Early humans didn’t have a proper place to live. They lived in temporary (not permanent) shelters. They wandered through forests searching for food, warmth, water and shelter for many years. They wanted to protect themselves from other animals. During the colder seasons they had to either move away or seek shelter, such as in caves. They had been struggling many years to get these necessities, because they couldn’t get those by travelling place to place. Finally they were able to settle down in a certain place where they could get food, shelter, protection and other necessities. These places are known as early villages.
Places where man came to live a settled life are called early villages.
a) Near forests
b) Near rivers or streams
c) Near hills
d) Near flat lands with good soil
e) Near valuable materials that could be mined
1. For firewood
2. For collecting fruits and yams for food
3. For hunting animals for food
1. For drinking
2. For washing
3. For cooking
4. For farming etc.
But the village site (a piece of land on which something is located) had to be away from flooding and the rivers could be crossed by a bridge or ford (a shallow place where you can walk across a river)
Keep watch for enemies
To start a trade (to buy and sell goods)
E.g. – The hilltop village of Les Baux de Provenece, in France, grew in the 19th century when aluminium ore (bauxite) was discovered in the hills nearby.
A settlement is a place with buildings and houses where people live in.
People in settlements grew more crops, produced more dairy products and meat, and made creative things from animals’ skins and stones. But they didn’t have anything to do with these extra products. So they decided to exchange their products with other villagers. To deal with other villagers they had to travel place to place with their products. Therefore they had to make roads or paths or routeways. Little by little they could improve their creativity and gained (increased) knowledge about day to day life and about the world. Finally they could improve their trade. They found money and they sold their products. They put up houses, shops and other buildings. Likewise early villages developed into settlements like big villages, towns and cities.
Names of towns and villages sometimes have clues that show that they were early settlements. Here are some examples:
|Camp or fort
Ely – Near a river and a marsh (wet land)
Fordingbridge – Near a river which could be crossed by a bridge
Edinburgh – Near hills
Corfe Castle – Near hills and many routeways could be made
Also, read the lesson ‘How a village grows‘.