UM Today | Discovery in Kalahari changes our understanding of early humans, new article in Nature Reports

March 31, 2021 –

Archaeological evidence from the Ka-Mohana Hill North Rock Shelter on the edge of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa challenges the notion that the origin of our species is linked to the coastal environment Natural Reports.

One of the most important discoveries from the site was the 22 calcite crystals (smooth, white, rectangular structures).

“There are no geological reasons for the existence of those crystals, but there are 22 of them,” says Benjamin Collins, a UM researcher involved in a recent study. // Image: Jane Wilkins

“There are no geological reasons for the existence of those crystals, but there are 22 of them,” he says Benjamin Collins, A researcher in the Department of Anthropology at the University of Manitoba, is part of an international team that published the latest findings in the study.Innovative Homo sapiens behaves in a wet galaxy 105,000 years ago. ”

“So, 105,000 years ago is a good indicator that people in the past brought these crystals to the site,” says Collins. “The big question is, why did people bring calcite crystals here? They do not serve any technological function and do not help to survive, but they had some sort of significance, so this symbolism suggests culture. It is an indicator of complex thinking. It really changes how we see the story of human evolution. ”

The crystals from Ka-Mohana may have been associated with spiritual beliefs, which is very significant considering the Ka-Mohana Hill North Rock shelter.

“A big question in human evolutionary research is when people try to understand when we became human. Culture When did we begin to use culture as an adaptive tool?” Says Collins. “Therefore, a large part of trying to understand human evolution is to detect and monitor these changes in culture over time.”

The findings of this research team led by Jane Wilkins From the Australian Research Center for Human Evolution at Griffith University and PhD alumni at the University of Toronto, change our view of the early days Homo sapiens: Our species originated in Africa, and evidence for this has so far been found mostly along the coasts of South Africa, which supports the notion that our origin is linked to the coastal environment. This new discovery, from the rock shelter inside, changes the plot of the story of humanity.

“In coastal sites, the earliest evidence for this type of behavior was simultaneously 105,000 years ago,” says Wilkins. “This means that the early humans in Kalahari were no less innovative than those on the beach.”

A panorama of the Ka-Mohana Hill North Rock Shelter on the edge of the Kalahari Desert in South Africa

Ka-Mohana Hill North Rock Shelter. // Image: Jane Wilkins

Collins examined animal bones at the site, which showed signs of tools used to extract the marrow, and ostrich eggs, a rare find found on such an old site. Ostrich eggs change color when exposed to heat: 200-250 C heat sources turn them yellow and 300 C or higher red. The bombs he tested were red, and the answers to why weren’t appealing.

“We don’t know how ostrich eggs were used, they may have been used as containers, but we don’t know,” he says. “Either way, it’s something that was used by someone 105,000 years ago, and it’s a definite connection to the past.

Sophia Harrison

Part time worker

I'm Sophia Harrison working as a part-time staff at the Costco since the past year until I become as an author at the iron blade, hope I can use my experiences with the supermarkets here.

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