Ancient tool technology passed down for thousands of generations by extinct human species, study says

bb homo erectus inline mobile
A Homo erectus braincase found near these double-edged stone implements (each shown from both sides) contributes to evidence that these now-extinct hominids created tools requiring considerable skill and planning as well as simple cutting instruments. Credit: Michael Rogers/Southern Connecticut State University

When it comes to extinct human species, Neanderthals tend to hog the spotlight. But another group of early humans, Homo erectus, is equally deserving of our love and attention.

Skull fragments from two individuals were recently uncovered in Gona, Afar, Ethiopia, alongside associated stone tools—a rarity in archaeology. Even rarer is the discovery of stone tools hailing from two different technological traditions, a finding that’s upsetting a conventional notion that associates single human species with single stone tool technologies.

Of relevance to the new study, the authors reference Mode 1 tools, in which several pieces are knapped off a stone to produce sharp edges, and Mode 2 tools, which are more complex, having all sides flaked off to produce a pear-shaped hand-axe.

Related article:  10,000-year-old remains suggest dogs reached North America earlier than previously thought

“The fact that the Mode 2 tradition seems to be conserved over such a long time, and over long distances, raises questions about the functionality of Mode 2 stone tools, strength of cultural traditions, and the degree of interactions between wide-ranging groups,” [researcher Michael] Rogers told Gizmodo. “It’s remarkable that the Mode 2 tradition was passed down successfully over thousands of generations, especially in light of the variability that we are now seeing in the paleoanthropological records.”

Read the original post

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
can you boost your immune system to prevent coronavirus spread x

Video: How to boost your immune system to guard against COVID and other illnesses

Scientists have recently developed ways to measure your immune age. Fortunately, it turns out your immune age can go down ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
globalmethanebudget globalcarbonproject cropped x

Infographic: Cows cause climate change? Agriculture scientist says ‘belching bovines’ get too much blame

A recent interview by Caroline Stocks, a UK journalist who writes about food, agriculture and the environment, of air quality ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend