The Forest as Human Habitat

  • Claude Martin


Although mankind’s earliest origins may be traced back to African rainforests, our Stone Age ancestors had long ceased to favor the rainforest as a place to live [1]. The climate fluctuations from cool, dry periods to warm, wet spans and the resulting retreat and expansion of the rainforest zone during the Pleistocene also affected human settlement. Dry periods led to migration from the Sahara to the bend of the Niger River and from the savannah zone into the rainforest. Supported by archeological findings, such migrations lead us to assume that prehistoric man was better suited to life in the savannah than in the desert or in closed rainforest. During the Middle Stone Age there were a number of migrations from the Niger Valley, not far from today’s Niamey, to the Volta region of Ghana up to the Accra plains and to the edge of the rainforest zone but no further, at least not at that time.


Game Meat Flying Squirrel Blue Duiker Hevea Rubber Rainforest Zone 
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© Springer Basel AG 1991

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  • Claude Martin

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