Moroccan cave yields oldest clues about advent of clothing Part 1

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Scientists on Sept. 16 said artifacts unearthed in a cave in Morocco dating back as far as 120,000 years ago indicate that humans were making specialized bone tools, skinning animals and then using tools to process the skins for fur and leather. The items from Contrebandiers Cave, located roughly 250 meters from the Atlantic coastline in the town of Temara, appear to be the oldest-known evidence for clothing in the archaeological record, they added. Our species, Homo sapiens, first appeared more than 300,000 years ago in Africa, later spreading worldwide. The advent of clothing was a milestone for humankind, reflecting cultural and cognitive evolution. “We assume that clothing was integral to the expansion of our species into cold habitats,” said evolutionary archaeologist Emily Hallett of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany, lead author of the study published in iScience. The scientists found 62 tools made from animal bones and also identified a pattern of cut marks on the bones of three small carnivore species — a fox, a jackal and a wildcat — indicating they had been skinned for fur, not processed for meat. Antelope and wild cattle bones suggested that the skins of these animals may have been used to make leather, while the meat was eaten. “Clothing is a unique human innovation,” said evolutionary archaeologist and study co-author Eleanor Scerri, also of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History. The cave artifacts date to a time period when evidence of personal adornment and other signs of human symbolic expression appear at various archaeological sites. (Reuters) To be continued… This article was provided by The Japan Times Alpha.

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