WHAT IS HISTORY – THE SIGNIFICANCE OF RECENT ARCHAEOLOGICAL DISCOVERIES FOLLOWING THE FIRST DECADE OF THE 21ST CENTURY – AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINE AND THE AFRICAN SEDIBA FOSSIL DISCOVERY

In History and Life, T. Walter Wallbank, University of Southern California, Arnold Schrier, University of Cincinnati, Donna Maier, University ofNorthern Iowa, and Patricia Gutierrez-Smith, Roberto Clemente High School,Chicgo, Illiniois (4th edition, (Scott, Foresman and Company: Glenview, Illinois, Sunnyvale, California, Atlanta, Georgia, Glenview, Illinois, Oakland, New Jersey, Dallas, Texas), 1990, a few of the definitions included were:

“What Is History”:

“It (“history” ) is somewhat unfortunate that the word history should be used in several different senses.  In its origin (Greek word) it meant learning by inquiry.  The historian was a searcher after knowledge, an investigator.  But by a subtle transformation the term came to be applied to the record or narrative of what had been learned by investigation; and in this sense it passed over into the Latin “historia” and into modern speech.  … Meantime another ambiguity … caused confusion in thought.  The word history is used to denote not only the record of what has been learned by inquiry, but also the course of events themselves.”  —  Allen Johnson, The Historian and Historical Evidence, 1926

“The subject of history is the life of peoples and of humanity.”  —  Count Leo Tolstoy, War and Peace, 1865-1872

To enable (people) to understand the society of the past and to increase their mastery over the society of the present is the dual function of history.”  — Edward H. Carr, What Is History, 1962

To teach kings the history of their ancestors so that the lives of the ancients might serve them as an example, for the world is old, but the the future springs from the past.”  Djeli Mamoudou Konyate, an African griot (historian), 1950s

In Unit 1:  Civilization Begins” it was indicated:

“For the earliest people, life was difficult.  They had to learn how to find food and shelter, protect themselves, and develop rules and customs that would make group living possible.  The way in which various people have solved these basic problems is called their culture.  A great advance in human culture came when people began to farm, to establish governments and laws, to make metal tools, to build cities, and to write.  This kind of culture is called civilization.

In History and Life , Chapter 1:  “Early Humans” it was indicated:

“Physical anthropologists and archaeologists work with other specialists such as chemists, botanists, physicists, and geologists – to reconstruct the past.

“Most geologists now believe that the earth is approximately 4.5 to 5 billion years old.  According to most scientific theories, the planet began as a glowing cloud of gas and dust that slowly formed into a ball of molten rock.  Heavier materials such as iron sank to the center of the planet while lighter gases such as nitrogen and water vapor moved to the surface, forming the earth’s atmosphere and oceans.  After hundreds of millions of years had passed most of the planet was covered by deep oceans and shallow seas.  It was in these oceans and seas that living things first appeared:  and with them begins the story of life on earth.

“ …”Homo sapiens, that is, human beings, came into existence about 100,000 years ago.  Ancient skeletons suggest that other beings similar to humans lived nearly 4 million years before that time.  Both humans and these prehuman creatures are called hominids which means “two-legged primates.”  …[*** Until the first decade of the 21st century]  “The oldest known australopithecine skeleton, discovered in Afar, Ethiopi, is that of a female nicknamed Lucy She was probably 3.5 feet tall and may have lived about 4 million years ago.

[***September 14, 2011 – “Paleoanthropologist Now Rides High on a New Fossil Tide,” Science Magazine, A.A.A.S, September 9, 2011 – 2 million year old Malapa (pit), South African fossil, Australopithecus sediba,  a link to human genus Homo sapiens sapiens.  Dean Falk, Anthropologist of the School for the Advanced Research in Santa Fe:  “He (Lee Berger) … has not only changed the course of Berger’s career, it is going to have a major impact on the field.”

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6048/1373.full

“Ancient Footprints Tell Tales of Travel,” Science Magazine, A.A.A.S., April 29, 2011, 120,000 year old volcanic ash footprints of 30 individuals on the ancient shores of Lake Natron in Tanzania and reported at meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropology

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/332/6029/534.2.full

“Little Foot, Big Mystery,” journaq Science , A.A.A.S., September 9, 2011, virtually complete skeleton, 3.3 million – 2.2 million years old, discovered at Sterkfontein Caves, South Africa, and has similarities to 3.2 million years old Lucy from Ethiopia and and the southern African species Australopithecus africanus 3 million – 2 million years old and possibly an ancestor of Australopithecus sediba

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/early/2011/09/06/science.333.6048.1374.full.pdf

“The Endocast of MH1, Australopithecus sediba,” journal Science, A.A.A.S., September 9, 2011, dated to 1.997 million years ago and on the question of it being a species that may be ancestral to Homo erectus sensu lato, it was indicated that neural reorganization independent of overall brain size increase foreshadowing elements of the development of a human-like frontal lobe might be an explanation with regards to the transition from Australopithecus to Homo.

http://www.sciencemag.org/content/333/6048/1402.full  ]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amen http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Australian_Aborigines

 

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About Harold L Carter

Bachelor of Science, Columbia University Masters degree, Ohio State University Undergraduate National Officer, Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Eastern Asst Vice President, when a student at Columbia University Profile Photograph: Mom & Me, when I was a graduate student
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