Discuss the technological developments of evolution


Discuss the technological developments of evolution.


The Stone Age
This was the period in human history when man used stone as raw material to make his tools and create industries. Humanity during its existence has passed through several drastic and fundamental revolutions of economy and lifestyle through Stone Age, Bronze Age and Iron Age up to the nuclear age. However the methods which gave human societies their particular advantages were largely dependent on the use of material implements (tools) for catching, collecting, transporting and preparing food, and also on a rapid means of communication to ensure co-operation in these tasks to language. The use of implements enable man to achieve a far greater and more generalized control over his environment than the animals endowed with teeth or horns. Language, by gesture and voice, in addition to indicating the most effective use of implements ensures both the coherence of society and the handling on of its accumulated culture to later or subsequent generations (J.D. Bernal, 1954:39). By time implement were being made, the social control already necessary for the selection and use of the same because even more when such implements fashioned for particular purpose.
Although there was uniformity in the making of these tools, there were also inevitable changes; improvement, borrowings and combinations which have led through a stage-by-stage evolution, to our present state of techniques.
There was also the development of clothing. At first only food and implements were the concern of man. But the came the custom of attaching objects more or less permanently to the body, in the hair, round the neck, waist, in the hair, round the neck, waist, wrists and ankles. These attachments tended to become distinctive, and ornamental and later, feathers, bones and skins were added. Then it was discovered that skins helped to keep people warm in cold nights and in winter, from which came clothes.
The Stone Age in Kenya can be divided into three periods
An early period Antiquity up to 50,000 BC when the Stone Age societies were characterised by hand-axes industries and the evidence for this is in Rift Valley areas of Kenya, Tanzania and Kagera river in Uganda.
A middle period, from 50,000 BC to 10,000 BC when man became more adaptable and more widely distributed because of his mastery of fire and new tool making techniques.
Late Stone Age, a period dealing with men similar to the present day races of Africa up to 1500 AD. (Merrick Posnansky, 1968, Zamani).
The Earlier Stone Age
The pace of change was slow. The first tools from Olduvai Gorge are the oldest Stone Age industry in Africa and have been named Olduwan. These tools were simple and were made for the job in hand such as chopping open bones and cutting branches off trees for spears. The waste flakes struck off from the stone pebbles or splinter of a stone giving a sharp edge, which was used for skinning animals, cutting different ligaments between bones, scrapping skills and sharpening sticks.
A million years ago later, man discovered that tools with a sharp edge all round, and with a point formed by the convergence of two sharp edges, provided a practical all purpose tool that archaeologists call hand axe. It took another half million years before these hand axes became fully refined. All these industries were named Acheulean, after a place in France where identical hand axes were first found over a hundred years ago.
By the end of the earlier Stone Age another tool, besides hand axes many other tools were made e.g. cleavers, which had a straight cutting edge like a present-day axe. Other tools included scrappers and throwing stones, which turned into a throwing stones, which were turned into a throwing weapon called the bolus, and then knives.
Man was a parasite during this period of living by hunting and food gathering the developed progressively as a hunter, living on trapped animals and scavenging on large animals, which had died natural deaths, later on he could using weapons.
His social groups were smaller groups of people who constantly changed camps, living by the lakes or rivers where animals came to drink. A great part of his food supply came from collecting activities, digging up roots, eating berries and nuts, insects and various green vegetables/leaves.
Africa was the most populous continent with a probable population of 100,000 around half a million years ago. The remains of the early Stone Age are so abundant in East Africa e.g. Olorgesaille site in Kenya and Olduvai Gorge in Tanzania. Stone tools are heavy, easily lose their edges and must have been used on the spot for butchering animals rather than being carried around.
The evidence from Lake Baringo area indicate that by around 750,000 BC man who existed was Homo erectus. Man was spreading from Africa into Asia and Europe.
The Middle stone age (50,000 BC)
The most important discovery during this period was fire discovered 50,000 BC with its use, man could drive out predators from rock shelters, keep himself warm in high altitudes, helped him in hunting, cooked poisonous roots to make them edible.
Fire was use for scaring away animals from thickets.
The tools were now, thinner and smaller with distinct uses showing that man had mastered their use. Tools became specialised e.g. tools for working wood, pounding roots and working bone. Due to the discovery of fire and technological advances, man now lived on more vegetated areas especially in western Uganda.
The tools and cultures that existed have been named Sangoan and Lupemban industries. These tools were specialized for wood, working and digging up roots e.g. chisels. Another set of tools known as stillbay industries have been discovered in the open savanna of the Rift Valley tools which are left-like and pointed and the sharp ends.
The Later Stone Age (10,000 BC)
By 10,000 BC, a new people who were Caucasoid (Mzungu-like) entered East Africa. They were similar to the peoples of south-west Asia and North Africa. They brought new technological advances in stone tool making. They made different types of tools. More efficient tools. More efficient could be made by using smaller sized points or cutting components.
There was the invention of composite tools. Instead of a large number of specialized stone tools of assorted type, the new tools consisted of variously shaped small sharp blades with handles.
There was the use of tiny blades or microliths that allowed man to exploit materials. There was the use of barbed materials e.g. barbed arrows and spears. Barbs allowed the animals to die slowly especially if they were poisoned ones. There was the use of bows and arrows.
In several caves in Kenya, burial sites have been found e.g. at Gambles cave near Elementaita several skeletons have been found. In East Africa all these new tools and microliths industries have been named Wilton industries.
Fishing was an important economic activities together with hunting. Evidence from Lake Turkana shows that fishermen used barbed bone points as fish spears and harpoons for catching fish. Late Stone Age peoples lived around Lake Victoria. In the Rift Valley area of Kenya between Nairobi and Eldoret, late Stone Age industries are characterized by the presence of long knives extracted from the volcanic soils. The pop that lived in this time were Bushmen similar to Bushmen hunters of South Africa.
The Legacy of Stone Age period
The period gave agricultural and pastoralism knowledge in East Africa. Many of the stone industries associated with the first food producing pastoral societies are similar to Stone Age industries.
In East Africa, the knowledge of pottery preceded the knowledge of food production yet in many rock-shelters late Stone Age industries are associated with pottery.
Stone Age period lifestyles evolved into iron age period e.g. many stone age hunters acquired the use of metal for their arrows and many of these hunters were absorbed by them Bantu-speaking neighbours. The tradition of many Kenyan societies recognize small hunting people whom they interact with.
In Kenya the Dorobo were still common in the late 19th C as hunters and gatherers. Many of the present day populations in Kenya retain an element of the original populations.
From the middle of the second millennium BC the existing civilizations in Egypt and Babylon along the river basins experienced Iron Age. It was first witnessed in the cultivatable areas of Asia, northern Africa and Europe.
Iron tools and the skills of making them became known in East Africa 2000 years ago. In the western region of Kenya especially around L. Victoria the first iron-using and iron working is believed to have been introduced by early Bantu speaking people who were expanding rapidly and opening up for agriculture, vast areas in East Africa, the Congo basin and southern Africa. The evidence for this expansion is based on linguistic evidence and the discovery of Iron Age sites where distinctive types of pottery known as dimple-pots have been found.
But in northern part of Kenya iron technology was introduced by Nilotes especially the Highland Nilotes who were pressing into Kenya from the north-west in the first millennium AD (1000). It is also possible that the southern Cushites in Kenya had independently acquired iron before the arrival of the Nilotes. By 1000 AD therefore all East Africans had passed from the stone age to the iron age.
Impact of iron technology
Led to food production technology being adopted in Kenya rather than dependable on nature of food.
Man took control of nature leading to population increase and human domination of the landscape.
Led to the domestication of grain crops and animals.
More virgin land and thickly vegetated lands for increased intensive agriculture.
In sum, iron technology created agricultural expansion and diversification as well as more pastoral specialisation.
Origins and developments of food production
It is the type of tools available that determine the range of crops grown and the efficiency of tools. Therefore, metal tools such as iron are more efficient than stone and wood tools. Iron was useful for cutting bush or forests, for sowing, planting and cultivation of food.
Food production in many parts of the world including Kenya began in the late Stone Age especially the Neolithic period. Ideally food production began with the arrival of iron-working. With iron working, man became settled and acquired food production skills.
Iron smelting from rocks was secretive venture practised by a few families and clans as a highly specialized craft. The iron-smith was respected person. He had a high social rank and had political power.
Iron led to an increase in population and migration of people the more areas for settlement in Kenya. The Bantu expansion for instance was facilitated by the acquisition of iron technology.
jerop5614 answered the question on January 8, 2019 at 17:47

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