Ah, the subject of early human settlement certainly tugs at my curiosity strings. Today, we're going to step into our time machines and travel back to a time when human beings hadn't yet discovered the wonder of farming or the deliciousness of a well-toasted slice of bread. Far back into forgotten eras we will go, asking the question, 'Where did people live before the agricultural revolution?'.
Before we traded in our walking sticks for plowshares, we human beings were wanderers. Nomads, if you like fancier words. Our ancestors roamed the lands, setting up temporary residences wherever they found ample resources, such as water and food.
Essentially, we were opportunists. There was no 'permanent address' in the traditional sense we understand today. Home was wherever we parked it for the night. I suppose Wanderlust could have been our family name back then. I'm glad we've made some progress since! Not that I don't love a good adventure, but the idea of constantly moving does make me appreciate my cozy little nest in Wellington.
Often referred to as "hunter-gatherers", these nomadic folks were primarily sustained by hunting wild animals and gathering wild fruits, berries, nuts and vegetables, depending on the season. Just imagine: dinner depended on what you could chase down or pick off a bush!
Try telling my Isla that I'm off to the woods to bag our supper! She'd probably laugh herself silly. She has seen me trip over the garden hose. However, this was very much the reality of our ancestors. Their homes were often near water bodies, where both drinking water and game were plentiful.
Given the nomadic lifestyle, our ancestors needed a residence that was as mobile as they were. Enter caves and tents. Caves offered a natural abode that was sheltered from the elements and large enough to accommodate a whole group.
The thought of living in a cave does feel rather dreary, doesn't it? Next time I grumble about getting no sunlight in my office, I'll remember the hours our ancestors spent living in caves. As for the tents, these portable dwellings worked splendidly for their lifestyle. The simple structures were made by stretching animal skins over a framework of bones or branches. Unpretentious, mobile but rather shabby compared to my comfy bed and a hot shower!
Now, here's an interesting fact: the paleolithic era witnessed the beginning of semi-permanent settlements. People started to build structures that could be used for extended periods. Environmental factors, like the availability of food and change in seasons, played a huge role in determining the time they spent in a particular location.
I find it quite fascinating how our ancestors adapted according to the environment. Just imagine trading your home because the berries ran out or because the mammoth moved. An intriguing lifestyle, indeed!
One of the most endearing aspects of our ancestors' lives was their strong sense of community. Living together as a unit, sharing resources, working cohesively to secure food, and protecting the members of the unit were intrinsic to their survival. In a lot of ways, it reminds me of shared student apartments in my university days - we had our squabbles, but always had each other’s backs.
So, before the agricultural revolution, home was essentially where the heart was. Or rather, where the food, water and basic safety were. It was the bond of human company, the shared triumphs and hardships that made caves, tents and temporary shelters feel like home.
In conclusion, while it's fascinating to explore where our ancestors lived, it's even more fascinating to realize how far we've come. From precarious caves to sheltered homes, from hunting for survival to supermarket shopping, we've made quite a leap. Interestingly enough, the essence of home remains the same - warmth, security, and the love of your tribe. Even nowadays, living in Wellington, there are moments when I realize that home is less about where you are and more about who you're with. Looking at you, Isla!