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Stone Age Sustainability

Stone Age Sustainability

In news that will come as little surprise to anyone who watched “The Flintstones” growing up (come on, they had a fat dinosaur for a garbage disposal), stone age man was actually quite environmentally-minded. Recent discoveries by researchers from Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution looking at artifacts unearthed from the Molí del Salt site in Tarragona, Spain, suggest that humans in the Upper Paleolithic Age were more than just hunter-gathers; they were recyclers, reconfiguring worn out stone tools into new tools to extend their usefulness.

It seems even in prehistoric times, the materials to make a really choice axe head or cutting tool were in short supply, and once a good piece of the right kind of stone was found, shaped and subsequently worn out for one purpose, it was often carved down for another. Moreover, it appears that early humans would capitalize on the leavings of their predecessors, recycling discarded tool materials left behind at settlement sites by previous inhabitants.

The scarcity of suitable tool materials meant striking out in search of fresh supplies would require significant and undesirable travel and time away from the main group; that is, until the founding of Cave Depot somewhere around 12,000 B.C.E.


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