Very little is known today about our ancestors who lived in the Stone Age. For a long time there was an opinion that these people were the inhabitants of the cave, walked with batons, did not excel in great wisdom, and so on. Sh. But modern scientists are convinced that in the Stone Age, a huge period of history that began about 3, 3 million years ago and lasted until 3300 years, everything was not as described in school books.
1. Homo Erectus tools
During excavations in Israel, northeast of Tel Aviv, hundreds of ancient stone tools were discovered. The artefacts discovered at a depth of 5 meters in 2017 were made by human ancestors. The tools, created about half a million years ago, tell us a few facts about their creators – who were named Homo erectus. It is believed that this area was a kind of paradise of the Stone Age – there were rivers, plants and abundant food – everything that is necessary for existence. The most interesting discovery of this primitive camp was the stone fragments. Apparently they worked the edges of the flint stones, and made pear-shaped ax blades out of it, which they supposedly used to dig the ground and kill animals.
2. The first wine
At the end of the Stone Age, the first wine was made on the territory of modern Georgia. In 2016 and 2017, archaeologists discovered ceramic fragments dating to 5400 – 5000 BC. Fragments of pottery found in two ancient settlements of the Neolithic period (Tilted Mountain and Shulaveri Mountain) were analyzed, resulting in the discovery of tartaric acid in six vessels.
This chemical is always an undeniable sign that there was wine in the pot. Scientists have also found that grape juice ferments naturally in the warm climate of Georgia. To find out if the wine was red or white, the researchers conducted analyzes on the color of the waste. They were yellow in color, which indicates that the ancient Georgians produced white wine.
3. Dentistry In the
mountains of northern Tuscany, dentists treated patients from 13,000 to 12,740 years ago. Evidence of six such patients was found in the Riparo Freddian area. Traces of a procedure found on two teeth that any modern dentist can recognize – a dental filling. It is difficult to say whether analgesics were used, but some sharp tool left traces on the enamel.
Apparently, it was made of stone, which was used to expand the cavity by grinding decayed tooth tissue. A familiar technology was also found in the side tooth – puncture remnants. It was made from bitumen mixed with plant fibers and hair. If the use of bitumen (natural resin) is understandable, it is still unclear why fiber and hair were added to it.
4. The Holocaust In Nataruke,
Stone Age cultures provided interesting examples of art and social relations, but they also fought in wars. In one case, it was just a pointless massacre. In 2012, in Nataruka, northern Kenya, a team of scientists discovered bones growing from the ground. It turned out that the skeleton had broken knees. After clearing the sand from the bones, scientists discovered that they belonged to a pregnant woman of the Stone Age. Despite his condition, he was killed. About 10,000 years ago a woman was tied up by someone and thrown into the water.
The remains of 27 people were found there, including 6 children and several other women. Most of the remains showed traces of violence, including trauma, fractures and even pieces of weapons stuck in the bones. It is impossible to say why the hunter-gatherer group was destroyed, but it could have been the result of a dispute over resources. During this time Nataruk was a thriving and fertile land with fresh water – an invaluable place for any tribe. Whatever happened that day, the Nataruk massacre remains the oldest evidence of human warfare.
5. Kinship It is
possible that early recognition of mating saved a person as a species. In 2017, scientists discovered the first signs of this understanding in the bones of Stone Age people. Four skeletons of people who died 34,000 years ago have been found in Sungir, east of Moscow. Genetic analysis has shown that they behave like a modern hunter-gatherer society when it came to choosing life companions. They realized that having offspring with close relatives, such as siblings, was fraught with bad consequences. In Sungir there were clearly almost no facts of marriage in one family.
If humans were to mate by chance, the genetic consequences of crossbreeding would be more apparent. Like later hunter-gatherers, they sought out partners from other tribes through social connections. Sungirishu burial was accompanied by quite complex rituals that suggested that important stages of life (e.g., death and marriage) were accompanied by ceremonies. If so, then Stone Age weddings would be the earliest human marriages. Misunderstandings with relatives may have doomed Neanderthals, whose DNA shows more crossbreeding.
6. The cult of women
In 2017, researchers surveyed ancient dwellings in Lechtal, Germany. Their age was about 4000 years. When the remains of the inhabitants were examined, they were surprised to find that most of the families were founded by women who had left their villages to settle in Letal. This occurred from the Late Stone Age to the Early Bronze Age.
For eight centuries women, probably from Bohemia or Central Germany, preferred Lehtal men. Such movement of women was key to the dissemination of cultural ideas and objects, which in turn helped to shape new technologies. The findings also show that previous views on mass migration need to be corrected. Although women moved to Lekhtal many times, this was done on a purely individual basis.
7. Written language
Researchers may have discovered the world’s oldest written language. In fact, it may be code that represents certain concepts. Historians have long known about the symbols of the Stone Age, but over the years they have been neglected, despite the fact that the cave paintings are visited by numerous visitors. Examples of the most incredible rock carvings in the world have been found in caves in Spain and France. Among the ancient images of bison, horses, and lions, tiny symbols were hidden to represent something abstract.
Twenty-six signs are repeated on the walls of about 200 caves. If they serve to convey some information, it “advances” the invention of writing 30,000 years ago. However, the roots of ancient writing may be even older. Numerous symbols painted by Cro-Magnons in caves in France have been found in ancient African art. In particular, it is an open-angle sign engraved on a 75,000-year-old cave in South Africa’s Blombo.
8. The plague By
the time the bacterium Yersinia pestis invaded Europe in the 14th century, 30-60 percent of the population was already dead. An old skeleton surveyed in 2017 showed that the plague appeared in Europe during the Stone Age. Six skeletons from the Late Neolithic and Bronze Ages were positively confirmed by the plague. The disease spreads over a wide geographical area, from Lithuania, Estonia and Russia to Germany and Croatia. Given the different locations and the two epochs, the researchers were surprised when they compared the genomes of Yersinia pestis (plague bacillus).
Subsequent research showed that the bacterium probably came from the East when people settled from the Caspian-Pontic steppes (Russia and Ukraine). Those who came about 4800 years ago brought with them a unique genetic marker. This marker appeared in European remains with early traces of the plague, indicating that the steppes carried the disease with them. It is unknown how deadly he was in those days, but it is possible that steppe migrants fled their homes due to the epidemic.