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Researchers: Early stone tool culture of Neanderthals and other humans lasted much longer than thought

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Instead of dying out 200,000 years ago, the Acheulean culture overlapped more advanced technologies for about 100,000 years:

The Acheulean was estimated to have died out around 200,000 years ago but the new findings suggest it may have persisted for much longer, creating over 100,000 years of overlap with more advanced technologies produced by Neanderthals and early modern humans…

Acheulean stone tool technologies are the longest-lived cultural tradition practiced by early humans. Originating in East Africa 1.75 million years ago, handaxes and cleavers — the stone tool types which characterise the period — went on to be used across Africa, Europe and Asia by several different species of early human. Prior to this discovery, it was widely assumed that the Acheulean period ended between 300-150,000 year ago. However, the record was lacking in specific dates, and the timing of its demise has been heavily debated. The Kent and Czech team discovered that the tradition likely ended at different times around the world, varying from as early as 170,000 years ago in Sub-Saharan Africa through to as late as 57,000 years ago in Asia…

Dr Alastair Key, a Palaeolithic Archaeologist and the lead author of the study, said: “The earliest archaeological record will always be an incomplete picture of early human behaviour, so we know that the youngest known Acheulean sites are unlikely to actually represent the final instances of these technologies being produced. By allowing us to reconstruct these missing portions of the archaeological record, this technique not only gives us a more accurate understanding of when the tradition ended, but it gives us an indication of where we can expect to find new archaeological discoveries in the future.”

University of Kent, “Neanderthal and early modern human stone tool culture co-existed for over 100,000 years” at ScienceDaily

Overlap between the two cultures for many thousands of years would make a lot of sense because the newer technologies may not have been self-evidently better. Many considerations of time, energy, and risk would need to be factored in.

See also: Researchers: Neanderthals could speak like other humans. Researchers: “Most previous studies of Neandertal speech capacities focused on their ability to produce the main vowels in English spoken language. However, we feel this emphasis is misplaced, since the use of consonants is a way to include more information in the vocal signal and it also separates human speech and language from the communication patterns in nearly all other primates.”

The paper is open access.

4 Replies to “Researchers: Early stone tool culture of Neanderthals and other humans lasted much longer than thought

  1. 1
    martin_r says:

    here we go again “…Lasted Much Longer Than Thought…”

    see also “… unexpected, surprising, other than thought, earlier than thought, needs rethink, shakes up the dogma, … and so on”… this is Darwinism…

  2. 2
    Pearlman says:

    relatively much longer, still within 2,000 years of human history we were already a second metal smelting age.
    The first prior to the genetic bottleneck by ‘Genetic Adam’ aka Noach.
    As pure copper, silver, gold, already at UR-Kadim, by mid-age Abraham.
    That does not mean we were not also using stones.
    As David b. Yishei explained to the metal clad Goliath of Gath, when the truth literally hit him in the head.
    in about 2881 anno-mundi late EA letter span, 18th dynasty.
    reference the YeC Moshe Emes series and Framework for Torah and science alignment.

  3. 3
    polistra says:

    A culture that lasts a long time (a million years) must be doing something right. Stability is success.

    Perhaps those Neanderthals V1.0 were using their stone tools to kill Cro-Magnon psychopaths who were trying to cause Innovative Disruption and Creative Destruction. It’s nice to know that today’s psychopaths still recognize the success of Neanderthal stability and call it by name.

  4. 4
    Querius says:

    “Laura Matthews is an adjunct professor at the City University of New York. She teaches biological anthropology at several campuses, including Brooklyn College, City College, Hunter College, Lehman College.”

    At 3:43 in the video, she asserts the following:

    So, you know, going up to a lion and trying to steal its kill, like, that’s some pretty ballsy behavior there.

    This seems to be a sexist reference to male testicles and the intolerable glorification of stereotyped human male behavior!

    Fortunately, she prominently displays a “Black Lives Matter” wall hanging.

    However, next to the obligatory wall hanging, she displays a poster of a smiling white cat attacking an unsuspecting, victimized black cat, both of whom are involuntarily wearing the demeaning collar and bell of their species-supremacist human master. The racial analogy is obvious.

    Still, the Black Lives Matter wall hanging will most certainly grant the professor an indulgence for now. However, the professor should be advised that she should be more careful about her speech and decorations. After all she teaches in a University which, while tolerating and promoting a wide variety of orthodox progressive socialist viewpoints, does not serve as a platform for the reckless and shameless propagation of reactionary thought, speech, and other unprofessional expressions.


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