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Astounding Discovery in Africa
#1

Astounding Discovery in Africa
We arrogant humans were not the first to build wooden structures!

https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/2023...5310711833

Quote:Half-million-year-old Wooden Structure Found in Zambia

‘Disruptive discovery’: Archaeologists report notched log structure built by a spectacular waterfall in central Africa – and not by Homo sapiens


Quote:Half a million years ago, hominins working in a flood plain atop a waterfall in northern Zambia carved a notch into a log and fit the log firmly at a perpendicular angle over a supine tree trunk. This complex structure represents the earliest known use of wood in construction by a vast margin, archaeologists reported on Wednesday.

Based on the structure’s dating to 476,000 years ago with a margin of error of 23,000 years, we sapiens didn’t build this. If so, that changes the paradigm that only Wondrous We were capable of landscape modification.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#2

Astounding Discovery in Africa
(09-21-2023, 03:44 PM)Minimalist Wrote: We arrogant humans were not the first to build wooden structures!

That Haaretz ... I really need to read it all the time. Smile
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#3

Astounding Discovery in Africa
I have to admit that I love Ruth Schuster's writing.....   her "Wondrous We" comment is likely to be my highlight for the day.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#4

Astounding Discovery in Africa
(09-21-2023, 03:44 PM)Minimalist Wrote: We arrogant humans were not the first to build wooden structures!

https://www.haaretz.com/archaeology/2023...5310711833

Quote:Half-million-year-old Wooden Structure Found in Zambia

‘Disruptive discovery’: Archaeologists report notched log structure built by a spectacular waterfall in central Africa – and not by Homo sapiens


Quote:Half a million years ago, hominins working in a flood plain atop a waterfall in northern Zambia carved a notch into a log and fit the log firmly at a perpendicular angle over a supine tree trunk. This complex structure represents the earliest known use of wood in construction by a vast margin, archaeologists reported on Wednesday.

Based on the structure’s dating to 476,000 years ago with a margin of error of 23,000 years, we sapiens didn’t build this. If so, that changes the paradigm that only Wondrous We were capable of landscape modification.

There are occasional geniuses at all past times. Some hominin dragged a burning branch once and piled wood on it to keep it burning. Some later one found a broken sharp rock and wondered about creating his own. Some later one noticed a spark from a chipped tool and wondered about starting a fire from scratch. Some later one in a colder climate decided to support a hide above him and created the first tent. Which led to multi-person structures. Etc, etc, etc.

Every good idea comes from an individual whose brain is "slightly" more attuned toward imaging something new. And I don't discount group "preparedness" for a new idea. One individual may "create", but it takes the related members of the group to adopt it. I bet that more than one "genius" took his idea to his death because others didn't understand the value of it. Or maybe not. Our few ancestors were quick to see advantages. Or they died out from competition with "slightly" smarter nearby groups. It doesn't take much difference to lose.

But unless we find a history of notched logs, that seems to be a genius thought that didn't get adopted. Maybe it wasn't that much an advantage over "tradition". Chopping a notch in some logs wasn't all that easy back then. Hell, a sharp metal ax takes some effort to use to notch a log. Maybe the "genius" was just "before his time.

But whoever it was and regardless of whether it become adopted or not, I admire that person.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
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#5

Astounding Discovery in Africa
The problem with archaeology is that we can only comment on what we actually find.  Trying to construct a reality for it is mere speculation.

Some unknown genius, as you correctly put it, figured out a way to attach a stone point to a spear, an arrow, or an atlatl dart at unknown times in the past.  We still find the points but the wooden shafts are long gone.

You would have to figure that wood is a much easier medium to work with than stone, though.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#6

Astounding Discovery in Africa
Maybe the wood is from the tree Adam and Eve ate the apple from.  They chopped it down and made a house out of it as a sort of "fuck you" to the god who put it there.    Big Grin
                                                         T4618
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#7

Astounding Discovery in Africa
LOL.


Can you imagine these racist xhristards admitting that Eden was in "Africa?"
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#8

Astounding Discovery in Africa
(09-21-2023, 04:58 PM)Minimalist Wrote: The problem with archaeology is that we can only comment on what we actually find.  Trying to construct a reality for it is mere speculation.

Some unknown genius, as you correctly put it, figured out a way to attach a stone point to a spear, an arrow, or an atlatl dart at unknown times in the past.  We still find the points but the wooden shafts are long gone.

You would have to figure that wood is a much easier medium to work with than stone, though.

Evidence is what we find. But deduction from evidence also valuable and not just "mere speculation". We see a stone point. And we deduct that some intelligence made it (as the process to create it is unlikely in nature). But we also can deduct that a means of applying it can be assumed logically. Therefore, some type of thrusting device is likely. Voila, "spear".

I'm not disagreeing with you much. But I think logical extensions of evidence are also valid.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
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#9

Astounding Discovery in Africa
Before this find was announced .... yesterday... the "speculation" based on available evidence was that only HSS was capable of building things.  That paradigm is now out the window.

Everything in archaeology is subject to the results of the next shovel into the ground.  You're right that this does not stop people from making a hypothesis, but most archaeologists do not get too wedded to them.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#10

Astounding Discovery in Africa
(09-21-2023, 08:01 PM)Minimalist Wrote: Before this find was announced .... yesterday... the "speculation" based on available evidence was that only HSS was capable of building things.  That paradigm is now out the window.

Everything in archaeology is subject to the results of the next shovel into the ground.  You're right that this does not stop people from making a hypothesis, but most archaeologists do not get too wedded to them.

I am not surprised that some individuals developed ideas that were not widely adopted or lasting. Some groups of people probably failed in spite of a good new ideas among them that did not spread to others.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
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#11

Astounding Discovery in Africa
These would have been small family or perhaps clan groups.  Highly unlikely that there would have been much passing along of information to other groups.  In fact, survival of such groups would have been an ongoing cause for concern.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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#12

Astounding Discovery in Africa
(09-22-2023, 01:08 AM)Minimalist Wrote: These would have been small family or perhaps clan groups.  Highly unlikely that there would have been much passing along of information to other groups.  In fact, survival of such groups would have been an ongoing cause for concern.

Yes. some small groups of ancient humans could well have invented some new things that did not survive them.  A benefit of larger socialized groups would have been "retention of learning".  In one way, small-group invention was probably beneficial to the group in competion with neighbors.  But some early discoveries were surely lost when they perished for other reasons.  Most were likely discovered again by others in other places and generations, but at a cost of time to general human advancement.

When we gathered in larger groups, new ideas survived. So collective learning exponentiated.
Never try to catch a dropped knife!
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#13

Astounding Discovery in Africa
I think the first thing we need to do is lose the silly idea that our immediate ancestors were grunting ape men.  Homo Erectus is identified in the fossil record over 2 million years ago.  

https://www.nature.com/scitable/knowledg...-97879043/

We evolved from them.... but how much of a DNA change was there?  There's a map on that web site.  HE did get around.
Robert G. Ingersoll : “No man with a sense of humor ever founded a religion.”
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