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ORIGIN OF SKILLFUL STONE TOOL SHARPENING METHOD PUSHED BACK MORE THAN 50,000 YEARS

November 1, 2010

A highly skillful and delicate method of sharpening and retouching stone artifacts by prehistoric people appears to have been developed at least 75,000 years ago, more than 50,000 years earlier than previously thought, according to a new study led by the University of Colorado at Boulder. The technique provides a better means of controlling the sharpness, thickness and overall shape of bifacial tools like spearheads and stone knives, said Paola Villa, a curator at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History and a study co-author. Prior to the Blombos Cave discovery, the earliest evidence of pressure flaking was from the Upper Paleolithic Solutrean culture in France and Spain roughly 20,000 years ago.

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Contact Information: Paola Villa, 303-492-4513 villap@colorado.edu Jim Scott, 303-492-3114 Jim.Scott@colorado.edu

Originally Published on www.Colorado.edu, 10-28-10

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