A team of archaeologists has uncovered what seems to be a prehistoric stone knife dating back more than 500,000 years ago. The researchers say that the stone tool could be the very first “Swiss army knife” ever crafted by a human ancestor.
The recent discovery has got the scientists very excited because it could reveal new insight on how humanity started to evolve.
The stone tools were unearthed near the remains of a prehistoric animal that was presumably butchered with one of the ancient tools.
One of the animals was an elephant whose rib bone bears the cut marks of some sort of a weapon.
The ancient stone tools and the animal remains were uncovered at an archaeology site in 2004 in Revadimin, Israel.
The researchers have recently analyzed the 500,000 year old knife and other stone tools and found that there were traces of animal fat on them. This means that this is one of the first evidences that human ancestors crafted stone tools and used them to butcher animals for food.
Professor Ran Barkai is one of the researchers involved in the new findings and an archaeologist at University’s Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures in Tel Aviv.
He explained the recent discovery saying that until now, archaeologists only assumed how our early ancestors used these hand-crafted stone tools. But this finding confirms the myriad of theories that exist on how the prehistoric humans used the tools to cut the animal carcasses before consuming the meat.
After thoroughly examining all the evidence, especially the wear on the tools’ surface, the experts believe that one of the tools was some sort of a hand axe used for breaking down the animals’ bones and tissues.
According to the researchers, they have conducted experiments using replicas of the prehistoric tools and discovered that another tool was used as a scraper to remove the animal fat and fur from the muscles.
Professor Barkai stated that this recent discovery is extremely important because it sheds new light on a “major breakthrough” in human evolution.
Barkai explains that one of the prehistoric species of hominins, like the Homo erectus, started to develop bigger brains, which required a higher caloric intake. This resulted in a major change in their diet: the early humans started to eat meat instead of a plant-only diet.
This means that the ancient human ancestors had to have a more developed brain that would help them develop tools with which they could extract the fat and muscle from their animal prey.
Image Source: yahoos
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