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A ceramic figurine from the Czech Republic dates to 29,000-25,000 BCE, but the first pottery vessels were found in China and date to 20,000 BCE.
Because fire naturally occurs through lightning strikes, it can be difficult to distinguish between man-made and natural fire in the archaeological record.
Discontinuity theory holds that human language is so unusual that it can only be explained if it evolved quickly due to a genetic basis.
Linguist Noam Chomsky, a prominent discontinuity theorist, believes that there are basic, universal speech components that underlie all language and explain both the uniqueness of human language and certain common features of all languages.
Continuity theorists believe in a long, slow evolution of human language from the pre-language systems of our primate ancestors.
Some continuity scientists believe that the first language used only gestures and that speech came later, as a supplement.
Phase five is the Microlithic, characterized by the first multi-part, or composite tools, such as those fastened to a stone or wooden haft. The last phase, the Neolithic, extended from 10,000 BCE to between 45 BCE.
Neolithic toolmaking is characterized by ground or polished implements made of non-flaking materials.The chronological lists contain every invention that was on at least two of the “Best Inventions” lists I found.This version of the list also contains much more information about the invention, including precursors, improvements and further developments.Most agree that our speech organs evolved for feeding and breathing, not speech, but that our tongue, lips, larynx, hyoid bone and respiratory apparatus were fortuitously well-designed to produce speech.Theories about the origins of speech and language abound.This is the first part of a three-part version of the “Best Inventions of All Time” list arranged chronologically.