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Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 1:57 pm
by Minimalist
http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/2010/ ... tone-tools
A spectacular haul of ancient flint tools has been recovered from a beach in Norfolk, pushing back the date of the first known human occupation of Britain by up to 250,000 years.

While digging along the north-east coast of East Anglia near the village of Happisburgh, archaeologists discovered 78 pieces of razor-sharp flint shaped into primitive cutting and piercing tools.

The stone tools were unearthed from sediments that are thought to have been laid down either 840,000 or 950,000 years ago, making them the oldest human artefacts ever found in Britain.



HE? If such distinctions are even relevant any longer. Article contains a nice video presentation as well.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 4:43 pm
by Sam Salmon
No doubt their teeth were bad and food horrid even back then.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 5:10 pm
by Minimalist
:lol:



But was the beer warm?

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 6:59 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
Bet on it!

Anyway, to put it in the perspective of the hominid diaspora: round about that same time hominids also lived in the Bejing area, while they had already been roaming south-east Asia for a million years!

It would be out of character for HE if he had stopped trekking in Bejing, wouldn't it?

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Wed Jul 07, 2010 8:47 pm
by Minimalist
Depends on where the edge of the ice sheet was at the time.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:04 am
by Rokcet Scientist
Minimalist wrote:Depends on where the edge of the ice sheet was at the time.
You suggest that the edge of the ice sheet was the limit of their extent?
I say, to the contrary, that the edge of the ice sheet – especially the edge of the sea ice sheet – was a highway for their hunting and trekking. Emulated half a million years later by the Solutreans...
Skirting the ice sheet you could circumnavigate the globe. The ice wasn't a roadblock, it was an enabler, because (especially) the edge of the (sea) ice sheet was where the protein rich food was. They are ideal hunting grounds. I've been there, at the edge of the ice sheet (in my case in Antarctica). And I can tell you from experience that it is dead easy to grab a nice fat prey with your bare hands without even breaking into a run! It is even less complicated than shooting fish in a barrel!

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 11:42 am
by Digit
And I can tell you from experience that it is dead easy to grab a nice fat prey with your bare hands without even breaking into a run!
What prey would that be on the Arctic ice of the north Atlantic RS?
The ice wasn't a roadblock, it was an enabler,
http://www.dfanning.com/sea_ice/sea_ice.html

An enabler?

Roy.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 12:07 pm
by Minimalist
You suggest that the edge of the ice sheet was the limit of their extent?

No, I suggest that they would look at the edge of a mile high wall of ice and say "screw this." The animals would have headed south looking for forage. I imagine the humans would have tagged along after them.

But, the oceans were a different story....as long as you have a boat.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Thu Jul 08, 2010 9:59 pm
by Sam Salmon
Digit wrote:
And I can tell you from experience that it is dead easy to grab a nice fat prey with your bare hands without even breaking into a run!
What prey would that be on the Arctic ice of the north Atlantic RS?
Sea Birds & Pinnipeds to start.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 4:43 am
by Digit
What sea birds habituate ice? Pinnipeds by hand!!!?

Roy.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 8:37 am
by Minimalist
We need to make a distinction between sea mammals at the edge of an ocean ice sheet and animals on top of a mile high glacier.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 9:01 am
by Digit
Don't we.

Roy.

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 11:57 am
by Rokcet Scientist
Digit wrote:What sea birds habituate ice?
All kinds of gulls and auks.
Pinnipeds by hand!!!?
Easy!
Let me demonstrate. Since it has apparently escaped your attention: "they" club 300,000 pinniped young'uns to death every year in Canada! The adult ones are just marginally more difficult to stalk, catch and kill.

Also: at the edge of the ice the open water is the coldest. It is therefore also the most nutritious, and consequently the richest fishing waters on the globe, which, unsurprisingly, attracts plenty predators. Of which HE was the top predator...

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 12:13 pm
by Rokcet Scientist
Minimalist wrote:But, the oceans were a different story....as long as you have a boat.
You only need a boat if there is open water to cross. If there is (sea) ice, you can walk on it.

However, since HE (Meganthropus paleojavanensis) was already on Java 1,57 mio BP – and if you maintain there wasn't a dry continental shelf, so he could not have walked there – he must have known about boats. So crossing an open Bering Strait or island-hopping along the Aleutians a million years later cannot have been an insurmountable problem.

BTW, I do think the SE Asian continental shelf was dry when HE/MP walked to Java (1,57 mio BP), and that HE developed boating later. Around 1 million BP. Still plenty early to boat to America a half million years on (if they couldn't walk across the sea ice).

Re: Humans In Britain 800k YBP

Posted: Fri Jul 09, 2010 1:16 pm
by Minimalist
If there is (sea) ice, you can walk on it.

That's a slippery-slope!


(Pun intended.)