By James Gerald Crowther
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After this development had become established, the negative qualities of the valleys began to exert a stimulating effect. The lack of metallic ores and wood for fuel inspired pioneering expeditions to distant countries which returned with new knowledge of geography, geology, natural history, and inventions. The discovery of distant sources of raw material stimulated the improvement of transport, and ships and navigation. In Mesopotamia even stones for implements had to be imported from distant Assyria by the Stone Age farmers, as there was no local supply.
Of the Old Stone Age, which lasted from about 500,000 until 15,000 years ago, was very sparse and its members belonged to species which have become extinct. These men could not stand erect. They had sharp teeth and powerful jaws more suitable than our own for fighting, and their brains were large compared with those of higher apes. 1 THE SOCIAL RELATIONS OF SCIENCE Men of an anatomical type almost indistinguishable from our own appear in graves belonging to the New Stone Age. It seems probable that the beginning of the New Stone Age is associated with the emergence of our own particular species of man.
The climate improved steadily with the retreat of the ice, and Western Europe became richly stocked with game. The new men exploited these conditions with success. They invented a variety of tools, and devised special tools for making tools. They invented the bo~ which is the first mechanical engine. It operates by storing human ene~ duriitg energy a slow contraction. When the bowstring is released, is suddenly discharged and used to propel an arrow wit~at speed. e PROVISION OF LEISURE AND ART 13 The increased stock of game ga,ve scope for these improved weapons, and the combination of circumstances gave the new men an easier life and even some leisure.
The Social Relations of Science by James Gerald Crowther