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Fossilized bones scarred by hack marks reveal that our human ancestors were using stone tools and eating meat from large mammals nearly a million years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study that pushes back both of these human activities to roughly 3.4 million years ago
The first known human ancestor tool wielder and meat lover was Australopithecus afarensis, according to the study, published in the latest issue of Nature. This species, whose most famous representative is the skeleton "Lucy," was slender, toothy and small-brained.
The fossilized bones were found sandwiched between volcanic deposits, which permitted reliable dating of them.
"This is a kind of find that will force us to revise our human evolution and anthropology textbooks."
Originally posted by bigfatfurrytexan
well...so we push tool usage back by nearly a million years.
what does that say about the subsequent evolutionary steps? Does that mean that you might start re-evaluating more recent data?
It is interesting. But i have a untrusting mindset. It mostly confirms my own suspicion that none of them really know what they are talking about. it is all dramatic guesses. Not to discount the valuable work done thus far...just that if you keep finding out how wrong you are, how can you continue to be so certain about what you still think is correct?
Originally posted by indianajoe77
What if the method of carbon-dating is flawed? Basically, what if the way in which scientists come to date things is inaccurate?
Think of the ideas that have been built on the foundation carbon-dated objects. Would we have to rethink our entire historical perspective?
The fossilized bones were found sandwiched between volcanic deposits, which permitted reliable dating of them. Before this discovery, the world's oldest human evidence for butchery dated to 2.5 million years ago and came from Bouri and Gona, Ethiopia. No human remains were found in association with those fossilized prey bones, but A. afarensis remains were previously unearthed near the recent Afar Region discoveries.
Since the Afar stone tools were transported to the kill or scavenge site from nearly four miles away, A. afarensis must have valued the sharp objects. What's unclear, however, is whether or not the ancient hominids made the stones themselves, or just picked already sharp stones up from the ground.