Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Ancient People In Forests and Jungles

While some of the dates are doubtful or probably represent archaic hominins, rather than modern humans, there is no doubt that people have lined in forests and jungles for a very long time.
In the last ten years, the archaeologically-acknowledged start date of human inhabitation of tropical forests has quadrupled in age. There is now clear evidence for the use of tropical forests by our species in Borneo and Melanesia by c. 45 ka; in South Asia by c. 36 ka; and in South America by c. 13 ka. There are suggestions of earlier rainforest occupation c. 125 ka in Java, c. 60 ka in the Philippines, c. 100 ka in China, and in Africa perhaps from the first appearance of Homo sapiens c. 200 ka, though further research is required to verify these cases.

Early modern humans adapted to diverse tropical forest formations, ranging from the sub-zero temperatures of montane forests to dense, humid, evergreen rainforests, undertaking sophisticated forest mammal hunting and plant processing. Moreover, people did not just adapt passively to these environments, but from the onset modified them in fundamental ways, with outcomes that have affected the natural histories of these forests to the present day.

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