The Craftsmen who preceded homo Sapiens

Cristina Lemorini, Department of Ancient World Studies
2017-05-03
Social Sciences and Humanities

A Sapienza Archaeological Research Team in collaboration with Tel Aviv University (TAU), the Centro Nacional de Investigacìon sobre la Evolucìon Humana (CENIEH) and the University of Cambridge, has recently conducted a study on stone tools and animal bones found at the Lower Palaeolithic site of Qesem Cave in Israel.

The analysis yielded evidence related to the use of stone tools to process animal bones not finalised to dietary purposes, ongoing at the site between 400.000 and 200.000 years ago. The researchers from the Laboratory of Functional and Technological Analysis of Prehistoric Artefacts (http://www.antichita.uniroma1.it/LTFAPA/index.html) at Sapienza University of Rome examined the stone objects coming from Qesem Cave, identifying use traces related to the cutting of bone along with preserved bone residues entrapped on the stone tools’ edges.

A further evidence of the use of stone tools to process animal bones is given be a specimen of fallow deer tibia on which the archaeozoologists from the Centro Nacional de Investigacìon sobre la Evolucìon Humana (CENIEH) identified sawing marks that cannot be associated to nutritional purposes.

The results achieved by Andrea Zupancich from Tel Aviv University, Prof. Cristina Lemorini and from Sapienza Univeristy of Rome and colleagues, recently published in the journal “Scientific Reports”,  represent one of the most ancient evidence of the use of stone tools to work bones for non dietary purposes, and lead to consider the creation of bone objects as a much older behaviour than previously thought by the scientific community.
 

INFO

Team Leader
Cristina Lemorini
Dip. di Scienze dell'antichità