Custom «Relationship between Environmental and early Human Migration» Essay Paper Sample
There is no historical proof that shows the migration of early humans. Nevertheless, archaeologists are able to join together pieces containing accounts of early human migration from Africa by considering a number of factors related to the patterns of their movement. This is done by analysing the DNA composition which is passed from a mother to their children without being mixed with that of the father. When two people who lived thousands of years apart display similar genetics codes in their DNA, then they must be sharing some maternal lineage, one being an ancestor and the other the descendant. Man is believed to have originated from Africa, thousands of years ago and then moved to other parts of the world. This is according to archaeological evidence on fossils. Researchers have hailed the role played by climate and environmental changes in influencing migration of early humans from Africa. This article focuses on the relationship that exists between the environment and early human migration from Africa to other parts of the world.
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Early humans are believed to have followed the coastline when migrating to Asia and Australia, owing to the abundance of resources along these areas. There was plenty of vegetation which provided food for them. Movements to Europe and especially extreme north were restricted by ice sheet that dominated most parts of the region. However, the icy conditions also helped to enlarge their territory. These people were able to cross from one land mass to another owing to the immense ice sheets and the low sea levels in the region (Gugliotta, 2008, para. 4). After their successive journeys to Asia, Australia and Europe, they made their way into North and South America. Most of these migrations were done by following the coastline although in some rare cases, they crossed large water bodies using primitive boats and canoes.
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These migrations were majorly triggered by climatic conditions and the urge to search for food. Harsh climatic conditions could make them to move for long distances in search of food and water. For instance, nomadic people are believed to have migrated as they pursued the animals that they hunted (Walr, Prins and Haviland). Therefore change in climate helped to create new areas for hunting that were inaccessible and not yet discovered before the change occurred.
Periods between two or more glaciations varied for thousands of years, which were accompanied by interchanging warm and cold periods. Glaciations had more effect on the land masses in the northern hemisphere than in the southern parts of the globe which were mostly humid and warm during these cold periods. Also, the sea levels were relatively lower than they are presently during the cold times owing to the huge amount of water that was locked in the ice sheets on the continents (Rose and Petraglia). Consequently, Siberia was linked to Alaska by a very wide corridor during these glacial periods. This necessitated migration of early humans into North America.
Nevertheless, changes in environmental and climatic conditions are believed to have its negative effects on human evolution. This is clearly elaborated in the Toba catastrophic theory. It is believed that a there was a very massive eruption that occurred at lake Toba in Indonesia, nearly seventy thousand years ago. This theory holds that the eruption caused a volcanic winter that lasted for almost ten years and thereafter there was some extra one thousand years of cooling (O'Neil). Variations in temperature ended up claiming so many people’s lives, thereby generating a blockage in human evolution process. The intensity of the eruption caused thick layers of volcanic ash and debris to be deposited in most parts of Southern Asia.
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Also, climatic change caused ice sheets to retreat, and the sea level to rise. This caused extinction of a lot of animals. However, humans managed to survive from extinction due to their adaptable nature. They were able to develop innovative ways for dealing with cold temperatures as well as changing his food to accommodate a wider variety of sources. Furthermore, after sea levels rose, it became hard for archaeologists to collect crucial information regarding fossils that were in regions that were earlier on not covered with water. In the cold areas, there were a few plants to provide food for humans during the cold periods. Consequently, humans became skilful in hunting animals to substitute for the scarce plant food and thus, he survived against extinction. this discovery went along with invention of more advanced tools for hunting animals. The observed changes were very significant for human survival. It is worth mentioning that during the glacial periods, humans developed massive bodies as an adaptive characteristic to retain more heat.
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The great migration of early humans enabled them to prevail against forces of extinction and position modern species to dominance of the world. Homo sapiens was in a better position after the migration as he prevailed against his competitors such as the Homo Erectus and the Neanderthals in Europe. Changes in climatic conditions from one region to another and from time to time, made early humans to change in order to adapt to their environments. This is evidently seen in the types of tools made by early humans who settled in different areas of the world. In conclusion, it can be said that, although people have diverse cultures, they are just the same as they share some genetic similarity.