“Africa’s Stone Age was also a Bone Age,” we are told:
Ancient Africans took bone tools to a new level around 90,000 years ago by making pointed knives out of animals’ ribs, scientists say. Before then, bone tools served as simpler, general-purpose cutting devices.
Members of northern Africa’s Aterian culture, which originated roughly 145,000 years ago, started crafting sharp-tipped bone knives as fish and other seafood increasingly became dietary staples, researchers suggest online October 3 in PLOS ONE… Bruce Bower, “A 90,000-year-old bone knife hints special tools appeared early in Africa” at Science News
Paper. (open access)
Meanwhile, the world’s oldest fishing nets (29,000 years ago) may have been discovered in Korea:
The 14 stone sinkers were discovered in the Maedun Cave along the coast of the East Sea by a team led by Han Chang-gyun, the director of the Yonsei museum, who has been excavating Paleolithic sites in the region since 1985. (The Paleolithic period was approximately 2.5 million to 12,000 years ago.) He says ancient fishers from about 29,000 years ago would have used the sinkers—rounded rocks with a central groove—to hold ropes or nets underwater to trap fish. Using nets would have allowed ancient fishers to catch more fish than would have been possible using earlier fishing technologies, such as carved bone fishing hooks or stone-tipped spears.
Based on preliminary radiocarbon dating of the soil in which they were found, the weights—as well as additional stone tools and fish bones found alongside them—fit soundly in the Paleolithic, 19,000 years earlier than all other stone sinkers previously discovered. Christopher DeCou, “Possible Evidence of World’s Oldest Fishing Nets Unearthed in Korea” at Hakai Magazine
The past isn’t what it used to be.
See also: Neanderthals practiced some forms of health care 1.6 mya
Earliest known rock drawing at 73,000 years ago
Revolutionary stone tools found in India “much earlier than thought,” 385 kya