Tag Archives: mammoths

New UF Study Shows Early North Americans Lived With Extinct Giant Beasts

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — A new University of Florida study that determined the age of skeletal remains provides evidence humans reached the Western Hemisphere during the last ice age and lived alongside giant extinct mammals.

The study published online today (May 3, 2012) in the Journal of Vertebrate Paleontology addresses the century-long debate among scientists about whether human and mammal remains found at Vero Beach in the early 1900s date to the same time period. Using rare earth element analysis to measure the concentration of naturally occurring metals absorbed during fossilization, researchers show modern humans in North America co-existed with large extinct mammals about 13,000 years ago, including mammoths, mastodons and giant ground sloths. (more…)

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Origin of Skillful Stone Tool Sharpening Method Pushed Back More Than 50,000 Years

A highly skillful and delicate method of sharpening and retouching stone artifacts by prehistoric people appears to have been developed at least 75,000 years ago, more than 50,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder.

The new findings show that the technique, known as pressure flaking, took place at Blombos Cave in 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. Pressure flaking takes place when 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 artifact. (more…)

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