Humans Evolved From Sharing Culture And Technology, Study Reveals
A team of researchers found that early human ancestors, Homo sapiens, evolved and travelled the across Earth by sharing their culture and technological advances with each other. In the latest study, researchers explore the Blombos Cave in South Africa, which is shedding new light on the early human ancestors.
"We are looking mainly at the part of South Africa where Blombos Cave is situated. We sought to find out how groups moved across the landscape and how they interacted," Christopher S. Henshilwood, coauthor of the study, said in a news release.
The Blombos Cave was discovered in the early 1990s and has led to many findings on the behavioral evolution of the human species. The cave contains Middle Stone Age artifacts from 100,000 to 70,000 years ago, which has enabled researchers to have a better understanding of human evolution.
The researchers are examining the technologies that were used by various groups in this area along with other regions of South Africa, where items such as spear points made from stone and decorated ostrich eggshells can indicate whether or not these Middle Stone Age groups related with each other.
"The pattern we are seeing is that when demographics change, people interact more. For example, we have found similar patterns engraved on ostrich eggshells in different sites," said Dr. Karen van Niekerk, coauthor of the study. "This shows that people were probably sharing symbolic material culture, at certain times but not at others."
The spread of cultural and technological materials can enable researchers to determine how the Homo sapiens' migrated across the landmasses of Africa, Arabia and Europe. The researchers claimed that interaction between various cultures is essential for survival and frequent contact would have equaled to stronger technology and culture.
"Contact across groups, and population dynamics, makes it possible to adopt and adapt new technologies and culture and is what describes Homo sapiens," said Henshilwood. "What we are seeing is the same pattern that shaped the people in Europe who created cave art many years later.
The findings of this study were published in the journal PLOS ONE.
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