Human Evolution

Human Evolution:

The story of human evolution began in Africa around six million years ago and it explains the very long procedure that our ancestors went through to finally become modern humans. This procedure has been uncovered by understanding the underlying theory of evolution and studying fossils and while new fossils are uncovered every decade revealing new chapters, scientists agree regarding the basic story.

What Is Evolution?

Evolution refers to 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 & habitat. Evolutionary changes always occur on the genetic level. In other terms, evolution is a procedure that results in changes that are passed on or inherited from generation to generation.

While successful, these genetic changes or adaptations, which happen while genes mutate and/or combine in distinct ways throughout reproduction, reproduce, help organisms survive and raise offspring. Some of the individuals inherit characteristics which make them more successful at surviving and having babies. These beneficial characteristics tend to appear more frequently in the population (as those individuals with less beneficial characteristics are more likely to die without reproducing), and over time these modification become common throughout that population, finally leading to new species.

Human evolution is the lengthy procedure of change by which people originated from apelike ancestors. Scientific evidence illustrates that the physical & behavioral traits shared by all people originated through apelike ancestors and evolved over a period of around six million years.

One of the earliest describing human traits, bipedalism the capacity to walk on two legs  evolved over 4 million years ago. Other significant human characteristics such as a large and complicated brain, the capacity to make and use tools, and the ability for language developed more recently. Several advanced traits including complicated art, symbolic expression and elaborate cultural diversity emerged mostly during the past 100,000 years.

Humans are primates. Physical & genetic similarities illustrates that the modern human species, Homo sapiens, has an extremely close relationship to another group of primate species, the apes. Humans & the great apes (large apes) of Africa chimpanzees (by including bonobos, or so-called as “pygmy chimpanzees”) and gorillas share a common ancestor that lived among 8 and 6 million years ago. First humans evolved in Africa, and much of human evolution took place on that continent. The fossils of early humans who lived among 6 and 2 million years ago come wholly from Africa.

Most of the scientists currently recognize some 15 to 20 distinct species of early humans. However, Scientists do not all agree regarding how these species are associated or which ones simply died out. Several early human species certainly the majority of them left no living descendants. Scientists also debate over how to recognize and classify specific species of early humans, and about what factors influenced the extinction and evolution of each species.

First early humans migrated out of Africa into Asia probably among 2 million & 1.8 million years ago. They entered Europe somewhat later on, among 1.5 million and 1 million years. Species of modern humans populated several parts of the world much later. For example, people first came to Australia possibly in the past 60,000 years and to the Americas in the past 30,000 years or so. The starting of agriculture and the rise of the first civilizations occurred in the past 12,000 years.


It is the scientific study of human evolution. It is a subfield of anthropology, the study of human society, culture and biology. The field includes an understanding of the differences and similarities between humans and other species in their body form, genes, behavior, and physiology. Paleoanthropologists search for the roots of human physical traits & behavior. They seek out to discover how evolution has shaped the tendencies, potentials and limitations of all people. For several people, paleoanthropology is an exciting scientific field since it investigates the origin, over millions of years, of universal and describing traits of our species. Though, some of the people discover the concept of human evolution troubling since it can appear not to fit along with religious and other traditional beliefs regarding how people, other living things, and the world came to be. Nevertheless, various people have come to reconcile their beliefs along with the scientific evidence.

Early human fossils & archeological remains offer the most significant clues regarding this ancient past. These remains include tools, bones and any other evidence (such like footprints, evidence of hearths, or butchery marks on animal bones) left by earlier people. Usually, the remains were buried and naturally preserved. Then they are found either on the surface (exposed by rivers, rain and wind erosion) or through digging in the ground. Through studying fossilized bones, scientists learn regarding the physical appearance of earlier humans and how it modified. Bone shape, size and markings left by muscles tell us how those predecessors moved around, held tools, & how the size of their brains modified over a long time period. Archeological evidence refers to the things earlier people built and the places where scientists discover them. Through studying this type of evidence, archeologists may understand how early humans made and employed tools and lived in their environments.

The process of evolution:

This process involves a series of natural changes that cause species (populations of distinct organisms) to grow, adapt to the environment, and become extinct. All of the species or organisms have originated through the procedure of biological evolution. In animals that sexually reproduce, by including humans, the term species refers to a group whose adult members interbreed regularly, resulting in fertile offspring that is, offspring themselves able of reproducing. Scientists classify each of the species along with a unique, two-part scientific name. In this, modern humans are categorized as Homo sapiens.

Evolution take place while there is modification in the genetic material the chemical molecule, DNA  which is inherited through the parents, and especially in the proportions of distinct genes in a population. Genes shows the segments of DNA that provide the chemical code for producing proteins. Information contained in the DNA can modify by a procedure known as mutation. The way specific genes are expressed i.e., how they affected the body or behavior of an organism can also modify. Genes affect how the body & behavior of an organism develop throughout its life, and this is why genetically inherited characteristics can affect the likelihood of an organism’s survival & reproduction.

Evolution does not modify any single individual. Rather then, it changes the inherited means of raise and development which typify a population (a group of individuals of the similar species living in a specific habitat). Parents pass out adaptive genetic changes to their offspring, and finally these changes become common during a population. Consequently, the offspring inherit those genetic characteristics that increase their probability of survival and capacity to give birth, which may work well till the environment changes. Over time, genetic change can change a species' overall way of life, such as what it eats, how it raise, and where it can live. Human evolution occurred as new genetic variations in early ancestor population’s favored new ability to adapt to environmental modify and so altered the human way of life.

Principles of Archaeology:

Archaeology is the learning of past cultural behavior, from the straining of the human species to events that happened yesterday, through the material remains, or artefacts, that people leave behind. By applying scientific techniques carefully in excavation and study of their findings, archaeologists try to reconstruct past ways of life and understand why distinct customs developed and evolved. Archaeology is a part of anthropology, since it studies individuals and their distinct cultures, even if restricted to the past. It is the most interesting aspect of archaeology: it is a way to understand humanity and ourselves. Archaeology is also a part of history; however it is more reliable sometimes since while history uses essentially written documents, archaeology uses material evidence. An explanation of facts can be very precious, but if we have only one explanation, or descriptions from only one viewpoint, we cannot be sure to know a true part of the past.

Types of Archaeology:

Prehistoric archaeology targets on past cultures that did not have written language and thus relies primarily on data recovery or excavation to reveal cultural evidence. Historical archaeology is the learning of cultures that existed (and may still) throughout the period of recorded history several thousands of years in parts of the Old World, however only several hundred years in the Americas. In historical archaeology there are associated fields of study which includes classical archaeology, generally which focuses on ancient Greece and Rome and is frequently more closely associated to the field of art history than to anthropology, and biblical archaeology, which seeks explanation and evidence for events explained in the Bible and therefore is focused primarily on the Middle East. Underwater archaeology study physical remains of human activity which lies beneath the surface of oceans, rivers, lakes and wetlands. It involve maritime archaeology the study of shipwrecks to understand the operation and construction of watercraft along with cities and harbors that are now submerged, and agricultural, dwellings and industrial sites along rivers, bays and lakes. Some other specialties in archaeology include industrial archaeology, urban archaeology and bioarchaeology. Cultural Resource Management archaeology called as “CRM” refers to archaeology that is conducted to comply with federal and state laws that protect archaeological sites.

Principles of Archaeology:

These principles include the following:


Archaeological resources are finite & nonrenewable; issues associated to conservation, cultural resource management, information retrieval,  and vandalism will be discussed.

Diverse interests:

Diverse groups like descendant communities, local, state and federal agencies and others compete for and have vested interests in archaeological sites. Therefore, Archaeologists share their knowledge with several diverse audiences and engage these audiences in describing the meaning and direction of their projects.

Social Relevance:

Social Relevance use the past to help us think productively about the present and the future.
Professional Ethics and Values:

In Professional Ethics and Values how archeologists conduct themselves in relation to the resources, their colleagues, their data, and the public and why ethics and values are a critical part of the archaeological profession are included.


Communication cover prepares written reports, participate in class consideration, and use the computer for a variety of assignments and activities. An archaeologist has to be able to make a convincing and clear argument in public along with professional contexts depends on the analysis and interpretation of related information.

Basic Archaeological Skills:

Basic archaeological skills are such as interpretation of data, map making and reading, and classification of materials.

Real World Problem Solving:

By class activities and assignments and outside opportunities, archaeologist learns in classroom to the real world.

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