How did ancient people in the Carmel cut their steaks 20,000 years ago? – The Jerusalem Post

§ July 9th, 2020 § Filed under Nanotech Comments Off on How did ancient people in the Carmel cut their steaks 20,000 years ago? – The Jerusalem Post

Thousands of years before Israel would become renowned all over the world as the "startup-nation," prehistoric groups in the region mastered their very own kind of nanotechnology, new research by Israeli and Chinese archaeologists showed. As explained in a paper recently published in the journal PLOS ONE, inhabitants of the site of Neve Daniel on Mount Carmel produced highly effective miniaturized tools. Neve David presents the remains of a society that lived in the area some 20,000 years ago during the Epipaleolithic period, Dr. Iris Groman-Yaroslavski from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa and a lead author of a paper, told The Jerusalem Post. The site offers the traces of a rich material culture, including a vast amount of tiny flint tools, small blades not longer than 5 centimeters. The raw material to manufacture them was readily available on the Carmel. The flint had to be struck to create the core of the object and then struck again in successive phases to craft the precise tool needed, in a process that required a high level of skills. The bladelets were shaped in different forms, curved, triangle, rectangle and trapeze, creating artifacts that scholars refer to as microliths, the archaeologist pointed out. If in the past the use of these instruments was studied with a particular focus on their employment for weaponry, the new research focuses on the versatility of the purposes they served for. Among the authors of the paper are also the directors of excavation at Neve David Reuven Yeshurun and Dani Nadel as well as Hong Chen and other scholars from the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. As Groman-Yaroslavski pointed out, monoliths could be used for scraping, processing meat, cutting wood and a lot of other materials as well as to create spears and arrows for hunting and similar activities. Moreover, they were often inserted or glued to other objects made of different materials, creating composite tools. We were able to see how the people used them to butcher the animal and distribute it among the members in the group, or to cut and collect straw or other plants and more, she said. In order to understand how they functioned, we carried out microscopic investigation and experimental archaeology, she explained. If today we were to imagine using a 2-centimeter-long blade to cut woods, how would it work? A group of students involved in the project therefore created some replicas of the tools and tried them on different materials, comparing them with the ancient ones found in the site. We were surprised to find out how effective they were, if used correctly, the researcher pointed out. We conducted use-wear analysis, using a metallurgical microscope in magnification of up to 500 times in order to see the wear pattern. It is hard to prove the advantage of the miniaturized tools compared to larger tools used earlier or later, but I do think that they represented a form of sophistication, which I call the nanotechnology of prehistory, that is, doing the same things with smaller tools, like it happens today with computers and phones, she added. A few thousand years later, during the Neolithic, use of the miniaturized tools began to decline, until they almost disappeared, around 11,000 years ago. The scientist said that this phenomenon might have depended on several factors, from climatic changes to groups becoming bigger, therefore requiring different instruments. Around 9,000 years ago, the production of huge blades with new very sophisticated technology took entirely over, she concluded. Thousands of years before Israel would become renowned all over the world as the "start-up nation," prehistoric groups in the region mastered their very own kind of nanotechnology, new research by Israeli and Chinese archaeologists showed. As explained in a paper recently published in the journal PLOS ONE, inhabitants of the site of Neve Daniel on Mount Carmel produced highly effective miniaturized tools. Neve David presents the remains of a society that lived in the area some 20,000 years ago during the Epipaleolithic period, Dr. Iris Groman-Yaroslavski from the Zinman Institute of Archaeology at the University of Haifa and a lead author of a paper, told The Jerusalem Post. The site offers the traces of a rich material culture, including a vast amount of tiny flint tools, small blades not longer than 5 centimeters. The raw material to manufacture them was readily available on the Carmel. The flint had to be struck to create the core of the object and then struck again in successive phases to craft the precise artifact needed, in a process that required a high level of skills. The bladelets were shaped in different forms, curved, triangle, rectangle, trapeze, creating artifacts that scholars refer to as microliths, the archaeologist pointed out. If in the past the use of these instruments was studied with a particular focus on their employment for weaponry, the new research focuses on the versatility of the purposes they served for. Among the authors of the paper are also the directors of excavation at Neve David Reuven Yeshurun and Dani Nadel as well as Hong Chen and other scholars from the Zhejiang University in Hangzhou, China. As Groman-Yaroslavski pointed out, monoliths could be used for scraping, processing meat, cutting wood, and a lot of other materials as well as to create spears and arrows for hunting and similar activities. Moreover, they were often inserted or glued to other objects made of different materials, creating composite tools. We were able to see how the people used them to butcher the animal and distribute it among the members in the group, or to cut and collect straw or other plants and more, she said. In order to understand how they functioned, we carried out microscopic investigation and experimental archaeology, she explained. If today we were to imagine using a 2-centimeter-long blade to cut woods, how would it work? A group of students involved in the project therefore created some replicas of the tools and tried them on different materials, comparing them with the ancient ones found in the site. We were surprised to find out how effective they were, if used correctly, the researcher pointed out. We conducted use-wear analysis, using a metallurgical microscope in magnification of up to 500 times in order to see the wear pattern. It is hard to prove the advantage of the miniaturized tools compared to larger tools used earlier or later, but I do think that they represented a form of sophistication, which I call the nanotechnology of prehistory, that is, doing the same things with smaller tools, like it happens today with computers and phones, she added. A few thousand years later, during the Neolithic, the miniaturize tools were less and less used until they almost disappeared, around 11,000 years ago. The scientist said that this phenomenon might have depended on several factors, from climatic changes to groups becoming bigger, therefore requiring different instruments. Around 9,000 years ago, the production of huge blades with new very sophisticated technology took entirely over, she concluded.

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How did ancient people in the Carmel cut their steaks 20,000 years ago? - The Jerusalem Post

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