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Stone Age Mystery Solved: Caveman Tool Used to Butcher Rhinoceros

Aug 11, 2016 03:18 AM EDT

An exciting discovery made by paleoanthropologists prove that humans' ancient relatives were quite sophisticated when it came to hunting. Caveman tools unearthed in the Jordan oasis finally solves the Stone Age mystery. What exactly did they find out about the tools?

In the study published on the Journal of Archaeological Science, a team of researchers tested Stone Age tools. Their discovery was an amazing one. Animal residue was found on the tools, which were unearthed in a Jordan oasis between the years 2013 and 2015.

The flints, ax heads, and scrapers weren't just used to forage for food, but were also used to hunt and butcher meat. The presence of horse, duck, wild cow, camel, and rhinoceros were found on the tools.

"When we think generally about the story of human evolution, we see that we eat anything and everything to help us survive. In a sense it's almost a smoking gun. It's the definitive evidence that these tools were used in this way," explained April Nowell, a professor of anthropology at the University of Victoria and lead author of the study.

Six of the artifacts were sampled and tested for tissue. Samples were spun in a vial with "antiserum." Such samples were tested for antibodies of camel, deer, wild cow, cat, duck, goat, and rhinoceros.

"We have three for rhino, three for duck, five for horse, three for bovine or wild cattle, three for camel," stated Nowell, adding, "The world's oldest identifiable proteins."

Based on the findings, it could be likely that humans' ancient ancestors used a different tool for each meat butchered. Yet, the findings are still not enough to support the interpretation. Nowell along with other archeologists hope to find other artifacts and use the same method of research. This would greatly help scientists understand how ancient humans used their tools and on what specifically.

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