Human history turned upside down by a few pieces of prehistoric wood?

We predate our direct ancestor, Homo sapiens. 476,000 years ago, other humanoids walked our Earth. In this part of Africa, only Homo heidelbergensis appears to have lived between 700,000 and 220,000 years BC. However, this is the only human fossil found there. He has everything that we often imagine of prehistoric man: prominent forehead, beard and hair, hunting wild animals with rudimentary weapons. A human species has not yet evolved and has very little capability in terms of technology. Well, that’s what we thought.

Because a 2019 discovery in Zambia completely upsets this preconception. Prehistoric humans were already using complex techniques in this early period. On the banks of the majestic Kalambo Falls on the border with Tanzania, archaeologists discovered two ancient records in a pocket of the river, preserved by sand and water. There are few archaeological traces of wood, a perishable material, dating back to the Stone Age. We have little information about humans using wooden tools and structures about half a million years ago. The oldest piece known so far is “only” 9,000 years old.

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