Migration was thought to be the main driving factor behind the similar tool making techniques of various stone aged groups around the world. However, after the excavation and analysis of hundreds of artifacts from a site in Armenia tell a different story.

The study begins to put to rest that migrating groups in Africa were the main source of knowledge for these early humans.

The tools they created, and used during this time period were known as bifacial – which means they were created through a chipping method.

This gave stone agers the ability to have small, easy-to-carry tools that previously were unavailable. However, it doesn’t seem like the various groups were getting their information from any particular tribes that were migrating away. In fact, it would seem that the stone agers simply shaped stone until the shape they were looking for emerged.
It created a truly “trial and error” basis for tool making – that caused individuals to create their own technology, based on their individual needs.

In the previously thought Levallois method, which involved flaking pieces from a larger – and generally suitable piece of material. It was thought for many years that this is the technique that came from Africa, and that it became widespread after the migration occurred.

However, that theory didn’t explain why there were differences in tools found from the same period. This new theory, that different groups widely developed their own processes for making tools. It also created unexplainable migration patterns between Africa and Eurasia. It also took liberties on fossil dating that couldn’t actually be verified.

Now though, this latest round of research – which was conducted in 2008 and 2009 – followed by years of analysis. The initial excavation took place in Nor Geghi.

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The site was well-preserved. The volcanic ash was well-preserved and easily datable. It was found that the volcanic ash was dated anywhere from 200,000 to 400,000 years old, and that collaborates perfectly with the era where the earliest Levallois tools were found.

Once the volcanic ash was dated, it was easy to cross reference dates they found with nearby artifacts, and made for better analysis afterward.

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Daniel Adler of the University of Connecticut in Storrs said that “the communities probably worked out for themselves how to make bifacial tools and then it was a short step to the Levallois method.”

Regardless though, many have conceded that it could have easily been a combination of both theories, but this one is far more concrete and well-supported by the artefacts, and analysis that followed.

Source: Sciencemag