They say all politics is local, and it’s looking like our ancient ancestors took that one step further. A popular theory about the spread of civilization had the technology of the day being invented and spread throughout the known world through population expansion.
We are talking the basic building blocks of civilizations with stone tools being invented. A new study out in the journal Science is pushing back on the notion that all technology migrated with population expansion. A 325,000 year-old site in Armenia is shedding some light on how humans, as a species, developed technology.
Daniel Adler, a scientist from the University of Connecticut, led a team to the dig site. What they found was a people that didn’t wait for the technology to make its way to their small society. Instead, researchers at Nor Geghi 1 showed that refined stone tools were developed in the Armenian region more than 300,000 years ago.
What’s significant about the finding? The development of the tools occurred independent from other technological steps occurring elsewhere. Adler and his team maintain that the development of tools in the ancient world occurred at intermittent periods.
In the case of the Armenian dig site, the stone tools pointed to two distinctive technologies. The less sophisticated inventions used biface technology, which is linked to axe production in the Lower Paleolithic period. The part that has researchers perking up with interest is the find of Levallois technology.
This is more sophisticated than the traditional biface technology, and stones were carved into knives or other sharp objects. This type of technology is normally associated with the Middle Stone Age in Africa. You don’t have to bust out the atlas to see where researchers are going with this.
The team maintains that the evolution of stone tools intermittent between differing groups. The study shows that Levallois came out of biface technology at differing times. And vastly different areas on the map.
That doesn’t mean the technology wasn’t spread through population expansion, it just means that locals were not ones to sit on their proverbial hands. Undoubtedly, technology advancement through diaspora occurred. This just shows that old world societies were quick to innovate off of existing technology.