Paper Example on Human Evolution in Relation to Economic Activities

Paper Type:  Literature review
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1768 Words
Date:  2022-09-12


From the historical perspectives, early humans were quite different from the current or modern humans. The continued process of evolution resulted in the formation of a complex modern man with advanced physical and mental capacity. The evolution of man from the primitive ages led to the existence of an early man who adopted simple social and economic life. Unlike the advanced system of the social system, early man exhibited primitive economic activities that only suited their survival at the time. The evolution of man involved various stages, at each stage, there was an economic activity based on the mental and physical ability (Kaas, 14). There is the Stone Age period that entails the earliest development of man and how they originated from various parts of the world. Consequently, there are also some scientists that do not go deep with their studies into the archeological times but based their discoveries of human development from the time of emergence of ancient cities and the formation of first governments. As time elapses, years and generations of people pass, therefore some people may find the archaeological discoveries as irrelevant. The 'first' of the later establishment of cities and the formation of governments is necessary for the archeological studies to facilitate the understanding of the origin of human and the modern development in various aspect of human activities.

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From the historical documents and other archaeological sites, there are different sources of information that highlights the economic activities of the early man. In addition to the economic activities, these articles elaborate on the general life of the early man and how they evolve from primitive ages to the more advanced forms as experienced today (Nettle, 23). Understanding the economic activities of the early man is an essential phenomenon especially in modern times as it enhances the increased understanding of human history and how the present status of a human came into existence. The periods proceeding the earliest archaeological times or the Stone Age periods can, therefore, be used to explain the cultural and political development of humans. The development of Mesopotamian cities and agriculture can be used to explain human development since the activities that originate from these time periods can be used to define the stages of economic development in modern times. For instances, the transition from the agrarian revolution to industrialization can be attributed to the agricultural activities in Mesopotamia. In modern times, there are cities that trace their origins from the ancient cities that existed before. These cities gave facilitated the development of the modern towns as they provided the foundation for various activities, both economic and social activities that define the modern development of social and cultural progress. Modern architectural borrows a lot of ideas from ancient cities like Tikal. The development of Egyptian cities can be attributed to the agricultural activities that took place in Mesopotamia in the agrarian periods.

Early human economic activities can be studied under different Stone Age periods. The forms of the tool applied to reflect the various stages of human economic development. These tools also define the type of economic activities carried out at the time (Henshilwood et al., 26). At first, the tools were mainly made of stones hence the term stone age. The above scenario indicates that some of the common activities included small scale farming, hunting, and gathering. The human economic practices have been categorized into three major Stone Age periods including the early Stone Age, the Middle Stone Age, and the Late Stone Age. The early Stone Age period dates back to 5.5 million years ago (Henshilwood et al., 26).

Early humans conducted hunting as one of the economic activities; the activity was facilitated by the development of suitable tools that could be used to trap and kill both the larger and smaller animals. The main purpose of hunting was mainly to obtain food. Even though some people were much concentrated in hunting, there are some early humans that had diversified to other forms of economic activities. Agriculture was another form of activity where early humans mainly involved in small scale farming. Cultivation was mainly done near water bodies and during rainy seasons (Henshilwood et al., 26). The process of farming was mainly facilitated by the development of farming tools in the form of stone. Due to the diversity in the economic activities, there was batter trade that involved the exchange of goods, although the trade was not fully advanced. Some of the tools that facilitated farming and hunting were made from animal's bones and shaped stones. Another economic activity that was related to hunting was fishing, an activity which was mainly carried out in lakes, rivers, and other water bodies. Similarly, the fishing activity was aided by the development of suitable tools mainly designed from the animal's bones and the sharpened stones. In the later part of the stone age period, early humans adopted.

The development of early humans was a gradual process in the development of limbs and the brain systems determined the forms of the preferred economic activities. The skull and the forms of body structure dictated the kinds of physical activities that could be exploited by the early man. For instance, due to simple limb structure, humans had difficulty in swimming and hence they could not fully utilize their environment, for instance, they could not advance fishing due to the inability to swim additionally, they could only practice small scale farming as a result of lack of fully developed limbs. With the advancement in the morphological structure through the advancement of various body parts, there was an exploration of various activities due to the development of tools and advanced weapons that could be used to enhance the processes of hunting and gathering. Muscle and limb development is attributed to the evolutionary mechanisms that naturally takes place. For many years, the human was able to pass the advanced characteristics to their offspring, a situation that continuously led to the complexity of morphology and the brain system, thus leading to the existence of modern humans who have advanced body structure and high mental capability. Some of the resources that discusses the economic activities of the earliest humans in relation to their economic activities include "An early bone tool industry from the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa: implications for the origins of modern human behavior, symbolism and language" by Henshilwood, C. S., D'errico, F., Marean, C. W., Milo, R. G., & Yates, R. The article was published in the year 2001. The above article consists of advanced information on human development and how their progressiveness in the body structure leads to the advancement in economic activities. There were many lessons and new information that I learned from the above article, first, from the article, I learned that the development of early man involved took place in different stages each associated with the economic activity and other social activities undertaken during the time. From the article, detailed analysis indicates that the use of tools is associated with limb development. Another lesson derived from the above article is that human development from the earliest evolutionary periods was accompanied by the inheritance and genetic transformation. In the above situation, there was a transfer of acquired genes from one generation to the other leading to the formation of advanced features. For instance, the development of the brain and the skull took millions of years to ensure that advancement that is currently experienced. With the development of thinking capacity due to the enlargement of the brain, humans began thinking about the diversity in economic activities. As a result, there was an advancement in batter trade.

Another primary research article considered in this work is "The evolution of personality variation in humans and other animals" by Nettle, D. published in the year 2006. The article entails different evolutionary frameworks. In the perspective of the author, I learned various comprehensive evolutionary frameworks when it comes to the understanding of the maintenance of heritable variation in behaviors in the human in relation to advancement in thinking. Additionally, from the article, I have learned that in evolution, some heritable variations may not be experienced in important, fitness-related characteristics as a result of the winnowing effect of natural selection. The advancement in the evolutionary mechanism often leads to an increase in physical fitness, social advancement and in the end there is always the development of a sense of social responsibility and economic advancement. From the above article, when it comes to the development of human or evolution, heritable variations is pervasive in different species, and there exist a number of frameworks when it comes to the understanding of its persistence. The big five dimensions of human personality are observable as a result of trade-offs that exists between different fitness benefits and costs, and there is lack of unconditionally optimal value of the above trade-offs, in most cases, it is expected that genetic diversity can be retained in a population.

Another great resource discussing the evolution of humanity in relation to economic activities is "The evolution of brains from early mammals to humans. Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science" by Kaas, J. H. published in the year 2013. From the research paper, I have learned the processes of brain development or evolution. The improvement in brain sizes and shapes is evidenced by the principles derived from the studies optimal design and scaling. The research paper also teaches that early mammals were smaller, with smaller brains with emphasis on olfaction. The brains had little neocortex which was transformed from the single layer of the output pyramidal neurons found in the dorsal cortex of the earlier ancestors. In the present humans, the neocortex is transformed into six layers. Finally, from the above article, I have learned that the medieval ages are some of the periods that define the origin of human activities in Western Europe. The discoveries made in this time period have been mostly used by the archaeologists to establish the origin of some modern cultures in the European nations. With the advancement in the social and cultural activities of man, little proofs can be obtained from these time periods, therefore they often become irrelevant in relation to the modern cultural and political state of different societies.

Works Cited

Henshilwood, Christopher S., et al. "An early bone tool industry from the Middle Stone Age at Blombos Cave, South Africa: implications for the origins of modern human behavior, symbolism, and language." Journal of human evolution 41.6 (2001): 631-678.

Kaas, Jon H. "The evolution of brains from early mammals to humans." Wiley Interdisciplinary Reviews: Cognitive Science4.1 (2013): 33-45.

Nettle, Daniel. "The evolution of personality variation in humans and other animals." American Psychologist 61.6 (2006): 622.

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