In a finding that could shed more light on the technological development among early humans, the scientists have found some artifacts, dating back to the Paleozoic era, which suggests the stone tools may be a more common invention than earlier believed.
The artifacts that the archaeologists have unearthed from a 325,000-year old location in Armenia strongly suggest that the human technological innovation occurred sporadically throughout the Old World, rather than previously believed that they spread from a single point.
The researchers examined thousands of stone artifacts uncovered from a site, called Nor Geghi 1, which was preserved between two lava flows dating back to 200,000 to 400,000 years. According to the study’s findings, the layers of floodplain sediments and an old soil found between the two flows possess archaeological materials’ wealth, including the stone tools.
Detailing about the study, the researchers said that the newly discovered tools provide early evidence for the use of two distinct technologies:
- Levallois technology: A method of production of stone tool during the Middle Paleolithic in Eurasia and the Middle Stone Age in Africa.
- Biface technology: This method is commonly associated with hand axe creation during the Lower Paleolithic.
The archaeologists generally used the existence of Lavallois technology and the departure of biface technology in order to mark the transition between the Lower and the Middle Paleolithic age about 300,000 years ago. But, the researchers said, the presence of both the technologies at a single site has brought a new twist in the previously believed theory that the technology had spread from elsewhere.
Study lead author Daniel Adler said, “The combination of these different technologies in one place suggests to us that, about 325,000 years ago, people at the site were innovative.”
The researchers further conducted a comparative study of the archaeological data from sites across Africa, Europe and the Middle East. Following the analysis, the researchers found that the evolution of stone tool technology was gradual as well as intermittent. Moreover, the evolution occurred separately within different human populations sharing a common ancestry for technological development. In simpler terms, the researchers said that the Levallois technology evolved from Biface technology in different regions at different times.
The study’s findings have been detailed in the journal Science.