Clever Lower Palaeolithic people - again

19 Oct 2011

At ... we learn that cutting tools, long blades prised from worked flints, were being used as early as 400,000 years ago as a result of discoveries in the Qesem cave near Tel Aviv. It had been thought such tools had not been produced before the onset of the Upper Palaeolithic around 30,000 years ago. This is perhaps one more indication to cast doubt on the consensus view that before the appearance of modern humans, albeit with a pristine origin, other forms of humanity were dumb and brutish. The paper is published in the Journal of Human Evolution and in addition the people of the Qesem cave were using fire habitually and compartmentalising the cave with a preconceived strategy - defining areas where butchering took place and dividing this from other activities etc.