Resource 1: The ‘Out of Africa’ theory of human origins
Background information / subject knowledge for teacher / Teacher resource for planning or adapting to use with pupils
Most experts believe that the species to which we belong, Homo sapiens, evolved in Africa, sometime between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago. By 30,000 years ago, Homo sapiens had spread to all parts of the world apart from the Americas; by at least 11,000 years ago, every continent apart from Antarctica was populated.
Homo sapiens had more tools than their predecessors, including a wide variety of stone blades and tools made of bone, wood and ivory. They lived in larger settlements and there was more contact between villages and tribes. Communication through the spoken word and through art, engravings, sculpture and music became a vital part of human life. Later human developments – farming, civilisation, huge population growth, industry and control over nature – have occurred in the relatively short period of 10,000 years.
Adapted from:(Accessed 2008) and Dorling Kindersley Eyewitness, Early People