Topic ID #34428 - posted 1/14/2015 3:04 AM

World's oldest butchering tools gave evolutionary edge to human communication



Jennifer Palmer

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World's oldest butchering tools gave evolutionary edge to human communication
Scientists find Oldowan technology behind the genesis of language and teaching

Two and a half million years ago, our hominin ancestors in the African savanna crafted rocks into shards that could slice apart a dead gazelle, zebra or other game animal. Over the next 700,000 years, this butchering technology spread throughout the continent and, it turns out, came to be a major evolutionary force, according to new research from the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Liverpool and the University of St. Andrews, both in the UK.

Combining the tools of psychology, evolutionary biology and archaeology, scientists have found compelling evidence for the co-evolution of early Stone Age slaughtering tools and our ability to communicate and teach, shedding new light on the power of human culture to shape evolution.

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