Homo Erectus - Comcast.net

People all over the world wonder and question who
lived and what happened before “us.” Mysteries about
these people and times are still being discovered, some are
already discovered, and some will never be discovered.
However, now you can learn all about the early life of one
early human group. You will find out all about Homo
Erectus and their lives, what they did, and how they
survived. But did they survive or did they die… Keep
reading to find out.
Dates and Places of Existence
Homo Erectus lived from 1.5 million to
250,000 years ago. Homo Erectus fossils have
been found in Vietnam and Java. They
roamed over a wide area, as they hunted
migrating animals and foraged for plants.
They lived in Africa and then merged into
China, Europe, and Asia because of scare
foods and not enough habitat to build
shelters. (1)
Physical Appearance
These hairy creatures were much taller than
previous hominids such as Homo Habilis. Homo
Erectus was the first early human to walk upright
without stooping or using their hands. In fact,
Homo Erectus means upright man. They had
larger teeth and a larger jaw than modern
humans. Homo Erectus had a flat face and a
sloped forehead. They had a big bump at the
back of their head, and they also had a very thick
skull. Homo Erectus were around five feet and
ten inches tall. (2)
Homo Erectus lived in deep caves. They
also lived in stick huts or grass huts. After
Homo Erectus left Africa, they went to
Europe, and then Asia. Some scientists
believe that Homo Erectus left Asia and
traveled to North and South America. They
liked more mild weather as opposed to
humid weather and freezing weather. (3)
Homo Erectus ate many different types of
berries. Also they ate roots, wheat, grass, and
meat from the animals they hunted.
Unfortunately food didn’t just fall out of the
sky. Homo Erectus had to move from place to
place because food was very scarce. (4)
Daily Life
Homo Erectus mostly hunted and looked
for food in their daily lives. They would carve
rocks as tools to hunt down animals. The
woman would collect berries, fruits, and
vegetables. The men would go on bison hunts,
and hunt other animals, too. The children
would stay back in camp and play or learn
skills. (5)
Since their brains were larger than previous
hominids, they were capable of making new
tools. Bolas, or stones wrapped in skins tied with
pieces of leather, were found around Homo
Erectus burial sites. Since these were found,
Homo Erectus possessed advanced hunting
techniques. They also made sophisticated hand
axes that had more use than earlier tools. The
hand axes were used for a variety of purposes,
such as cutting meat, chopping down trees, and
digging. (6)
Since Homo Erectus brains were bigger, they
were the first early humans to make fire. Fossils of
their remains have been found near fire-blackened
hearths from 360,000 years ago. They used fire to
their advantage in hunting by catching frightened
animals as they ran away from the flames. They had
about two hearths in every camp. (7, 8)
Religion and Ceremonies
Homo Erectus did not have religion or
ceremonies, nor did they paint or carve. They
were more worried about staying alive and
eating. (9)
Religion and Ceremonies
Development of Language
Homo Erectus did not have any form of
written language. But they did communicate.
Homo Erectus communicated by using hand
signals and grunting noises. However, their
communicating wasn’t complex like ours
today. Homo Erectus communicated simply
about things like going hunting or eating. (10)
The Homo Erectus did not wear much
clothing. However, they wore a thick coat of
animal skin around their waists. They also
wore a skirt-like thing over that. They did not
wear any footwear. During the winter, they
wore a thick piece of animal skin draped over
their shoulders. (11)
Homo Erectus had many achievements that
moved humans forward. They were the first
to learn to use fire, the first to walk upright
without stooping or using their hands, and
the first to make advanced tools. They were
an incredible group about which to learn.
• Did Homo Erectus have religion or
ceremonies? Why or why not?
• What does Homo Erectus mean and why do
you think they were given that name?
• Were Homo Erectus the first group of early
humans to use fire?
• Homo Erectus did not have religion or
ceremonies because they were simply focused
on surviving.
• Homo Erectus means upright man, and this is
a good name for them because they are the
first group to stand up straight without
stooping and to walk without using their
• Yes, they were.
1. Kearns, Marsha, “Homo Erectus,” Early Humans, Creative Teaching Press , CA,
1993, p. 128 .
2. Ibid.
3. http://www.nationalgeographic.com.
4. Kearns, Marsha, “Homo Erectus,” Early Humans, p. 128.
5. Ibid.
6. Ibid.
7. Ibid.
8. http://www.archaeologyinfo.com/homoerectus.htm.
9. California Visits Ancient Civilizations, Macmillan McGraw-Hill, New York, NY,
p. 73.
10. Kearns, Marsha, “Homo Erectus,” Early Humans, p. 128.
11. Ibid.
California Visits Ancient Civilizations. Macmillan/MacGraw
Hill: New York, NY, 2007.
Facchini, Fiorenzo. A Day with Homo Erectus. Books:
Connecticut, Twenty-First Century, 2003.
“Homo Erectus.” Homo Erectus.
Kearns, Marsha.“Homo Erectus.” Early Humans. Creative
Teaching Press: CA, 1993.
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