Neolithic stone tools found in Arabia made with Native American method

8,000-year-old stone tools found in Arabia were made using the same technique first created by Native Americans 13,000 years ago

  • Evidence of ‘fluting’ found in Yemen and Oman which date back 8,000 years  
  • This had previously never been seen from Stone Age outside of America 
  • It is thought the two societies came up with the same method independently 
  • Native Americans used the method to create tips for weapons whereas Arabians used it to show off their knapping prowess   

Stone tools have been found in Arabia which were used 8,000 years and are unlike anything else found from the region at this time. 

The tools were created via a method called fluting and closely resemble instruments first invented up to 13,000 years ago in the Americas. 

However, experts believe the tools are not evidence of Native American technologies drifting halfway around the Neolithic world.

Instead, a scientific study concludes that the two groups of people cultivated the same technology independently.   

Pictured, atone fluted points dating back 8,000 years ago which were discovered on archaeological sites in Manayzah, Yemen and Ad-Dahariz, Oman. Until now, the prehistoric technique of fluting had been uncovered only on 13,000 year-old Native American sites

Fluting required significant expertise and was used by Native Americans to create a sharp point on a stone which can be attached to a shaft to form a weapon. 

This would be used either in conflict with other people or to hunt.  

However, it is thought the inhabitants of Stone Age Arabia did not use it for this purpose, they used the technique simply to show off how good they were at forging tools. 

Professor Joy McCorriston, co-author of the study, says: ‘Fluting in Arabia was used as a display of skill, rather than serving a purely functional purpose such as hafting, as is more widely accepted in the Americas.’ 

Fluting involves chipping away chunks of a stone to form a point and a specific shape. 

Dozens of the tools were found at the sites of Manayzah and Ad-Dahariz in Yemen and Oman, respectively. 

‘Given their age and the fact that the fluted points from America and Arabia are separated by thousands of kilometers, there is no possible cultural connection between them,’ Professor Felice Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute says.

‘This is then a clear and excellent example of cultural convergence, or independent invention in human history.’ 

The research was published in the journal PLOS One. 

First humans may have reached the Americas and settled in Mexico 15,000 years EARLIER than previously thought 

Archaeologists have rewritten the history books over when humans first arrived in the Americas, shifting the date of the initial migration 15,000 years back in time. 

Excavations in a cave in Mexico called Chiquihuite revealed archaeological evidence of human occupation dating back up to 27,000 years. 

But computer analysis further pushes this date back, with the study claiming people first lived in the cave around 33,000 years ago. 

This contradicts the widely accepted belief that humans did not reach North America until around 16,000 years ago.  

Academics agree that humans most likely migrated from Asia to the Americas via a land bridge across the Bering Strait, which is now underwater and forms the sea between Alaska and Russia.

However, during the Ice Age, which started around 33,000 years ago and lasted until around 16,000 years ago, this route was blocked by glaciers.

It was previously thought that people first crossed over to the Americas after the ice age, when the glaciers had melted, and most of the archaeological evidence discovered before now supports this theory.

However, the Chiquihuite cave indicates humans had already been on the continent for millennia. 

The researchers propose two possible explanations for how people first colonised North America more than 30,000 years ago. 

Firstly, humans from North-East Asia may have crossed over the land bridge at the Bering Strait before the Ice Age when there was a gap between the Laurentide Ice Sheet and the Cordilleran Ice Sheet. 

Alternatively, they could have travelled by boat from Asia, following the Pacific coastline, until they had bypassed the glaciers.

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