A boomerang is a thrown tool constructed as a flat airfoil, designed to spin about an axis perpendicular to the direction of its flight. A returning boomerang is designed to return to the thrower, it is well known as a weapon used by Indigenous Australians for hunting. Boomerangs have been used for hunting, as well as sport and entertainment, they are thought of as an Australian icon, come in various shapes and sizes. A boomerang is a throwing stick with certain aerodynamic properties, traditionally made of wood but boomerang-like devices have been made from bones. Modern boomerangs used for sport may be made from plywood, plastics such as ABS, phenolic paper, or carbon fibre-reinforced plastics. Boomerangs come in many shapes and sizes depending on their geographic or tribal origins and intended function. Many people think of a boomerang as the Australian type, although today there are many types of more usable boomerangs, such as the cross-stick, the pinwheel, the tumble-stick, the Boomabird and many other less common types.
An important distinction should be made between returning non-returning boomerangs. Returning boomerangs are examples of the earliest heavier-than-air human-made flight. A returning boomerang has two or more airfoil wings arranged so that the spinning creates unbalanced aerodynamic forces that curve its path so that it travels in an ellipse, returning to its point of origin when thrown correctly. While a throwing stick can be shaped overall like a returning boomerang, it is designed to travel as straight as possible so that it can be aimed and thrown with great force to bring down the game, its surfaces are therefore symmetrical and not with the aerofoils that give the returning boomerang its characteristic curved flight. The most recognisable type of the boomerang is the L-shaped returning boomerang. Returning boomerangs were used to decoy birds of prey, thrown above the long grass to frighten game birds into flight and into waiting nets. Modern returning boomerangs can be of various sizes; the origin of the term is certain, but many researchers have different theories on how the word entered into the English vocabulary.
One source asserts that the term entered the language in 1827, adapted from an extinct Aboriginal language of New South Wales, but mentions a variant, wo-mur-rang, which it dates to 1798. The boomerang was first encountered by western people at Farm Cove, Australia, in December 1804, when a weapon was witnessed during a tribal skirmish:... the white spectators were justly astonished at the dexterity and incredible force with which a bent, edged waddy resembling a Turkish scimytar, was thrown by Bungary, a native distinguished by his remarkable courtesy. The weapon, thrown at 20 or 30 yards distance, twirled round in the air with astonishing velocity, alighting on the right arm of one of his opponents rebounded to a distance not less than 70 or 80 yards, leaving a horrible contusion behind, exciting universal admiration. David Collins listed "Wo-mur-rāng" as one of eight aboriginal "Names of clubs" in 1798. A 1790 anonymous manuscript on aboriginal language of New South Wales reported "Boo-mer-rit" as "the Scimiter".
In 1822, it was described in detail and recorded as a "bou-mar-rang" in the language of the Turuwal people of the Georges River near Port Jackson. The Turawal used other words for their hunting sticks but used "boomerang" to refer to a returning throw-stick. Boomerangs were used as hunting weapons, percussive musical instruments, battle clubs, fire-starters, decoys for hunting waterfowl, as recreational play toys; the smallest boomerang may be less than 10 centimetres from tip to tip, the largest over 180 cm in length. Tribal boomerangs may be painted with designs meaningful to their makers. Most boomerangs seen today are of the tourist or competition sort, are invariably of the returning type. Depictions of boomerangs being thrown at animals, such as kangaroos, appear in some of the oldest rock art in the world, the Indigenous Australian rock art of the Kimberly region, up to 50,000 years old. Stencils and paintings of boomerangs appear in the rock art of West Papua, including on Bird's Head Peninsula and Kaimana dating to the Last Glacial Maximum, when lower sea levels led to cultural continuity between Papua and Arnhem Land in Northern Australia.
The oldest surviving Australian Aboriginal boomerangs come from a cache found in a peat bog in the Wyrie Swamp of South Australia and date to 10,000 BC. Although traditionally thought of as Australian, boomerangs have been found in ancient Europe and North America. There is evidence of the use of non-returning boomerangs by the Native Americans of California and Arizona, inhabitants of southern India for killing birds and rabbits; some boomerangs were not thrown at all, but were used in hand to hand combat by Indigenous Australians. Ancient Egyptian examples, have been recovered, experiments have shown that they functioned as returning boomerangs. Hunting sticks discovered in Europe seem to have formed part of the Stone Age arsenal of weapons. One boomerang, discovered in Obłazowa Cave in the Carpathian Mountains in Poland was made of mammoth's tusk and is believed, based on AMS dating of objects found with it, to be about 30,000 years old. In the Netherlands, boomerangs have been found in Vlaardingen and Velsen from the first century BC.
King Tutankhamun, the famous Pharaoh of a
Outline of prehistoric technology
The following outline is provided as an overview of and topical guide to prehistoric technology. Prehistoric technology – technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric, including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires, cut food, bury their dead. Prehistoric technology can be described as: Prehistoric – "before we had written records," from the Latin word for "before," præ. Prehistory is the span of time before recorded history, that is, before the invention of writing systems. Technology – making, modification and knowledge of tools, techniques, crafts and methods of organization, in order to solve a problem, improve a preexisting solution to a problem, achieve a goal, handle an applied input/output relation or perform a specific function.
Three-age system – in archaeology and physical anthropology, the periodization of human prehistory into three consecutive time periods, each named after the main material used in its respective tool-making technologies: the Stone Age, the Bronze Age, the Iron Age. Beginning of prehistoric technology – the earliest technology began before recorded history, that is, at the beginning of the Stone Age. Latest prehistoric technology – the level of technology reached before true writing was introduced differed by region... Latest prehistoric technology in the Near East – cultures in the Near East achieved the development of writing first, during their Bronze Age. Latest prehistoric technology in the rest of the Old World: Europe and China reached Iron Age technological development before the introduction of writing there. Stone Age – broad prehistoric period, lasting 2.5 million years, during which stone was used in the manufacture of implements with a sharp edge, a point, or a percussion surface.
The period ended between 6000 and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking. Paleolithic – prehistoric period of human history distinguished by the development of the most primitive stone tools discovered, covers 99% of human technological prehistory. Lower Paleolithic – earliest subdivision of the Paleolithic or Old Stone Age, it spans the time from around 2.5 million years ago when the first evidence of craft and use of stone tools by hominids appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the Oldowan and Acheulean lithic technology. Stone tool use – early human use of stone tool technology, such as the hand axe, was similar to that of primates, found to be limited to the intelligence levels of modern children aged 3 to 5 years. Ancestors of homo sapiens used stone tools as follows: Homo habilis – first "homo" species, it lived from 2.3 to 1.4 million years ago in Africa and created stone tools called Oldowan tools. Homo ergaster – in eastern and southern Africa about 2.5 to 1.7 million years ago, it refined Oldowan tools and developed the first Acheulean bifacial axes.
Homo erectus – lived about 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago in West Asia and Africa and is thought to be the first hominid to hunt in coordinated groups, use complex tools, care for infirm or weaker companions. Homo antecessor – earliest hominid in Northern Europe, it used stone tools. Homo heidelbergensis – lived between 600,000 and 400,000 years ago and used stone tool technology similar to the Acheulean tools used by Homo erectus. Control of fire by early humans – European and Asian sites dating back 1.5 million years ago seem to indicate controlled use of fire by H. erectus. A northern Israel site from about 690,000 to 790,000 years ago suggests controlled use of fire in a hearth from pre-existing natural fires or embers. Burial – the act of placing a deceased person into the ground. Homo heidelbergensis – may have been the first species to bury their dead about 500,000 years ago. Middle Paleolithic period – in Europe and the Near East during which the Neanderthals lived, their technology is the Mousterian.
The earliest evidence of settlement in Australia dates to around 55,000 years ago when modern humans crossed from Asia by island-hopping. The Bhimbetka rock shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India, some of which are 30,000 years old. Homo neanderthalensis Stone tools – homo neanderthalensis used Mousterian stone tools that date back to around 300,000 years ago and include smaller, knife-like and scraper tools. Burials – homo neanderthalensis buried their dead, doing so in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones, although the reasons and significance of the burials are disputed. Homo sapiens – the only living species in the genus Homo originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Greater mental capability and ability to walk erect provided freed hands for manipulating objects, which allowed for far greater use of tools. Art of the Middle Paleolithic Burial – intentional burial with grave goods, may be one of the earliest detectable forms of religious practice since it may signify a "concern for the dead that transcends daily life."
The earliest undisputed human burial so far dates back 130,000 years. Human skeletal remains stained with red ochre were discovered in the Skhul cave at Qafzeh, Israel with a variety of grave goods. Upper Paleolithic Revolution – theoretical occurrence betw
Aşıklı Höyük is a settlement mound located nearly 1 km south of Kızılkaya village on the bank of the Melendiz brook, 25 kilometers southeast of Aksaray, Turkey. Aşıklı Höyük is located in an area covered by the volcanic tuff of central Cappadocia, in Aksaray Province; the archaeological site of Aşıklı Höyük was first settled in the Aceramic Neolithic period, around 9000 B. C, it is situated 1119.5 metres above sea level, a little higher than the region's average of c. 1000 metres. The site itself is about 4 ha smaller than the situated site of Çatalhöyük; the surrounding landscape is formed by erosion of river valleys into tuff deposits. The Melendiz Valley, where the Aşıklı Höyük is located, constitutes a favourable and diverse habitat; the proximity to an obsidian source did become the base of a trade with the material supplying areas as far away as today's Cyprus and Iraq. Aşıklı Höyük was first investigated by Professor Ian A. Todd when he visited the site in the summer of 1964. Todd emphasised the importance of the obsidian in the area, based on over 6000 obsidian pieces collected from the surface layer alone.
The site was classified as a medium sized mound and destroyed by the river situated next to it. On the basis of the lithics and animal bones located in the surface layers the site became known as a contemporary to the Palestine PPNB, reinforced by 14C dates; the first comprehensive excavations took place late: first when the government launched a plan that would result in the rise of the waters of the Mamasın Lake located close to Aşıklı Höyük, Professor Ufuk Esin started the salvage excavations in 1989. Nine excavations have been undertaken up to 2003, uncovering 4200 m2 on the horizontal plain, making it one of the largest scale excavations in the region; the newest dates for Aşıklı Höyük show that the occupational period was from 8200 to 7400 BC, extracted from 3 layers with a total of 13 phases. It is known as one of the earliest Aceramic Neolithic sites on the Anatolian plateau, the prior mentioned extraction of the obsidian source was to be frequented as far back as the Paleolithic nomadic hunter-gatherers.
Due to its date and structural organization Aşıklı Höyük is known to be "a prime example of a first foray into sedentism". After more than 400 rooms had been excavated, the total number of individual found to have been buried within the settlement did not surpass 70. All these burials were under building floors; the dead were placed in pits cut through the floor during the occupation of the building. The buried are people of all ages. There is a variety of skeletal body postures, from burials in a hocker position to extended skeletons facing upwards. Others are lying on one side with the legs bent at the knees; the orientation of the burials varies within the buildings, as does the number of individuals buried inside them. The male population had individuals up to the age of 55–57 years of age, while the majority of females died between the ages of 20 and 25; the skeletal remains of these women show spinal deformities indicating that they had to carry heavy loads. This does not itself prove; the fact that the men seem to have outlived the women might be interpreted as sign that the women were subject to more strenuous physical labour than their male counterparts.
From Natufian Abu Hureyra there are similar osteological signs, such as pathologies in metatarsals, phalanges and shoulder joints, being specific to females resulting from habitual kneeling in the use of saddle querns. The Neolithic evidence show indications of increased physical workload in the osteological material on both genders, where the male skeletons show signs of joint disease and trauma arguably caused by cutting timber and tilling. Children represent 37.8% of the deceased, with 43.7% mortality within a year of birth. The skeletal remains are complete and with articulations intact, indicating that the burials have been primary; the graves contain either double burials. On one occasion two graves were found under the floor of room AB, belonging to an adjacent court with a large domed mudbrick oven paved with blocks of basalt. In one of the graves were the skeletons of a young woman and an elderly man; the young woman had undergone trepanation and survived only a few days after the operation.
All skeletons were buried in the hocker position, a fetal-like positioning were the arms are embracing the lower limbs. From a different grave a woman shows signs of being scalped after her death, according to the cut marks on her skull; as many as 55% of the skeletons show signs of being burned. The burial under the floor AB is accommodated by walls with the interior side were painted in a purplish red colour; the oven in HG indicates that this was indeed "special individuals of an elite class", claiming it can be compared to the "Terrazzo" Building at Çayönü and the "Temple" Building at Nevalı Çori and therefore have been a shrine used for religious ceremonies. Many of the burials contain burial goods consisting of necklaces and bracelets made of beads of various sorts.70 burials in over 400 rooms suggest that some form of selection took place of, buried at the site, implementing that AB indeed could be the residence or resting place of people influential in terms of both economy and political power.
Rooms containing hearths are more to contain burials. It has been argued that the number of burials could be an
History of archery
The bow and arrow are known to have been invented by the end of the Upper Paleolithic, for at least 10,000 years archery was an important military and hunting skill, features prominently in the mythologies of many cultures. Archers, whether on foot, in chariots or on horseback were a major part of most militaries until about 1500 when they began to be replaced by firearms, first in Europe, progressively elsewhere. Archery continues to be a popular sport. Based on indirect evidence, the bow seems to have been invented near the transition from the Upper Paleolithic to the Mesolithic, some 10,000 years ago; the oldest direct evidence dates to 8,000 years ago. The discovery of stone points that could have been employed successfully as insets for spears or arrows in Sibudu Cave, South Africa, has prompted the proposal that bow and arrow technology could have existed as early as 64,000 years ago. In the Levant, artifacts which may be arrow-shaft straighteners are known from the Natufian culture, onwards.
The Khiamian and PPN A shouldered. The oldest indication for archery in Europe comes from Stellmoor in the Ahrensburg valley north of Hamburg, Germany, they were associated with artifacts of the late Paleolithic. The arrows were made of pine and consisted of a mainshaft and a 15-20 centimetre long foreshaft with a flint point, they had shallow grooves on the base. The oldest definite bows known so far come from the Holmegård swamp in Denmark. In the 1940s, two bows were found there, dated to about 8,000 BP; the Holmegaard bows have flat arms and a D-shaped midsection. The center section is biconvex; the complete bow is 1.50 m long. Bows of Holmegaard-type were in use until the Bronze Age. Mesolithic pointed shafts have been found in England, Germany and Sweden, they were rather long, up to 120 cm and made of European hazel, wayfaring tree and other small woody shoots. Some still have flint arrow-heads preserved; the ends show traces of fletching, fastened on with birch-tar. The oldest depictions of combat, found in Iberian cave art of the Mesolithic, show battles between archers.
A group of three archers encircled by a group of four is found in Cueva del Roure, Morella la Vella, Castellón, Valencia. A depiction of a larger battle, in which eleven archers are attacked by seventeen running archers, is found in Les Dogue, Ares del Maestrat, Castellón, Valencia. At Val del Charco del Agua Amarga, Alcañiz, seven archers with plumes on their heads are fleeing a group of eight archers running in pursuit. Archery seems to have arrived in the Americas via Alaska, as early as 6000 BCE, with the Arctic small tool tradition, about 2,500 BCE, spreading south into the temperate zones as early as 2,000 BCE, was known among the indigenous peoples of North America from about 500 CE; the oldest Neolithic bow known from Europe was found in anaerobic layers dating between 7,400-7,200 BP, the earliest layer of settlement at the lake settlement at La Draga, Girona, Spain. The intact specimen is short at 1.08m, has a D-shaped cross-section, is made of yew wood. Stone wrist-guards, interpreted as display versions of bracers, form a defining part of the Beaker culture and arrowheads are commonly found in Beaker graves.
European Neolithic fortifications, arrow-heads and representations indicate that, in Neolithic and Early Bronze Age Europe, archery was a major form of interpersonal violence. For example, the Neolithic settlement at Carn Brea was occupied between around 3700 and 3400 BC. Chariot-borne archers became a defining feature of Middle Bronze Age warfare, from Europe to Eastern Asia and India. However, in the Middle Bronze Age, with the development of massed infantry tactics, with the use of chariots for shock tactics or as prestigious command vehicles, archery seems to have lessened in importance in European warfare. In the same period, with the Seima-Turbino Phenomenon and the spread of the Andronovo culture, mounted archery became a defining feature of Eurasian nomad cultures and a foundation of their military success, until the massed use of guns. In China, crossbows were developed, Han Dynasty writers attributed Chinese success in battles against nomad invaders to the massed use of crossbows, first attested at the Battle of Ma-Ling in 341 BCE.
Ancient civilizations, notably the Persians, Egyptians, Indians, Koreans and Japanese fielded large numbers of archers in their armies. Arrows were destructive against massed formations, the use of archers proved decisive; the Sanskrit term for archery, came to refer to martial arts in general. Mounted archers were used as the main military force for many of the equestrian nomads, including the Cimmerians and the Mongols; the ancient Egyptian people took to archery as early as 5,000 years ago. Archery was widespread by the time of the earliest pharaohs and was practiced both for hunting and use in warfare. Legendary figures from the tombs of Thebes are depicted giving "lessons in archery"; some Egyptian deities are connected to archery. The "Nine bows" were a conventional representation
Anthropology is the scientific study of humans and human behavior and societies in the past and present. Social anthropology and cultural anthropology study the values of societies. Linguistic anthropology studies. Biological or physical anthropology studies the biological development of humans. Archaeology, which studies past human cultures through investigation of physical evidence, is thought of as a branch of anthropology in the United States and Canada, while in Europe, it is viewed as a discipline in its own right or grouped under other related disciplines, such as history; the abstract noun anthropology is first attested in reference to history. Its present use first appeared in Renaissance Germany in the works of Otto Casmann, their New Latin anthropologia derived from the combining forms of the Greek words ánthrōpos and lógos. It began to be used in English via French Anthropologie, by the early 18th century. In 1647, the Bartholins, founders of the University of Copenhagen, defined l'anthropologie as follows: Anthropology, to say the science that treats of man, is divided ordinarily and with reason into Anatomy, which considers the body and the parts, Psychology, which speaks of the soul.
Sporadic use of the term for some of the subject matter occurred subsequently, such as the use by Étienne Serres in 1839 to describe the natural history, or paleontology, of man, based on comparative anatomy, the creation of a chair in anthropology and ethnography in 1850 at the National Museum of Natural History by Jean Louis Armand de Quatrefages de Bréau. Various short-lived organizations of anthropologists had been formed; the Société Ethnologique de Paris, the first to use Ethnology, was formed in 1839. Its members were anti-slavery activists; when slavery was abolished in France in 1848 the Société was abandoned. Meanwhile, the Ethnological Society of New York the American Ethnological Society, was founded on its model in 1842, as well as the Ethnological Society of London in 1843, a break-away group of the Aborigines' Protection Society; these anthropologists of the times were liberal, anti-slavery, pro-human-rights activists. They maintained international connections. Anthropology and many other current fields are the intellectual results of the comparative methods developed in the earlier 19th century.
Theorists in such diverse fields as anatomy and Ethnology, making feature-by-feature comparisons of their subject matters, were beginning to suspect that similarities between animals and folkways were the result of processes or laws unknown to them then. For them, the publication of Charles Darwin's On the Origin of Species was the epiphany of everything they had begun to suspect. Darwin himself arrived at his conclusions through comparison of species he had seen in agronomy and in the wild. Darwin and Wallace unveiled evolution in the late 1850s. There was an immediate rush to bring it into the social sciences. Paul Broca in Paris was in the process of breaking away from the Société de biologie to form the first of the explicitly anthropological societies, the Société d'Anthropologie de Paris, meeting for the first time in Paris in 1859; when he read Darwin, he became an immediate convert to Transformisme, as the French called evolutionism. His definition now became "the study of the human group, considered as a whole, in its details, in relation to the rest of nature".
Broca, being what today would be called a neurosurgeon, had taken an interest in the pathology of speech. He wanted to localize the difference between man and the other animals, which appeared to reside in speech, he discovered the speech center of the human brain, today called Broca's area after him. His interest was in Biological anthropology, but a German philosopher specializing in psychology, Theodor Waitz, took up the theme of general and social anthropology in his six-volume work, entitled Die Anthropologie der Naturvölker, 1859–1864; the title was soon translated as "The Anthropology of Primitive Peoples". The last two volumes were published posthumously. Waitz defined anthropology as "the science of the nature of man". By nature he meant matter animated by "the Divine breath". Following Broca's lead, Waitz points out that anthropology is a new field, which would gather material from other fields, but would differ from them in the use of comparative anatomy and psychology to differentiate man from "the animals nearest to him".
He stresses. The history of civilization, as well as ethnology, are to be brought into the comparison, it is to be presumed fundamentally that the species, man, is a unity, that "the same laws of thought are applicable to all men". Waitz was influential among the British ethnologists. In 1863 the explorer Richard Francis Burton and the speech therapist James Hunt broke away from the Ethnological Society of London to form the Anthropological Society of London, which henceforward would follow the path of the new anthropology rather than just ethnology, it was the 2nd society dedicated to general anthropology in existence. Representatives from the French Société were present. In his keynote address, printed in the first volume of its new publication, The Anthropological Review, Hunt stressed the work of Waitz, adopting his definitions as a standard. Among the first associates were the young Edward Burnett Tylor, inventor of cultural anthropology, his brother Alfred Tylor, a geologist. Edward had referred to himself as an ethnologist.
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Prehistoric technology is technology that predates recorded history. History is the study of the past using written records. Anything prior to the first written accounts of history is prehistoric, including earlier technologies. About 2.5 million years before writing was developed, technology began with the earliest hominids who used stone tools, which they may have used to start fires and bury their dead. There are several factors that made the evolution of prehistoric technology necessary. One of the key factors is behavioral modernity of the developed brain of Homo sapiens capable of abstract reasoning, language and problem solving; the advent of agriculture resulted in lifestyle changes from nomadic lifestyles to ones lived in homes, with domesticated animals, land farmed using more varied and sophisticated tools. Art, architecture and religion evolved over the course of the prehistoric periods; the Stone Age is a broad prehistoric period during which stone was used in the manufacture of implements with a sharp edge, a point, or a percussion surface.
The period lasted 2.5 million years, from the time of early hominids to Homo sapiens in the Pleistocene era, ended between 6000 and 2000 BCE with the advent of metalworking. The Stone Age lifestyle was that of hunter-gatherers who traveled to hunt game and gather wild plants, with minimal changes in technology; as the last glacial period of the current ice age neared its end, large animals like the mammoth and bison antiquus became extinct and the climate changed. Humans adapted by maximizing the resources in local environments and eating a wider range of wild plants and hunting or catching smaller game. Domestication of plants and animals with early stages in the Old World Mesolithic and New World Archaic periods led to significant changes and reliance on agriculture in the Old World Neolithic and New World Formative stage; the agricultural life led to significant technological advancements. Although Paleolithic cultures left no written records, the shift from nomadic life to settlement and agriculture can be inferred from a range of archaeological evidence.
Such evidence includes ancient tools, cave paintings, other prehistoric art, such as the Venus of Willendorf. Human remains provide direct evidence, both through the examination of bones, the study of mummies. Though concrete evidence is limited and historians have been able to form significant inferences about the lifestyle and culture of various prehistoric peoples, the role technology played in their lives; the Lower Paleolithic period was the earliest subdivision of the Old Stone Age. It spans the time from around 2.5 million years ago when the first evidence of craft and use of stone tools by hominids appears in the current archaeological record, until around 300,000 years ago, spanning the Oldowan and Acheulean lithic technology. Early human used stone tool technology, such as a hand axe, similar to that used by primates, which are found to have intelligence levels of modern children aged 3 to 5 years. Intelligence and use of technology did not change much for millions of years; the first "Homo" species began with Homo habilis about 2.4 to 1.5 million years ago.
Homo habilis created. Homo ergaster lived in eastern and southern Africa about 2.5 to 1.7 million years ago and used more diverse and sophisticated stone tools than its predecessor, Homo habilis, including having refined the inherited Oldowan tools and developed the first Acheulean bifacial axes. Homo erectus lived about 1.8 to 1.3 million years ago in West Asia and Africa and is thought to be the first hominid to hunt in coordinated groups, use complex tools, care for infirm or weaker companions. Homo antecessor the earliest hominid in Northern Europe lived from 1.2 million to 800,000 years ago and used stone tools. Homo heidelbergensis lived between 600,000 and 400,000 years ago and used stone tool technology similar the Acheulean tools used by Homo erectus. European and Asian sites dating back 1.5 million years ago seem to indicate controlled use of fire by Homo erectus. A northern Israel site from about 690,000 to 790,000 years ago suggests. Homo heidelbergensis may have been the first species to bury their dead about 500,000 years ago.
The Middle Paleolithic period occurred in Europe and the Near East, during which the Neanderthals lived. The earliest evidence of settlement in Australia dates to around 40,000 years ago when modern humans crossed from Asia by island-hopping; the Bhimbetka rock shelters exhibit the earliest traces of human life in India, some of which are 30,000 years old. Homo neanderthalensis used Mousterian Stone tools that date back to around 300,000 years ago and include smaller, knife-like and scraper tools, they buried their dead in shallow graves along with stone tools and animal bones, although the reasons and significance of the burials are disputed. Homo sapiens, the only living species in the genus Homo, originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago; as compared to their predecessors, Homo sapiens had greater mental capability and ability to walk erect, which provided freed hands for manipulating objects and far greater use of tools. There was art created during this period. Intentional burial with grave goods, may be one of the earliest detectable forms of religious practice since it may signify a "concern for the dead that transcends daily life."
The earliest undisputed human burial so far dates back 130,000 years. Human skeletal remains stained with red ochre w
Amharas known as Abyssinians, are an ethnic group traditionally inhabiting the northern and central highlands of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa and the Amhara Region. According to the 2007 national census, Amharas numbered 19,867,817 individuals, comprising 26.9% of Ethiopia's population and they are Orthodox Christians members of Ethiopian Orthodox church. They are found within the Ethiopian expatriate community in North America, they speak Amharic, an Afro-Asiatic language of the Semitic branch, a member of the Ethiosemitic group, which serves as the official language of Ethiopia. The present name for the Amharic language and its speakers comes from the medieval province of Amhara; the latter enclave was located around Lake Tana at the headwaters of the Blue Nile, included a larger area than Ethiopia's present-day Amhara Region. The further derivation of the name is debated; some trace it to mehare. The Ethiopian historian Getachew Mekonnen Hasen traces it to an ethnic name related to the Himyarites of ancient Yemen.
Still others say that it derives from Ge'ez ዓም and ሓራ in Hebrew עם הר. The Amharas have inhabited the north and western parts of Ethiopia, have been the politically dominant ethnic group of this region, their origins are thought to have been located near modern day Sayint, Wollo, a place, known as Bete Amhara in the past. The Amhara are one of the two largest ethnic groups in Ethiopia, along with the Oromo, they are sometimes referred to as "Abyssinians" by Western sources. The province of "Amhara" was located in the modern province of Wollo, in the modern sense however the region now known as Amhara in the feudal era was composed of several provinces with greater or less autonomy, which included Gondar, Wollo, Shewa, Semien and Fetegar; the traditional homeland of the Amharas is the central highland plateau of Ethiopia. For over two thousand years they have inhabited this region. Walled by high mountains and cleaved by great gorges, the ancient realm of Abyssinia has been isolated from the influences of the rest of the world.
Christian Axumite presence in the Amhara region dates back to at least the 8th century, with the establishment of the Istifanos monastery in Lake Hayq. Several other sites and monuments indicate similar Axumite presences in area such as the Geta Lion statues, located 10 km south of Kombolcha is thought to date as old the 3rd century or further to pre-Axumite times. In 1998, pieces of pottery were found around tombs in Atatiya in Southern Wollo in Habru to the south-east of Hayq and to the north-east of Ancharo; the decorations and symbols on the pottery are reliable archaeological evidence that Aksumite civilization had extended to Southern Amhara beyond Angot. Many more ancient sites had been plentiful but were almost all destroyed by the vengeful reign of Gudit and the Muslim invasions led by Imam Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi, where Amhara and Angot were ravaged; the first specific mention of the Amhara dates to the early 12th century in the middle of the Zagwe Dynasty, when the Amhara were recorded of being in conflict with the Werjih in 1129.
The Werjih are located to have inhabited the eastern lowlands of Shewa as pastorlists. This indicates that the Amhara not only were existent as a distinct ethnic group, but had made a presence as far as the southern plateau since at least the 12th century, disproving a common proposition put forward by scholars like Mesfin Woldemariam and Takele Tadesse who suggested that the Amhara did not exist as an ethnic group. Following the end of the ruling Agaw Zagwe dynasty, the Solomonic dynasty governed the Ethiopian Empire for many centuries from the 1270 AD onwards with the ascension of Yekuno Amlak, whose political and support base heiled from Shewa and Amhara. From up until the deposing of Haile Selassie in 1974, the Amhara continuously ruled and formed the political core of the Ethiopian Empire expanding its borders and international prestige as well as establishing several medieval royal sites and capitals such as Tegulet, Debre Berhan, Barara and Magdela, the former three of which were located in Shewa In the early 15th century, the Emperors sought to make diplomatic contact with European kingdoms for the first time since Aksumite times.
A letter from King Henry IV of England to the Emperor of Abyssinia survives. In 1428, the Emperor Yeshaq sent two emissaries to Alfonso V of Aragon, who sent return emissaries who failed to complete the return trip; the first continuous relations with a European country began in 1508 with Portugal under Emperor Lebna Dengel, who had just inherited the throne from his father. This proved to be an important development, for when the Empire was subjected to the attacks of the Adal Sultanate General and Imam, Ahmad ibn Ibrahim al-Ghazi, Portugal assisted the Ethiopian emperor by sending weapons and four hundred men, who helped his son Gelawdewos defeat Ahmad and re-establish his rule; this Ethiopian–Adal War was one of the first proxy wars in the region as the Ottoman Empire and Portugal took sides in the conflict. The Amhara have contributed many rulers including Haile Selassie. Haile Selassie's mother was paternally of Oromo descent and maternall