Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Science

Discovery of Early Human Tools Hint at Earlier Start 109

Posted by samzenpus
from the rewriting-the-book dept.
SternisheFan writes in with a story about early humans passing down their tool making skills. "Sophisticated bladelets suggest that humans passed on their technological skill down the generations. A haul of stone blades from a cave in South Africa suggests that early humans were already masters of complex technology more than 70,000 years ago . The tiny blades — no more than about 3 centimeters long on average — were probably used as tips for throwable spears, or as spiky additions to club-like weapons, says Curtis Marean, an archaeologist at Arizona State University in Tempe who led the team that found the bladelets. Twenty-seven such blades, called microliths by archaeologists, were found in layers of sand and soil dating as far back as 71,000 years ago and representing a time-span of about 11,000 years, showing how long humans were manufacturing the blades. Clever crafters The find lends credence to the idea that early humans were capable of passing on their clever ideas to the next generation of artisans, creating complex technologies that endured over time. John Shea, a palaeoanthropologist at Stony Brook University in New York, says that it also suggests that 'previous hypotheses that 'early' Homo sapiens differed from 'modern' ones in these respects are probably wrong'."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Discovery of Early Human Tools Hint at Earlier Start

Comments Filter:
  • Re:Mmmmnnn... (Score:5, Informative)

    by SternisheFan (2529412) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @01:06AM (#41915935)
    Quoting from your Wikipedia link...

    "Behavioral modernity is a term used in anthropology, archeology and sociology to refer to a set of traits that distinguish present day humans and their recent ancestors from both other living primates and other extinct hominid lineages. It is the point at which Homo sapiens began to demonstrate an ability to use complex symbolic thought and express cultural creativity. These developments are often thought to be associated with the origin of language. [1] There are two main theories regarding when modern human behavior emerged. [2] One theory holds that behavioral modernity occurred as a sudden event some 50 kya (50,000 years ago) in prehistory, possibly as a result of a major genetic mutation or as a result of a biological reorganization of the brain that led to the emergence of modern human natural languages. [3] Proponents of this theory refer to this event as the Great Leap Forward [4] or the Upper Paleolithic Revolution. The second theory holds that there was never any single technological or cognitive revolution. Proponents of this view argue that modern human behavior is the result of the gradual accumulation of knowledge, skills and culture occurring over hundreds of thousands of years of human evolution. [5] Proponents of this view include Stephen Oppenheimer in his book Out of Eden, and John Skoyles and Dorion Sagan in their book Up from Dragons: The evolution of human intelligence."

  • Re:Clever crafters (Score:4, Informative)

    by SternisheFan (2529412) on Thursday November 08, 2012 @04:12AM (#41916593)
    Story submitter here, yes, I did do a copy/paste submission (using my smartphone, not exactly easy to do!), and after submitting this story noticed this too. I should've picked up on it. Please accept this alternate story link as a token ... http://news.discovery.com/human/early-human-tools-121107.html [discovery.com]

Somebody ought to cross ball point pens with coat hangers so that the pens will multiply instead of disappear.

Working...