The Great Human Race, episode 2

Another episode of this show which is a combination of ‘Naked and afraid’ and ‘10.000 BC’.

The episode we go back 200.000 years to see how our ancestors the Homo erectus survived… hey no giggling in the back!

Perhaps the most important time in the history of mankind; the conquering of fire.

Seeing the two experts ‘find’ fire (what a coincidence…) is interesting and probably very much like it happened.
They probably knew fire could provide them with free food in the shape of dead animals and it may also be the moment we learned that cooked/burned meat tastes better than raw.
Fire makes food better, fire can perhaps be moved…
I like seeing and thinking about how the first of our ancestors thought of this and the show is really great for that kind of situations.

The show also reminds me of the wonderful 1980s film ‘Quest for fire’.

What I also like about using experts in stead of regular people, like we’ve seen in 10.000 BC, experts don’t think twice about eating a dead burned rat they find on the ground.
With regular participants, you as a viewer first have to struggle through squealing and screaming and drama about having to do something icky.

The carrier they build to transport the fire is brilliant.
I wonder if she really completely thought of that herself or if a show expert told her about how to make one.

Finding water is always difficult, they find water but it is contaminated.
I doubt prehistoric man really cared about it.
But I also wonder why they don’t use the sand to filter it, for instance by digging right next to where the river bed was.

Either way, just like our ancestors, they were always travelling, from one spot to another, never quite safe, never enough food, never enough fresh drinking water.

Interesting how during most of their journey they’d have to try and keep the ember from setting fire to the container and then when they find a safe spot or rain is coming, they have to try very hard to help the ember start a fire.

The idea of having to sleep in the open air must be frightening, then and even today.
I don’t understand why they don’t move to the little overhanging side by that tree where they find the stones.
Crawling in-between those roots would be nice protection and good hiding spot.
But at the very least it would be protection from the wind and cold and a good fire wall.
This is where I’d make my base for the night.


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I love that we’re now ready to start using stone tools and seeing an expert make stone weapons and tools is always interesting to see.

The idea of the couple sleeping on the ground, protected only by prickly thorns is still scary, even though the odds of them actually being in danger are probably non existent.
I just can’t believe the production team would have risked their two presenters actually being attacked by wild animals.
So as scary as these scenes look, be assured that there probably was a production team real close, ready to turn on big lights and perhaps even have a wildlife expert shoot the animal.

Nevertheless, sleeping outside in the wild is very scary, I know, I’ve done it.

Time to start hunting in stead of gathering and scavenging.
Making weapons for the first time.
And well done on showing the actual killing of the animal.
They knew what they were doing.

And then he ember goes out…
Having to make fire with only a few sticks is a hellishly difficult job.
I tried it myself, never quite managed it.
Very frustrating, especially of course if your food, safety and life depends on it!
I think this is something we should teach all children in school, it is the most important invention mankind ever made and it can always come in handy.

Next episode; Homo Sapiens!



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