The tree structure was invented in Zambia. Photo: Larry Parham
The 476,000-year-old wooden structure has surprised scientists, as it was believed that the first constructions of this type arose in a very recent period. This discovery predates the appearance of Homo sapiens and its human relatives.
The research, carried out by experts from the Universities of Liverpool (Northern England) and Aberystwyth (Wales), has been published. Journal of Natural SciencesThis suggests that the discovery was made during the excavation of a well-preserved wooden archeological site at Kalambo Falls. Zambia.
Analysis of wood marks made with stone tools shows that these hominids shaped two large sticks to form a structure, probably the foundation of a site or part of a dwelling.
Conical fragment with structural element (a), wedge (b), digging stick (c), cutting log (d), single cutting mark (e). Photo: Nature
Than fire and spears
This is the earliest evidence anywhere in the world of deliberate craftsmanship with overlapping sticks. The constructions predate the appearance of the three most recent human species: Sapiens or modern humans (315,000 years ago) Neanderthals (400,000 years) and Denisovans (300,000 years). Therefore, the creativity of these works corresponds to a group of ancestors who had already undergone significant evolution.
Until now, the available evidence of human use of wood was limited to making fire and making digging sticks and spears.
Although the study observes that tree It is rarely seen in these areas and usually rots and disappears, in this case the permanently high water at Kalambo Falls has preserved it.
A piece of wood found in the structure. Photo: Jeff Taller
Nomadic or sedentary?
This discovery, according to experts, calls into question the view of human ancestors Let’s learn They were nomadic because not only did they have an inexhaustible source of water at Kalambo Falls, but the surrounding forests provided them with enough food to settle and build structures.
According to Laurie Parham of the University of Liverpool’s Department of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, who led the ‘Deep Roots of Humanity’ study, the discovery “has changed how we think about our earliest ancestors.”
“Let’s forget the ‘Stone Age’ label and see what these guys did: They made something new and bigger out of wood. “They used their intelligence, their imagination and their skills to create something never seen before, something that didn’t exist before,” the expert said.
The dating of the finds was carried out by experts from Aberystwyth University, who used techniques to determine the age of the minerals and sand when they were last exposed to sunlight.
With information from EFE.