Arab Today, arab today oldest engraving rewrites view of human history
Last Updated : GMT 19:18:58
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today

500,000 years old fossilised mollusc shell

Oldest engraving rewrites view of human history

Arab Today, arab today

Arab Today, arab today Oldest engraving rewrites view of human history

Fossil Pseudodon shell with engraving made by Homo erectus from Trinil
Paris - Arab Today

Anthropologists on Wednesday said they had found the earliest engraving in human history on a fossilised mollusc shell some 500,000 years old, unearthed in colonial-era Indonesia.
The zigzag scratching, together with evidence that these shells were used as a tool, should prompt a rethink about the mysterious early human called Homo erectus, they said.
The discovery comes through new scrutiny of 166 freshwater mussel shells found at Trinil, on the banks of the Bengawan Solo river in East Java, where one of the most sensational finds in fossil-hunting was made.
It was here in 1891 that an adventurous Dutch palaeontologist, Eugene Dubois, found "Java Man."
With a couple of army sergeants and convict labour to do the digging, Dubois excavated part of a heavy-browed skull, a tooth and a thigh bone.
He interpreted these as being the remains of a gibbon-like hominid that was the long-sought "missing link" between apes and humans.
Dubois' claim excited fierce controversy, as well as jokey images of our distant ancestors as slack-jawed primates with dragging knuckles.
Palaeontologists eventually categorised the find as a Homo erectus, or "upright human" -- a hominid that according to sketchy and hugely debated fossil evidence lived from around 1.9 million years ago to about 150,000 years ago.
Reporting in the science journal Nature, a team led by Josephine Joordens at Leiden University in the Netherlands, harnessed 21st-century technology to take a new look at the Trinil shells, now housed in a local collection.
Carbon dating of sediment found in the shells put their age at between 430,000 and 540,000 years ago.
A third of the shells were also found to have a curious hole at the base of one of the bivalve's muscles.
Sharp-toothed animals such as otters, rats or monkeys may have bitten into it to get at the flesh -- but a likelier source, said the experts, is H. erectus, which tucked into the shells for food.
The team carried out experiments on living mussels of the same mollusc family, Pseudodon, piercing the shell at the same location with a pointed object.
As soon as the shell was broached, the muscle was damaged by the tool tip and the mollusc could be easily opened without breakage.
- Dextrous erectus? -
The scientists then deployed a scanning electron microscope to get a closer look at the shells.
One of them was found to have a polished and smooth edge, suggesting it may have been used as a tool to cut or scrape.
Another had a zigzag set of grooves incised into it, by a sharp implement such as a shark's tooth.
The marks are at least 300,000 years older than the earliest previously known, indisputable engravings.
"The simple zigzag on the shell is the earliest engraving known thus far in the history of humankind," Joordens' colleague, Wil Roebroeks, told AFP in an email.
"But: we have no clue why somebody made it half a million years ago, and we explicitly refrain from speculating on it" in terms of art or symbolism, he said.
Francesco d'Errico of Bordeaux University in southwestern France said the engraving was "the oldest known graphic expression."
"The behaviour is deliberate. The individual had the desire to make a zigzag pattern in a single go," he said.
But d'Errico cautioned, "We don't know why he did it. It may have been a mark of ownership, a personal code, a gift."
Geometric marks are considered to be a sign of cognitive behaviour and neuromotor skills that -- until now -- have been overwhelmingly attributed to modern man, Homo sapiens.
Put together, the new evidence delivers a blow to the stereotype of H. erectus as lumbering, heavy-handed and stupid.
He was smart enough to feed himself efficiently from mussels, dextrous enough to use slim, smooth shells as tools and brainy enough to engrave an abstract pattern on one of them.
A "richer" image of this enigmatic hominid results, Roebroeks said.
"We knew that H. erectus made nice handaxes etcetera," he said.
"Now we have this evidence for sophisticated opening of shells and a small zigzag, it might create a more subtle picture."
Source: AFP

 

arabstoday
arabstoday

Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today oldest engraving rewrites view of human history Arab Today, arab today oldest engraving rewrites view of human history

 



Name *

E-mail *

Comment Title*

Comment *

: Characters Left

Mandatory *

Terms of use

Publishing Terms: Not to offend the author, or to persons or sanctities or attacking religions or divine self. And stay away from sectarian and racial incitement and insults.

I agree with the Terms of Use

Security Code*

Arab Today, arab today oldest engraving rewrites view of human history Arab Today, arab today oldest engraving rewrites view of human history

 



Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Youssra depended on colored foam

GMT 16:53 2017 Tuesday ,05 September

Youssra depended on colored foam
Arab Today, arab today EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid

GMT 06:49 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

EasyJet, Lufthansa among seven to bid
Arab Today, arab today Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts

GMT 17:52 2017 Sunday ,03 September

Etiquette expert underlines importance of gifts
Arab Today, arab today Israeli court convicts Palestinians of 2016

GMT 04:39 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Israeli court convicts Palestinians of 2016
Arab Today, arab today Iran's Facebook shuts down

GMT 23:50 2017 Monday ,16 October

Iran's Facebook shuts down
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today Sidem reveals plan to improve education

GMT 15:52 2017 Friday ,06 October

Sidem reveals plan to improve education
Arab Today, arab today British actress becomes fifth woman

GMT 18:15 2017 Monday ,16 October

British actress becomes fifth woman
Arab Today, arab today Three killed, 360,000 without power

GMT 05:11 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Three killed, 360,000 without power
Arab Today, arab today The history of solar eclipses

GMT 05:16 2017 Sunday ,20 August

The history of solar eclipses
Arab Today, arab today Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars

GMT 06:56 2017 Tuesday ,17 October

Mercedes says recalls 400,000 UK cars
Arab Today, arab today Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs

GMT 10:53 2017 Sunday ,15 October

Britain's Vauxhall to cut 400 jobs
Arab Today, arab today Anoshka happy for reactions to her talk show

GMT 12:33 2017 Friday ,13 October

Anoshka happy for reactions to her talk show
Arab Today, arab today India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 18:49 2017 Monday ,16 October

India to close colonial-era military farms

GMT 10:55 2017 Thursday ,12 October

Safaa Sultan happy for “Love School”

GMT 10:37 2017 Thursday ,12 October

Cara Delevingne accuses Weinstein

GMT 16:53 2017 Saturday ,02 September

Mai importance of gifts during Eid Al-Adha

GMT 12:02 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Conservation cutbacks put Brazil's

GMT 10:46 2017 Saturday ,05 August

Nanis reveals simple ideas for home renovation

GMT 12:25 2017 Saturday ,14 October

Squeeze on UK health gives advanced

GMT 07:02 2017 Sunday ,15 October

German minister sparks uproar

GMT 17:12 2017 Monday ,07 August

Al-Shawaifi reveals secrets of total solar eclipse

GMT 03:59 2017 Sunday ,15 October

US mobile carriers Sprint, T-Mobile to merge

GMT 11:37 2017 Saturday ,12 August

Fashion designer reveals her new collection
Arab Today, arab today
Arab Today, arab today
 
 Arab Today Facebook,arab today facebook  Arab Today Twitter,arab today twitter Arab Today Rss,arab today rss  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube  Arab Today Youtube,arab today youtube
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday arabstoday arabstoday
arabstoday
بناية النخيل - رأس النبع _ خلف السفارة الفرنسية _بيروت - لبنان
arabstoday, Arabstoday, Arabstoday