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Postgraduate researcher uncovers two distinct designs for Neolithic handaxe
4:20pm Wednesday 28th August 2013 in News
A study into stone tools by a postgraduate researcher at the University of Southampton has revealed that cavemen were a bit more complex than first thought.
Research by Dr Karen Ruebens from the Centre for the Archaeology of Human Origins research shows that two cultural traditions existed among Neanderthals living in Northern Europe between 115,000 to 35,000 years ago.
She examined the design of some 1,300 stone tools originating from 80 Neanderthal sites in Europe and her investigation uncovered new evidence that two separate handaxe designs existed.
One of the designs was in a region that spans south-western France and Britain, the other was in Germany and further to the East.
Dr Ruebens said: “In Germany and France there appears to be two separate handaxe traditions, with clear boundaries, indicating completely separate, independent developments.“
She added: “Distinct ways of making a handaxe were passed on from generation to generation and for long enough to become visible in the archaeological record. This indicates a strong mechanism of social learning within these two groups.”
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