Israel found that human ancestors created spheres of unknown purpose
Archaeologists from the Hebrew University in Jerusalem (Israel) have established that the ancient ancestors of people specially made spheres from stones. The results of the work were presented in the journal Royal Society Open Science.
In 1959, a group of archaeologists discovered a site of ancient people in northern Israel. It was named Ubeidii, according to scientists, it belonged to Homo erectus (upright man). Human ancestors used it as a transit point 1.4 million years ago during the transition from Africa to Eurasia.
At this site, experts found about 600 spheroids of flint, basalt and limestone. For a long time, scientists could not understand why they were created. Some believe that the balls are waste products from the production of stone tools, while others believe that the spheres were produced on purpose.
A new study has found that the ancient ancestors of people deliberately created balls. The authors used a 3D analysis of 150 scans of the finds – it allowed scientists to reconstruct the sequence of mechanical impacts that give the stone the shape of a ball.
“We have come to an unusual conclusion. Initially, rounded stones were deliberately turned into spheroids – using a premeditated processing strategy. Such work required exceptional skills and a clear vision of the final goal. That is, people understood what form they needed to get, ”explained the authors of the study.
According to experts, the discovery calls into question the existing ideas about the mental abilities of ancient people. Most likely, Homo erectus had an idea of symmetry and tried to give it to the stone, but why is unknown.