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Humans 80,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought?

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  • Humans 80,000 Years Older Than Previously Thought?

    Modern humans may have evolved more than 80,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study of sophisticated stone tools found in Ethiopia.

    http://news.nationalgeographic.com/n...-missions.html

  • #2
    Very interesting. I got kind of lost though when the article says that in many parts of the world one sees a break about 300K years ago, while in Ethiopia it was seen as happening 160KYA. This seems to contrast with the beginning of the article. But I guess they're talking about different technologies.

    cacio

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    • #3
      The leap forward 300,000 years ago occurred not just among ancestors of modern humans, but also Neanderthal & Asian types (Peking Man, Java Man). Not surprisingly, this happened in Africa as well.

      But who did the leaping in Africa, as evidenced by these tools? Were they modern humans or some other group? The ancestors of modern humanity may have passed through this stage BEFORE they were anatomically modern humans. So I see no proof in this that anatomically modern humans emerged any earlier in East Africa than previously thought (150,000 to 200,000 years ago).

      Timothy Peterman

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      • #4
        The given dating of these fine-flake tools is (perhaps just before?) 276,000ybp which places them close to the conventional 300,000ybp general world dating for a "leap" (sic) in toolwork.
        This National Geographic report is about finding just the fine-flakes, assumed to be tools. In the absence of the makers' remains, attribution to any particular hominid level is speculative.
        It is noted that the palm-sized 400,000ybp hand axes of Boxgrove Man, (Google that!) an Erectus variant culture in UK, were quite skilled and produced in unexplained large surplus.
        At Boxgrove there were indeed thin flakes discarded in their axe manufacture,. These flakes have not been anthropologically classified as advanced tools and were not examined microscopically (as were the axes), to determine if they were used for butchery.
        Last edited by derinos; 4 December 2008, 11:43 AM.

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