<< Chapter < Page
  History grade 7   Page 1 / 1
Chapter >> Page >

Social sciences: history

Grade 7

The first people

Module 14

The development of the first people

Early people developed through different stages. We'll be studying four such stages.

Source 1

Different stages of early man.

Source 3

Each of the above stages is explained below.

a) Australopithecus

The oldest bones that have been discovered are those of Australopithecus . They belong to beings that lived between three and two million years ago and their bones have only been found in South and East Africa. The implements that these early people used probably were stones that they simply picked up. They walked erect and therefore had their hands free. They also used implements made of sticks, leaves and bark. They probably ate mainly vegetable foods.

b) Homo Habilis

Homo ”Habilis” had a brain that was 50% larger than that of Australopithecus – which is why “homo” (man) is added to the name.

The name Homo Habilis implies that they were handy people, because they were the makers of the first stone implements. They mainly lived in the eastern parts of Central Africa, from 2 million years ago to 1,7 million years ago. They produced various stone tools and probably also built stone walls. They also ate much meat. They probably followed a semi-nomadic way of life, living in an area for a while and then moving away to another in search of food.

The world was a dangerous place for them: they were smaller and weaker than the bloodthirsty animals in their surroundings; they did not have claws or fangs; and they could not run as well as the animals. They mostly had to run to the nearest tree to escape danger.

Homo Habilis gradually disappeared from the face of the earth with the passing of time.

c) Homo Erectus

Homo Habilis was succeeded by Homo Erectus , whose bone structure was approximately 25% bigger than that of Homo Habilis . Homo Erectus lived in Southern Africa between 1,7 million and 500 000 years ago. Archaeologists believe that they were able to communicate. They also made stone implements for cutting meat and plant foods and for making sharp tools. They were able to work with wood and discovered how to make fires. They probably used fire to corner animals to kill them for food. They also lived in cave shelters.

Homo Erectus had large teeth, a powerful jaw and a small brain cavity. Their general height was in the region of 1,5 m. As they lived in caves and could use fire, their lives were probably more secure than the lives of their predecessors. With their improved weapons they could even hunt much larger animals like rhinoceroses.

Australopethicus , Homo Habilis and Homo Erectus , of course, are not found any more.

d) Homo Sapiens

Homo Sapiens (which means “wise man”) lived in Africa from 400 000 years ago. These people were just like the modern people that occur all over the world. They had smaller teeth, a narrower jawbone and a better-defined chin. They generally did not follow a nomadic lifestyle.

All the earliest people made use of stones!

Animal skins were sewn together with the use of needles made of bone.

The skins of wild animals were stripped off the animal carcasses, scraped clean and treated to be used as clothing and as coverings for shelters, and as bags for storage.

Activity 1:

To analyse different periods with the help of a variety of sources

[lo 2.3]

  • Work in pairs and design and produce a folded booklet for an exhibition to be put up in the class.
  • Compare early people according to different criteria, e.g. with reference to the period in which they were living, the objects they used, implements manufactured by them, their lifestyle, etc.


Assessment standards(ASe)
LEARNING OUTCOME 1: HISTORICAL ENQUIRY- The learner will be able to use enquiry skills to investigate the past and present
1.1 Access the sources
1.2 Use the sources
1.3 Communicate information from sources (reporting))
LEARNING OUTCOME 2: HISTORICAL KNOWLEDGE AND UNDERSTANDING – The learner will be able to demonstrate historical knowledge and understanding
2.1 Understand chronology and time
2.2 Supply reasons why an historical event took place (causes, effects)
2.3 Differentiate between different periods (similarities, differences)
LEARNING OUTCOME 3: INTERPRETING HISTORY – The learner will be able to interpret aspects of history
3.1 Be aware of more than one view of the past
3.2 Distinguish between fact and opinion
3.3 Reconstruct the past


Criteria Australopithecus Homo Habilis Homo Erectus Homo Sapiens
Period Lived 3 – 2 million years ago Lived 2 – 1,17 years ago Lived 1,7 – 500 000 years ago Lived 400 000 years ago
Origin South and East Africa East and Central Africa Southern Africa Different places in Southern Africa
Appearance Walked upright 50% larger brain than its predecessor, small, no claws or fangs 25% larger brain than its predecessor, strong jaw, small head Predecessor of modern man. Small teeth, weak jaw, prominent head
Lifestyle Tools: Sticks, bark Food : Plants Dwellings: Nomadic Tools: Stone Food: Meat Dwellings: Semi-nomadic Tools: Stone, wood Food: Meat, plants Dwellings: Caves, make fire Tools: Stone, rock, bone, animal hides Food: Refined food Dwellings : Not nomadic

Questions & Answers

how do you translate this in Algebraic Expressions
linda Reply
why surface tension is zero at critical temperature
Need to simplify the expresin. 3/7 (x+y)-1/7 (x-1)=
Crystal Reply
. After 3 months on a diet, Lisa had lost 12% of her original weight. She lost 21 pounds. What was Lisa's original weight?
Chris Reply
what is biological synthesis of nanoparticles
Sanket Reply
what's the easiest and fastest way to the synthesize AgNP?
Damian Reply
types of nano material
abeetha Reply
I start with an easy one. carbon nanotubes woven into a long filament like a string
many many of nanotubes
what is the k.e before it land
what is the function of carbon nanotubes?
I'm interested in nanotube
what is nanomaterials​ and their applications of sensors.
Ramkumar Reply
what is nano technology
Sravani Reply
what is system testing?
preparation of nanomaterial
Victor Reply
Yes, Nanotechnology has a very fast field of applications and their is always something new to do with it...
Himanshu Reply
good afternoon madam
what is system testing
what is the application of nanotechnology?
In this morden time nanotechnology used in many field . 1-Electronics-manufacturad IC ,RAM,MRAM,solar panel etc 2-Helth and Medical-Nanomedicine,Drug Dilivery for cancer treatment etc 3- Atomobile -MEMS, Coating on car etc. and may other field for details you can check at Google
anybody can imagine what will be happen after 100 years from now in nano tech world
after 100 year this will be not nanotechnology maybe this technology name will be change . maybe aftet 100 year . we work on electron lable practically about its properties and behaviour by the different instruments
name doesn't matter , whatever it will be change... I'm taking about effect on circumstances of the microscopic world
how hard could it be to apply nanotechnology against viral infections such HIV or Ebola?
silver nanoparticles could handle the job?
not now but maybe in future only AgNP maybe any other nanomaterials
I'm interested in Nanotube
this technology will not going on for the long time , so I'm thinking about femtotechnology 10^-15
can nanotechnology change the direction of the face of the world
Prasenjit Reply
At high concentrations (>0.01 M), the relation between absorptivity coefficient and absorbance is no longer linear. This is due to the electrostatic interactions between the quantum dots in close proximity. If the concentration of the solution is high, another effect that is seen is the scattering of light from the large number of quantum dots. This assumption only works at low concentrations of the analyte. Presence of stray light.
Ali Reply
the Beer law works very well for dilute solutions but fails for very high concentrations. why?
bamidele Reply
how did you get the value of 2000N.What calculations are needed to arrive at it
Smarajit Reply
Privacy Information Security Software Version 1.1a
Got questions? Join the online conversation and get instant answers!
QuizOver.com Reply

Get the best Algebra and trigonometry course in your pocket!

Source:  OpenStax, History grade 7. OpenStax CNX. Sep 09, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11023/1.1
Google Play and the Google Play logo are trademarks of Google Inc.

Notification Switch

Would you like to follow the 'History grade 7' conversation and receive update notifications?