Plant Domestication

Around 12,000 years ago, maize did not exist. Teosinte, a tall and broad-leaved grass, transformed into maize through the process of natural domestication. Teosinte had few kernels and each was very difficult to crack open. Farming communities in Mexico realized that if they only replanted the teosinte variations that had many, easy-to-open kernels, only this form of teosinte would grow. This process of selective gathering and dispersal of teosinte pods led to the creative of maize 6,000 years ago. The following picture demonstrates this evolution.


Washoe’s Painting

Washoe, a female chimpanzee at Central Washington University zoo, was an artist. She painted the artwork you see below! Other animals such as birds also create art that humans find aesthetically pleasing, which is driven by their creative spark.

(Chimpanzee AI)

Oldowan and Acheulean Stone Tools

The following image depicts an Oldowan stone tool from Tanzania 2.4-1.7 million years ago. The edges of this tool were used for scraping, chopping, boring, and hammering.



The following image depicts an Acheulean stone tool. The Acheulean tool industry was more complex than the Oldowan and existed from 1.5 mya to 250 kya. A variation of tools were produced and they were made to be much sharper. Acheulean tools were used for cracking nuts, hunting, dehiding and defleshing carcasses, and sculpting wood.


Hello! My name is Rachel Glein and I am a senior Science-Business major at the University of Notre Dame. This website book review provides a chapter by chapter summary of Agustín Fuentes’ novel, The Creative Spark, and includes my assessment of the novel.