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Thread: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

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    Default Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Archaeologists say they've identified the earliest known bone tools in the European archaeological record.
    The implements come from the renowned Boxgrove site in West Sussex, which was excavated in the 1980s and 90s.
    The bone tools came from a horse that humans butchered at the site for its meat.
    Flakes of stone in piles around the animal suggest at least eight individuals were making large flint knives for the job.
    Researchers also found evidence that other people were present nearby - perhaps younger or older members of a community - shedding light on the social structure of our ancient relatives.
    There's nothing quite like Boxgrove elsewhere in Britain: during excavations, archaeologists uncovered hundreds of stone tools, along with animal bones, that dated to 500,000 years ago.
    They were made by the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor for modern humans and Neanderthals.
    Researchers found a shin bone belonging to one of them - it's the oldest human bone known from Britain.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/science-environment-53743766
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Nick I mentioned to an American anthropologist once that I had a piece of flint which was knapped in a cave in France sixty thousand years ago. He replied that he had a piece of flint which was knapped a million years ago by a different species JayInOz

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    Nick I mentioned to an American anthropologist once that I had a piece of flint which was knapped in a cave in France sixty thousand years ago. He replied that he had a piece of flint which was knapped a million years ago by a different species JayInOz
    Context is important.
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    I thought flint had the same consistency the World over ?
    Last edited by Chippie; 08-13-2020 at 05:08 AM.

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippie View Post
    I thought flint had the same consistency the World over ?
    Not all tools were knapped from flint found in chalk.
    Obsidian, a volcanic glass knaps well, and in the north of the US gunflints were knapped from chert, originally thought to be fossilized stromatolites, but now thought to be from a decay mechanism associated with fungal decay and fossilised selectively by repeated invasions of hot brines rich in dissolved silica.
    However, they have to have a similar glass like consistency to flake when hit.
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    However, they have to have a similar glass like consistency to flake when hit.
    The minerals which have that glassy consistency and the colloidal fracturing that results in super sharp edges, have cooled rapidly in their geologic genesis. Otherwise, slower cooling allows the crystaline structure to form and the slower the cooling, the larger the crystal, and crystalized stone, like granite, doesn't fracture colloidally, or at least not in a way suitable for knapping blades.
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    I've knapped a lot of interesting stuff other than all the usual rock types, including fibre optic glass, opal and petrified palm wood. Filled the freezer with most of them too. JayInOz

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    I've knapped a lot of interesting stuff other than all the usual rock types, including fibre optic glass, opal and petrified palm wood. Filled the freezer with most of them too. JayInOz
    I know that wood can be petrified by opalising. Are there any other mechanisms that will do it?
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    I thought flint had the same consistency the World over ?

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Not allLink? ls were knapped from flint found in chalk.
    Obsidian, a volcanic glass knaps well, and in the north of the US gunflints were knapped from chert, originally thought to be fossilized stromatolites, but now thought to be from a decay mechanism associated with fungal decay and fossilised selectively by repeated invasions of hot brines rich in dissolved silica.
    However, they have to have a similar glass like consistency to flake when hit.
    Nick that really knocked me back I have been wondering how you retain all this knowledge. Suddenly I had the idea of copying your submission and Googling and there it was.

    Why not use quotation marks or a link?

    Now back to my original question "I thought flint had the same consistency the World over ?"

    I was puzzled as to how they could differentiate the age of the two items in Jay's comment.

    "Nick I mentioned to an American anthropologist once that I had a piece of flint which was knapped in a cave in France sixty thousand years ago. He replied that he had a piece of flint which was knapped a million years ago by a different species JayInOz"

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Nick the process where the wood is opalised is the leaching out of plant material and being replaced by minerals in the groundwater doing the leaching. It can be opal, silica, pyrites etc. This is petrified palm wood

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    And this is agatised coral Any of these materials come in a wide array of colours and patterns JayInOz

    Edited to add- the nearest true flint to me is about a thousand miles west south west. I watch videos of Nicola White mudlarking along the Thames and the ground is littered with tons of the stuff! Doesn't even rate a mention J.

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Quote Originally Posted by Chippie View Post
    I was puzzled as to how they could differentiate the age of the two items in Jay's comment.

    "Nick I mentioned to an American anthropologist once that I had a piece of flint which was knapped in a cave in France sixty thousand years ago. He replied that he had a piece of flint which was knapped a million years ago by a different species JayInOz"
    Hence my comment about context. Context also applies to where the artifact was found. In datable undisterbed strata, or eroded out and lying on the surface. One context is easy to date, the other not so much.
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    The knappers who created those points were a bit special. The notches behind the barbs are something else.
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Were they Whitworth?
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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Quote Originally Posted by Reynard38 View Post
    Were they Whitworth?
    Nah- Thread Flinststone.

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Quote Originally Posted by Peerie Maa View Post
    Hence my comment about context. Context also applies to where the artifact was found. In datable undisterbed strata, or eroded out and lying on the surface. One context is easy to date, the other not so much.

    So I take it that one can only give a comparable date if the the whereabouts of both pieces discovery is known.

    Was this the case in Jay's experience?

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    My point wasn't the age of the flint- it was that one piece was knapped by "people" other than us. There were other species with the intellectual capacity to work stone to achieve an aim.
    Nick those expanding notches are one of the bench marks to gauge progress (or prowess)- getting two of them to match exactly is tricky also JayInOz

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    Default Re: Europe's earliest bone tools found in Britain

    Quote Originally Posted by JayInOz View Post
    My point wasn't the age of the flint- it was that one piece was knapped by "people" other than us. There were other species with the intellectual capacity to work stone to achieve an aim.
    Well, from the C&P in the OP
    They were made by the species Homo heidelbergensis, a possible ancestor for modern humans and Neanderthals.
    According to this https://www2.palomar.edu/anthro/homo2/mod_homo_1.htm Boxgrove, where the tools were found dates between 524,000-478,000 years ago. So although heidelbergensis would seem not to have been around when your mates million year old tool was made they must have been an early wave of the OOA migrations, predating Sapiens and Neanderthal leaving Africa.
    It really is quite difficult to build an ugly wooden boat.

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