The Arrival of Man

The Pleistocene marked the period of man's arrival on Earth, but as the Holocene approached, our species attained a higher level of cultural maturity. For the large animal populations of the world, this maturity was a dangerous developement. As technologies improved, humans became better able to hunt large prey. Human populations were also gradually expanding, since better technology meant a high standard of living, which meant that as technology improved, so did the quality of human life, and population expansion, albeit on a gradual scale, became the norm.

Increasing populations demand increasing quantities of food, and though large game may not have been a large part of that food, paleontological evidence in many forms support the notion that it was nonetheless an important food source. Cave paintings are one source of evidence, but perhaps more important is the presence of human artifacts in association with mammoth bones in many fossil sites. In some cases, mammoth and mastodont bones have spearpoints imbeded in the animal's bones, the bones having healed around the stone artifacts, indicating encounters with paleohunters which the animals managed to survive.

Go to the Next Page