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The archaeologists are now revisiting their interpretation of the earliest "stone tool manufacturing" ...


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It seems that a large spanner has been thrown into the carefully-crafted stories by archaeologists around the earliest stone tool manufacturing, reportedly by the earliest hominids - since it has recently been discovered that Macaque monkeys in Thailand, who use stones to break up palm oil nuts - have been selecting rocks that sometimes shatter into primitive axe-head sized and shaped pieces!


The archaeologists are now concerned that many of their early "stone tool" finds, may be no more than shattered rocks used by monkeys, as they picked the stones up, and used them to break up the likes of hard nuts.


The monkeys have no use for cutting tools such as sharp axe heads, as they have strong jaws and sharp canines, that enable them to bite through almost anything.


When their hammer stones shatter, the monkeys throw them away, regarding them as now useless, and they then select another stone!






Edited by onetrack
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Archaeology is a dynamic field, with new discoveries often overturning old assumptions. Gobekli Tepe, in SE Turkey is just one of many buried structures that shattered old ideas we were raised on. There are thousands of man-made objects from ancient times that, even today, we might not be able to make.

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I read about that, too. The step between abandoning a broken "hammer stone" and taking the flake away to use as a cutting tool is the big one. That step indicates a great deal of imagination and connecting a variety of concepts together. I imagine that the first realisation that the flakes were useful came after an early hominid cut itself with a flake and bled. That would be a bit of information that might be remembered the next time the hominid was biting into animal prey. 


The proof that hominids were making stone tools rests strongly on the finding of these flakes well away from their source material, meaning that the flakes had to have been collected and carried away.

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