A study published Wednesday in the journal Nature claims researchers have uncovered the first known structural use of wood in human history.
Apparently our ancestors 476,000 years ago were manipulating wood for their own purposes, the study argues. Conducted by archaeologists from the Universities of Liverpool and Aberystwyth, the research focuses on waterlogged deposits at the Kalambo Falls site in Zambia, which shows two interlocking logs that were framed via a cut notch.
“This find has changed how I think about our early ancestors. Forget the label ‘Stone Age,’ look at what these people were doing: they made something new, and large, from wood. They used their intelligence, imagination, and skills to create something they’d never seen before, something that had never previously existed,” University of Liverpool professor Larry Barham told Heritage Daily.
— Local 12/WKRC-TV (@Local12) September 21, 2023
Evidence from the site shows cut marks in various pieces of wood that could only have been made by the tools of early Stone Age humans. Some tools were also discovered, along with a wedge, digging stick, cut logs, and a notched branch. (RELATED: Discoveries Shed Light On First Human Migrations 300,000 to 1.3 Million Years Ago)
“Kalambo Falls is an extraordinary site and a major heritage asset for Zambia. The Deep Roots team is looking forward to more exciting discoveries emerging from its waterlogged sands,” Barham noted.