Ancestor Series: Habilis
About the Ancestor series:
This is a series of works featuring human evolutionary ancestors and relatives. Our understanding of these species is heavily influenced by our perceptions of what it means to be human, and our desire for a narrative about our own spiritual history. Skulls become masks for myths in this series that features flora, fauna, and archaeological artifacts.
Habilis (Homo habilis):
With a name meaning “Handy Man”, H. habilis lived 2.33 to 1.44 million years ago and mastered the Olduwan stone tool set. They are also believed to have had more complex social systems than their predecessors. Habilis was not the apex predator later Homo species tended to be: they were largely herbivores and scavengers and their remains are frequently found in the guts of large predators. Despite this, their tool use and more complex social structures allowed them to expand to far more hostile environments than previous species.
Lebona Fairy Hairstreak (Hypolycaena lebona):
This butterfly is native to Africa, ranging from Sierra Leone to northwest Tanzania. This butterfly uses a clever trick to avoid predatory birds. The long tails and eyespot on their rears create the appearance of a false head. Predatory birds know that butterflies always fly forward when they take off to escape, and will usually aim slightly in front of the butterfly to catch it. By twitching their false heads, the hairstreaks fool the birds into attacking just behind them instead of just in front, allowing the butterfly to escape unharmed.
A biface is a stone hand axe and is the longest-used tool in human history. They can be used as cutting, scraping, or digging tools and were often made to fit the user’s hand perfectly. While most bifaces had a practical use, many have been found that were of a size or material that would have been too unwieldy or fragile to be functional. It is speculated that these were used as symbols or ritual objects, and may have been the first art objects.