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Earliest Stone Tools And Bones Site Discovered
Newswise ^ | 11-3-2003 | Southern Connecicut State University

Posted on 11/04/2003 4:11:26 PM PST by blam

Source: Southern Connecticut State University
Released: Mon 03-Nov-2003, 14:00 ET

Earliest Stone Tools and Bones Site Discovered

An assistant professor of anthropology has discovered the earliest direct evidence of stone tool manufacture and use in a controlled setting, in an excavation in Gona, Ethiopia. His research team dates the tools they found to 2.6 million years old.

Newswise — Michael Rogers, an assistant professor of anthropology at Southern Connecticut State University, has discovered the earliest direct evidence of stone tool manufacture and use in a controlled setting, in an excavation in Gona, Ethiopia. Rogers and his research team date the tools they found to 2.6 million years old. An article reporting their findings was published in the September 2003 issue of the Journal of Human Evolution.

Three years ago, Rogers was in Ethiopia working on a paleoanthropological research project in Gona, in an area that hadn’t been looked at before. He found a few flakes—tools that are pieces of stone chipped off of a larger stone—and began digging with a crew of experienced excavators. What they eventually discovered is a significant development in the field of paleoanthropology: the earliest stone tools and animal bones at the same site, clearly associated with each other, indicating early humans’ use of tools to provide food for themselves.

“This is the earliest site that really documents the two together,” says Rogers, adding, “There’s no question that they are associated with each other. Our ancestors were using the artifacts to process animal parts, which probably shows that humans were expanding their diets to include animals and were no longer largely vegetarians—they were becoming at least partly carnivorous.”

At the time of the discovery, Rogers was part of an international research team, the Gona Paleoanthropological Research Project, led by Sileshi Semaw, Ph.D., an Ethiopian anthropologist working at CRAFT Research Center, Indiana University. Gona is in Ethiopia’s Awash Valley, nearly at sea level. This area was already known to have the earliest stone tools, and is adjacent to Hadar, where “Lucy,” probably the most famous hominid fossil yet to be discovered, was found in 1974.

Researchers on the Gona Project have found cutmarked bones before, says Rogers, but not in a controlled setting. The setting where he and his group made their discovery is an excavation area that is four meters wide by one meter deep. Several hundred artifacts were found in this area. “If this was the earliest site in the world, we expected things to be crude, but the tools appear to have been well made,” says Rogers. The tools they found “are incredibly fresh for their age,” he adds. “The condition of the site, for its age, is shocking.”

Rogers says the site is on the bank of a river and at one time was probably covered over when the river flooded and hasn’t been touched since. “This site is in pristine condition,” he says. “We know it hasn’t been moved.” The materials the researchers found are being kept at the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Ababa.

Rogers and his colleagues found at the site diverse types of stone, indicating that the toolmakers were discriminating about the materials they chose to use. “Our ancestors had to know what kind of rock flakes the best,” says Rogers. “They chose only the rarest kinds of cobbles from the ancient stream bed nearby for their ‘flake-ability.’ They were being very selective.”

Rogers says that the group’s find shows the start of something that hasn’t yet stopped: human beings’ use of technology. “You can trace our technology use way back,” he says. “These stone tools show that our human ancestors were capable of creating something completely new and that they had an insight about what they were creating.”

In his anthropology classes, Rogers shows his students how flaking works, and then has them give it a try. To do it, one holds the core stone in one hand and a smaller stone in the other, and then hits the smaller stone against the core, with the goal of flaking pieces off. It’s not easy to do well, Rogers points out, so the earliest toolmakers must have had some kind of skill. “You have to make a glancing blow, at the right angle and with the right force. It requires good eye-hand coordination. And you have to choose the right kind of stone. All of this was abundantly evident at the site.”

In the field of the earliest archaeology, Rogers says, “everything is in Africa—there is nothing older anywhere else. People say it all the time: Africa is the cradle of humankind.”


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: archaeology; bones; discovered; earliest; economic; ggg; godsgravesglyphs; history; stone; tools
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1 posted on 11/04/2003 4:11:26 PM PST by blam
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To: farmfriend
ping.
2 posted on 11/04/2003 4:14:38 PM PST by blam
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To: blam
Nah. They just stumbled onto the DU....
3 posted on 11/04/2003 4:50:03 PM PST by JoJo Gunn (Liberalism - Better Living through Histrionics )
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To: blam; *Gods, Graves, Glyphs; Alas Babylon!; annyokie; bd476; BiffWondercat; Bilbo Baggins; billl; ..
Gods, Graves, Glyphs
List for articles regarding early civilizations , life of all forms, - dinosaurs - etc.

Let me know if you wish to be added or removed from this ping list.

For real time political chat - Radio Free Republic chat room

4 posted on 11/04/2003 9:13:47 PM PST by farmfriend ( Isaiah 55:10,11)
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To: blam
What an incredible find. I'm impressed it hasn't been touched in over 2 million years...
5 posted on 11/04/2003 10:08:25 PM PST by stands2reason (REWARD! Tagline missing since 10/21. Pithy, clever. Last seen in Chat. Sentimental value.)
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To: blam
Interesting article; thanks for posting it,

2.6 MYA would certainly be older than homo sapiens and neanderthals. So these would have been made by h. erectus? or ergaster?

6 posted on 11/05/2003 9:14:18 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: <1/1,000,000th%; Aric2000; balrog666; BMCDA; CobaltBlue; Condorman; Dimensio; Doctor Stochastic; ...
Science thread ping.

Patrick, hope its OK to borrow your ping list.

7 posted on 11/05/2003 9:16:26 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Post modern man --- liberals - rats !


8 posted on 11/05/2003 9:19:29 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Thanks for the ping....
9 posted on 11/05/2003 9:28:01 AM PST by Ogmios (Since when is 66 senate votes for judicial confirmations constitutional?)
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To: Ogmios
The liberals are running the media - schools ... higher education --- writing history - science ...

mind rabies -- evolution !

Even working hard on the FR too !

10 posted on 11/05/2003 9:41:41 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: Lurking Libertarian
2.6 MYA would certainly be older than homo sapiens and neanderthals. So these would have been made by h. erectus? or ergaster?

Answering my own question: according to this time line, the likeliest species to have been making tools 2.6 million years ago would be homo habilis.

11 posted on 11/05/2003 9:42:50 AM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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Comment #12 Removed by Moderator

To: f.Christian
"you're comfortable with that ... glob - god - didit --- gobble - gobble - turkey !"

Please quit messing up the threads I post, I don't disrupt yours.

13 posted on 11/05/2003 9:57:36 AM PST by blam
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To: blam
You only posted a third of the post ... how come ?

Evolution uses existence as proof with no explanation of existence ...

it happens (( Atheo - anarcho - loon psuedo science)) ---

can't deal with substance --- only style ? ?

Do you think I'm going to rollover and let the FR rats knaw me to death ?

14 posted on 11/05/2003 10:02:08 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: blam
Take away people's guns (( hard )) on the FR is a no - no ...

take away their minds (( easy )) via evolution --- must - must !

Why would the 1st matter ... skip it ?
15 posted on 11/05/2003 10:04:35 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: blam
Disrupter ... how high up you in the evo religion - cabal ?

I've been on the FR ... this is my 6th year --- and personally I have outed - offed more liberal disrupters than probably anyone else --- put together !

For the 1st two years I kept a list in my memory I couldn't keep up with ...

I ain't gonna back down to any of you !

Will FR - America become a science fiction cult like you - yours ... there is ultimately an exit strategy for you - your cult buddies coming --- soon - hard !
16 posted on 11/05/2003 10:11:24 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: blam
It's all an illusion put there to deceive us. Don't be fooled!

Here's all you need:
http://www.swcp.com/creation/Museum/TL_Flood.GIF
17 posted on 11/05/2003 10:15:17 AM PST by mgstarr
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To: blam
From your bio page the only thing I can determine ...

you are tarzan trolling for a jane !


The evo jungle ---

anything about conservatism ?


This is quite typical of the evo republicans ... quackery !
18 posted on 11/05/2003 10:20:03 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: mgstarr
I often wonder which threads degenerate faster - the Evolution/Creation ones or the USS Liberty ones. I think it's a tie.
19 posted on 11/05/2003 10:31:33 AM PST by mgstarr
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To: blam
Thanks neat post. "Rogers shows his students how flaking works, and then has them give it a try."

I'd like to try this even though I'll probably knock my knuckle off! My son and I watched an anthropology program last night where someone suggested that the reason that we have a refined ability to use thumb and forefinger was that it was evolutionarily advantageous for tool manufacture. I hadn't heard that one before.
20 posted on 11/05/2003 10:34:26 AM PST by Varda
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To: f.Christian
see below ...

At the bottom is the nea ... aclu --- dept of education (( rat's nest republicans )) !

21 posted on 11/05/2003 10:46:31 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: blam
This is a perfectly intelligent article to post and I thank you for it. It is just a shame that zealots need to pipe in and beat us over their head with their mideval superstitious religious non-sense. I would ask the deeply religious to keep their snide remarks out of legitimate discussions of science and I will keep my snide remarks out of their legitimate discussions pertaining to scripture.
22 posted on 11/05/2003 10:52:21 AM PST by miloklancy
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To: miloklancy
The Judeo - Christian - Reformation revolution created the the American nation - Republic ...

evolution created it's anti - thesis ---

morphed into a two - headed monster - devil !
23 posted on 11/05/2003 11:02:55 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: miloklancy
Oh come on - this is really no place for a rational, coherent and cogent discussion.

Sad isn't it?
24 posted on 11/05/2003 11:05:56 AM PST by mgstarr
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To: mgstarr
Fo you think the problem is ...

reality is stable - defineable - predictable ---

evolution is relative - spin ?
25 posted on 11/05/2003 11:08:14 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: f.Christian
Do you ever speak in complete sentences?
26 posted on 11/05/2003 11:10:12 AM PST by mgstarr
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To: mgstarr
Do you think the problem is reality is stable, defineable, predictable and evolution is relative - spin; i.e., esoteric babble - ideology ?
27 posted on 11/05/2003 11:14:05 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: f.Christian
Thank you for ruining another thread that somehow (in your own mind) threatens your supernatural belief system.

It is indeed a mystery how you get away with your incoherent spamming over and over and over.

28 posted on 11/05/2003 11:23:09 AM PST by whattajoke (Neutiquam erro.)
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To: f.Christian
Actually I think miloklancy summed up the issue rather well in post 22.
29 posted on 11/05/2003 11:23:56 AM PST by mgstarr
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To: whattajoke
You worry about a thread ... what about civilzation --- evo zoo world !

Brave new evo beast america ... you like that !
30 posted on 11/05/2003 11:26:21 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: f.Christian
Hamlet Act 1, Scene V, lines 191-192
31 posted on 11/05/2003 11:37:14 AM PST by mgstarr
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To: mgstarr
Pre and post hamlet !

The 1st - last freep - scorcher !

23"Oh, that my words were written!
Oh, that they were inscribed in a book!
24That they were engraved on a rock
With an iron pen and lead, forever!
25For I know that my Redeemer lives,
And He shall stand at last on the earth;
26And after my skin is destroyed, this I know,
That in my flesh I shall see God,
27Whom I shall see for myself,
And my eyes shall behold, and not another.
How my heart yearns within me!
28If you should say, "How shall we persecute him?'--
Since the root of the matter is found in me,
29Be afraid of the sword for yourselves;
For wrath brings the punishment of the sword,
That you may know there is a judgment."


32 posted on 11/05/2003 11:44:42 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: blam
The difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense - Tom Clancy
33 posted on 11/05/2003 11:49:12 AM PST by hosepipe
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To: hosepipe
Do you think reality has a source ... counter source ?
34 posted on 11/05/2003 11:59:21 AM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: f.Christian
"Humani iuris et naturalis potestatis, unicuique quod putaverit colere, nec alii obest aut prodest alterius religio. Sed nec religionis est religionem colere, quae sponte suscipi debeat, non vi."
Tertullian

And no I don't actually expect you to understand what it means anymore than I did the context of the Hamlet quote.
35 posted on 11/05/2003 12:02:05 PM PST by mgstarr
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To: f.Christian
Is it really necessary to post that chart twice on the same page?

Once is funny, twice is spamming.
36 posted on 11/05/2003 12:04:18 PM PST by Lurking Libertarian (Non sub homine, sed sub Deo et lege)
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To: mgstarr
anymore than I did the context of the Hamlet quote.

You didn't recognize my quote ... from the Bible --- book of Job ?

37 posted on 11/05/2003 12:06:44 PM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Spam ...

maybe you didn't notice ---

different captions ?

Is that all the evolutionists can do is come up with false charges -- attacks ... lies - slander --- hypocrisy ?
38 posted on 11/05/2003 12:09:34 PM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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Comment #39 Removed by Moderator

To: Lurking Libertarian
Thanks for the ping...an important find. I think however, that H. habilis, like all other creatures on the edge of survival, were opportunists (read scavengers) and ate what was available. Interesting though that even at this early date, the evidence suggests the use of tools in a deliberate, methodical fashion.
40 posted on 11/05/2003 1:05:59 PM PST by Aracelis
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To: Piltdown_Woman
What I have noticed is people who claim to be the most opened minded have only an overstuffed locked closet that you can't open with an atom bomb !

No imagination or creativity ... rote brainwashed loons who circulate like trained geniuses in the intelligentsia circuses --- dodo birds headed for the smithsonian !

Some graduate to conservatism unenlightened ... I call them --- rat's nest republicans !

41 posted on 11/05/2003 1:17:36 PM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: f.Christian
Ah, the infamous f.Christian. I might have known this was coming. I should feel offended I didn't get the nutty Primordial soup diagram. I don't even know where to begin. But you do have a unique prose style to say the least.
42 posted on 11/05/2003 1:35:05 PM PST by miloklancy
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To: miloklancy
Yeah ... I'm just playing for now with you all --- I have the big one coming -- for keepers !
43 posted on 11/05/2003 1:37:32 PM PST by f.Christian (( Alpha - Omega Design - Architecture ... designeduniverse.com --- Science3000 ! ))
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To: blam
2.6 million years and they were found only 1 meter deep?

44 posted on 11/05/2003 2:11:37 PM PST by oldcomputerguy
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To: f.Christian; All
f.Christian has decided that he'd rather part company than quit insulting everyone on FR he disagrees with.

So, part company we will.

Good bye, f.Christian.
45 posted on 11/05/2003 2:17:41 PM PST by Jim Robinson (Conservative by nature... Republican by spirit... Patriot by heart... AND... ANTI-Liberal by GOD!)
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To: stands2reason
I'm impressed it hasn't been touched in over 2 million years...

That's why people bury treasure. Of course, these sites to make it clear that one man's garbage is another's treasure.

46 posted on 11/05/2003 2:32:27 PM PST by Doctor Stochastic (Vegetabilisch = chaotisch is der Charakter der Modernen. - Friedrich Schlegel)
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To: Lurking Libertarian
Patrick, hope its OK to borrow your ping list.

No problem. I was busy elsewhere most of the day. And it seems I missed a bit of excitement around here.

47 posted on 11/05/2003 2:56:07 PM PST by PatrickHenry
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To: miloklancy
"mideval superstitious religious non-sens"

You miss the point. It isn't religion that drives them, because belief or disbelief has not a heck of a lot to do with salvation of ones soul. Whether we were created by evolution or a sudden act, we still have to deal with the same questions, we still need the Ten Commandments, it is still bad to kill and steal and fornicate.

Unfortunately, what we are really seeing is people so fearful of looking at the world God gave us, that they have to claim everyone else is a sinner. It's quite sad, really. And as an engineer I actually believe there are ample mechanisms for intelligent design.

48 posted on 11/05/2003 3:26:29 PM PST by FastCoyote
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To: Jim Robinson
Bump.
49 posted on 11/05/2003 4:36:54 PM PST by DoctorMichael (Thats my story, and I'm sticking to it.)
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To: blam
The tools they found “are incredibly fresh for their age,” he adds. “The condition of the site, for its age, is shocking.”

Maybe they ought to recalculate the age then.

50 posted on 11/05/2003 4:39:31 PM PST by Plutarch
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