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Research: The oldest stone artefacts and bones engraved in North Africa with contemporary archaeological materials in East Africa –



A team of scientists led by Mohamed Sahnouni, an archeologist at the Centro Nacional de Investigación sobre la Evolución Humana (CENIEH), has just published a paper in the journal Science which is interrupted by the paradigm that the cradle of humanity in East Africa, based on archaeological remains found in the localities in the region of Ain Hanech (Algeria), the oldest currently known in the north of Africa.

Eastern Africa has long been considered a place of origin for the earliest hominine and lithic technology, because it has so far little known about the first hominine occupation and activity in the northern continent. Two decades of field and laboratory research by director Sahnouni have shown that front hominines actually made stone tools in North Africa that are close to contemporary with the oldest known stone tools in East Africa dating back 2.6 million years.

These are stone artefacts and animal bones with stone cutting tools with an estimated 2.4 and 1.9 million years history, found at two levels at Ain Boucherit sites (within the area of ​​study Ain Hanech), which were dated using Paleomagnetism, Electron Spin Resonance (ESR) and Biomedology of Large Mammals excavated along with archaeological materials.

Fossil animals such as pigs, horses and elephants from very old places were used by paleontologist Jan van der Made of the National Museum of the Ciencias Naturales in Madrid to confirm the age of paleomagnetism, obtained by CENIEH geocronologists Josep Parés and ESR, found by Mathieu Duval of Griffith University.

Oldowan's technology

Ain Boucherit is manufactured from locally available limestone and flint, and include facials treated in helicopters, polyhedra and subspheroids, as well as sharp blade cutting tools used for processing animal carcasses. These artefacts are typical of Oldowan's stone technology known from 2.6 to 1.9 million years old places in eastern Africa, although those from Ain Boucherit show subtle variations.

"The Lithuanian industry, Ain Boucherita, which is technologically similar to Gona and Olduvai, shows that our ancestors rushed to all parts of Africa, not just East Africa, but the evidence from Algeria changed the earlier view that East Africa was the cradle of humanity. cradle of humanity, "says Sahnouni, project manager Ain Hanech.

Not just a punk

Ain Boucherit is one of the few archeological sites in Africa that has donated bony evidence on earth to the associated cutting marks and percussion in situ with stone tools, which clearly shows that these dedicated hominines used the meat and the essence of animals of all sizes and parts of the bones. Means skinning, evisceration and defleshing the upper and middle extremities.

Isabel Cáceres, an IPHES taphonomist, commented that "the efficient use of sharp tools in Ain Boucherit suggests that our ancestors were not brave. At this point it is not clear whether they will hunt, but the evidence clearly shows that they have successfully competed with the meatballs and enjoyed in the first approach to animal carcass. "

Tool for tool making

At this point, the most important question is who made stone tools discovered in Algeria. Hominine remains have not yet been found in North Africa, which are contemporary with the earliest stone artefacts. In fact, neither hominids were documented in direct contact with the first stone tools known from East Africa.

However, recent discoveries in Ethiopia have shown that the presence of early Homo came to 2.8 million years, most likely the best candidate for materials from East and North Africa.

Scientists have long thought that hominines and their material culture originated from the Great Rift Valley in East Africa. Amazingly, the oldest known hominine dating to 7.0 million years and 3.3 million years ago Australopithecus bahredghazali, were discovered in Chad, Sahara, 3,000 miles of crumbling valleys in eastern Africa.

Since Sileshi Semaw, a scientist at CENIEH and a co-author of this paper, explains that the modern-day Hominids (3.2 million years old) were likely to move around the Sahara, and their offspring could be responsible for abandoning these archeological puzzles discovered in Algeria, which are close to East Timor's contemporaries.

"Future research will focus on searching for human fossils in nearby Miocene and Pluto-Pleistocene deposits, seeking tools and older stone tools," Sahnouni concludes.


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