Carolus Linnaeus was the man who created the modern concept of biological taxonomy the 18th century. He spoke of human species, called Homo troglodytes, primitive people, who lived in the caves of an Indonesian аrchipelago.
Even though the troglodyte species, also known as “forest people”, wас an invalid taxon, the term “cavemen” persisted for describing the first humans.
This idea is appropriate for the concepт of human evolution – people descended from the trees, built homes in caves and then began constructing skyscrapers in megalopolises.
Archeologists have discovered artifacts in caves and that is why they believe such places to be the first homes in the contemporary meaning of the word.
American anthropological archeologist, Margaret Conkey, currently a professor at the University of California, Berkeley, asked herself a simple question: what did people do in a cave all day? What if we were to look at all the data we have from a mobile point of view? And then Conkey decided to search for answers beyond the limitations of the caves.
For the last 20 years, the explorer and her team have been studying archaeological sites in the foothills of the Central Pyrenees in France. Her project, titled “Between the Caves,” concentrates on the Palaeolithic era (or Stone Age). During her research, Conkey realized that people from that period were much more than cavemen.
Archeologists are able to determine when an animal died just by examining its teeth. And hunting of certain animals was only possible at a specific time of year – for example, this was true for different kinds of fish. Discoveries show that humans used to spend only several months a year in caves.
The team explored 360 plowed fields, vineyards, sunflower plantations and different agricultural spots in the region of Ariège. According to Conkey, plowing exposes all artifacts and that is why there were multiple discoveries.
On the mountain ridge, scientists accidently stumbled upon artifacts which literally popped up from underneath the hooves of horses. There were hundreds of stone weapons and other artifacts which date back 17 000 years.
Humans usually built their homes near flint sources which they used for tools of labor. Some discovered instruments were refined by later generations. But the mobility of humans was confirmed from the pieces of flint that had been brought from far-away regions, sometimes located more than 200 kilometers away.
Margaret Conkey proposes that these humans should be called “spatially ambitious” rather than “homeless”.