Early humans’ weapon-making skills sharper than expected.

A delicate, sophisticated way to craft sharp weapons from stone…

A delicate, sophisticated way to craft sharp weapons from stone apparently was developed by humans more than 50,000 years sooner than had been thought.

The finding could shed light on what knowledge people were armed with when they started migrating out of Africa.

The artful technique is known as pressure flaking. Early weapons’ makers typically would use hard blows from a stone hammer to give another stone a rough blade-like shape, then would use wood or bone implements to carve out relatively small flakes, refining the blade’s edge and tip.

When done right, pressure flaking can provide a high degree of control over the sharpness, thickness and overall shape of sharp tools such as spearheads and stone knives, said researcher Paola Villa, an archaeologist at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History.

Pressure flaking has long been considered a fairly recent innovation, with the earliest examples seen roughly 20,000 years ago in the Solutrean culture in France and Spain. Now, however, researchers say Blombos Cave in South Africa yielded what seem to be 75,000-year-old spearheads made by anatomically modern humans using pressure flaking.

Source: Fox News

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