Iaian Vernier's Memoir
Chapter 17. Economic Equality
← 112 | 113 →·17·
The enormous expansion of the human cortex changed the dynamics of Homo’s interaction with the material world. Without directive instinct as with lower anthropoids and mammals humans had to devise other techniques to survive economically. We see the use of tools in hominids as far back as a million years ago, a dawning realization that humans would have to ‘go out of themselves’ to devise means of survival.
Without the usual appurtenances of predators—fangs, claws, large body mass or speed—this corticalized two-legged predator began to shape tools in conjunction with his socialized, cooperative expeditions in search of prey. Clearly it worked, for over many hundreds of thousands of years Homo grew larger, spread over the world map and revealed an ever-more sophisticated tool kit for cutting, smashing, puncturing.
Somewhere along this evolutionary time scale, perhaps at the Homo erectus level, the tools seem to take on an esthetic dimension, not only practical, but symmetrical, almost idealized. There is controversy here, for what seems to have been shaped for beauty might have been an unconscious result of the ← 113 | 114 →process of flaking tools from a stone core. This skepticism disappears with the arrival on the scene of Cro-Magnon man.
Here the tools are without doubt the product of humans who saw in them not only their utilitarian use for economic survival but also as esthetic objects, perhaps of value. Many of these tools carved from bone, ivory, slate, etc. are too delicate...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
This site requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals.
Do you have any questions? Contact us.Or login to access all content.