Early humans camped on this spot, where the modern city of Nice, France, now stands. The first thing archaeologists found at Terra Amata was the foundation of a hut large enough to sleep about 20 people. The hut was most likely built of sturdy branches, with stones around the base of the hut for support.
At the center of the hut, archaeologists found the remains of a fire pit. Small stones on one side of the fire pit shielded the fire from the wind. The people might have slept on animal hides near the pit, huddled close to the fire for warmth.
Near the fire pit was a flat stone. The people of Terra Amata probably used this hard surface for shaping their tools. Stone flakes were scattered all around the area. These flakes flew off rocks as people chipped them into tools.
A second flat stone in another corner of the hut probably served as a cutting board for meat. The surface of this stone had many small scratches, and animal bones were strewn all around.
By studying the layers of the sand, archaeologists learned that Terra Amata was occupied for only a few days or a week at a time. If the people had stayed there longer, the sand would have been more packed down. The layers also show that people came back and rebuilt their huts at Terra Amata year after year.
Directions:On this sheet of paper, draw a rough floor plan of your home. In a few sentences, explain the similarities and differences between your home and Terra Amata.