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Mass Production Of Stone Tools Reveals Technological Shift In Stone Age

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The Al-Ansab 1 recess site is located around 10 kilometers south of Petra in Jordan. It is a well-preserved technocomplex of the first Upper Palaeolithic culture of the Near East, understood as the Ahmarian culture. The excavations have shown a standardized mass manufacturing of stone tools, considered a precursor to the introduction of lances and bows, and arrows.

The stone tools mark a change to long-range hunting and a departure from older hunting practices. The technological shift took place between 40,000 and 45,000 years ago. The bladelets are considered to be the remnants of spears and arrows used to hunt ungulates in open steppe circumstances.

One of the authors of the paper, Jacopo Gennaisays, “During the Upper Palaeolithic, we have a proliferation of bladelets, but their role was not well established yet within the Ahmarian. We hope these new results will change our understanding of the earliest Upper Palaeolithic industry of the Levant and push for new research to find the origins of this behaviour that stayed with Homo sapiens until the end of the Palaeolithic.”

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