Hundreds of stone tools discovered in Saudi Arabia revealed the presence of ancient human ancestors in the region 190,000 years ago, suggesting that they lived on the peninsula at about the same time than Homo sapiens.
Archaeologists have unearthed more than 500 tools made in Saffaqah in the Acheulean style, which appeared about 1.5 million years ago and which would be the longest tradition of manufacturing tools of the History of our lineage.
The discovery indicates that the Acheulean Arab ended just before or at the same time as the arrival of Homo sapiens, and experts say it could be among the youngest Acheulean sites ever discovered.
Hundreds of stone tools discovered in Saudi Arabia have revealed the presence of ancient human ancestors 190,000 years ago, suggesting that they were living on the peninsula at about the same time as the ## 147 ## Homo sapiens. The team found handaxes and sheaths, among other artifacts.
The central Saudi site is the first known Acheulean site on the peninsula and suggests that human ancestors lived there at least 190,000 years ago, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports.
Although the exact population has not yet been identified, the researchers explain that the ancient hominins who lived there used a network of rivers to travel to Arabia.
At the time, the arid region experienced an increase in rainfall; now, rivers do not exist anymore.
"It is not surprising that the first humans came here to make stone tools," says Dr. Eleanor Scerri of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
"The site is located on a large andesite dike that rises above the surrounding plain.
"The site was both a source of raw material and a privileged place to explore a landscape that, at the time, was located between two important river systems."
Archaeologists have unearthed more than 500 tools made in Saffaqah in the Acheulean style, appeared about 1.5 million years ago. A giant Acheulean nucleus from which flakes were obtained to create handaxes is presented above alongside one of the researchers
The central Saudi site is the first known Acheulean site on the peninsula and suggests that human ancestors lived there at least 190,000 years ago, according to a new study published in Scientific Reports
The team discovered more than 500 stone tools including handaxes and cleavers in the Acheulean style.
The ancient hominins were likely making stone tools at the site, living on the edge of habitable areas and taking advantage of brief episodes of "greening," the experts said.
"These hominines were resourceful and intelligent," said Dr. Scerri.
"They have dispersed into a difficult landscape using a technology generally considered to reflect a lack of inventiveness and creativity.
"Instead of perceiving the Acheulean in this way, we should really be struck by the flexibility, versatility and success of this technology."
Although the exact population has not yet been identified, the researchers explain that the ancient hominins who lived there used a network of rivers to travel to Arabia. At the time, the arid region experienced an increase in rainfall; now, rivers do not exist anymore
WHEN HUMAN ANCESTORS HAD THE FIRST EMERGENCE?
The chronology of human evolution can be traced back to millions of years. Experts believe that the family tree goes like this:
55 million years ago – The first primitive primates evolve
15 million years ago – Hominids (great apes) evolve since the ancestors of gibbon
7 million years ago – The first gorillas evolve. Later, the lineages of chimpanzees and humans diverge
A recreation of a Neanderthal man is represented
5.5 million years ago – Ardipithecus, former proto-human, shares traits with chimpanzees and gorillas
4 million years ago – Like the first humans, Australopithecus appeared. They did not have the brain bigger than that of a chimpanzee but other more humane characteristics.
3.9 to 2.9 million years ago – Australoipithecus afarensis has lived in Africa.
2.7 million years ago – Paranthropus, lived in the woods and had a massive chewing jaw
2.6 million years ago – Hand axes become the first major technological innovation
2.3 million years ago – Homo habilis is thought to have appeared for the first time in Africa
1.85 million years ago – The first-hand & modern & # 39; emerges
1.8 million years ago – Homo ergaster begins to appear in the fossil record
800,000 years ago – The first humans control fire and create fireplaces. The size of the brain is increasing rapidly
400,000 years ago – Neanderthals begin to appear and spread in Europe and Asia
300,000 to 200,000 years ago – Homo sapiens – Modern humans – appear in Africa
50,000 to 40,000 years ago – Modern humans reach Europe
The researchers dated the artifacts using a combination of luminescence methods, including the new infrared and radiofluorescence dating (IR-RF) protocol.
With the new estimates, the researchers hope that we will soon be able to better reconstruct the dispersion of human ancestors in the Arabian Peninsula.
"One of our main questions is whether one of our ancestors of evolution and our close cousins met Homo sapiens and if that could have happened somewhere in Saudi Arabia, "says Professor Michael Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for Human Science History, the project director.
"Future fieldwork will be devoted to understanding the cultural and biological exchanges that are possible at this critical time."