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Stone Flakes Analyzed in Large-Scale Study

Monday, March 05, 2018

hominin stone flakes2LEIPZIG, GERMANY—According to a report in Cosmos Magazine, hominins developed more efficient cutting tools, and developed ways to manage stone resources over the landscape. Researchers led by Željko Režek of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology surveyed more than 19,000 tools from 34 archaeological sites ranging in age from 2.5 million to 12,000 years old. They found that over time, the flakes, which had been produced by Homo habilis, Homo erectus, Neanderthals, and Homo sapiens, had longer, sharper, and more complex cutting edges. Production of those tools also required selecting the appropriate stone materials, transporting them, and reusing and recycling materials. Režek says more efficient cutting tools would have required less raw material, and in some contexts, simple tools offered an advantage over more complex toolkits. For more, go to “Earliest Stone Tools.”

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