Ancient stone-tool making method arose multiple times | Science News


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Ancient stone-tool making method arose multiple times

Eurasians invented flakes without the help of African hominids

2:01pm, September 25, 2014
early stone tools

FLAKE MAKERS  Hominids living in Eurasia around 330,000 years ago crafted stone tools from lumps of volcanic glass using a flake-making technology they may have invented themselves.  

More than 300,000 years ago, Stone Age people in Eurasia may have invented new technology on their own, instead of borrowing it from African migrants, as some researchers suspected.

A mix of stone artifacts sandwiched between lava flows in Armenia suggest that an early toolmaking method actually arose independently in multiple spots around the world, an international team of researchers reports in the Sept. 26 Science.

“This tells us that archaic humans were a lot more innovative than we give them credit for,” says archaeologist Mark White of Durham University in England.

For almost 20 years, he says, scientists have argued whether a way to make stone flakes, called Levallois technology, was invented in Africa and then spread to Eurasia as hominids traveled north.“It’s one of those hypotheses that gets stuck like glue to the scientific consciousness,”

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