Re: Savannas

J. Moore (
Tue, 26 Sep 95 11:27:00 -0500

Br> >But of course you've read Alex's post, and now understand why the
Br> >"savannah theory" is not what you claim it to be. Not to mention
Br> >your insistence that "savannah" equals "arid" or "near-desert".

Br> Yes, Jim, there ain't much water on the savannah. This means that a
Br> savannah is "arid." Look it up.
Br> Bryce Harrington

Well, if you'd have looked it up, you would have seen that savannah
refers to areas with open grassland and generally a pronounced dry
and wet season. There are also different sorts of savannah.
There are savannahs which are quite arid during the dry season,
with only seasonal streams and lakes. Some also consist only of
plains with few scattered trees. Others are liberally supplied
with rivers and streams, trees and brush. Acacia savannahs, for
example, may be "typified by relatively closed vegetation and
little in the way of open plains" (Richard Potts, *Early Hominid
Activities at Olduvai*, 1988:170).

Other relevant points about savannahs and early human evolution
have also now been recently mentioned by others here; that early
hominids were using a variety of savannah environments and the
areas around them. This can be summed up by saying: "These areas
are a mosaic landscape that includes open grasslands, scattered
tree clumps, riverine forests, gallery forests, and marshy areas.
Vegetation ranges from open grasslands interpersed with groups of
trees to relatively dense forest. High trees with grassy floors
may be found adjacent to or surrounded by open grasslands." (Nancy
Tanner, *On Becoming Human* 1981:134-135).

"Arid near-desert" is not an accurate general description of
savannahs. Images of a Kalahari desert or even many over-grazed,
drought-condition dry savannahs of recent years are not an
accurate image of early hominid habitat.

Jim Moore (

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