A round stone excavated at Israel’s Tabun Collapse the 1960 s represents the oldest known grinding or rubbing tool, state scientists who scrutinized the 350,000- year-old find.
The specimen marks a technological turn to controling things with large, flat stone surfaces, say Ron Shimelmitz, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa in Israel, and his associates. Tiny wear and polish on a worn section of the Tabun stone resulted from it having actually been ground or rubbed against fairly soft material, such as animal hides or plants, the researchers conclude in the January Journal of Human Advancement
Comparable stones bearing indications of abrasion date to no more than around 200,000 years back. By around 50,000 years earlier, however, human groups were utilizing grinding stones to prepare plants and other foods, Shimelmitz says.
The team compared microscopic damage on the Tabun stone to that produced in experiments with nine comparable stones gathered near the cave site. Those used to deer hide displayed much in common with the organization end of the ancient stone tool, including a wavy surface area and clusters of shallow grooves.
It’s uncertain which evolutionary relatives of Humankind— whose origins return about 300,000 years ( SN: 6/7/17)– made the Tabun tool, Shimelmitz states. Other innovations around the exact same time included regular fire use ( SN: 4/2/12).