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(Fox News)   Stone-tipped spears predate existence of humans by 85,000 years according to Saul and Ellen Tigh   (foxnews.com) divider line 19
    More: Strange, Ellen Tigh, industrial processes, tool makers  
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19 Comments   (+0 »)
   
 
2013-11-15 11:36:59 AM  
I knew it! I totally knew Dino Riders was based on real events! :P
 
2013-11-15 12:22:23 PM  
Duh, obviously.

i.imgur.com
 
2013-11-15 12:24:36 PM  
The only part of the find that is even remotely surprising is the suggestion that the tools were used as javelins rather than pikes.  The oldest known throwing spears had previously been associated exclusively with anatomically modern Homo sapiens.    I've only read part of the original article, but it looks like an interesting analysis.  They're comparing the size and shape of microfractures produced on obsidian by different speeds of impact.  I'm not entirely convinced, but it's possible.
 
2013-11-15 12:46:31 PM  
I remember as a child asking my dad how we knew that earlier civilizations hadn't sprung up and fallen by the wayside.  I saw how even after a few decades, much less centuries, buildings and even entire towns could be reclaimed by nature.  I was only seven at the time, so it seemed possible that even a "great civilization" could have arisen prior to recorded history and have been lost forever.  Combining more modern archeology with more understanding of how the world works on my side and I see the flaws in my theory.  However, the idea that a predecessor of man reached the toolmaking stage is still quite within the realm of possibility.
 
2013-11-15 12:58:46 PM  
The article's use of Steve Jobs as an adjective for a brilliant inventor is annoying and stupid.
 
2013-11-15 01:01:01 PM  
Thanks, Subby, for continuing to keep open the "...and then the crew of Battlestar Galactica decided to pimp out Hera to the proto-hominids." wound.

/should have had them show up just before Greek civilization took off...would have made sense for everything...even the frigging names of the colonies.
 
2013-11-15 01:02:11 PM  

FloydA: The only part of the find that is even remotely surprising is the suggestion that the tools were used as javelins rather than pikes.  The oldest known throwing spears had previously been associated exclusively with anatomically modern Homo sapiens.    I've only read part of the original article, but it looks like an interesting analysis.  They're comparing the size and shape of microfractures produced on obsidian by different speeds of impact.  I'm not entirely convinced, but it's possible.


Yup, also this is a repeat from yesterday or the day before. The news article was atrocious, even by news article metrics. It certainly doesn't radically alter our view of human evolution. Homo erectusis already associated with stone tools. The PLoS ONE research itself is pretty interesting but I really hate how the media reports on things like this. It isn't just over simplified, it is usually highly misleading or just outright wrong...
 
2013-11-15 01:03:21 PM  
wait until they find them on mars....
 
2013-11-15 01:04:18 PM  

dahmers love zombie: Duh, obviously.

[i.imgur.com image 337x352]


I would wear that on a shirt. But only Ironically. And for the ladies.
 
2013-11-15 01:04:59 PM  

timujin: I remember as a child asking my dad how we knew that earlier civilizations hadn't sprung up and fallen by the wayside.  I saw how even after a few decades, much less centuries, buildings and even entire towns could be reclaimed by nature.  I was only seven at the time, so it seemed possible that even a "great civilization" could have arisen prior to recorded history and have been lost forever.  Combining more modern archeology with more understanding of how the world works on my side and I see the flaws in my theory.  However, the idea that a predecessor of man reached the toolmaking stage is still quite within the realm of possibility.


I still have a fanciful fiction that there may have been some really intelligent dinosaurs, maybe even tool users (not necessarily civilization builders) but we'd never know, because 65 million years would have obliterated any evidence.

But it is in no way based on any science.
 
2013-11-15 01:11:46 PM  

timujin: I remember as a child asking my dad how we knew that earlier civilizations hadn't sprung up and fallen by the wayside.  I saw how even after a few decades, much less centuries, buildings and even entire towns could be reclaimed by nature.  I was only seven at the time, so it seemed possible that even a "great civilization" could have arisen prior to recorded history and have been lost forever.  Combining more modern archeology with more understanding of how the world works on my side and I see the flaws in my theory.  However, the idea that a predecessor of man reached the toolmaking stage is still quite within the realm of possibility.


Civilizations like ours, need almost disposable components so they can be upgraded constantly and also available to many.  You're electronics barely last a decade enclosed in a safe housing and kept under a controlled environment.  The average wood house will not even remotely stick around as long as the ancient stone buildings.  But a 200 year old wooden house most likely has modern plumbing and electricity incorporated without external pipes and wires running along the walls.
 
2013-11-15 01:15:06 PM  
And a warm welcome to the family tree for homo spearchucker.
 
2013-11-15 01:15:38 PM  

Trik: wait until they find them on mars....


I can assure you that stone spearheads will not be found on Mars.

/ Prothean artifacts, though, are another story.
// Kobol and it's colonies clearly arose and fell between reapings, and in isolated systems that had no relays.
 
2013-11-15 01:17:09 PM  

timujin:  the idea that a predecessor of man reached the toolmaking stage is still quite within the realm of possibility.



That's within the realm of the completely and conclusively demonstrated, actually.  The oldest known tools are nearly 10 times as old as these spear points.   There are stone tools as much as 2 million years old or more; comparatively speaking, the spear tips described in TFA are relatively late in the sequence of tool-making.

What's surprising about these is the suggestion that they might have been used as projectiles - thrown spears, rather than stabbing spears.  If the authors are correct, then the basic concepts of aerodynamics may have been worked out earlier than we'd realized.  If they are correct, we can expect to find things like spear shaft straighteners in Middle Paleolithic strata, as well as an increasing trend towards bilateral symmetry in the stone points.  The asymmetrical shape of the points analyzed in this study leads me to suspect that if they really were used as projectiles, they were very early in the sequence of thrown weapons, because the tool-makers hadn't yet realized that asymmetrical points don't fly straight.

We'll see.  It's an interesting study, in any case.
 
2013-11-15 01:17:10 PM  

meat0918: timujin: I remember as a child asking my dad how we knew that earlier civilizations hadn't sprung up and fallen by the wayside.  I saw how even after a few decades, much less centuries, buildings and even entire towns could be reclaimed by nature.  I was only seven at the time, so it seemed possible that even a "great civilization" could have arisen prior to recorded history and have been lost forever.  Combining more modern archeology with more understanding of how the world works on my side and I see the flaws in my theory.  However, the idea that a predecessor of man reached the toolmaking stage is still quite within the realm of possibility.

I still have a fanciful fiction that there may have been some really intelligent dinosaurs, maybe even tool users (not necessarily civilization builders) but we'd never know, because 65 million years would have obliterated any evidence.

But it is in no way based on any science.


That sounds a little West of Eden.
 
2013-11-15 01:18:31 PM  
entropic_existence:

Yup, also this is a repeat from yesterday or the day before. The news article was atrocious, even by news article metrics. It certainly doesn't radically alter our view of human evolution. Homo erectusis already associated with stone tools. The PLoS ONE research itself is pretty interesting but I really hate how the media reports on things like this. It isn't just over simplified, it is usually highly misleading or just outright wrong...

Oh, I missed the earlier link.  And yeah, I agree with you completely on the quality of science reporting in general, and this example in particular.
 
2013-11-15 01:20:31 PM  

wraith95: The article's use of Steve Jobs as an adjective for a brilliant inventor is annoying and stupid.


I dunno.  I think what the author is trying to say is that someone else invented flint tools long ago and then caveman Steve Jobs came along and hired cave Jonathan Ives to use obsidian.  The black glass was nicer looking and much sharper than flint.  It revolutionized stone tools as we know it.  As you know, obsidian comes in black, red, gold and snowflake.  Unfortunately, whereas flint could be re-chipped and made new, this obsidian shattered and could not be repaired.  So ultimately you had to get a new stone tool from cave Steve Jobs.
 
2013-11-15 01:28:54 PM  
I stopped reading after "predates Homo Sapiens." The artifact didn't predate humans, just the modern version of us. It's in no way surprising that our hominid ancestors tinkered with weapons and other tool use.

Fark media sensationalism.
 
2013-11-15 01:37:55 PM  

Makh: wraith95: The article's use of Steve Jobs as an adjective for a brilliant inventor is annoying and stupid.

I dunno.  I think what the author is trying to say is that someone else invented flint tools long ago and then caveman Steve Jobs came along and hired cave Jonathan Ives to use obsidian.  The black glass was nicer looking and much sharper than flint.  It revolutionized stone tools as we know it.  As you know, obsidian comes in black, red, gold and snowflake.  Unfortunately, whereas flint could be re-chipped and made new, this obsidian shattered and could not be repaired.  So ultimately you had to get a new stone tool from cave Steve Jobs.


They stole the idea for obsidian from Xer-OGG.  ;-)
 
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