Monday, May 18, 2020

Early Humanity’s Toolkit

From Haaretz:
Stone artifacts painstakingly shaped into spheres were part of the daily lives of early humans for more than two million years. They have been unearthed by archaeologists in East Africa, humanity’s ancestral home, and they litter prehistoric sites across Eurasia from the Middle East to China and India. Yet experts have been puzzled by their function since the early days of research into our evolutionary history.
Now, an international team of archaeologists led by Tel Aviv University archaeologist researcher Ella Assaf, has produced evidence that these enigmatic artifacts were used for a very specific purpose: breaking the bones of large animals to extract the nutritious marrow inside. The study, published last week in the journal PLOS ONE, highlights how an elegant technological solution that allowed hominins to increase their calorie intake endured for hundreds of thousands of years and continued to be used even as our ancestors developed new techniques and created more complex societies. (Read more.)

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