Prehistoric times are often regarded as a period in human history where little is known about how people lived, but through anthropological research, we have been able to understand the various stages of human life during this era. This article will explore the different stages of human life during prehistoric times, including infancy, childhood, adolescence, and adulthood.
Infancy is the first stage of human life, lasting from birth till about 2 years of age. During this period, children were entirely dependent on their mothers for food, warmth, and protection. The primary means of sustenance was breast milk, which provided all the necessary nutrients and helped strengthen the immune system.
Mothers carried their infants everywhere they went, either in their arms or using a sling. Infants were not left unattended, and mothers were always on the lookout for any signs of danger, such as predators or harsh weather conditions.
Childhood is the next stage of human life, lasting from about 2 years of age till puberty. During this period, children started to walk and explore their environment. They also began to develop their language skills and became more independent. Mothers still played a crucial role in their lives, but children also started to interact with their peers and other family members.
Children were taught essential life skills, such as hunting, fishing, and gathering. They also played games that helped develop their physical and cognitive abilities. The environment played a vital role in shaping their development, and children learned by observing and imitating their elders.
Adolescence is the next stage of human life, lasting from puberty till early adulthood. During this period, individuals experienced significant physical and emotional changes, and their roles in society also changed. Males started to hunt and protect their families, while females learned how to care for their children and gather food.
Adolescents also became more interested in finding a mate and starting a family. They learned about social norms and values, and their interactions with the opposite sex became more complex. In some cultures, adolescents underwent various rituals to mark their transition into adulthood, such as circumcision or vision quests.
Adulthood is the final stage of human life, lasting from early adulthood till old age. During this period, individuals became responsible for providing for their families and maintaining their communities. They also passed on their knowledge and skills to the younger generation and contributed to the development of their society.
Adults also faced various challenges, such as disease, war, and environmental changes. They had to adapt to changing circumstances and make decisions that would benefit their families and communities. In some cultures, they were also expected to hold leadership positions and serve as role models for others.
In conclusion, the stages of human life during prehistoric times were similar to those we experience today. However, the environment played a more significant role in shaping their development, and their survival depended on their ability to adapt to changing circumstances. Through anthropological research, we can gain a better understanding of how our ancestors lived and how they contributed to the development of our species.