During the millions of years in which the Prehistoric Era took place, humans developed from ape to man. During these years man developed tools. They would use their tools to gain their number-one necessity: food.
It was extremely important to find food for the development of mankind. As a result, they ate anything they could find, from a grub to a leopard to a mammoth. Although it mainly depended on where you lived, food was generally similar. For example the Wooly Mammoth was hunted in every part of the world except for Australia, Japan, Eastern Canada, Madagascar, parts of the Middle East, and a circle in North West Africa.
In the earliest ''hunts'', which took place around 30 million years ago, a man would only catch small prey such as lizards, porcupines, tortoises, ground squirrels, moles, plump insects (still eaten in some cultures), and grubs.
Over the next 3 million years, humans learned methods of killing prey that facilitated their hunting to a great degree. Hunters would kill larger prey by throwing rocks at it. Eventually, weapons and machines, like spears and arrows were developed , which were able to defeat even bigger prey. Even when weapons were developed (and afterwards), hunters nevertheless needed to be highly skillful. Hand-eye coordination was especially important for the prehistoric hunters.
Not only did hunters need to know how to slay the animals, they needed to know which animals to kill. A good hunter would always recognize which animal in a herd was unaware. He would do this because it was much easier to kill and safer for the hunter.
When a larger animal was killed, such as the mammoth, two problems arose for the humans that needed it. How would they carry the meat back? How would they prevent decay? Well, prehistoric hunters carried back what they could. However, the ''decay'' problem caused the prehistoric peoples a lot more trouble. The Prehistoric humans did not develop the refrigerator, nor did they learn that salt could preserve foods. Therefore, food rotted often. Thus it was extremely important to live where they could hunt, collect and eat food.
The coasts, streams, and lakes were another food source. On the coast, fishermen would grab shellfish of all kinds. Inland, in the streams, small migratory fish would swim near the humans' settlements. Hunters would make dams to trap these smaller fish. Bigger fish would be clubbed or speared directly in the river. Again, the problem of rotting presented itself - imagine the smell. Fish might only last a day before rotting.
For many years, meat that was hunted was eaten raw, for the obvious reason that they had no fire. Around 500,000 BC, Neanderthals developed the "tame" flame, and thus cooking was developed. Cooking meats may have expanded the life span of prehistoric man incredibly, since they were not exposed to the diseases in raw meat.
Roasting was probably the first method to be used to cook meats. Experts think that this method was developed as an accident. A man probably dropped some meat in the flame, was unable to get the meat out until the flames died, and later ate the roasted meat.
While men were the principal hunters, women were the most important gatherers. Over the millions of years during the prehistoric era, women discovered what was edible and what was not. Women looked primarily for edible roots, green plants, nuts, berries, and small animals they encountered.
Men, women, and even the elderly were always an important help to the community. The elderly were mostly useful around the caveman's home. They made tools (weapons), brewed medicines, and taught the young children their future tasks. Boys learned how to hunt, and girls became skilled at gathering.
At that time, domesticated animals became part of the family. They were used to make hunting easier. The first bonding between people and animals was a human-reindeer relationship. The reindeer drank the human urine as a salt source. The human liked the reindeer's meat for eating and bones for tools. However, the first real domestication involved an animal called the Asiatic wolf. This animal would be later called the dog. The Asiatic wolf helped hunt for food. These animals were now helping hunters provide food instead of being food.
The development of agriculture was probably started by accident. Gatherers coming home in the spring realized that the seeds they had dropped now became plants, providing much more food. This rise in agriculture, known as the Neolithic Revolution began somewhere in the Middle East. This spread like wild fire, eventually even to the Americas.
The Neolithic Revolution changed humanity forever. Hunters didn't need to go hunt for food as often; they had grains to live on. The Neolithic Revolution led to the construction of permanent cities, because agricultural fields could not be moved, and hunters did not need to follow around a herd of animals for food. Cities were settled, causing Civilization to develop. The reason for this was that not as many hunters or food gatherers were needed so people occupied themselves as artists, potters, and carpenters. Domestication was also born, since hunters did not want to leave the protection of the city to hunt animals. This agricultural invention ended the prehistoric era and started history: the recording of civilization. It started ancient society.
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