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Stone Age to Iron Age
Homo sapiens means “wise man”. They were so called because they, or should we say we, have larger brains than earlier species.
There is still much debate over whether Neanderthals were the earliest Homo sapiens (Homo sapiens neanderthalensis) or a distinctly separate species (Homo neanderthalensis) but we can be fairly sure that by about one hundred thousand years ago there were Homo sapiens in Africa. They then spread across the globe over the course of the next ninety thousand years, first into Europe and Asia and then to the Americas and Australia. By about eleven thousand years ago Homo sapiens covered the Earth!
They were hunters who worked in groups to kill large animals such as mammoths and they were able to use pretty much all of the animals that they killed, either for food, clothing or tools.
These advances were what kept Homo sapiens alive during the last Ice Age which lasted about twenty thousand years! Fewer food plants grew during the Ice Age so they had to find new things to eat and this led to fishing for food.
There were also far fewer trees so new building and tool-making materials had to be found – these were often animal bones and stone.
By now Homo sapiens were building their own shelters from animal skins and tree branches and their clothing was becoming more sophisticated.
The spread of Homo sapiens over 90,000 years!