Human evolution News

Remains of butchered animals 250 kya

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blade with anmal remains/April Nowell

On stone tools. From ScienceDaily:

How smart were human-like species of the Stone Age? New research reveals surprisingly sophisticated adaptations by early humans living 250,000 years ago in a former oasis near Azraq, Jordan.

“What this tells us about their lives and complex strategies for survival, such as the highly variable techniques for prey exploitation, as well as predator avoidance and protection of carcasses for food, significantly diverges from what we might expect from this extinct species,” continues Nowell. “It opens up our ability to ask questions about how Middle Pleistocene hominins lived in this region and it might be a key to understanding the nature of interbreeding and population dispersals across Eurasia with modern humans and archaic populations such as Neanderthals.”

Another result of this study is the potential to revolutionize what researchers know about early hominin diets. “Other researchers with tools as old or older than these tools from sites in a variety of different environmental settings may also have success when applying the same technique to their tools, especially in the absence of animal remains at those sites,” adds Nowell. Paper. (paywall) – A. Nowell, C. Walker, C.E. Cordova, C.J.H. Ames, J.T. Pokines, D. Stueber, R. DeWitt, A.S.A. al-Souliman. Middle Pleistocene subsistence in the Azraq Oasis, Jordan: Protein residue and other proxies. Journal of Archaeological Science, 2016; 73: 36 DOI: 10.1016/j.jas.2016.07.013
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See also: What’s the name of that fellow who is always wrong? (Michael Cremo). Keep him in the files, will you?

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