Recycling invented half a million years ago?

17/10/2013

Recycling Invented Half A Million Years Ago?

We reuse many things today, from mobile phones to old newspapers. However, archaeologists think recycling is not a new fad by any means.

Up to 500,000 years ago our ancestors were recycling their tools and utensils, according to researchers at an archaeology conference in Israel.

The conference, ‘The Origins of Recycling’, found that early humans and neanderthals would transform broken chips of flint into primitive cutlery, and discarded stone axes into smaller utensils.

This was a large part of their lifestyle. At a site near Tel Aviv, ten per cent of tools found had been recycled in some way.

Evidence suggests this practice started even earlier, as 1.3 million years ago neanderthals would occasionally recycle elephant bones.

Just like recycling your mobile phone today to save money, our ancestors reused tools to save resources.

Archaeologist Avi Gopher said: “If you recycled flint you didn't have to go all the way to the quarry to get more, so you conserved your energy and saved on the material.”

 

Posted by Simon Thomas

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