For our first ancient history post we thought it made sense to start at the beginning. Evolutionary history is interesting, and the competing species of humans, is also an interesting piece of our history which is still being uncovered. In terms of evolutionary history, we’ll just say something resembling humans existed 6 million years ago and one of those species became Australopithecus.
From Australopithecus developed the genus homo somewhere around 2.8 million years ago, and from a data driven anomalists perspective, this is where things start to get interesting. They started making stone tools, and that gives us more to go off of than the fossil record.
There are certainly many mysteries buried in our deep past, but we simply have no way of knowing what they are unless we find a fossil or remnants of humanity.
Theories abound involving everything from aliens to monsters. Yet, we’re lucky to find bones which predate the homo genus. So, we don’t hold out much hope for discovering links to anomalies we study in the time before civilization.
We’ll just point out the one anomaly we just told you and go back to fossils. The genus of homo is supposed to have coincided with the rise of the making of stone tools. Yet, the picture above shows a stone tool existing 500k years before the homo genus. This is odd. A distant human ancestor was using stone tools.
When the homo genus arrives on the scene (2.8 million years ago), they have bigger brains and more tool making.
A huge barrier in front of our window to the past is created by the fossil record (or lack thereof). Not everything that dies creates a fossil. Bones turn to dust unless something intervenes.
So, in order to preserve bones and DNA we need something to die in a specific way, or under specific circumstances. Something like a dying creature falling into tree sap (a la Jurassic Park) will do it. Many fossils are contained in layers of rock, and these layers give us a good idea of when they existed.
Yet as you can see from the modern record, fossil preservation is somewhat random. Therefore, many creatures have come and gone on this planet, and we have no idea what they were.
From what we currently know, humanity began or was located in Africa. Our ancestors left Africa in two waves. The first wave occurred between 130k to 100k years ago. The second wave came around 70k to 50k years ago.
Here is another area which is ripe for theory and exploration. Why did they end up settling where they did and when? Australia 65k years ago, Eurasia 60k years ago and Americas 15k years ago. Shifting geography and migration patterns account for much of the movement in this time, but we find the specifics of where these groups chose to settle fascinating.
Many ancient dwelling are located near water sources which makes perfect sense, but what about the ones which are not? Why mine granite rocks 500 miles away from the Egyptian pyramids? Seems an awful long way to carry them. We’re just using Egypt as an example of a strange megalithic site. There are many more. Why was Stonehenge built? No one knows. Period. Thus, as humanity begins to build and create art. We find evidence of our first anomalies.
We’ll look forward to exploring some of the ancient sites with you in greater detail. For example, the “Baghdad Batteries” are likely actual batteries which date back to 300 b.c.
Now that’s an anomaly.