Brain expansion: learning to use a 315,000 year old (Evolution)

by David Turell @, Saturday, June 13, 2020, 22:15 (24 days ago) @ dhw

New finding in Sri Lanka of earliest bow and arrow and other findings:

"The origins of human innovation have traditionally been sought in the grasslands and coasts of Africa or the temperate environments of Europe. More extreme environments, such as the tropical rainforests of Asia, have been largely overlooked, despite their deep history of human occupation. A new study provides the earliest evidence for bow-and-arrow use, and perhaps the making of clothes, outside of Africa ~48-45,000 years ago, in the tropics of Sri Lanka.


"At ~48,000 years old, these tools are earlier than the first similar technology found in Europe. Clear evidence for use on the preserved bone arrowheads shows that they were likely used for hunting difficult-to-catch rainforest prey. Not only that, but the scientists show that other bone tools may have been used for making nets or clothing in tropical settings, dramatically altering traditional assumptions about how certain human innovations were linked with specific environmental requirements.


"The evidence for early human innovation did not stop there. Applying the same microscopic approach to other bone tools, the team identified implements which seem to have been associated with freshwater fishing in nearby tropical streams, as well as the working of fiber to make nets or clothing. "We also found clear evidence for the production of colored beads from mineral ochre and the refined making of shell beads traded from the coast, at a similar age to other 'social signaling' materials found in Eurasia and Southeast Asia, roughly 45,000 years ago," says Michelle Langley. Together, this reveals a complex, early human social network in the tropics of South Asia.


"While archeologists have long focused on the uniqueness of European markers of behavioral modernity, the new study is part of a growing awareness that many regions of the world saw extraordinary and complex new technologies emerge at the end of the Paleolithic. "Humans at this time show extraordinary resourcefulness and the ability to exploit a range of new environments," notes Nicole Boivin, Director at the MPI-SHH and study coauthor. "These skills enabled them to colonize nearly all of the planet's continents by about 10,000 years ago, setting us clearly on the path to being the global species we are today.'"

Comment: Again makes my point: Big brain hardly used until learned how to conceptualize more complex ideas. In my view it is the soul who learns to use. The size at the beginning shows the designer anticipates the use, obviously.

Complete thread:

 RSS Feed of thread

powered by my little forum