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By Charles Singer et al (eds)

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Skulls of Late Qactonian man recently found at Fontechevade, in the Charente, appear to be similar to the Swanscombe type (primitive Homo sapiens). The evidence indicates that man originated in Africa but spread fairly rapidly into Asia and Europe, carrying a basic stone-working tradition out of which various specialized cultures evolved. In Africa the core hand-axe culture developed; in eastern Asia another core-culture, distinguished by standardized chopping tools (figure 17); and in western Asia and Europe, flake-cultures.

Meat-eating appears to be as old as man. In so far as the early Hominidae were adapted to a mixed environment, pardy wooded, pardy open (see p 13), their diet would inevitably have been more varied than that of forest-bound primates. Itseems probable on the analogy ofbaboons(pp 8,13) that any hominids living in open country like the African savannah, as some o f them did, would take to flesh-eating when the struggle for existence was intensified by excessive drought. Baboons, almost the only monkeys completely adapted to life away from wood­ lands, prey on poultry and occasionally on lambs and other animals o f similar SKILL AS A HUMAN POSSESSION ORIGINS OF TOOL-MAKING size, using their powerful canine teeth as offensive weapons.

There the impulses from the organs of sight, touch, and hearing are received and sorted, and from there the ‘volun­ tary’ movements are controlled. Improvement in visual discrimination appears to have contributed particularly to the development of intelligence, not only in primates but in other mammals. Cats have highly developed vision, and are more intelligent than dogs which, with their poor vision, are guided mainly by the more primitive sense o f smell. Manipulative skill is correlated with the power of visual scrutiny, which is greatly enhanced by the possession of a specially sensitive spot on the retina {macula lutea).

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