Human Evolution: Homo Habilis

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The Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania is a remarkable archaeological site that offers valuable insights into our human past. One of the significant findings at this site is the traces of the first identified building made by our ancestors.

The Olduvai Gorge provides evidence of an early human species known as Homo habilis. These individuals lived around two million years ago and were skilled in tool-making. Excavations at the site have revealed remnants of a structure made from stones, representing the earliest known example of a human-made shelter.

This finding is of great significance for our understanding of human history. It suggests that because our ancestors had lost the ability to easily carry their offspring on long journeys, they developed the ability to construct shelters for protection and comfort, thereby creating the first ‘home base’ as Roberts and Westad (authors of ‘History of the World’) would put it. The existence of this primitive building indicates an advancement in our ancestors’ cognitive and social abilities and also provides insight into the beginnings of sexual differentiation in economic roles, as women would stay behind to take care of their young while men ventured outwards to bring home food. In other words, This division of labor, influenced by the constraints of child-carrying, laid the foundation for the emergence of different roles and responsibilities between men and women in early human societies.

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