If something makes our species the god of the earth, it is not just a hand with fingers facing each other, or the courage to walk upright. 1.7 million years ago, the human brain began its path to success.
(Photo: An image of one of the skulls studied by Demanisi, Georgia.)
The birth of the modern human brain is related to the emergence of language and the emergence of language rara comment This is a symbolic thought that can hide the gods, do accounts or write This Divine Comedy. At some point the brain Homo sapiens Experienced the evolutionary leap of the circus.
“Before 1.7 million years ago, the brains of’human’ were similar to the brains of South Australian apes and anthropomorphic monkeys. The lead author of a novel, paleoanthropologist Marica Ponce de León, explained Said that in 1.5 million years, it is similar to ours, similar to “Homo sapiens” and “Neanderthals.” Research published in “Science” magazine In the form of primitive human brains.
In his hands, there are 39 skulls of skulls that lived between 70,000 and 2 million years ago. Some of them were in Africa and some were in Dmanisi, Georgia. One of them, a very special skull.
Dmanisi’s skull 4 corresponds to “an old man without teeth. 1.8 million years ago, the winter in Georgia was harsh. A lonely, toothless old man would never be spared. However, even though he did it, he was spared.”
“This Ponce de León explained that the old man from Dmanisi is one of the earliest signs of social cooperation in our history. If the group does not take care of him, then Dmanisi’s elders will not survive.Nevertheless, the human brain H. Heidelberg By Atapuerca Eating each other, still ancient, similar to Australopithecus.
However, about a million years later, the situation has changed forever. Ponce de León’s team determined the origin of the modern human brain between 1.7 and 1.5 million years ago.
The first “human beings” originated from primitive species in Africa, and their origins can be traced back 7 million years ago. That was the time of the fossil Toumaï found in Chad. About four million years later, we are approaching Lucy’s time, “Homo sapiens” walking upright and making tools, even though their brains are half smaller than ours.
Studies have shown that Lucy’s brain structure is similar to other orangutans (such as chimpanzees), but her brain takes longer to reach adult size. In other words, it takes longer for their babies to become independent and longer to protect their mothers. Modern people take responsibility for this. So far, our species has the longest juvenile period. In other words, in the time of Lucy, something happened in the human mind.
A million years later, Homo sapiens They left Africa and conquered the world, but their brains were still primitive. We must not forget that at that time they had already walked upright and started using the first tool.
Investigation of 70 skulls
There are no brain fossils of our ancestors. The structure of the brain can only be inferred from the impression left by the folds and grooves of the brain on the inner surface of the fossilized stone bone.
Because these impressions vary greatly from one person to another, until now, we have not been able to determine whether the brains of “human” fossils look more like the brains of non-human primates (such as chimpanzees). .
Scientists from the University of Zurich achieved this goal for the first time with computer tomography technology, and successfully proved that since the emergence of “Homo sapiens”, his brain has undergone a structural adjustment in the frontal lobe for a long time. The brain is different. ancestor.
The beginning of better tools and languages
The researchers compared the folds and dents in the fossilized bones with those of modern apes and humans.
On this basis, they found that the brain experienced a particularly important frontal lobe remodeling, which made them think about the origin of human thought from 1.5 to 1.7 million years ago, and that this thought occurred in the African population.
The study’s co-author Zolicover said: “During this time, the variety of tools in Africa has increased.” With the emergence of primitive stone instruments, the main hand axis has also appeared. Researchers suspect that at this time the first type of human language has already developed.
The reorganization of the frontal lobe coincides with the development of technology, which coincides with the technological leap from Olduvayense (named one of the earliest prehistoric humans in Africa) to Acheulean (a more complex stone tool industry). “Therefore, many archaeologists Ponce de León (Ponce de León) said that they believed that the human brain had to undergo certain changes at that time. Now that we have proved this, he thinks it is likely that the first appeared at that time. A language.