Virtually nothing in nature has a 90-degree angle. This is an invention of the highest order.
EDIT: thanks for all the good responses; I should have written a bit more carefully--I meant to say that this might be the first-known time a 90-degree angle was deliberately constructed.
I'm pretty sure right angles existed before this log.
When our first ancestor stood upright, a right angle was formed with the ground.
A hand axe, a knapped stone lashed at right angles to a branch.
Some say fire or dogs are humanity's first and greatest inventions - but we only domesticated those.
I say weaving: an extraordinary crossing of threads at right angles that magically support each other, clothing that is the biblical coming-or-age of human-kind, fabric that drapes organically (and is still used today, even as threads become artificial), rope, leaves for shelter, even decorating hair.
And it directly lead to the single greatest invention of our time, that binds all things together: gaffer tape.
As any other animals, we are brain wired to recognize symmetry. Is our main way to find a desirable mate with good genetics or to detect a predator ambushed so is essential in our survival.
> They used new luminescence dating techniques, which reveal the last time minerals in the sand surrounding the finds were exposed to sunlight, to determine their age.
... but it seems like there might be other explanations for that sand being there?
As to finding and using extremely old wood - wood does not survive that long except in cases of very specific environmental conditions like this one; surely another reason to expect that the wood has lain undisturbed for its entire history, rather than having been dug up and turned into some structure a few thousand years ago (then buried again).
Seems absurdly unlikely—is there a reason to suspect this is the case? Even if you were to find half-a-million-year-old wood why would you use it to build a structure?
Plus, well preserved old wood is much harder than its fresh counterparts (better tooling / more time for processing required) and a rare find on top of that, so unlikely to be used for standard utility structures.
I’m just wondering if it being submerged in water would have affected any readings or measurements they made since who knows what hundreds of thousands of years or even thousands of years might do to the things they are measuring.
Which also means it was not really about making sure you have old wood in old soil, but to determine the age of the wood itself by dating how long ago the sand surrounding it was exposed to sunlight (as they had to make a dig or disturb the soil at that point of time).
(And the wood found here was worked, not just a handy pokey-stick)
Surely we have not fallen this far away from nature as a species? Wood rots.
IMO you're just being facetious about the find.
Even from a few hundred years ago, there's not much record of how the average person lived. Most things that survived are stone castles, and other remnants of noble life.
Wood can last quite a while if it's buried in an environment that inhibits microbial degradation, such as a highly acidic bog, where iron doesn't stand a chance.
You're looking at history through modern eyes. Back in the past there was no collective `we`, we were much more separated as a species than we are now.
The idea that there is a global 'us' is a very, very new idea.
Edited for clarity
This wood looks cut in a tip and partially burnt in the other, and the fire makes this notches easily when two logs overlap. Also explains the preservation of the wood, as it was sterilized by fire (maybe minutes before a rain fell or a flood hit). Also the size of the logs (1,5m is too short for a home, but perfect to be carried and stored. Plus the near presence of the classical fire hardened sticks. Is pretty obvious.
So first evidence of "structural use" of wood is a too premature claim. nope. I don't think so.
If we are both talking about the same structure, I don't see striations, but the photo mentions two cracks. If those are really cracks (and not engravings carved superficially) this would reinforce my theory.
And I don't think researcher would just confuse bonfire and modified wood :) That's their expertise.
Read the (peer reviewed) research paper. You'll see how serious the research is: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-023-06557-9
> I don't think researcher would just confuse bonfire and modified wood :) That's their expertise.
Appeal to the authority. I'm not scared, baby. I'd go anywhere. If is printed in nature then is true, right? gods speak...
We need to understand that articles published in nature can be retracted. Here is a small list of five pages:
There is a detail in that photo that opens a door to the possibility that the datation could be incorrect all the way long. I wrote yesterday about it at home, but will reserve my opinion until ruminating a little more about it.
My opinion didn't changed a dime. Slope too wide. We don't work like that, so they neither would. Those are not man made.
Just because you find something hard to believe, does not mean it isn't true.
Within 496,000 years, there are 61 other 8,000 year time periods
The absence of evidence is not the evidence of absence, on this topic
It's more like they have a compulsion to stack wood where they hear running water. The implication here is intention and a cognizance of purpose, which is not unheard of in the animal kingdom but is fairly rare.
So either they are all independently inventing exactly the same solution to the problem... or it's some sort of instinctual compulsion.
But if you put a feral human in the middle of a clearing in a rainstorm, they wouldn't build modern civilisation.
Beavers only do what is innate and what they can independently invent in one lifetime, because they aren't substantially sharing knowledge.
1. Make a baseless a-priori claim that mistakes what we have evidence of to be the bounded set of what is: 'We have not discovered any social mechanisms in beavers to transmit knowledge across time and space' is transfigurated into 'No social mechanisms exist in beavers to transmit knowledge'
Similarly, having not yet discovered a single reason for my wife to be upset with me, I must recognize that she doesn't have any.
2. Invent a false dichotomy, with one option being totally absurd, the other being your pet theory.
3. Settle on your preconceived notion.
Is it ever possible to transmit knowledge, or anything for that matter not across time and space?
...for those wonder about the precision of the date like I was.
??? The "Stone Age" refers to using stone tools, which these people did.
This is such a weirdly persistent bizzaro notion of hunter-gather lifestyles.
I grew up in the Kimberley region surrounded by and outnumbered by traditional hunter gathers ( some sea | some river | and we'd move south and interact with some of desert folk ) who had their food for the day in hand in under six hours, easily.
It makes more sense to think of Hunter-gathers as quasi nomadic across an estate that reaches to the horizon and beyond filled with animals they watch and both eat and protect, along with edible plants they harvest and encourage (by churning up soil and throwing seeds and husks back into).
The days are filled with story telling and walking a circuit looking for fresh tracks, hacking a few thick plants, digging out roots, sifting low tide mud for molluscs, pinging a few lizards in the head with rocks from a basketball court distance away, etc.
Hunter-Gatherers do practice agriculture, it just doesn't look like western european agriculture, more like ripping out 'bad' plants and spreading the seeds of good plants.
There's plenty of free time.
476,000 years is a HUGE jump. They called him crazy for thinking that the Egyptians had structures 12,000 years ago.
Hancock says a lot of other things that are actually crazy, and like many people he’s gotten much worse lately.
I don’t think it’s that crazy.
What’s crazy is thinking eggs are bad for you and that the fabric of reality itself is nothing but a social construct
(I do recommend the Illuminatus! Trilogy from Wilson and Shea, for interesting alternative history fantasy and all kinds of crazy stuff)
If we can find the Titanic we should be able to find the Atlanteans. Maybe.
And that lost civilisations existed, I have no doubt.
But likely not with laser tech.
Not really. Just look at abandoned places today, and you can see how quickly nature takes them over and erases them. Sometimes traces can be found, like ancient cities that are sometimes found in the jungle of central America, but that's after ~500 years or less. On much longer timescales, nature and geology bury or destroy most evidence. If you're really lucky, something might be dug up, but that's rare. The only reason so many prehistoric fossils (dinosaurs etc) have been found is because there are SO many of them: they existed for hundreds of millions of years, all over the planet, so we've captured a tiny slice of what lies beneath the surface.
Perhaps there's some evidence of a past advanced civilization buried somewhere, but we haven't found it yet.
The Titanic is barely over 100 years old, so of course it's (partially) still there.
I admit I went too far with the lasers but my thinking is that the fact that we are alone in the universe gives a lot of credence to the theory that we live in a simulation, and wouldn’t “Age of Atlantis” be a fun mod?
We’re still hunting dinosaurs. Wild Turkey season opens pretty soon where I am.
It doesn't take genius, intellectual courage, or prescience to expect this to continue.
There's certainly room for theorizing about what we may find and where, but archaeologists should in some fundamental way be more limited by proof than their imaginations.
Aside: I'd love to see the citation for "They called him crazy for thinking that the Egyptians had structures 12,000 years ago", as I'm a bit flummoxed by who's stupid enough to get any further out over their skis than "we don't have any evidence for that."
The youngest of children will start assembling logs near shore when swimming at a lake. The crossing of the logs would help stabilize them so crossing would be safer and dry, which is critical in transporting some goods. The raft is more consistent with existing evidence, but less compelling to the modern world which expects homes to have floors.
I’m a little sensitive about the kind of extrapolations that are so common with some of these articles/announcements - it doesn’t make science look good, and it’s important that science does.