Study questions long-held views on Stone Age tools

2014-09-26 09:10

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Washington - Innovative Stone Age tools may have been developed by people in Eurasia and - contrary to widely held views - not just invented in Africa, a study published on Thursday found.

Research published in the journal Science shows evidence that refined stone weapons were developed in Armenia about 325 000 years ago, challenging the theory held by many archaeologists that such technology came from Africa then spread to Eurasia as the human population expanded.

Experts studied thousands of stone artefacts from the Nor Geghi site in Armenia.

"The discovery of thousands of stone artefacts preserved at this unique site provides a major new insight into how Stone Age tools developed during a period of profound human behavioural and biological change," researcher Simon Blockley, from the Royal Holloway geography department of the University of London, said in a statement.

Research honed in on a type of technology known as Levallois, where stone flakes were used to make items like pointed hunting weapons.

The technology was an improvement over a more primitive type of stone shaping called biface.

"Due to our ability to accurately date the site in Armenia, we now have the first clear evidence that this significant development in human innovation occurred independently within different populations," Blockley added.

Together with fellow researcher Alison MacLeod and an international team from across the United States and Europe, Blockley analysed volcanic material from the archaeological site in the village of Nor Geghi, in the Kotayk Province of Armenia.

Read more on:    technology  |  africa

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