Early Humans And Their Environment Essay

926 words - 4 pages

The Controversial Relationship between Early Humans and their Environment

In the very beginning of human history, there was no clear separation between man and nature. Early humans’ way of living was in unison with their environment and it is likely that it was pleasurable as well. Humans supported themselves by hunting and gathering and due to their small population size and density; they were able to sustain themselves without too much effort. Thomas Hobbes claims that the life of early humans was “nasty, brutish and short”, but modern theories reject such viewpoint.
Unfortunately, there is little direct evidence that shows what daily human life was like hundreds of years ago. ...view middle of the document...

According to Ponting, one out of ten attempts to kill an animal was successful; therefore hunting was used solely to complement the fresh provisions. Since early humans were completely dependent on their environment for survival, they carefully used the available resources without overstressing them. They took from nature as much as they needed, not only to protect it, but also to save time. Bushmen value food and leisure time equally, that’s why it is fair to suppose that early humans harvested only as much as they could consume, so that they can enjoy the rest of their time.
Early humans did not lead a sedentary way of life judging from the fact “the Gidjingali Aborigenes of Northern Australia have a clear seasonal round of varying exploitation” (Ponting, p.22). They moved several times a year within short distance, adjusting to the location of the plants that were ripe or in season. Such a behavior suggests that early humans had a deep and detailed knowledge of their natural surroundings. It was through careful observation that they were able to adapt to the environment. Adjusting their needs to what is available helped them survive without too much effort or inconvenience. Ponting concludes that “these groups lived in close harmony with the environment and did minimal damage to natural ecosystems”.
Another theory about early humans, which contradicts the above statement by Ponting, is put forward by geologist Gilford Miller from the University of Colorado. He believes that the activities of early humans resulted in an irreversible climactic and ecological change in Australia. While studying 50,000 years old sediments in Wolf Creek Crater in Western Australia, Miller encountered fossils from extinct megafauna. His data shows that large marsupials and lizards...

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