A small fraction of crystalline quartz, no bigger than raisins, has cast a remarkably new light on the unique adaptations that separate humans from all other primates.
Although the use of instruments has long been hailed as a trademark of humanity, they are not the only species to do so; for chimpanzees and macaques, for example, are known to use rocks to break up solid objects such as walnuts or oyster shells.
But our fixation of miniaturization is different from anything else observed in the family tree of primates. crystalline quartz scales found in the Boomplaas cave in South Africa and previously rejected as waste were probably poisoned arrows used to take a small prey like rabbits and turtles 1
The remarkable discovery of the small instrument shows that our ancestors are not simple animals but "aerodynamic masters" that highlight a key moment in human evolution.
A small trickle of crystalline quartz, not greater than raisin, has cast extra light on the unique adaptations that separate humans from all other primates. , According to the researcher, this peak may have been poisoned and attached to a dart
WHY HUMAN CREATE SMALL INSTRUMENTS
Researchers followed the miniaturization of technology just 2.6 million years ago
the development of high-speed weapons, bow and arrow, plays a key role in changing the tool size.
These weapons require light stone peaks to succeed.
Climate change and scarcity of resources have also played a role.
Human ancestors may have begun making tools smaller and more effective as a way to save their resources.
By the end of the Ice Age, people also hunted less prey, such as rabbits and turtles.
Smaller tools allow them to be mobile and take down the loot with greater efficiency.
Hawminin's technology has experienced at least three waves of miniaturization, the first one occurring about 2.6 million years ago, according to researchers who are behind a new study published in the journal Anthropology of Evolution.
And this is a trend that still dominates our culture today.
"This is a necessity we have constantly encountered and managed," says lead author Justin Pargeter, an anthropologist at Emory University. "Miniature is what we do."
According to Pargeter, evidence of small stone tools can be found throughout the archaeological record. Many of these tools are less than one inch long
In the first miniaturization leap, human ancestors two million years ago used stone scales for cutting, cutting and drilling – tasks they had previously relied on. During the second movement, 100,000 years later, the development of the bow and arrow and other forms of high-speed weapons imposed light stone components.
And by the end of the last Ice Age, 17,000 years ago, people were forced to adapt to the changing climate and had to keep their resources, including the rocks used to prepare tools. co-author of John Shea, Professor of Anthropology at Stony Brooke University.  "The Hominins chose to go small, went everywhere, and transformed otherwise hostile habitats to meet our changing needs."
The iconic hand ax (on the left) required a large set of production tools (left), unlike small pieces of equipment. Examples of miniature stone tools (right) appeared over the past 2.6 million years, demonstrating aerodynamic mastery
While Pargeter did not find the small quartz tool, it was stored in the Isico Museum in Cape Town after being gathered with other artifacts. "It was diminishing, the size of a small raisin and weighed less than half a penny," said Pargeter.
"You can literally blow it off your finger."
It occurred to me that archaeologists may have missed a major component of our stone tool, "says Pargeter.
"In our desire to make" big "discoveries, we may have missed little but important details. The whole technology could hide behind our methods and be carried into bags considered as waste material.
Miniature is a "necessity with which we have constantly encountered," says lead author Justin Pargeter, an anthropologist at Emory University. "Miniature is what we do"
When students started using the tools?
It's hard for scientists to say exactly when people started making tools because the more primitive remains look like a natural object, not a human artifact.
The oldest known instruments are Ethiopia's stone tools dating from about 2.6 million years.
The technology of the agglomeration technology – up to 1.76 million years – includes large stone hand axes made of flint and
By the end of this period the instruments became more precise and then followed the so-called Levallois technique saw the creation of scrapers, grooves, needles and flattened needles. and specialized tools of flint were made and used by Neanderthals and it is believed that bone tools were constructed at this stage.
Cut scars have been found on animal bones, dating back 3.4 million years – at a time when a dwarf ape-like ancestor, called Australopithecus afarensis – known as Lucy – walks across Africa.
According to the researcher, this type of dart tip may have been attached to the shaft shaft by means of a plant resin.
And, being covered with poison by a plant or an insect, it can take off the prey without losing
"The trolley goes to the animal, sacrificing the small blade, but the arrow shaft appears to be able to save this a more expensive component, "says Pargeter. "Our ancestors were masters of aerodynamics and acted as engineers, not what we think to be" cave people. "
Crystal quartz scales found in the Boomplaas cave in South Africa were previously dismissed as waste
"They made cuts in their technology systems, allowing them to easily repair their tools and reduce  This type of small scale and
"The hands of other primates do not develop for multiple manipulation in high-power tasks
" We have developed a unique, precise grip that enhances our ability to miniature technology. "
" Smaller instruments are the choice of technology for a mobile, splashing population, "says Pargeter.
WHAT KNOWLEDGE OF THE KAM'S HISTORY THE EARLY AGE?
The Stone Age is a period in human prehistory, characterized by the original development of stone tools that cover more than 95% of human technological prehistory
The earliest known use of stone tools from hominis, ancient ancestors of humans , through the old Stone Age – home about 3.3 million years ago.
About 400,000 and 200,000 years ago, the pace of innovation in stone technology began to accelerate very little, a period known as the Middle Stone Age.
At the beginning of this time, the hands are made with exquisite craftsmanship. This eventually gave way to smaller, more diverse tools, with a focus on scales, not on larger nuclear instruments. of human technological prehistory. This picture shows neolithic axes jadeitite from the Museum of Toulouse ” class=”blkBorder img-share” />
The Stone Age is a period in human prehistory, distinguished by the original development of stone tools that cover more than 95% of human technological prehistory. This picture shows Neolithic axes from the jadeitite of the Museum of Toulouse
These instruments were created for at least 285,000 years in some parts of Africa and from 250,000 to 200,000 years in Europe and parts of West Asia. These instruments last for at least 50,000 to 28,000 years.
Groups of Homo sapiens experiment with various raw materials, including bone, ivory,
The period between 50,000 and 39,000 years is also a time of craftsmanship
In the later Stone Age, the pace of innovation is increasing related to the emergence of modern human behavior in Africa.
The different groups sought their own cultural identity and adopted their own ways.
The later peoples of the Stone Age and their technologies spread from Africa over the next few thousand years.