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Stone tools used by earliest 'butchers'

disclaimer: image is for illustration purposes only
by Staff Writers
San Francisco (UPI) Aug 11, 2010
Researchers say evidence from Africa shows humans were using tools to butcher meat from large animals millions of years earlier than previously thought.

Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences found fossilized bones in Ethiopia from around 3.4 million years ago bearing evidence of stone tool cut marks made while carving meat off them, an academy release said Wednesday.

The bones are the first evidence that Australopithecus afarensis, early humans, used stone tools and consumed meat.

"This discovery dramatically shifts the known time frame of a game-changing behavior for our ancestors," Zeresenay Alemseged, curator of anthropology at the academy, said.

"This find will definitely force us to revise our text books on human evolution, since it pushes the evidence for tool use and meat eating in our family back by nearly a million years.

"Tool use fundamentally altered the way our early ancestors interacted with nature, allowing them to eat new types of food and exploit new territories," he said.




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Unfortunately, when ancient kings sent letters to each other, their post offices didn't record the sender' return address. It takes quite a bit of super-sleuthing by today's archaeologists to determine the geographical origin of this correspondence - which can reveal a great deal about ancient rulers and civilizations. Now, by adapting an off-the-shelf portable x-ray lab tool that analyzes ... read more

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