The First Art Newspaper on the Net Established in 1996 United States Sunday, May 3, 2015


Report from Cave Excavation Says Humans Mastered Tool Making 50,000 Earlier than Thought
A Still Bay bifacial point from Blombos Cave made on silcrete and finished by pressure flaking, mainly at the tip. Sophisticated methods of making sharp stone tools have been around a lot longer than archaeologists thought. Researchers have found evidence of a technique called pressure flaking as much as 75,000 years ago at Blombos Cave in South Africa. AP Photo/Science.

By: Jon Herskovitz

CAPE TOWN (REUTERS).- A group of prehistoric people mastered a difficult and delicate process to sharpen stones into spears and knives at least 75,000 years ago, more than 50,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a report.

This technique, known as pressure flaking, allowed for the more precise shaping of stones to turn them into better weapons for hunting, a paper published on Thursday in the U.S. periodical Science said.

"These points are very thin, sharp and narrow and possibly penetrated the bodies of animals better than that of other tools," said Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and a study co-author.

The new findings show pressure flaking took place at Blombos Cave in what is now South Africa during the Middle Stone Age by anatomically modern humans and involved the heating of silcrete -- quartz grains cemented by silica -- used to make tools, the university said in a news release.

Pressure flaking is a process by which implements previously shaped by hard stone hammer strikes followed by softer strikes with wood or bone hammers are carefully trimmed on the edges by directly pressing the point of a tool made of bone on the stone, it said.

"Using the pressure flaking technique required strong hands and allowed toolmakers to exert a high degree of control on the final shape and thinness that cannot be achieved by percussion," Villa said.

Prior to the Blombos Cave discovery, the earliest evidence of pressure flaking was from the Upper Paleolithic Solutrean culture in France and Spain roughly 20,000 years ago.

The authors speculated the pressure flaking technique may have been invented in Africa and used sporadically before its later, widespread adoption in Europe, Australia and North America.

The co-authors included Vincent Mourre of the French National Institute for Preventive Archaeological Research and Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergen in Norway and director of the Blombos Cave excavation.

"This flexible approach to technology may have conferred an advantage to the groups of Homo sapiens who migrated out of Africa about 60,000 years ago," the authors wrote in Science.

(Editing by Ralph Boulton)





Today's News

October 29, 2010

Sotheby's Presents Highlights from 19th Century European Art Auction in New York

Landmark Exhibition of German Artist Hans Hartung's Late Paintings Opens at Cheim & Read

Report from Cave Excavation Says Humans Mastered Tool Making 50,000 Earlier than Thought

Städel Museum Opens "In Chronological Order: Städel Works of the 14th to 21st Centuries"

Exhibition of New Work by Photographer Abelardo Morell at Bryce Wolkowitz Gallery

Ehud Netzer, Israeli Archaeologist Known for Excavating King Herod's Winter Palace, Dies

Sotheby's Sale of Fine Chinese Ceramics to Be Highlighted by a Blue And White "Peony" Jar

Bonhams to Sell Rifle Owned by Hunter Who Took Teddy Roosevelt on Safari

Damián Ortega Finds Inspiration in a Newspaper to Create Barbican Art Gallery's Latest Exhibition

Extremely Rare First Edition of Jane Austen's Emma to be Offered at Sotheby's London

Two 150-Year-Old Civil War Dolls Get X-Rayed at VCU Medical Center for Signs of Smuggling

Baltimore Nuns Auctioning Famous Baseball Card to Raise Money for Diocese

Kunsthaus Zürich Embarks on Ambitious Restoration Project on the Work of Alberto Giacometti

Caravaggio-Inspired Dutch Masterpiece Acquired for Fitzwilliam Museum

Danish Artist Awarded The Balnaves Foundation Sculpture Prize of $60,000 at Sculpture by the Sea, Bondi 2010

Iwo Jima Mementos, a Faded Photograph and Child's Drawing, Bring Closure to Japanese Family

Oakland Museum of California Acquires Historic "All of Us or None" Poster Collection

Harry Blain and Former Sotheby's Vice Chairman Emmanuel Di Donna to Open New York Gallery

Documentation and Artwork, 1972-1985 by Cuban-American Artist Ana Mendieta at Galerie Lelong

Christie's Sales of Chinese Ceramics & Works of Art to Offer an Impressive Array of Rare and Important Works

Records Tumble for Some of the Most Seminal Works in English Literature at Sotheby's Today

Armenian Archeologists: 5,900-Year-Old Skirt Found

German Vending Machines Sell Miniature Art in Boxes

Mandela Objects to Sale of His Artwork at Auction

Most Popular Last Seven Days



1.- Art Institute of Chicago to receive largest gift of art in the museum's 136-year history

2.- Fake Chinese painting dupes visitors to London's Dulwich Picture Gallery

3.- All new Renzo Piano-designed Whitney Museum of American Art reopens in New York

4.- World's first auction of Iraqi Modernism sets world record prices at Bonhams

5.- Museum of Modern Art launches walking tour of Jacob Lawrence's Harlem

6.- 7.8-magnitude earthquake deals heavy blow to Nepal's rich cultural heritage

7.- Exhibition of recent paintings and pastels by Lisa Yuskavage opens at David Zwirner

8.- From Sèvres to Fifth Avenue: Exhibition of French porcelain opens at The Frick Collection

9.- Sotheby's to offer extremely rare elephant bird egg expected to fetch £30,000-50,000 at auction

10.- First major exhibition in the UK to present a history of Indigenous Australia opens



Museums, Exhibits, Artists, Milestones, Digital Art, Architecture, Photography,
Photographers, Special Photos, Special Reports, Featured Stories, Auctions, Art Fairs,
Anecdotes, Art Quiz, Education, Mythology, 3D Images, Last Week, .

 

Founder:
Ignacio Villarreal
Editor & Publisher: Jose Villarreal - Consultant: Ignacio Villarreal Jr.
Art Director: Juan José Sepúlveda Ramírez - Marketing: Carla Gutiérrez
Special Contributor: Liz Gangemi - Special Advisor: Carlos Amador
Contributing Editor: Carolina Farias

Royalville Communications, Inc
produces:

ignaciovillarreal.org theavemaria.org juncodelavega.org facundocabral-elfinal.org
Founder's Site. The most varied versions
of this beautiful prayer.
Hommage
to a Mexican poet.
Hommage
       

The First Art Newspaper on the Net. The Best Versions Of Ave Maria Song Junco de la Vega Site Ignacio Villarreal Site