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Stone tools confirmed from 3.4 mya?

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details of markings/Zeresenay Alemseged

From ScienceDaily:

Analysis supports a previous finding, that the best match for the marks is butchery by stone tools

Not trampling.

The paper supports the original interpretation that the damage to the two bones is characteristic of stone tool butchery, published in Nature in 2010. That finding was sensational, since it potentially pushed back evidence for the use of stone tools, as well as the butchering of large animals, by about 800,000 years.

The Nature paper was followed in 2011 by a rebuttal in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), suggesting that the bones were marked by incidental trampling in abrasive sediments. That sparked a series of debates about the significance of the discovery and whether the bones had been trampled.

For the current paper, Thompson and her co-authors examined the surfaces of a sample of more than 4000 other bones from the same deposits. They then used statistical methods to compare more than 450 marks found on those bones to experimental trampling marks and to the marks on the two controversial specimens.

“We would really like to understand what caused these marks,” Thompson says. “One of the most important questions in human evolution is when did we start eating meat, since meat is considered a likely explanation for how we fed the evolution of our big brains.” More.

Do not, we implore you, explain this meat = big brains thesis to the vegetarians, lest you get trampled, or be brought up on charges of microaggression.


In addition to Dikika, other recent finds are shaking up long held views of hominin evolution and when typical human behaviors emerged. This year, a team led by archeologist Sonia Harmand in Kenya reported unearthing stone tools that have been reliably dated to 3.3 million years ago, or 700,000 years older than the previous record.

But Michael Cremo is still wrong, right?

See also: What we do and don’t know about human evolution, and what pop science needs to believe.

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Toolmakers were communicating with more than peeps, that is certain. Peeps are for bonobos. Not that there is anything wrong with that. ppolish

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