Climate Change due to Ancient Humans

Climate Changes Linked to Ancient Human Innovations

(Read the article on one page)

New research has revealed that periods of abrupt climate changes led ancient humans to embark on periods of innovation and cultural expansion. The study conducted by Martin Ziegler, an earth science researcher at Cardiff University in Wales, and published in the journal Nature Communications, involved the analysis of South Africa’s climate over the last 100,000 years by investigating sediment cores taken from the offshore region near the south eastern tip of Africa.   Among the most important periods analyzed in the study date to 71,000, and a period between 64,000 and 59,000 years ago.

Ziegler was able to determine climate features, such as amount of rainfall, by examining the chemicals trapped within the sediment. He then compared this climatic data with periods of human innovation. 

The study revealed a link between wet conditions and periods of advancement in which our ancient ancestors produced more advanced stone and bone tools, and began using painted symbols in wall engravings suggesting the development of language. The findings suggest a tight link between abrupt climate changes and the emergence of modern human traits, researchers say.

During these periods of innovation, archaeologists have also found the first evidence of constructed plant beds, as well as shells thought to be worn as adornments or jewellery.

The study authors stated that insights from these locations in South Africa are vital, because they are thought to "reflect the emergence of modern behaviours of innovation, language and cultural identity."

However, it cannot be definitively concluded that the association is a cause and effect relationship between climate change and innovation. It may be that drought further north forced ancient humans into South Africa leading to competition and mixing of cultures, which could have spurred on the cultural changes.

By April Holloway

Register to become part of our active community, get updates, receive a monthly newsletter, and enjoy the benefits and rewards of our member point system OR just post your comment below as a Guest.

Myths & Legends

Open Book Photo
A legend is a tale regarded as historical even though it has not been proven, and the term “myth” can refer to common yet false ideas. Many myths and legends describe our history, but they are often treated skeptically. This is because many of them, while explaining a phenomenon, involve divine or supernatural beings.

Human Origins

Noah's Sacrifice - watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot
The imperfect state of archaeological researches in the Near East impedes any definite identification of the original race or races that created the earliest civilizations of Mesopotamia and Egypt. According to Gordon Childe, however, the predominant racial element in the earliest graves in the region from Elam to the Danube is the ‘Mediterranean’.

Ancient Technology

Invention of Wheel - Sumer
In today’s world, technology is developing at an unprecedented rate. The latest gadget today is tomorrow’s antique. As a result of this rapid development of technology, we often take things for...

Ancient Places

Google Earth image of manmade stone structures in Saudi Arabia
Deep in the heart of Saudi Arabia, 400 peculiar stone structures have been found, dating back thousands of years ago. These stone features were discovered by archaeologists with the use of satellite imagery, identifying what they call stone "gates" in an extremely unwelcome and harsh area of the Arabian Peninsula.


The ancient and mysterious Sphinx, Giza, Egypt.
In 1995, NBC televised a prime-time documentary hosted by actor Charlton Heston and directed by Bill Cote, called Mystery of the Sphinx. The program centered on the research and writings of John Anthony West, a (non-academic) Egyptologist, who, along with Dr. Robert Schoch, a professor of Geology at Boston University, made an astounding discovery on the Great Sphinx of Giza in Egypt.

Our Mission

At Ancient Origins, we believe that one of the most important fields of knowledge we can pursue as human beings is our beginnings. And while some people may seem content with the story as it stands, our view is that there exists countless mysteries, scientific anomalies and surprising artifacts that have yet to be discovered and explained.

The goal of Ancient Origins is to highlight recent archaeological discoveries, peer-reviewed academic research and evidence, as well as offering alternative viewpoints and explanations of science, archaeology, mythology, religion and history around the globe.

We’re the only Pop Archaeology site combining scientific research with out-of-the-box perspectives.

By bringing together top experts and authors, this archaeology website explores lost civilizations, examines sacred writings, tours ancient places, investigates ancient discoveries and questions mysterious happenings. Our open community is dedicated to digging into the origins of our species on planet earth, and question wherever the discoveries might take us. We seek to retell the story of our beginnings. 

Ancient Image Galleries

View from the Castle Gate (Burgtor). (Public Domain)
Door surrounded by roots of Tetrameles nudiflora in the Khmer temple of Ta Phrom, Angkor temple complex, located today in Cambodia. (CC BY-SA 3.0)
Cable car in the Xihai (West Sea) Grand Canyon (CC BY-SA 4.0)
Next article