We’re told that different species of early humanoids didn’t get along very well, and for the most part that fact is true. However, a spot in South Africa, near the Dimolean Paleaocave System contains remains of multiple species that were all thought to exist at the same time. The first group, A. africanus, was nearing the end of its time as a species.
There was also Paranthropus robustus, a human species that wasn’t one of our ancestors. Finally, there was H. erectus, a group that was in existence for about two million years. There seems to be little sign of violence between the groups. It’s a little more of a mystery since the H. erectus skull is one of the oldest ever found, and nowhere near where the rest of them are.
Sewing up the Skin
Stitches aren’t the most complicated piece of medical technology that we have – a needle and a little bit of thread to help wounds close, but prehistoric humans didn’t have that sort of thing, right? Where did they get needles? For that matter, where would they have gotten thread before cultivation?
Well, they didn’t do it the exact same way we did, but they still did something to help wounds close faster. They used ants. Yes, as in the bug. In the Americas, these tiny insects would be held above the closed wound until the ant bit with its pincers, and then the head would be removed from the body of the ant to lock it in place as a stitch. It’s...not the best tactic anymore, but if you don’t have any options it can be used in a...pinch.
Lavawalk With Me
Here’s a handy piece of advice that we hope nobody really needs now: don’t walk on lava. It simply isn’t going to work out very well for you. It could work out quite poorly, in fact! Volcanoes cover mountains with flows of ash, debris, and incredible heat during and after eruptions, and they’re some of the deadliest things that you can find on the entire planet.
They’re so hot that nobody can even be near them, and they set stuff on fire just by flowing past it – stuff like plants, homes, or even PEOPLE. However, it turns out that some hominids managed to walk across a flow that was days or possibly even hours old. They walked at a relaxed pace, uncaring that the mountain was probably still grumbling.
A Varied Diet
One of the big reasons that humans were able to survive through so much, and reach how we are today, is probably through the varied kinds of foods that we can eat. Even compared to the Neanderthal, Homo Sapiens are able to chow down on a whole lot of stuff that provides nutrients and lets them develop powerful brains. We can eat nuts, seeds, fish, insects, and small animals – all stuff that provides lots of goodies to our brains to help us do things like make fire.
Because we can eat so much, we’re able to survive almost anywhere, whereas lots of other animals wouldn’t be able to find the food they need if they had to move to a new continent. Neanderthals ate mostly meat, so they were left with fewer food sources when things got scarce.
We Might Have Burnt Our Beds
It’s hard not to love our beds. They let us take naps and slip through the boring night hours, and we can make them oh-so comfortable any way we choose. However, it turns out that early humans didn’t have the same kind of affinity we have for our beds – because they would burn them. Border Cave in South Africa is believed to have been home to an early community that existed something like two hundred thousand years ago.
When explorers investigated the cave in 2020, they discovered the burnt remains of beds. It’s believed that this was an attempt to repel bugs from their bedding since they would burn beds and lay the ashen remains together with new beds, made of insect-repelling plants. Ash stops bugs from breathing, so bed bugs be gone.