Prehistoric 'Swiss Army knife' found across Africa
June 13, 2022 | 4 comments
Our ancestors shared tool-making knowledge with one another. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 4.0 Brett Eloff
A set of cutting and skinning tools is being hailed as evidence that our ancestors shared knowledge.
Dating back 65,000 years, the tools - which have been found at multiple sites - are practically identical, despite being made by different people in different parts of the continent.
Used for a wide range of purposes including cutting, drilling and skinning, the tools appear to show that groups of early modern humans communicated and shared knowledge with one another.
"The really exciting thing about this find is that it gives us evidence that there was long-distance social connection between people, just before the big migration out of Africa, which involved all of our ancestors," said project lead archaeologist Amy Way of the University of Sydney.
Intriguingly, this social connection could have also helped our ancestors to succeed outside of Africa.
"The main theory is that social networks were stronger at this time," said Way.
"This analysis shows for the first time that these social connections were in place in southern Africa just before the big exodus."
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