Human evolution

Researchers: Early human toolkit (400 kya) showed precision toolmaking

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Flint: © yauhenka / Adobe Stock

And recycling. From ScienceDaily:

A new Tel Aviv University study finds that prehistoric humans “recycled” discarded or broken flint tools 400,000 years ago to create small, sharp utensils with specific functions. These recycled tools were then used with great precision and accuracy to perform specific tasks involved in the processing of animal products and vegetal materials…

In recent years, archaeologists working in caves in Spain and North Africa and digs in Italy and Israel have unearthed evidence that prehistoric people recycled objects they used in daily life. Just as we recycle materials such as paper and plastic to manufacture new items today, early hominids collected discarded or broken tools made of flint to create new utensils for specific purposes hundreds of thousands of years ago…

“We used microscopic and chemical analyses to discover that these small and sharp recycled tools were specifically produced to process animal resources like meat, hide, fat and bones,” Venditti explains. “We also found evidence of plant and tuber processing, which demonstrated that they were also part of the hominids’ diet and subsistence strategies.” Paper. (paywall) – Flavia Venditti, Stella Nunziante-Cesaro, Yoni Parush, Avi Gopher, Ran Barkai. Recycling for a purpose in the late Lower Paleolithic Levant: Use-wear and residue analyses of small sharp flint items indicate a planned and integrated subsistence behavior at Qesem Cave (Israel). Journal of Human Evolution, 2019; 131: 109 DOI: 10.1016/j.jhevol.2019.03.016 More.

The really dumb caveman is becoming an endangered species.

See also: Ancient Humans Used Medicinal Plants

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