Re: Old Tools

Jay Reynolds Freeman (
Fri, 28 Feb 1997 13:58:45 -0800

> "perfectly preserved 400,000 year old wooden spears"!

There's no reason for the exclamation point except perhaps to remark
on the fact that circumstances conspired to preserve artifacts made
from organic substance for that long. Stone tools which most people
would say are of comparable complexity to simple wooden spears, if not
more complex, are known from something like two million years before
the present; also dating from a million years ago, or longer, is
indirect evidence of the use of leather containers (polishing of stone
artifacts, or maybe it was bone), and evidence of possible systematic
use of fire (not to say its creation).

> Just what *did* happen to humans in the last 50,000 years?

A fine question; possibly the time should be a little more remote,
but that's a detail. Biologically, nobody knows, and there is much
controversy. Culturally, by degrees, fancier technology, and evidence
of larger-scale and more sophisticated cooperation.

-- Jay Freeman, First Extropian Squirrel