Date:

Archaeologists find 476,000-year-old wooden structure

Archaeologists from the University of Liverpool and Aberystwyth University have discovered a wooden structure dating from at least 476,000-years-ago, the earliest known example to date.

According to a study published in the journal Nature, the discovery has no other construction parallels from the African or Eurasian Palaeolithic and predates our own species, Home Sapiens.

- Advertisement -

This research forms part of the pioneering ‘Deep Roots of Humanity’ project, an investigation into how human technology developed in the Stone Age.

The team discovered a possible timber platform, evidenced by two interlocking logs joined transversely by a cut nut notch at the Kalambo Falls archaeological site in Zambia.

An analysis of the timbers show evidence of cut-marks made with stone tools, revealing that early humans could shape and craft logs for a deliberate function, rather than being limited to just adapting sticks for weapons and digging. This not only extends the age range of woodworking in Africa, but expands the understanding of the technical cognition of early hominin.

Professor Larry Barham, from the University of Liverpool, said: “This find has changed how I think about our early ancestors. Forget the label ‘Stone Age,’ look at what these people were doing: they made something new, and large, from wood. They used their intelligence, imagination, and skills to create something they’d never seen before, something that had never previously existed.”

- Advertisement -

Also discovered are four wood tools, including a wedge, digging stick, cut log and a notched branch, showing an early diversity of forms and the capacity to shape tree trunks into large combined structures.

“Kalambo Falls is an extraordinary site and a major heritage asset for Zambia. The Deep Roots team is looking forward to more exciting discoveries emerging from its waterlogged sands,” added Professor Barham.

University of Liverpool

https://doi.org/10.1038/s41586-023-06557-9

Header Image Credit : Nature

- Advertisement -
spot_img
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan
Mark Milligan is multi-award-winning journalist and the Managing Editor at HeritageDaily. His background is in archaeology and computer science, having written over 7,500 articles across several online publications. Mark is a member of the Association of British Science Writers (ABSW), the World Federation of Science Journalists, and in 2023 was the recipient of the British Citizen Award for Education, the BCA Medal of Honour, and the UK Prime Minister's Points of Light Award.
spot_img

Mobile Application

spot_img

Related Articles

Archaeologists use revolutionary GPR robot to explore Viking Age site

Archaeologist from NIKU are using a revolutionary new GPR robot to explore a Viking Age site in Norway’s Sandefjord municipality.

Highway construction delayed following Bronze Age discoveries

Excavations in preparation for the S1 Expressway have delayed road construction following the discovery of two Bronze Age settlements.

Archaeologists uncover possible phallus carving at Roman Vindolanda

Excavations at the Roman fort of Vindolanda have uncovered a possible phallus carving near Hadrian’s Wall.

Carbonised Herculaneum papyrus reveals burial place of Plato

An analysis of carbonised papyrus from the Roman town of Herculaneum has revealed the burial place of Plato.

Sealed 18th century glass bottles discovered at George Washington’s Mount Vernon

As part of a $40 million Mansion Revitalisation Project, archaeologists have discovered two sealed 18th century glass bottles at George Washington's Mount Vernon.

Study suggests human occupation in Patagonia prior to the Younger Dryas period

Archaeologists have conducted a study of lithic material from the Pilauco and Los Notros sites in north-western Patagonia, revealing evidence of human occupation in the region prior to the Younger Dryas period.

Fort excavation uncovers Roman sculpture

Archaeologists excavating Stuttgart’s Roman fort have uncovered a statue depicting a Roman god.

The history of the Oak Island Money Pit

Oak Island, located in Mahone Bay, Nova Scotia, is a small 140-acre island which has been the subject of an ongoing treasure hunt since 1795.