Essay about Early Humans and the Environment

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Early Humans and the Environment

Early humans were quite different from modern humans. Modern humans have many technologies and advances that we take for granted. In my lifetime (1982 - present) I have seen the five and a half inch floppy yield to the dvd, cloning of sheep and other advances in the fields of math, science, and engineering. Humans and Pre-Humans have always been developing, either intentionally or unintentionally, technologies that were either necessary for the continuation of life, or for the improved quality of life, thus changing the environment.

Early humans lived by hunting and gathering, affecting their environment only minimally. There was a small human population that supported itself by hunting,
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Hunting and gathering changed the environment minimally according to Clive Ponting, and eventually humans had a more direct interaction with the environment due to the development of agriculture. In the case of Easter Island, human interaction with the environment actually lead to the demise of that civilization when that interaction became unsustainable and destructive. The early Easter Islanders understood that there were only a few resources on that tiny little island (Ponting 3). The only crop the land could support was the sweet potato, and since it wasn't a very demanding crop, the Easter Islanders were able to develop a culturally sophisticated civilization, complete with religious and ceremonial activity. Unfortunately, the religious/ceremonial activity involved the building and transportation of gigantic statues that required the use of mass quantities of timber, leading to the deforestation of the island. Between the fifth century and the sixteenth century, humans on Easter Island had taken an uninhabited island, developed a civilization, which collapsed when the natural resources were depleted. One can only imagine the number of plant and animal species lost.

Early humans mastered the use of fire, at a date that is