Primitive Human Herd

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Primitive Human Herd


the conventional term for the first human grouping, the immediate successor to the zoological association of man’s closest animal precursors.

The majority of scholars assume that the primitive human herd flourished during the period when human beings of the modern type were developing, a time when emerging social institutions struggled with the zoological instincts inherited from animal ancestors. From the standpoint of archaeology, the epoch of the primitive human herd spans the Lower Paleolithic and part of the middle of the Paleolithic period. In anthropological terms, it is associated with formative humans: archanthropoi (Pithecanthropus and Sinanthropus) and paleoanthropoi (Neanderthal). Their economy was based on a combination of hunting and gathering. Among the instruments of labor characteristic of this period were hand axes, crude tools for cutting (choppers), flake tools, and triangular points. At first, marital relations were, perhaps, not regulated or structured. Gradually, sexual ties ceased to develop among members of the same herd. Eventually they were prohibited, and exogamy became the rule. With the transition to marital ties exclusively with members of other herds, the clan developed.


Problemy istorii dokapitalisticheskikh obshchestv. Moscow, 1968.
Leninskie idei ν izuchenii istorii pervobytnogo obshchestva. rabovladeniia i feodalizma (collection of articles). Moscow, 1970.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.