Short Essay on the Historical Background of Ecology

He developed tools and fire in early Paleolithic time (50,000 to 1,000,000 years ago) and he accumulated knowledge at a faster rate than other primates. Much of this knowledge was ecological in nature. It was the knowledge of his environment and the most effective use of it. It was detailed knowledge of food and water resources.

Thus, the prehistoric man used environmental information in hunting, fishing, trapping animals, locating and gathering of edible vegetation, avoid­ing enemies’ ana finding shelter to survive hardship imposed by nature.

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An increased knowledge of the importance of environmental conditions led quite naturally to religious rituals, myths, worship of weather gods and rain dances, all of which are still quite prevalent in different social groups and tribes of Indian, African, Australian, Red Indian, and other ancient civilizations.

The establishment of agricultural civilization increased the need to learn about the practical ecology of domestication of plants and animals for greater productivity and control over the means of subsistence. Consequently, the development of pastoral and agri­cultural life in the Neolithic period of 10,000 B.C. to 6,000 B.C. altered the entire pattern of human existence.