Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

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Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Tue Mar 20, 2018 7:02 pm

Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Date: March 19, 2018

Source: University of Montreal

Summary: An analysis of 115,000-year-old bone tools discovered in China suggests that the toolmaking techniques mastered by prehistoric humans there were more sophisticated than previously thought.

An analysis of 115,000-year-old bone tools discovered in China suggests that the toolmaking techniques mastered by prehistoric humans there were more sophisticated than previously thought.

Marks found on the excavated bone fragments show that humans living in China in the early Late Pleistocene were already familiar with the mechanical properties of bone and knew how to use them to make tools out of carved stone. These humans were neither Neanderthals nor sapiens.

This major find, in which Luc Doyon of UdeM's Department of Anthropology participated, has just been published in the scientific journal PLOS ONE.

"These artefacts represent the first instance of the use of bone as raw material to modify stone tools found at an East Asian early Late Pleistocene site,"said Doyon. "They've been found in the rest of Eurasia, Africa and the Levante, so their discovery in China is an opportunity for us to compare these artifacts on a global scale.

Until now, the oldest bone tools discovered in China dated back 35,000 years and consisted of assegai (spear) points. "Prior to this discovery, research into the technical behaviour of humans inhabiting China during this period was almost solely based on the study of tools carved from stone," said Doyon.

Three types of hammers

The seven bone fragments analyzed by Luc Doyon and his colleagues were excavated between 2005 and 2015 at the Lingjing site in central China's Henan province. The artifacts were found buried at a depth of roughly 10 metres. At the time, the site was being actively used as a water spring for animals. Prehistoric humans likely used these water supply points for killing and butchering their animal prey.


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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gord » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:07 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
...humans living in China in the early Late Pleistocene were already familiar with the mechanical properties of bone and knew how to use them to make tools out of carved stone....

...The seven bone fragments analyzed by Luc Doyon and his colleagues....

They used the bones to make stone tools? :befuddled:
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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby TJrandom » Wed Mar 21, 2018 7:56 am

Gord wrote:
Gawdzilla Sama wrote:
...humans living in China in the early Late Pleistocene were already familiar with the mechanical properties of bone and knew how to use them to make tools out of carved stone....

...The seven bone fragments analyzed by Luc Doyon and his colleagues....

They used the bones to make stone tools? :befuddled:


Maybe the bone was used for knapping....

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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gord » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:55 am

Don't be silly, knapkins are made of cloth or paper.
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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby TJrandom » Wed Mar 21, 2018 8:59 am

Then napping?

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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:54 am

Flint knappers use a antler to break chips off the core. But if you read the article...

Meh, why do I bother...
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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby TJrandom » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:03 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:Flint knappers use a antler to break chips off the core. But if you read the article...

Meh, why do I bother...


///close to its tip, shows impact scars produced by percussing various lithic blanks.//

Sounds like knapping to me.

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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Poodle » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:15 am


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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Mar 21, 2018 9:51 pm

Gord wrote:They used the bones to make stone tools? :befuddled:


The weirder evidence was on animal bones killed by big predators like lions, about two million years ago. The stone tool marks (scratches) were over the scratches left by the predator and the stone tools were used to break open larger bones to get to the protein in the bone marrow. This indicated that early humans were more scavengers than predators. It also shows how the first stone tools were simply used for smashing things.

Here are some chimps doing something similar.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o2TBicMRLtA

Here is a guesstimate of what Homo habilis looked like two million years ago. There's not much difference compared to apes.
Homo Habilis 1.jpg
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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:08 pm

I don't know why we would say "more one way than another". Marrow was a source of protein, but not the only one.
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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby TJrandom » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:18 pm

And of those marks on top of predator marks... and possibly being scavengers... Who is to say that these early hominoids hadn’t trained those predators to take down the prey animals? So roadkill, or fetched prey… :? :mrgreen:

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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:45 pm

TJrandom wrote:And of those marks on top of predator marks... and possibly being scavengers... Who is to say that these early hominoids hadn’t trained those predators to take down the prey animals? So roadkill, or fetched prey… :? :mrgreen:

Or maybe they were kaiju kills and the humans had taught them to attack the space aliens that looked like hot women.
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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Matthew Ellard » Wed Mar 21, 2018 10:49 pm

Gawdzilla Sama wrote: Marrow was a source of protein, but not the only one.
True. I believe the claim was that the predator animal ate the meat but couldn't crack the bones to get the marrow and thus the scavenger hominid could take what was left.


https://www.americanscientist.org/artic ... est-humans

"Not only the meat on bones but the marrow inside them would have been an important source of nutrition for early humans. It was Blumenschine, this time with then-graduate student Marie Selvaggio, who in 1988 first recognized percussion marks on animal fossils: pits and striations left from bashing bones open with baseball-sized hammerstones to gain access to marrow. Blumenschine, together with then-graduate student Cregg Madrigal, further noted in 1993 that the skeletal part profiles Bunn claimed were indications of access to the meatiest bones at FLK Zinj also reflected the bones that contained the most fat-rich marrow. If, as it seems, the early humans at sites such as FLK Zinj had access mainly to bones that had already been stripped of most of their meat by larger carnivores, the calorie-rich marrow in these bones may still have been available to creatures ingenious enough get to it. This behavior would fall in line with what we have documented at Kanjera South, where early humans transported not only limb bones but also the isolated remains of the heads of larger prey animals to the archaeological site before breaking them open and consuming the brains, taking advantage of another resource that even the largest African carnivores were unable to exploit."

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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gawdzilla Sama » Wed Mar 21, 2018 11:00 pm

Yeah, that's a commonly known matter, not enough crunch in the jaws. Only exception is the African painted dog, 317 pounds. I've seen them eat a deer and leave the hooves and antlers.
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Re: Discovery of sophisticated 115,000-year-old bone tools in China

Postby Gord » Thu Mar 22, 2018 2:24 am

Gawdzilla Sama wrote:...But if you read the article...

Meh, why do I bother...

Sounds to me like SOMEone didn't give an adequate summary. :beee: I blame Hitler.
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