A report in Friday’s edition of the journal Science, co-authored by an ASU researcher, reveals that early humans somehow learned the secret of making stone tools sturdier by treating them in fire — 45,000 years before such technology was previously thought to exist.
Curtis Marean, a paleoanthropologist at the Institute of Human Origins at Arizona State University, described the importance of the discovery in a statement to the media, reported by The Associated Press: “Heat treatment technology begins with a genius moment — someone discovers that heating stone makes it easier to flake.”
The research, funded by the U.S. National Science Foundation, the Hyde Family Trust and ASU, was conducted at an archaeological site in South Africa’s Pinnacle Point, overlooking the Indian Ocean.
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