Pre-Agricultural Human Environmental Impact Essay

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Pre-Agricultural Human Environmental Impact

In the two million years it is believed that humans have populated the Earth, they have displayed the remarkable ability to adapt to any environment. Archaeological evidence has proven that the earliest humans were able to occupy and control every terrestrial ecosystem on the planet. Human impact on the environment has increased progressively through time from the earliest hominid hunters to modern city-dwellers. A fundamental expression of early humanities ability to control the environment occurred during the birth of agriculture. While the ecological impact from this feat has allowed humanity increased control over its environment, the earliest hominids were able to survive nearly two
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They mainly "gathered nuts, seeds and plants, which they would have supplemented by scavenging dead animals killed by other predators and perhaps the hunting of a few small mammals."3 A wide variety of food was available and provided a sufficiently nutritional diet. This form of economy was often far from meager and likely represents the original affluent society since scientists speculate that a large amount of leisure time was available. Hunting and gathering provided a very stable and long lasting livelihood described as simple and communal.

An important trait to the development and spread of human societies as well as their ability to interact with their surroundings was "the adoption of technological means to overcome difficulties imposed by hostile environments."4 Stone tools, wooden spears, bolas stones, wood, skins, and fire allowed these groups to adopted a mobile existence and move into harsher ecosystems. Technology was particularly important in increasing humans' ability to hunt. Specifically, the bow and arrow along with snares, traps, and nets made hunting less time consuming and more effective. Inevitably, hunting and gathering "groups had, over hundreds of thousands of years, adapted to every possible environment in the world from the semi-tropical areas of Africa to ice-age Europe, from the Arctic to the deserts of south-west Africa."5

Throughout their travels, these groups continually effected the
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