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To convince most researchers that such a dramatic breakthrough really took place so early in human evolution, however, anthropologists will have to find more blades this ancient, says paleoanthropologist Rick Potts of the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C. Stay tuned: The search is already under way for more African blade runners.
Originally posted by DangerDeath
It is commonly assumed that there is a single "time line", one line of gradual development applied to all humanity. But truth is, there were many parallel lines, some extinguished, some further evolving. And probably circular time dominated - more like a sinusoid than a straight line.
The blades come from the same part of the formation where researchers have found two lower jaws that have been variously described as belonging to Homo heidelbergensis or H. rhodesiensis, human ancestors in Europe and Africa that predate the origin of our species, H. sapiens.
Roure Johnson's CV
Johnson, C. R., & McBrearty, S. (in prep) 500,000 year old blades from the Kapthurin Formation, Kenya. Journal of Human Evolution.
The Kapthurin Formation chimpanzee fossils demonstrate that chimpanzees and Homo were in fact sympatric in this part of East Africa during the Middle Pleistocene, and may have been since the time of their divergence. The discovery that Pan (sp. indet.) and Homo rhodesiensis were sympatric reopens the issue of the impetus for the initial divergence of the lineages. More must be known about paleohabitats and specific niches occupied by the two species in order to address this issue.
Originally posted by Hanslune
The existence of blades, a more complex stone tool working technique has been found, dated to 509,000-543,000 years ago.
it appears that more than 500,000 years ago, human ancestors living in the Baringo Basin of Kenya collected lava stone cobbles from a riverbed and hammered them in just the right way to produce stone blades. Paleoanthropologists Cara Roure Johnson and Sally McBrearty of the University of Connecticut, Storrs, recently discovered the blades at five sites in the region, including two that date to between 509,000 and 543,000 years ago. "This is the oldest known occurrence of blades," Johnson reported Wednesday here at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society.
Not long ago, researchers thought that blades were so hard to make that they had to be the handiwork of modern humans, who had evolved the mental wherewithal to systematically strike a cobble in the right way to produce blades and not just crude stone flakes. First, they were thought to be a hallmark of the late Stone Age, which began 40,000 years ago. Later, blades were thought to have emerged in the Middle Stone Age, which began about 200,000 years ago when modern humans arose in Africa and invented a new industry of more sophisticated stone tools. But this view has been challenged in recent years as researchers discovered blades that dated to 380,000 years in the Middle East and to almost 300,000 years ago in Europe, where Neandertals may have made them
Originally posted by Hanslune
reply to post by Melyanna Tengwesta
I suspect astrology has nothing to do with it but.... it isn't known whether this was a common technology or if it was an isolate. A one time or a small group of 'brights' developing something that later died out. Further discoveries will determine that.
Also note that this is the preliminary report. In science that means everyone and their brother will no re-examine the data the tools. The findings may stand up or there may be an alternative suggestion for age, whether they are indeed blades, etc, etc.
I'd also speculate that it was done just after the split between the lines of Homo who would later become Neanderthal and our own ancestors
You speculate it was just after the split between Homo Erectus and Neanderthals .... I thought the same .... but WHAT was responsible for THAT split?
Still an interesting find, like them footprints found next to dino ones.
. cant remember if i find the link ill update it on here, not to derail but kinda for date/findings ect colaborate?
Originally posted by grover
You can read about these blades and others like them in Loren Eiseley' masterpiece "The Immense Journey" 1958.