used by man to Chase wild animals (to defend himself).
- Fire was used for hunting animal.
- Fire was used for felling big trees for firewood.

New Stone Age (late stone age)

It started from around 50,000 BC up to the first Millennium, while at this stage man used much sharper tools than in Early or Middle Stone Ages.
At this time man started farming and animal keeping. Due to that it was the time when man started to have settlements.
Another development at this time was painting and drawings for example in Caves, evidence of this can be seen in Amboni caves (Tanga), Kondoa (Dodoma) and Irangi (Singida).

Types of tools used during the late stone age

Man made better and smaller stone tools such as arrows, spears, scrappers and pebbles.
Man used those tools for: hunting, gathering and agriculture.

The Physical Changes of Man during the Late Stone Age

During the late Stone Age, human beings were a direct ancestor of modern man. They had the ability to think as their brain capacity ranged between 1300 cc and 1500 cc. Also, they had an ability to make and use more advanced tools compared to those made and used by their ancestors. It was in this era that man was more intelligent than their ancestors had slightly thick jaws.

Major Changes in Man's Way of Life during the Late Stone Age

- Man settled permanently in one place.
- Man engaged in agriculture.
- Man started keeping animal for production and meat.
- Man used caves as his shelter. Rock paintings in Kondoa Irangi and in many other historical sites around the world are evidence that man settled in caves.
- Number of people increased because of availability of food.
- Man could walk upright and had less hairy body.
- Man of this period was Homo sapiens.

Iron age

This was the time when man started to make and use iron tools. Iron age in Africa started more on the first millennium in a few societies e.g. in East Africa, while other societies like western Sudan States (Ghana, Mali, Soghai), Axum, Egypt, Nubi, and Meroe for North Africa.

How Iron was Discovered

Iron was discovered through particular stones which become hot and cool and finally change to a hard matter known as iron. In East Africa, the iron age is believed to have begun around 1000AD. Famous early iron sites were discovered in Engaruka within the rift valley in Northern Tanzania. Other sites include Uvinza, Karagwe, Ugweno, Iteso and western shores of lake Victoria.

The Advantages of using Iron Tools

1. It created the division of labor in African societies 
For example, some started working in local industries. Others became traders and crop producers.
2. It also increased the production of food crops in Africa
 This was due to the making of more useful farm equipment's.
3. Formation of permanent settlements to those societies that adopted iron technology
Communities that adopted iron technology began to live in permanent settlement because of agriculture. they could not move from one area to another but stayed in one place to wait for their products. also, the community that made steel equipment like the Fipa of Sumbawanga stayed at a permanent area.
4. Africa started to develop Economically 
This was through activities such as industry, agriculture, mining and trading.
5. It also led to the expansion of states in Africa
Stronger societies started to conquer other states for example, the Buganda and Ghana.
6. Defense against enemies were strengthened
Because there were now stronger weapons such as spears and arrows. They could now easily kill dangerous animals.

Revision Exercise 

James, S. (2018). African History Up to the 19th Century. Dar es Salaam: Africa Proper Education Network.
1. Choose the most correct answer
I. Parts of the world which were shown by archaeologists as areas of greater steps in human evolution include:
A. Northern Africa societies B. West and Central Africa C. South and East Africa D. North Africa
II. Homo habilis was:
A. A tri-pedal human creature B. A hominid which fed on frogs C. A skillful man making tools D. A proconsul in the evolution of man
III. Homo sapiens just lived in one of the following periods:
A. Iron age B. Early stone age C. Middle stone age D. Late stone age
IV. Early iron age centers in Africa were:
A. Karagwe, Shinyanga, and Nsongezi B. Meroe, Nok culture and Kapwirimbwe C. Kilwa, Bagamoyo and Lagos D. Dar es Salaam, Kampala and Nairobi
2. Match the item in column A with the corresponding items in column B.
Column A
Column B
I. Bipedalism
A. Rock painting
II. Zinjathropus
B. Stone tools
III. Kondoa district
C. Iron age
IV. Kenyapithecus
D. Hominid leading to emergence of man
V. Expansion of agriculture
E. District in Northern Kenya
VI. Charles Darwin
F. Australopithecine
VII. Neolithic age
G. District in Western Ghana
VIII. Development of social and political organizations
H. Ancestor of apes
IX. Hunting and gathering
I. Walking on two feets
X. Homo-sapiens
J. Walking on four limbs
XI. Introduction of iron technology in Western Tanganyika
K. Ancestor of modern man
XII. dryopithecus
L. Bantu from Congo

M. Iron age

N. Homo-habilis

O. Homo erectus

P. Evolution theorist

Q. Creationist

R. Modern man

S. Late stone age

T. Farmer

3. 
List down three differences between stone age and iron age people
4. In which stone age did the early man start keeping animals?
5. Define the term ‘evolution of man’.
6. Briefly explain characteristics of Zinjathropus
7. List five uses of stone tools during the early stone age
8. In which stone age was fire discovered?
9. Briefly explain how fire helped man to overcome challenges he faced during the Stone Age.
10. What do you understand by neolithic age?
11. Mention four mans achievement during the late stone age.
12. Mention five advantage of using iron tools.
Share: