“This discovery changed the way I think about our early ancestors.”
Archaeologists from Europe and Africa have discovered the oldest wooden structure ever discovered, dating back nearly half a million years, meaning an unknown species of living creature existed. HumanoidsHomo sapiens, who preceded us, was supposedly responsible for his creation.
The researchers presented their findings in A A recent paper in the journal Science nature, where they reported that they had found the wooden skeleton of “two interlocking pieces of wood connected transversely by a deliberately cut notch” at a site in Kalambo Falls, Zambia, dating to 476,000 years ago. At the same site, which scientists say was likely the foundation of a dwelling or platform, they also found four tools made of wood: a digging stick, a cut log, a wedge, and a notched branch, each also dating back to before time. Of modern humans.
“This discovery has changed the way I think about our early ancestors,” said Larry Parham, professor of archeology at the University of Liverpool and lead author of the study. statement. “Forget the ‘Stone Age’ label, look at what these people were doing: they made something new and big out of wood. They used their intelligence, imagination and skill to create something they had never seen before, something that had a huge impact on the world.” “It didn’t exist before.”
a hand worker
The wood was preserved because Kalambo Falls kept the pieces permanently waterlogged, thus sealing them away Of oxygen and oxygen-dependent bacteria that would lead to its decomposition. This discovery is particularly important because wood is rarely preserved from rocks Early Stone Age — Providing a very rare peek into the lives of our distant ancestors.
In addition to the exciting discovery of the wooden objects themselves, the researcher said that this discovery paints a more complex picture of their lives; These humans may not have been nomads, and instead spent a long period of time living in the area, long enough to create a structure from the surrounding forests and draw fresh water from the waterfalls.
These early humans were not the only ones drawn to the area. Kalambo Falls later became a site of occupation by Homo sapiens, and a rich treasure trove of archaeological finds from the Stone Age onwards. Its importance is so great that it is considered a… UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The discovery of the oldest man-made wooden structure should certainly put it on the official list, reinforcing its importance to our understanding of human evolution.
More about early man: Carved symbols of pre-human species over 200,000 years ago
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