The 65,000-year-old “Swiss Army Knife” reveals the key to early human survival

The presence of ancient multitools in southern Africa may suggest that communication between ancient humans covered long distances, according to a study published Thursday in Scientific Reports.

But research found that ancient humans not only spoke to each other, but also shared knowledge that could have helped the overall survival of the human race.

The Howiesons Poort blade is known as the “stone knife of the Swiss army” in prehistory because it is a prime example of a composite tool that had multiple purposes. Although stone tools were not revolutionary for the time, Howiesons Poort leaves were so innovative because they are “raised”, meaning that the stone leaves stick to the handles, with glue and stickers. .

Ancient humans in South Africa produced these first multiple tools in large numbers for hunting (converted into spears and arrows) and cutting wood, plants, bones, skin, feathers, and meat.

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Stone tools from the Sibudu Cave Site in South Africa, the similarities of which with other tools in the region indicate that the first humans shared knowledge with each other 65,000 years ago. Paloma de la Peña / University of Cambridge

The researchers compared the knife-like tools of the Swiss Army knife at seven locations in southern Africa and found that they all had the same shape and used the same template.

Hafted tools developed independently in other parts of the world at very different time periods and took many forms. But these South African cultures chose to make their tools look the same, something the researchers found “culturally significant.”

The team of international scientists analyzing these 65,000-year-old tools was led by University of Sydney archaeologist Amy Way. They concluded that the similarities between the tools in South Africa indicate that the first humans must have shared information with each other: they were social media.

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“The most exciting thing about this finding is that it gives us evidence that there was a long-distance social connection between people, just before the great migration from Africa, which involved all of our ancestors,” Way said through by The Guardian.

The first humans had been migrating out of Africa in smaller numbers before the Great Exodus about 60,000 years ago.

“Why was this exodus so successful where previous excursions were not? The main theory is that social media was stronger then, “added Way.

“This analysis shows for the first time that these social connections were established in South Africa just before the Great Exodus.”

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But how far did this exchange of knowledge go? Way says Howiesons Poort leaves have been found 1,200 miles away in southern Africa.

“One hundred miles takes five days to walk, so it’s probably a whole network of groups that are mostly in contact with the neighboring group,” he said.

Social media may have been the reason why Homo sapiens was so successful in migrating around the world where other early human species failed, according to Paloma de la Peña, a senior research associate at the University of Cambridge and lead author of the study.

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“The main theory about why modern humans replaced all other humans living outside of Africa about 60-70,000 years ago is that our ancestors were much better on social media than other species, such as Neanderthals, which possibly they were smarter and stronger as individuals, but it’s not great to share information, “de la Peña said.

Perhaps this research suggests that what makes us human is not just our intelligence, but our ability to help our fellow human beings.

0:56 Study finds humans paired with mysterious Denisovian species more than once Study finds humans paired with mysterious Denisovian species more than once – March 16, 2018

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