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2011 Archives

Study shines light on East Asia's Stone Age tool scarcity

Archaeologist Metin I. Eren
Metin I. Eren

April 14, 2011

By Margaret Allen
SMU News

The long-held theory that early human ancestors in East Asia crafted their tools from bamboo and wood is much more complicated than originally conceived, according to a new study.

Research until now has failed to address a fundamental question: Is it even possible to make complex bamboo tools with simple stone tools?

Now an experimental archaeological study — in which a modern-day flint knapper replicated the crafting of bamboo knives — confirms that it is possible to make a variety of bamboo tools with the simplest stone tools.

However, rather than confirming the long-held "bamboo hypothesis," the new research shows there's more to the theory, says archaeologist Metin I. Eren, the expert knapper who crafted the tools for the study.

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Visit Metin I. Eren's website.

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