Skip to comments.Humans were already recycling 13,000 years ago
Posted on 09/22/2012 10:41:53 PM PDT by SunkenCiv
A study at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili and the Catalan Institute of Human Paleoecology and Social Evolution (IPHES) reveals that humans from the Upper Palaeolithic Age recycled their stone artefacts to be put to other uses. The study is based on burnt artefacts found in the Molí del Salt site in Tarragona, Spain.
The recycling of stone tools during Prehistoric times has hardly been dealt with due to the difficulties in verifying such practices in archaeological records. Nonetheless, it is possible to find some evidence, as demonstrated in a study published in the 'Journal of Archaeological Science'.
"In order to identify the recycling, it is necessary to differentiate the two stages of the manipulation sequence of an object: the moment before it is altered and the moment after. The two are separated by an interval in which the artefact has undergone some form of alteration. This is the first time a systematic study of this type has been performed," as explained to SINC by Manuel Vaquero, researcher at the Universitat Rovira i Virgili.
The archaeologists found a high percentage of burnt remains in the Molí del Salt site (Tarragona), which date back to the end of the Upper Palaeolithic Age some 13,000 years ago. The expert ensures that "we chose these burnt artefacts because they can tell us in a very simple way whether they have been modified after being exposed to fire."
The results indicate that the recycling of tools was normal during the Upper Palaeolithic Age. However, this practice is not documented in the same way as other types of artefacts. The use of recycled tools was more common for domestic activities and seems to be associated with immediate needs.
(Excerpt) Read more at eurekalert.org ...
It is only recently that our societal norm has become “thow-a-way”.
I think the concept is simply called “being frugal.”
I’d like to know how they came up with the 13,000 year “guess”.
|GGG managers are SunkenCiv, StayAt HomeMother & Ernest_at_the_Beach|
To all -- please ping me to other topics which are appropriate for the GGG list.
Because they know how to date things.
Stone wears like ir-, uh, never mind. ;’)
When they find the ruins of our civilization, they’ll remark on how well things seemed to be going before the inexplicable switch to absurd, inefficient fuel sources and the inexplainable use of giant batteries that have left behind pools of highly toxic waste.
So why don't we use stones?
When you live life at a subsistence level you cannot afford to throw anything away. It’s a sign of our superior civilization that we don’t have to recycle.
“recycled their stone artefacts to be put to other uses”
recycled, my ass. They simply found another use. What a lamebrain article. Under this reasoning, recycling was going on for millions of years by one animal choosing to eat another, and recycling it into turds.
The expert ensures that “we chose these burnt artefacts because they can tell us in a very simple way whether they have been modified after being exposed to fire.
Since they show no pictures of the artefacts in question I have no way of knowing but it was very common for ancient man to heat treat various flints. Sometimes working a piece into a crude biface to get the thickness down or heating thinner spalls. I’ve been flint knapping for over 40 years and use the same process, my favorite method is a turkey roaster with the pan taken out and filled with sand and the pieces I want to heat. I used to use the same method they did and thats to just dig a shallow hole and lay your pieces in the bottom then cover with about an inch of dirt, then build a fire on top. 400 to 450 degree’s works with most flints, jasper and novaculite need to be taken above 600 degree’s to get the desired results.
It's a matter of economics.
I can't be bothered to recycle newspaper and glass bottles. The time and fuss aren't worth it to me and it costs more to recycle them than to throw them away and make new ones. That high cost is an indication that labor and resources are being diverted from their best uses.
I do recycle where it makes financial sense. For example, I have in my house thousands of dollars worth of sophisticated machinery in which I recycle pots, pans, clothing, towels, and silverware. It's all about economics, not laziness.
Nice work. Around here it is all obsidian, no flint. I’ve tried my hand at working obsidian and made some very crude tools, but they were still razor sharp. One day we had an elk hung up on the hoist and my son wanted to try obsidian on it. There were several nodules that I had found, so I split one with a rock, then flaked off another piece and ended up with a wedge about 3” across. It cut that elk hide and helped skin it off as good or better than any knife.
I have found many obsidian tools that are not finished to a high degree, but if you handle them a bit, you will suddenly discover your fingers fitting them and a cutting edge will be in the perfect place to do some work.
I can just see the multiculturalism environmentalist reading your post now.
His head would blow up
Most recycling is feel-good crap. We aren't running out of landfill space and a lot of money is being diverted to this feel-good exercise that would be better spent on the production of goods and services people actually want.
And the next time I hear someone say, "Save a tree!" I'm gonna deck him. TREES GROW BACK!
I must respectfully disagree with you both.
This really doesn’t have anything to do economics or a superior culture. It has to do with wastefulness. I am guilty myself.
As recently as the 1960’s things were not as disposable as they are now. Consequently, things that could be used were kept. Just a small example...coke bottles were turned in for a couple of pennies. Of course one can sell coke cans for scrap, but I wonder how many people do.
I’m not an environmentalist or greenie by any stretch of the imagination. I just consider our current culture to be enormously wasteful. My grandmother would have a fit at the everyday items I throw in the trash. But she lived thru the Great Depression as well as WWII. We have never been forced to conserve to any degree.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.