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14,000 Year Old Ancient Toolkit Found

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posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 06:07 PM
This recent discovery gives us more of an insight on how our ancestors lived day to day. It is thought that because of the implements found that gender specific duties may not have been the case for male and females.
The sickle in particular is a rare find in such good condition.

14000 year old toolkit found

Before the end of the last ice age, a hunter-gatherer left a bag of tools near the wall of a roundhouse residence, where archaeologists have now found the collection 14,000 years later.
The tool set -- one of the most complete and well preserved of its kind -- provides an intriguing glimpse of the daily life of a prehistoric hunter-gatherer.

The sickle, constructed out of two carefully grooved horn pieces, was fitted with color-matched tan and grey bladelets. It would have been a marvel of form and function for its day and is the only tool of its kind ever linked to the Natufian people.

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But the bag's owner wasn't necessarily a man; women are thought to have been in charge of plant gathering. The tools, therefore, either belonged to a woman hunter-gatherer, or work activities were more gender-blind than thought during prehistoric times, Edwards theorized.

The Natufian Culture

The Natufian culture existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant. It was an Mesolithic culture, but unusual in that it established permanent settlements even before the introduction of agriculture. The Natufians are likely to have been the ancestors of the builders of the first Neolithic settlements of the region, which may have been the earliest in the world.

Among the first cultures to recognise "mans best friend".

It is at Natufian sites that the earliest archaeological evidence for the domestication of the dog is found. At the Natufian site of Ein Mallaha in Israel, dated to 12 000 BP, the remains of an elderly human and a four-to-five-month-old puppy were found buried together.[3] At another Natufian site at the cave of Hayonim, a man was found buried with two canids

The Hunter Gatherer way of Life

Wadi Hammeh 27 site

Broad excavation of the uppermost occupation phase has revealed large oval limestone dwellings, which enclose an array of stone features such as hearths, postholes and pavements and boulder clusters. Beneath this lie two further superimposed architectural phases, the whole underlain by a layer with human burials.
The site is notable for a series of exquisitely preserved artefact clusters, such as a unique bone double-sickle cached with other sets of stone tools, bone beads and colored pebbles; and several sets of carefully stacked basalts and mortars (Figure 1). It has yielded a rich and varied repertoire of rock-art ranging from large rock slabs incorporated into the walls of a dwelling, to small incised limestone plaques

An interesting look at an ancient culture and how they lived.



posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 06:52 PM
That's a great find, mojo.

Interesting to speculate about why there were "men's" and "women's" tools in the same bag.

Though perhaps it was "men's work" to harvest the barley for beer, and not for women. For everything we've learned about early man, we still don't know much.

I'm kind of peeved at my high school anthro teacher now. He said that it was hard to find work in the fields of anthropology and paleontology, which discouraged me from looking into it further.

nah, he was cool. Only class I ever had where I was allowed to pass notes to my BFF because we were the best students in the class.

Starred & flagged.

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 07:26 PM
reply to post by MajorMalfunction

I'm of the opinion that specific gender roles wouldnt have been as obvious then, survival would have meant ALL being able to either hunt or farm or make clothes etc.
The other interesting thing mentioned was that the making beads may have been used as a way to pass the time while waiting for game. This suggests to me that if it was a mans kit then he would have learnt that skill along side the women, and if it was a womans it means that they also hunted along side the men.
One of the argument's has always been that it was too dangerous to let women hunt just for the fact that if they were injured or killed it meant one woman less of child bearing capability for the tribe but i dont subscribe to that, particularly if the main source of game was gazelle's. Why couldnt both men and women have hunted gazelles, there not exactly sabretooths. LOL.

Thanks for the props MM, i was thinking i might get flamed by someone thinking that they had found a Stanley toolbelt and wrench kit from Atlantis and being disappointed.


posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 07:59 PM
The archy's make an Awesome find, and what a unique glimpse into an ancient time. Hunter/gatherer's had to spend alot of time getting enough food to survive, making beads/art would be something to do in a time of plenty or at night when in camp, drilling beads makes movement and sound which are not conductive to hunting. Men and women's roles were probably very simular, no wallflower's allowed. The "sickle" is an interesting artifact, almost over-kill for a simple harvesting tool, North-American "sickles" are made from the lower jaw of deer/antalope, and shoulder blade bones...Thanks for the look...

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 08:14 PM
Fantastic OP Mojo

This is the image from the OP source, of the tools found:

Wonderful discovery, I am in the process of learning how to make and use the tools of civilaztions past, this should give me some new ideas on uses of stone and bone.


posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 08:52 PM
reply to post by Oneshot1

Actually if ancient hunter/gatherers were like their modern counterparts, then they only had to work about 3 hours per day to meet all their food needs. This is based on a study of the !Kung in the 1960's.

Article here.

posted on Dec, 13 2007 @ 08:55 PM
reply to post by JacKatMtn

The sickle is on view in the museum Jack, i'd love to get a close up look at it, it sounds cool. Ive tried making flint arrowheads myself, a lot more difficult than you'd think, as artisans with primitive tools our ancestors were pretty good.

Just on a side note i'm heading up north over the xmas break and hoping to do some fossicking for flints and arrowheads as well as photograph some rock art. Hopefully i'll have something to share with you all when i get back.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 04:08 AM
Depending on the tribe and environment hunting gathering can be hard or quite easy. It depends, agriculture is always a long term harder proposition but leads to great increases in population and the development of surplus. It is those surplus' that lead to civilization.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 05:43 AM
Thanks for the link MajorMal, I dont buy into his thinking though, it takes an all hands effort to get enough food to survive and stay secure, always trying to improve your lot, 'art' is secondary.... I'm also an arrowhead hunter MoJo so I'll be Looking foward to your finds...

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 06:01 AM
The phrase... " Hun, where did I leave my purse", comes to mind.
(not to be construed as a sexist remark by any means)

Did they find any remains near or at the dig site where they found the 'tool kit'? I am thinking no, or their hyposisis would be a non-issue.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 10:35 AM
Umm, say what now? I'm fairly sure that this world did not exist before 6,000 years ago. Anyone who believes this silly scientific evidence is a complete tool.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 10:54 AM
reply to post by Impreza

Hahahaha. I do hope you're joking. Considering the geologic evidence proves beyond doubt that the earth is over 4 billion years old.

Faith and literal interpretations of Genesis: holding mankind back for 2000 years and counting.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 12:05 PM
Heres a cool article on the Paleolithic diet, easy to understand and informative.
Its a fairly long article but definately worth reading. The basic jist of the article is that since man started using GBP (grains, beans and potatoes) our diet has suffered enormously.
It states that certain food groups are encoded into our genes as being relevant to our health, once our ancestors discovered that cooking GBP's killed the toxins contained within them they were able to increase their intake of calories and were also able to store these foods for longer than foods that had been our natural source.

There are races of people who are all slim, who are stronger and faster than us. They all have straight teeth and perfect eyesight. Arthritis, diabetes, hypertension, heart disease, stroke, depression, schizophrenia and cancer are absolute rarities for them. These people are the last 84 tribes of hunter-gatherers in the world. They share a secret that is over 2 million years old. Their secret is their diet- a diet that has changed little from that of the first humans 2 million years ago, and their predecessors up to 7 million years ago. Theirs is the diet that man evolved on, the diet that is coded for in our genes.

Palelithic nutrition

Your genes, which control every function of your body, are essentially the same as those of your early ancestors. Feed these genes well, and they do their job - keeping your healthy. Give these genes nutrients that are unfamiliar or in the wrong ratios, and they go awry - aging faster, malfunctioning, and leading to disease.

Before the advent of agriculture about 10,000 years ago, all people were hunter-gatherers: they gathered various fruits and vegetables to eat, they hunted animals for their meat. Of course, the ratio of meat and vegetables varied with geographic location, climate, and season, people were still hunter-gatherers. Until they began cultivating grains and livestock, they rarely if ever drank milk beyond infancy or ate grains .
With the spread of agriculture, people shifted from nomadic groups to relatively stable and larger societies to tend the fields. Culture and knowledge flourished. People also began consuming large amounts of grain, milk, and domesticated meat. And they became more sedentary as well.

originally posted by Impreza Umm, say what now? I'm fairly sure that this world did not exist before 6,000 years ago. Anyone who believes this silly scientific evidence is a complete tool.

AHhhh thanks man thats the best laugh ive had all week. Cheers.


posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 01:42 PM
Great find and post OP

i love it when we get a bit of real news!, rather than i'm an alien, an invasion is comming or all the powers that be are evil. nice and refreshing.

Anyway sorry to digress slightly, with regards to the gender specific role theories from some posters i lean towards that they probably worked as a team a family unit sharing all the jobs.

I mean if u don't know if the guy in the next cave is gonna murder you and your family in thier sleep to steal you precious furs.. its probably prudent to band together and get all the jobs done.

you ever seen a mother protect her family? makes mans wars look like childsplay. she could probably take down a mammoth with just a stern look

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 02:43 PM

Originally posted by Quantum_Squirrel

Anyway sorry to digress slightly, with regards to the gender specific role theories from some posters i lean towards that they probably worked as a team a family unit sharing all the jobs.

Yes i tend to agree particularly as it states that the game they were hunting was generally not dangerous. Many hands make light work.

I also found it interesting the correlation between modern health issues and the move from a hunter gatherer society to an agricultural one.

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 06:00 PM
I am curious as to why there was a sickle? If they had no agriculture what would it have been used for cultivating? I didn't see anything in the article about diets that would require one.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by WuTang]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 06:14 PM
They didn't have agriculture, but they still harvested wild grain when they found it.

It's believed that agriculture began because they wanted more grain for beer. Who can say how long before farming began that beer was brewed on a small scale?

[edit] and grass-type plants were used for weaving and roofing as well -- a non-food reason for a sickle.

[edit on 14-12-2007 by MajorMalfunction]

posted on Dec, 14 2007 @ 07:54 PM

Originally posted by WuTang
I am curious as to why there was a sickle? If they had no agriculture what would it have been used for cultivating? I didn't see anything in the article about diets that would require one.

From the first link in my OP, bold is my emphasis.

"There was a sickle for harvesting wild wheat or barley, a cluster of flint spearheads, a flint core for making more spearheads, some smooth stones (maybe slingshots), a large stone (maybe for striking flint pieces off the flint core), a cluster of gazelle toe bones which were used to make beads, and part of a second bone tool," he said.

The Natufian culture was a bit different to others of the same period because they had permanent settlements before agriculture. They mostly harvested wild cereals and grasses. (see the wikipedia link in my OP on the Natufian Culture).

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 01:18 AM
Wow, what an awesome find. I can't believe that stuff is 14,000 years old. Something like a sickle may not seem very difficult to think of in this day and age but long ago, I'm sure it was quite the innovation.

posted on Dec, 15 2007 @ 04:10 AM
reply to post by zephyrs

The sickle actually sounds like something that a lot of time and care was devoted to it.

two carefully grooved horn pieces, was fitted with color-matched tan and grey bladelets. It would have been a marvel of form and function for its day

Almost sounds like a piece of art.

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