Culture is often understood as anything that is created and cultivated by man. Man’s culture in a way has begun with man’s capacity to use and to create or produce tools and techniques. The earliest tools used by man cannot be dated exactly.
Australopithecus may have used stones as long as 5 million years ago. The Australopithecus walked erect, lived on the ground and probably used stones as weapons. (Before these, a man-like primate called Ramapithecus lived about 14 million years ago). Stones that have been used as weapons do not differ systematically from other stones.
However, nothing can be said with certainly about this early period. But we have evidence to say that the first stones shaped as tools were used some 5 to 6 million years ago,
The use of fire can be dated from 2 to 3 million years ago. Tools of bone have come into existence by one million B.C., that is, Age of Neanderthal man. The Neanderthals also apparently had some form of language and buried their dead with an elaborateness that indicates the possibility of religious ceremonies.
“Cro-Magnon dating from 25,000 years ago was a superior biological specimen, and he had correspondingly a more elaborate culture. Cro-Magnon’s brain averaged 1650 c.c. even larger than that of modern man. His cave-paintings are also well known. He also made jewellery of shells and teeth, and he carved statuettes of women that emphasised pregnancy, and fertility. He made weapons of bone, horn, and ivory, and he used needles in the fabrication of garments “.-Leslie, Lorman and Gorman.
Thus, we find a striking parallel between the biological evolution of man and the development of culture. But the parallel cannot be drawn in minute details. Because all our inferences relating to the period before the beginning of history must be made on the basis of the remains of the material artifacts that are collected.
These do not tell us much about the total way of life of people who used them. Further, the parallel between biological and cultural evolution should not be overdrawn.