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The Houmuwu ding

The Houmuwu ding is a ritual bronze vessel from the Shang Dynasty. The four-legged rectangular cauldron (ding) on four hollow legs weighing 1,929 lbs is the largest ancient bronze vessel found anywhere in the world. It is estimated that about 150 people were needed to cast this vessel. Most likely, the lady Jing, wife of King Wu Ding, was buried in it. 1)


The word mammoth comes from the mythology of the Siberian people, who believed that mammoths live underground and die when accidentally brought to the surface. This was thought to explain the carcasses found in the thawing permafrost. The Chinese bought mammoth blows from traders, and the belief seeped into their language: yǐn shǔ 隐鼠 means “hidden rodent.” 2)

Britain becomes an island

About 14,000 years ago Britain was attached to Ireland, and 8,000 years ago it was attached to the continent by a strip of low wetlands leading to present-day Denmark and the Netherlands. Britain became an island at the end of the last glacial era when sea levels rose due to the melting of glaciers and the subsequent isostatic rebound of the Earth's crust in northern Europe. 3)


The largest prehistoric flying reptile was called Quetzalcoatlus. The wingspan of this pterosaur was 36 to 39 feet. The name comes from Quetzalcoatl, one of the most important gods of the Mesoamerican tribes, meaning “feathered serpent”. 4)

Tomb of Eve

The 393 feet Tomb of Eve is located in a cemetery in the old city district of Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. It is considered by many Muslims to be the burial place of the biblical Eve. In 1975, Wahhabi officials concreted over the entrance to the tomb to prevent pilgrimages to it. The site is inaccessible to tourists. 5)

Origins of man

The origins of man are dated to about 2.5 million years ago. That's when the first representative of Homo appeared, which was the ancestor of modern man. He appeared on the territory of Africa. 6)


Hominids, which appeared about 7 million years ago, are considered to be the oldest human beings that separated from apes over time. 7)


The Sahelanthrope is now considered the first hominid species. It is believed that they already moved on two legs. 8)


For a long time, Australopithecus (translated literally: as a southern monkey) was considered the oldest hominid species. They were the first hominids to begin making tools. 9)

Homo habilis

The ancestor of modern humans is considered to be the species Homo habilis, which existed about 2.5- 1.5 million years ago. They were slightly more evolutionarily advanced and used tools. 10)

Homo erectus

The first hominids to leave Africa and move to Europe, among other places, are the Homo erectus species. Their brain boxes were already much larger, and their body proportions resembled those typical of modern humans. 11)


Neanderthals inhabited Asia and Europe. They lived under conditions of glaciation. Their characteristics include burying the dead, starting fires, or hunting large animals, as well as the ability to articulate speech. 12)

Homo sapiens

Homo sapiens are the direct ancestors of modern humans. They appeared about 200,000 years ago. They had large, developed brains, made complex tools, had their rituals, etc. 13)

Homo floresiensis

Homo floresiensis (Flores man, “hobbit”) was discovered in 2003. Remains were discovered exclusively on the Indonesian island of Flores - the oldest dating back almost 100,000 years, and the most recent 18,000 years. Thus, Flores man lived “recently” simultaneously with Homo sapiens as a second human species. On the island as late as the 19th century, legends were reportedly told about Ebu Gogo, a small hairy man. 14)

Homo Naledi

Homo Naledi was discovered in 2013. It was found in southern Africa, without exact dating - probably between 300 and 200 years ago, but some studies even move it to a time around a million years ago. Homo Naledi is a great mystery to scientists. The remains of this species were discovered in the Rising Star cave in South Africa. A big surprise for the scientific world was the finding that members of this species probably performed ritual burials, which is only typical of modern humans. It is very unusual - it combines the anatomical features of modern humans with great apes. His brain was not much larger than that of a chimpanzee, yet he was able to use quite complex tools. 15)

Neolithic trepanation in a cow 5,000 years ago

In the late 1970s/early 1980s on the west coast of France, a cow skull from about 5,000 years ago was found. It was recently examined again. It turns out that it bears traces of a trepanation procedure performed in the Neolithic. It is probably the oldest known veterinary surgery in history. According to the researchers, the procedure may also have been a trial before trepanation was performed on humans. 16)

prehistory.txt · Last modified: 2022/11/04 04:28 by aga