Scientists Have Found Evidence Of Structures That Pre-Date Homo Sapiens
by Trisha Leigh
Archaeologists and historians have long been working under the assumption that advancements like wooden structures did not appear until after the evolution of homo sapiens.
New evidence has emerged that seems to disprove that, though, which would change everything.
The structure, which is hailed as the oldest wooden structure ever discovered, is nearly half a million years old. That means it was erected by an unknown species of hominins.
It was found at a site in Kalambo Falls, Zambia, and four wooden tools – a digging stick, a cut log, a wedge, and a notched branch – were also discovered there.
The paper’s authors describe the structure as “two interlocking logs joined transversely by an intentionally cut notch.”
Lead author Larry Barham issued a statement on the find.
“This find has changed how I think about our early ancestors. Forget the label ‘Stone Age,’ look at what these people were doing: they made something new, and large, from wood. They used their intelligence, imagination, and skills to create something they’d never seen before, something that had never previously existed.”
The wood was preserved because it remains permanently waterlogged by Kalambo Falls.
The fish and fresh water in the falls were likely enough of an attraction to encourage these people to be only semi-nomadic, sticking around the area long enough to build a permanent structure.
This same site was occupied by homo sapiens later in the Stone Age and beyond – these archaeological findings have already seen the area designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Scientists who are involved in this discovery and those just reading about it all agree that the site will remain fundamental to our understanding of human evolution.