- An implement used for intricate scraping is 350,000 years old
- Such tools were earlier assumed to have started 200,000 years back
- Homo sapiens arrived only 300,000 years ago
- Made of dolomite, it was possibly employed by initial hominids on soft animal hides
Archaeologists presumed to have discovered the earliest known implement applied for grinding or abrading, approximately 350,000 years ago.
Spotted in the Tabun Cave in northern Israel, the tool is a cobble, a kind of tiny circled stone, and predates homo sapiens by at least 50,000 years.
Earlier, such tools weren’t expected to have been started until much later, tentatively 200,000 years back.
It was employed by prehistoric hominids for intricate scraping,’ researchers believe, though the purpose is yet to be figured out.
Archaeologists in Israel have discovered presumably the earliest tool familiarly employed for grinding or scraping, in Mount Carmel’s Tabun Cave. At 350,000 years old, it predates modern homo sapiens by thousands of years
Formed by the mineral dolomite, the tool was first unveiled in the 1960s, but its simplistic look was responsible for being ignored for decades.
Recently it was studied by a team from the University of Haifa’s Zinman Institute of Archaeology as part of a continuous endeavour to reexamine items discovered at the cave. The microscopic wear patterns determined that it was used for scraping surfaces, a groundbreaking discovery.
The dolomite cobble, viewed from different angles, bears markings identical to those spotted on later grinding tools. Grinding and scraping demand a horizontal motion and enables more delicate work.
The discovery allows us to connect with our pre-human ancestor more closely and enables scientists to discover how cognitive and motor abilities that developed during human evolution eventually evolved into important phenomena in human culture to this day.