Science & Technology Help Researchers To Understand Paleolithic Period

The Paleolithic period spans more than 2.6 million years ago to about 3,300 BC, ending around the time when humans discovered metalwork, ushering in the Bronze Age.

Science & Technology Help Researchers To Understand Paleolithic Period

Early humans were not so far removed from us and the way we do things and were not as unintelligent as you might think. The Paleolithic period is also known as the Old Stone Age, a prehistoric era of the longest period of human existence, the first 99% of human history. This era spans more than 2.6 million years ago to about 3,300 BC, ending around the time when humans discovered metalwork, ushering in the Bronze Age.

It is interesting to note that even though people of Paleolithic period were primitive, they were far from the grunting cavemen they’re portrayed to be. Early humans were great problem solvers! And this helped them survive in their environment, which was often hostile and dangerous.

They were knowledgeable in many areas like art, pottery, architecture (as shown in the ancient condominium pic above), agriculture, hunting, making chipped stone tools, and other inventions and innovations like weapons made from bone, stone, wood, and broken pieces of rock such as spear throwers made from antlers and tusks. They even made sewing needles out of bones. So it looks like early humans were smart enough to figure out ways to accomplish tasks to help them thrive. We’re really not so different from our early ancestors.

Bison and bacon are two popular choices of meat-eaters today, just like in the Paleolithic period. Early humans prepared and ate these meats, using their DIY stone tools to cut, pound, and crush while removing fur, breaking bones, and extracting the meat. Evidence that people in the Paleolithic era cured meat into bacon was discovered in 1991 with an archaeological find at a European glacier. There, the 5,300-year-old mummy of a man who died crossing what was then the Ötztal Alps (between what is now Italy and Austria) was unearthed.

Modern science and technology helped researchers reveal that the man was between 40 and 50 years old, what he wore, what his voice sounded like, that he had an ulcer, and that his last meal was bacon made from cured goat meat. Scientists determined the reason the contents of his stomach were undigested was that he was killed by an arrow through the back just 30–60 minutes after he had eaten. So, he was murdered before his food was digested, and it was preserved with his remains for thousands of years!

Archaeologists discovered that people had pet dogs thousands of years ago. In what is now Germany, an ancient grave shows the remains of an ancient puppy with signs of having had canine distemper disease at about 19 weeks old. Researchers believe the puppy was nursed back to health by early humans who must have had it as a pet. The ancient dog’s remains were found in 1914 in a grave in Oberkassel (where Bonn, Germany, is today), along with the remains of a man and woman with some objects decorated with materials made from teeth, bone, and antlers dating back 14,000 years to the Paleolithic age. The fact that the dog was buried with people and valuables suggests that the dog was a pet.

One of the main staples of the modern-day diet is bread, and history shows that bread was around in the Stone Age as well. How do we know? Because a charred 14,400-year-old piece of bread was found by an archaeologist at a Jordan excavation site and ancient firepit. This discovery was especially significant because up until the ancient piece of bread was found, already established archaeological history noted that humans started baking bread only about 10,000 years ago when people began making cereals. But the former discovery predates that by at least 4,000 years. That’s amazing! It altered what archaeologists knew about this piece of history.

Thanks to DNA sequencing and genome mapping, we see that people of Paleolithic times were intelligent and resourceful, given to the environment, conditions, and situations they had to deal with. Moreover, they share similarities to the people we are today, as seen in the three examples in this article. However, there are many other interesting historical accounts of this unique era in time, which was inhabited by the earliest humans on Earth, such as the Ötzi mummy and his preserved stomach contents. He’s a bog body and many others dating back 2,300 years ago have been found as well.

Originally published at News Break