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Forum LockedBig Chunk of Human History Missing - Why?

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    Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 06:36

This question has been plaguing me for a while now...

The Oldest Homo Sapien fossils (Omo I & Omo II) were dated to be as old as 195,000 years old (give or take 5,000 years).  The only recorded history we have goes back to about 50,000 years.  

What Happenned in the span of Homo Sapien history in those first 150,000 years?  Any clues in Africa?  Why do we know so little about the 1st 150,000 years of Homo Sapien history?
 
 

 

 



Edited by Afghanan - 18-Jan-2009 at 06:38
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adalwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 07:08
Because we were hunter gatherers, and left very little impact on the world.

Also, that time frame seems a bit too far back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 07:33

How can Human beings, if they were actually sentient, free-thinking human beings not be able to create any innovations in 150,000 years other than hunting and gathering? 

We as humans living off the collective knowledge of only a few thousand years seemed to be going leaps and bounds...what would cause early Homo Sapiens to not be able to innovate their lives or advance their technology?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 11:19
Human development has been asymmetrical throughout history. Look at it. It took just 66 years to go from powered flight to the moon. On the other hand it took 2000 plus years from understanding of steam power to the steam engine.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 16:41

That is very true.  It seems that in the past 35,000 years, mankind began to migrate from their homeland to every extreme in the world.  Everywhere they survived climactic changes, they began to flourish thereafter learning new trades and new ways to prosper.

I am curious to know what life could have been 150,000 years in the early development of Homo Sapiens.  If life rarely changed for them, does that mean they had ideal environmental factors and rarely had to adapt to a new environment and rarely had to move from one area?  If that area was near a forest, would that explain why its hard to find well preserved specimens?  Could many shared religious histories be from this period? (ie. Great flood).
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 17:12
Thats a lot of questions! The advances in human history have been assymetrical and often unexplainable. Why did civilisaton arise in Mesopotamia. Yes I know about rivers, but it remains a fact that the British Isles and Europe had far better farmland, thus could rather should have been the ideal location. Same question can be asked about the Industrial Revolution, it should have arisen in the Mid East or China, yet it was in Britain, a small reletivly backward area where it flourished. They are many reasons given, but it seems to me that human development is a process which occurs due to several fortunate things happening at the same time in one place. And they don't have to be the same.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Otto Von Bismarck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 17:39
Wait, what? How do the British Isles have better farmland than the Mesopotamian region? While Mesopotamia probably didn't receive much rainfall, it was smack dab in the middle of the Tigris AND the Euphrates! The British Isles get enough rainfall, but their soil is so rocky and infertile.

Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, I believe there is a section of human history that we know nothing about. I mean, just recently, we found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 18:11
Originally posted by Otto Von Bismarck Otto Von Bismarck wrote:



Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, I believe there is a section of human history that we know nothing about. I mean, just recently, we found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
 
That is where my interest lies also.  If Homo Sapiens have inhabited this Earth for approximately 195,000 years, that means they have survived 2 ice ages, and at least 1 mass extinction.
 
To me it seems they were more intelligent and adaptable than just a hunter/gatherer society.
 


Edited by Afghanan - 18-Jan-2009 at 18:13
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adalwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 18-Jan-2009 at 23:55
Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

How can Human beings, if they were actually sentient, free-thinking human beings not be able to create any innovations in 150,000 years other than hunting and gathering? 

We as humans living off the collective knowledge of only a few thousand years seemed to be going leaps and bounds...what would cause early Homo Sapiens to not be able to innovate their lives or advance their technology?


Because the brain and mind have also been evolving. I believe the last great change in the mind took place 50 thousand or so years ago. This last change accelerated the rate of 'progress' for mankind.

If you look back at the history of human and other hominid technological change you'll notice that things stay the same for a long time, and then all of the sudden a new way to flintknap, or make spears, etc comes along and replaces the older tradition of making items.


edit: 195,000 years still seems like too long of a time frame to me. I can't quite remember what number I was taught, but I'll try and dig up some of my notes and books in the next few days.




Edited by Adalwolf - 18-Jan-2009 at 23:57
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sparten Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 00:45
Originally posted by Otto Von Bismarck Otto Von Bismarck wrote:

Wait, what? How do the British Isles have better farmland than the Mesopotamian region? While Mesopotamia probably didn't receive much rainfall, it was smack dab in the middle of the Tigris AND the Euphrates! The British Isles get enough rainfall, but their soil is so rocky and infertile.

Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, I believe there is a section of human history that we know nothing about. I mean, just recently, we found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
Farmland in the British Isles is pretty much the best in the world. By far. The Tigris and the Euphrates are rivers which run through arid country.
The Germans also take vacations in Paris; especially during the periods they call "blitzkrieg".
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Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

Originally posted by Otto Von Bismarck Otto Von Bismarck wrote:



Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, I believe there is a section of human history that we know nothing about. I mean, just recently, we found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
 
That is where my interest lies also.  If Homo Sapiens have inhabited this Earth for approximately 195,000 years, that means they have survived 2 ice ages, and at least 1 mass extinction.
 
To me it seems they were more intelligent and adaptable than just a hunter/gatherer society.
 
Lots of species have done more than that. Why after about 100,000 years of hunter gather existance should agriculture than civilisation develop is a big question. Need someone smart to answer.
 
Wheres GLCE when you need him!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Otto Von Bismarck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 00:51
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Originally posted by Otto Von Bismarck Otto Von Bismarck wrote:

Wait, what? How do the British Isles have better farmland than the Mesopotamian region? While Mesopotamia probably didn't receive much rainfall, it was smack dab in the middle of the Tigris AND the Euphrates! The British Isles get enough rainfall, but their soil is so rocky and infertile.

Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, I believe there is a section of human history that we know nothing about. I mean, just recently, we found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
Farmland in the British Isles is pretty much the best in the world. By far. The Tigris and the Euphrates are rivers which run through arid country.


As for the rivers, I meant irrigation. But I guess it can't irrigate the whole area so it is rather restraining.

As for England; that surprises me. I always assumed that it had rocky, infertile soil that wasn't good for crops. Ugh, chock another one up for American ignoranceLOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bernard Woolley Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 03:04

Originally posted by Adalwolf Adalwolf wrote:

Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

How can Human beings, if they were actually sentient, free-thinking human beings not be able to create any innovations in 150,000 years other than hunting and gathering?

We as humans living off the collective knowledge of only a few thousand years seemed to be going leaps and bounds...what would cause early Homo Sapiens to not be able to innovate their lives or advance their technology?



Because the brain and mind have also been evolving. I believe the last great change in the mind took place 50 thousand or so years ago. This last change accelerated the rate of 'progress' for mankind.

If you look back at the history of human and other hominid technological change you'll notice that things stay the same for a long time, and then all of the sudden a new way to flintknap, or make spears, etc comes along and replaces the older tradition of making items.


edit: 195,000 years still seems like too long of a time frame to me. I can't quite remember what number I was taught, but I'll try and dig up some of my notes and books in the next few days.


All the information we have today suggests that the hunter-gatherers of 150,000+ years ago were every bit as innovative and adaptable as we are today. The difference, however, is that knowledge accrues exponentially. If you only have a small amount of information, it takes a long time to build on it. The more you have, though, the easier it is to gain more. So throughout history the pace of innovation has steadily increased.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Adalwolf Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 04:19
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

Originally posted by Otto Von Bismarck Otto Von Bismarck wrote:



Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, I believe there is a section of human history that we know nothing about. I mean, just recently, we found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
 
That is where my interest lies also.  If Homo Sapiens have inhabited this Earth for approximately 195,000 years, that means they have survived 2 ice ages, and at least 1 mass extinction.
 
To me it seems they were more intelligent and adaptable than just a hunter/gatherer society.
 
Lots of species have done more than that. Why after about 100,000 years of hunter gather existance should agriculture than civilisation develop is a big question. Need someone smart to answer.
 
Wheres GLCE when you need him!


The shift from hunting and gathering to farming is one of the greatest questions anthropologists ask, as hunting and gathering had many advantages over farming.

Some theories suggested are that people shifted to farming when population increased, or turned to it during a disaster. It may have also gradually be adopted from increasing levels of horticulture in some hunter-gatherer groups.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Sarmat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 05:35
Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

 The only recorded history we have goes back to about 50,000 years.  

 
It's actually just 5,000 years not 50,000
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Afghanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 06:04
Yes, you are right, that is a typo.
 
--
 
Bernard,
 
You mentioned that accrued knowledge rises exponentially.  Why do you think that in 150,000 years, knowledge did not get past hunting and gathering?  Favorable environmental (Eden-like)  factors? 


Edited by Afghanan - 19-Jan-2009 at 06:04
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Omar al Hashim Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 07:39
I agree. What happened in the first 195,000 years is just unknown. Anything more is speculation, even saying we were hunter gatherers is speculation.

(Besides, hunter-gatherers can still have some pretty interesting history and social developments)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote gcle2003 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 12:01
Originally posted by Sparten Sparten wrote:

Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

Originally posted by Otto Von Bismarck Otto Von Bismarck wrote:



Anyway, returning to the topic at hand, I believe there is a section of human history that we know nothing about. I mean, just recently, we found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
 
That is where my interest lies also.  If Homo Sapiens have inhabited this Earth for approximately 195,000 years, that means they have survived 2 ice ages, and at least 1 mass extinction.
 
To me it seems they were more intelligent and adaptable than just a hunter/gatherer society.
 
Lots of species have done more than that. Why after about 100,000 years of hunter gather existance should agriculture than civilisation develop is a big question. Need someone smart to answer.
 
Wheres GLCE when you need him!
 
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In terms of why history is missing, lack of writing is probably more important than farming vs. hunter/gathering, though agriculture may be a necessary prerequisite of literacy. Certainly writing allows knowledge to accumulate (and spread) drastically faster.
 
Even without written records, you need to leave some kind of durable  traces like, at a minimum, stone tools and ceramics.
 
If you imagine a group of hunter-gatherers dependent on organic materials (skins, wooden tools and weapons, they aren't going to leave many traces, and if they do invent anything there's no easy way of passing it on to following generations.
 
I thought the film Quest For Fire was pretty good in illustrating what things must have been like in those missing millenia.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Count Belisarius Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 17:35
Originally posted by Otto Von Bismarck Otto Von Bismarck wrote:


We found a 9500 year old submerged, big city in India. Who knows, humans might have a whole different history than we think of today.
 
 
Do you have the link?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote es_bih Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 19-Jan-2009 at 17:53
Originally posted by Sarmat Sarmat wrote:

Originally posted by Afghanan Afghanan wrote:

 The only recorded history we have goes back to about 50,000 years.  

 
It's actually just 5,000 years not 50,000


More than that if you take into account rock and cave paintings. A lot date up to 35, 000 years ago.


Edited by es_bih - 19-Jan-2009 at 17:55

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