Recent archaeological discoveries show that in some parts of Africa, the duration of the Stone Age may be 20,000 years longer than previously thought.
The new discoveries made by researchers from the Max Planck Institute at the Senegal site on the west coast of Africa have inspired people to rethink the evolution of humans.
Previous findings indicate that humans in Africa have stopped using certain tools and methods (including simple scrapers and scrapers), and switched to more complex and sophisticated equipment, including spears and spades, about 30,000 years ago .
This distinction in equipment and the shift to more artistic and regional diversity of tools marked the transition from the Mesolithic to the Late Stone Age.
Archaeologists have discovered that the ancient inhabitants of West Africa were still using simple tools about 1
This refutes a long-standing theory that human beings are developing towards our modern lifestyle in a unified way, while developing at different speeds around the world.
The new discoveries made by researchers from the Max Planck Institute at the Senegal site on the west coast of Africa have inspired people to reflect on the evolution of humans.
The Stone Age is divided into three periods-the Lower Stone Age before Homo sapiens, the Middle Stone Age where early Homo sapiens used simple tools such as pointed tips and scrapers, and the late Stone Age when handicrafts began to prevail.
The Mesolithic was found in African records from 300,000 to 30,000 years ago, and occurred most commonly, after which they have largely disappeared-although new research shows that this situation continues far away.
The exact transition varies from region to region, but later the last stage of the Stone Age-the Neolithic-did not develop until the Bronze Age in 3500 BC.
Archaeologists say that their research supports the view that in most prehistoric times, human groups were relatively isolated.
This discovery was made when archaeologists discovered the first step of prehistoric history in West Africa. Compared with the eastern and southern parts of West Africa, they said that there is insufficient research on the history of West Africa.
The lead author of a new study, Dr. Eleanor Scerri, said that West Africa is the real frontier of human evolutionary research-because almost nothing is known about its prehistory.
Sairee explained: “Almost all of our knowledge of human origins is inferred from a small number of discoveries in eastern and southern Africa.”
Her colleague Dr. Khady Niang of Cheikh Anta Diop University in Senegal added: “These findings show that if we are to truly grasp the long history of humanity, we must investigate the entire African continent.
“Before our work, stories from other parts of Africa showed that the last traces of the Mesolithic age were long gone 11,000 years ago.”
The team does not know why the Stone Age residents of West Africa took longer to adopt the new tools, but speculated that this may be due to geographical isolation.
Other theories suggest that this may also be due to less drastic climate change, which means that humans living there do not need to find new ways to adapt.
Archaeologists say their research supports the notion that in most prehistoric periods of humankind, human groups were relatively isolated.These graphs show some of the tools used in West Africa 11,000 years ago, which are no longer used elsewhere
Dr. Niang said: “The only thing we can be sure of is that this persistence is not just a lack of the ability to invest in the development of new technologies.
“These people are very smart. They know how to choose high-quality stone for their tools and develop the landscape they live in.”
The research team said that their findings and genetic findings indicate that there is a huge diversity among humans living on the African continent, which is consistent with the new view of human evolution that people in the Stone Age lived and developed separately.
Dr. Niang said: “We are not sure why, but apart from physical distance, there may be some cultural boundaries. Maybe people who use these different material cultures also live in slightly different ecological environments.”
The team conducted a field trip along the Gambia River in Senegal.The team does not know why the Stone Age residents of West Africa took longer to adopt the new tool, but speculated that this may be due to geographical isolation
About 15,000 years ago, humidity and forest growth in Central and West Africa increased significantly, linking different regions together and providing scattered corridors for groups, which marked the end of the Mesolithic tools.
Dr. Sereri added: “These findings do not fit the simple single linear model of cultural transition to “modernity”.
Groups of hunter-gatherers embedded in very different technological traditions have occupied neighboring areas of Africa for thousands of years, sometimes even sharing the same area.
“On the other hand, remote areas may be important reservoirs of cultural and genetic diversity. This may be a decisive factor in the success of our species.”
The research results were published in the journal “Science Reports”.
How do we understand the history of the Stone Age?
The Stone Age is a period of human prehistory, characterized by the primitive development of stone tools, covering more than 95% of the prehistory of human technology.
It began in the ancient stone age of mankind, the earliest humans used stone tools, which was in the Paleolithic age about 3.3 million years ago.
About 400,000 to 200,000 years ago, the pace of innovation in stone technology began to accelerate very slowly, and this period was called the Mesolithic Age.
From this time on, the hand axe was made with superb craftsmanship. In the end, this gave way to a smaller, more diverse toolkit that focused on sheet tools rather than larger core tools.
The Stone Age is a period of human prehistory, characterized by the primitive development of stone tools covering more than 95% of the prehistory of human technology.This image shows the neolithic jade axis of the Toulouse Museum
These kits are at least 285,000 years old in some parts of Africa, and at least 250,000 to 200,000 years old in parts of Europe and West Asia. These kits lasted at least 50,000 to 28,000 years ago.
In the late Stone Age, the pace of innovation accelerated and the level of craftsmanship improved.
Homo sapiens tried a variety of raw materials, including bones, ivory and antlers, and stones.
The period between 50,000 and 39,000 years ago was also related to the emergence of modern human behavior in Africa.
Different groups seek their own unique cultural identities and adopt their own production methods.
In the following thousands of years, the people of the later Stone Age and their technology spread all over Africa.