The geographical world and environment of the ancient hominid species were vastly different from our world today, including the physical placement and locations of the continents and land on Earth. Scientists currently believe that when hominids were first evolving, all the continents on the planet were bunched together into one giant landmass called Pangea. The connected landmass of Pangea eventually separated and moved into the locations we have today by the slow and continuous drifting of the continental plates. The continental plates continue to drift to this day at a prolonged and imperceptible rate. This continental drift created many of the beautiful natural features in our world today, including the collision of tectonic plates that caused mountains to form.
Evidence suggests that human ancestors existed on the continent now known as Africa for about 1 million years before migrating eastward through present-day Europe and beyond to what is now known as Asia. The oldest hominid remains in Asia are a pair of teeth found in China, dating from about 1.7 million years ago. There has been other evidence of Homo erectus found in China that dates back even further. It’s safe for scientists to say that our ancient ancestors had made it from Africa to Asia about 2 million years ago.
Remains and artifacts in Europe date the arrival and habitation of hominids in that area around 600,000 years ago. However, it is not believed that Homo sapiens were in Europe until about 45,000 years ago. Anthropologists do not know why Homo sapiens took so long to inhabit Europe. There is plenty of evidence that Homo sapiens had already been inhabiting Asia, which would have required them to pass through Europe from Africa to Asia, long before they finally inhabited Europe. Exactly when and why Homo sapiens finally populated Europe is a question that will require further archaeological discoveries to be able to answer.
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