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Homo sapiens’ First Culture Was Still Intact in Africa 11,000 Years Ago

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The stone tools styles that Homo sapiens took to Africa and most of the world were gradually replaced by new tools and were considered completely abandoned 30,000 years ago.  New discoveries have revealed that in West Africa this transformation was not made long after the rest of the world, the replacements appeared about 11,000 years ago. Long before H. Sapiens’ the appearance of sapiens, other early human species refined the use of stone tools in fine art. The first bones of our own species are related to the presence of a distinct style of flaking tools, referred to as the Middle Stone Age by scrapers and grinding stone anthropologists.

As the name implies, there was also a later Stone Age, characterized by many small tools and ostrich egg beads. They were published about 67,000 years ago and were thought to have replaced large equipment that served humanity for nearly 300,000 years throughout Africa 30,000 years ago.  Dr. Eleanor Scerri of the Max Planck Institute of Science of Human History has challenged this belief, especially on the basis of sites he has examined in Senegal.

Scerri said in a statement, “West Africa is a real frontier for human evolutionary research – we know almost nothing about what happened here in deep prehistory.” “We know almost everything about the origin of humans, extrapolated from discoveries in small areas of East and South Africa.” Scerri partnered with Dr. Khady Niang of the University of Senegal in Czech Anta Diop, Senegal, to study where Senegal sites where people roamed in a variety of environments, from dense rain forests to desert edges.  In scientific reports, they describe plenty of Middle Stone Age tools on the banks of the country’s two main rivers. Using optically stimulated luminescence (OSL), which measures how long a substance has been kept away from sunlight, one was dated  21,000-24,000 years ago, the other 11,000 years old.

Co-author Dr. Jimbob Blinkhorn is responsible for the survival of the tools for the region’s isolation from humanity at the time. “To the north, the region meets the Sahara Desert,” he said. “In the past, there were Central African rainforests, which were often cut off from West African rainforests during droughts and part-time.” Niang added, “This coincides with a genetic study that shows that Africans living in the last 10,000 years have lived in much-divided populations.”

Moreover, the climate of West Africa seems to have been more stable in the last ice age than in other parts of the continent. People living in this region without the pressure of changing conditions rarely needed to give up the tools that their ancestors served so well. By the time Holocene almost moistened the forests of West Africa; they had probably connected with them in Central Africa and started a cultural exchange.