Early Man in India

Early Man in India
Early Man in India
Human evolution is one of the most fascinating stories of the Earth. It is not only the story of our past, but present, and moreover, our collective future.

The story of humans begins around 18 million years ago when hominids, the Great apes, the common ancestor of modern day human, chimpanzee, bonobo, gorilla, and orangutan separated from the lesser apes. Around 13 mya, Homininae separated from the orangutans. Similarly, around 10 mya, humans and pans (chimpanzees and bonobos) separated from the Gorillas. The latest common ancestor of humans and chimpanzees is estimated to live between 10 and 4 mya.

Around 5.6 mya, Ardipithecus, the earliest ancestor of modern human ancestor appeared. There are two fossil species described in the literature, A. ramidus which lived around 4.4 mya during early Pliocene age and A. kadabba, dated to approximately 5.6 mya during the late Miocene age.

Around 3.6 mya, Australopithecus afarensis left the first modern human-like footprint in Laetoli, Kenya. Kenyanthropus platyops, a possible ancestor of human appeared around 3.5 Mya. Stone tools were used by them.

Around 2.5 mya, Homo along with Australopithecines were thriving in Africa. Homos are the earliest humans, being completely different from pans. Sophisticated stone tools mark the beginning of Lower Paleolithic age.

Homo Sapiens first appeared around 300000 years ago. The peopling of India, migration of Homo sapiens into the Indian subcontinent, began around 60 ka. However, the first man (Homo) appeared in India around 2.6 mya. A joint Franco-Indian team has found human artefacts in the Siwalik Hills dating back at least 2.6 mya.

Interestingly, the scientist has found the fossils of Sivapithecus, an ancestor of modern-day orangutans in Shiwaliks. The Sivapithecus said to be live around 12 mya, and earlier thought to be the ancestor of modern man.