Latest Oldowan Stories
Two and a half million years ago, our first ancestors, roaming the African savanna, formed rock shards into tools and used them to cut apart gazelle, zebra and other game. And these, scientists believe, turned out be a major evolutionary force and gave an evolutionary edge to human communication.
New light has been shed on the diet and food acquisition strategies of some of the earliest human ancestors in Africa.
Ancient humans made cleavers, hand axes and other advanced stone tools 300,000 years earlier than previously believed, but did not take these tools with them when they left Africa.
Was it the evolution of the hand, or of the brain, that enabled prehistoric toolmakers to make the leap from simple flakes of rock to a sophisticated hand axe?
In an article published in the open-access, peer-reviewed journal PLoS ONE on October 21, 2009, Dr Thomas Plummer of Queens College at the City University of New York, Dr Richard Potts of the Smithsonian Institution National Museum of Natural History and colleagues report the oldest archeological evidence of early human activities in a grassland environment, dating to 2 million years ago.
The use of tools by hominins - the primate group which includes humans (Homo) and chimpanzees and bonobos (Pan) - has been extensively researched by archaeologists and primatologists, both of who manifest the relevance of tool-use in understanding technology and the origins of human behavior.
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