7, Stone Age Britain
The earliest archaeological remains found in Britain are tools thought to have been made before 12 000 BC, when Britain was still attached to the rest of Europe. No human bones from this period were found until 1912 when a skull that had characteristics of both humans and apes was found in a gravel pit in Sussex. The skull became known as Piltdown man. From geological evidence it was calculated that the skull belonged to somebody who lived more than two million years ago. Later scientific tests showed that it was not genuine and that the jaw of an ape had been attached with glue to a human skull and then treated to make it look very old. The earliest genuine human bones found in Britain are those of a woman from Swanscombe, Kent, who lived about 325 000 years ago.
Most Stone Age remains in Britain are much later and date from after 4000 BC, the Neolithic period. There is evidence of woodland being cleared for farming, and polished stone axes and fragments of pottery have been found (see in picture). The remains of a Stone Age village built about 3100 BC can be seen at Skara Brae in the Orkneys. The houses were buried in sand after a storm in about 2000 BC and only found when another storm in 1850 blew the sand away.
Other Stone Age remains include long barrows, piles of earth up to 300 feet long, found mainly in England and Wales. They were used as burial mounds and sometimes have several rooms inside containing human and animal remains and pottery. Henges, circular areas surrounded by a ditch and a bank, may have been built as meeting places. One of the most impressive is at Avebury. It is large enough to contain the modern village of Avebury. A stone circle made of upright megaliths (=very large stones) up to 20 feet (6 metres) high was added inside the henge in about 2400 BC, at the end of the Stone Age. The henge at Britain’s best-known prehistoric monument, Stonehenge on Salisbury Plain (see in picture), also dates from the Stone Age, though the circles of huge stones inside it date from about 2100 BC, the beginning of the Bronze Age.
考古学者在英国发现的最早的古代遗迹是石器，据认定，是公元前12 000年以前制作的，那时不列颠仍然和欧洲的其他部分连接在一起。直到1912年才发现了那个时期的人体骨骼，在萨塞克斯的一个沙砾坑中，找到了同时具有人和猿特征的头盖骨，这就是皮尔当人。根据其地质学特征推算，这个头盖骨属于生活在200多万年以前的人。后来，经科学鉴定表明这是伪造的，是把猿的下巴骨用胶粘在人的头盖骨上，然后经过处理，使其显得非常古老。在英国发现的最早的真人骨骼，是肯特郡斯旺兹肯姆325 000年前的一个女人的骨骼。
Human beings, or man — Latin: "wise human", are bipedal primates in the family Hominidae. DNA evidence indicates that modern humans originated in Africa about 200,000 years ago. Humans have a highly developed brain, capable of abstract reasoning, language, introspection, problem solving and emotion. This mental capability, combined with an erect body carriage that frees the forelimbs (arms) for manipulating objects, has allowed humans to make far greater use of tools than any other species. Humans are distributed worldwide, large populations inhabiting every continent on Earth except Antarctica. The human population on Earth is greater than 6.7 billion.
Like most higher primates, humans are social by nature. Humans are particularly adept at utilizing systems of communication for self-expression, exchanging of ideas, and organization. Humans create complex social structures composed of many cooperating and competing groups, from families to nations. Social interactions between humans have established an extremely wide variety of traditions, rituals, ethics, values, social norms, and laws, which together form the basis of human society. Humans have a marked appreciation for beauty and aesthetics, which, combined with the desire for self-expression, has led to cultural innovations such as art, writing, literature and music. Humans are notable for their desire to understand and influence the world around them, seeking to explain and manipulate natural phenomena through philosophy, art, science, mythology and religion. This natural curiosity has led to the development of advanced tools and skills; humans are the only species known to build fires, cook their food, clothe themselves; they also manipulate and develop numerous other technologies. Humans pass down their skills and knowledge to the next generations through education.