Clues about Homo erectus, an extinct species of archaic humans, discovered in western Iran

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TEHRAN – A team of Iranian archaeologists have discovered stone tools such as ax and machete believed to have been created by Homo erectus, an extinct species of archaic human, on the outskirts of Kermanshah in western China. Iran.

“The creators of these tools may have been the so-called” Homo erectus “although other groups [of early humans] made similar tools, given similar sites in other parts of Asia. It is quite possible that Homo erectus made these tools, “ISNA said Wednesday, citing senior archaeologist Saman Heydari-Guran.

Heydari-Guran who led the recent investigation noted: “During a week-long investigation in this area, dozens of stone axes, utensils and mother stones linked to the [Lower] Paleolithic periods have been discovered, which according to their technical characteristics and their typology are linked to the Acheulean era.

Acheulean, from Acheulean French after the Saint-Acheul type site, is an archaeological stone tool-making industry characterized by distinct oval and pear-shaped “hand axes” associated with Homo erectus and derivative species such as Homo heidelbergensis.

“This is the first time in 60 years that tools from the Paleolithic period have been discovered in Kermanshah,” said the archaeologist.

“In the 1960s, an archaeological mission from the University of Chicago, led by Robert Braidwood, discovered a stone ax near the village of Gakiyeh and since then there have been no reports of the discovery of such tools. in Kermanshah. “

These axes are stone tools related to the [Lower] Paleolithic period and which were made 250,000 to 1.5 million years ago, he added.

Elsewhere in his remarks, Heydari-Guran noted that the recently discovered stone tools could date back to around 700,000 to a million years ago.

“As there is currently no absolute historiography for this human settlement, it is not possible to give an exact date for the construction of these tools, but it is possible to predict a date of around 700,000 to one million d ‘years. “

Braidwood discovered Tappeh Asiab, an ancient Neolithic site located on the outskirts of Kermanshah in the central Zagros mountains. The site was found during the Braidwood “Prehistory Iranian” project and was briefly excavated in early 1960. Asiab was one of the first Ancient Neolithic sites excavated in central Zagros, and although excavations on The site has never been published in a comprehensive manner, it has played an important role in shaping our understanding of the Early Neolithic in this region. The area has been described as the Asiab deposits as “a chaotic jumble of animal bones, freshwater clam shells, coprolites, flint and other artifact debris, rocks and traces of fire and ash, as well as numerous pits filled with debris ”. .

Energetic archaeologist Heydari-Guran, the remains of three Neanderthals have been found in Iran so far. “Previously [archaeological] seasons at Bawa Yawan, in addition to the discovery of a 42,000-year-old Neanderthal tooth, archaeological layers containing cultural data from the Paleolithic, Middle Neolithic and post-Paleolithic periods have been identified.

The tooth, which is a lower left deciduous canine belonging to a six-year-old child, was found at a depth of 2.5 m from the surface of the shelter in association with animal bones and tools in stone near Kermanshah. The stone tools found near the tooth belong to the Middle Paleolithic period and a series of C14 dates suggests that Neanderthals are between 41,000 and 43,000 years old, which is near the end of the period. Middle Paleolithic when Neanderthals disappeared in Zagros. Neanderthals roamed the Iranian Zagros mountain range between 40,000 and 70,000 years ago.

A previous study by Heydari-Guran based at Mettmann’s Neanderthal Museum, and his international colleagues such as Stefano Benazzi, a physical anthropologist at the University of Bologna, the analysis showed that the tooth had Neanderthal affinities. Conducted by a team of archaeologists and paleoanthropologists from Iran, Germany, Italy and Great Britain, the results of the study were published on the online journal PLOS ONE in August.

Until the late 20th century, Neanderthals were considered genetically, morphologically, and behaviorally distinct from living humans. However, more recent discoveries about this well-preserved Eurasian fossil population have revealed an overlap between living and archaic humans.

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