Tuesday, August 28, 2018

More Evidence of Complex Tool Creation By Archaic Homo sapiens

New excavations at Boxgrove, a site which dates from approximately 300 thousand years ago has yielded tools that show more complex creation strategies.  From the Independent:
The specific stone tools which were analysed as part of the study were sophisticated flint hand axes, which had required a special technique to shape them.

The technique is known to prehistorians as ‘platform preparation’. In most very early stone tools, the manufacturing process is a simple single-stage affair in which the toolmaker merely hits a lump of flint with a stone repeatedly to systematically knock bits off it until the lump has been reduced to a desired shape.

However, more sophisticated toolmakers employed a two-stage approach. First they would successively "soften up" small portions of the flint’s surface, so as to then be able to more accurately remove flakes from it, thus creating a much more sophisticated and effective tool with a better and more refined cutting edge.
Quite a bit of evidence is emerging that the group of hominins loosely called “archaic Homo sapiens” was considerably more technologically and socially advanced than we once thought. Whether or not they looked modern, they were beginning to act that way. 

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