Butchered rhino points to hominin activity in The Philippines over 700,000 years ago


Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2018/08/06/butchered-rhino-points-to-homi.html


Kind of mind-blowing given the question of how they got there. Could early hominins’ have built boats?


There’s speculation that during the last mini ice age, sea levels were low enough to form a land bridge to Luzon.


Ah, that makes sense. Thanks!

(I bookmarked the article to read later.)



I clicked through to the article. Unlike what you sometimes see with claims of early kill sites, both the tools and the butchery marks here look really good. The cut marks are clear, parallel, repeated, and in the right locations on the bones. The smash marks on the bones have good percussion cones.The chert tools look like they were struck off cores that had flakes taken off systematically. There is a nice quartz core too. The dating is argon isotope plus paleomagnetism plus electron spin resonance, and some of it is on the teeth of the animals themselves, so it’s about as secure as you could ask. The stratigraphy looks undisturbed. I am usually skeptical of these sorts of sites claiming early dates, but this is very convincing.


Yeah, a land bridge is still the most likely explanation. But the authors did put this at the end:

“Despite the current evidence, it still seems too farfetched to suggest that H. erectus, or another unknown Pleistocene ancestral candidate for the Kalinga toolmakers (for example, Denisovans), were able to construct some sort of simple watercraft and deliberately cross sea barriers to reach these islands. However, considering evidence of overseas dispersal during the Middle Pleistocene stage is increasing in number, such a hypothesis cannot currently be rejected.” (citations omitted)


Looks like both Homo Erectus and Neanderthals used boats.


Find the answer on page 12.


Okay but did the archaeologists taste the rhino?


The eye-popping artifacts…

National Geo writes like this now? Somebody needs to take away their internet until they sober up.


They could have at least gone for “fascia-flensing” or “marrow-sucking,” which would have been literally accurate.


That seems more likely, but if a couple in Far Rockaway can endure two subway transfers and a bus to get to that new kick-ass, hard-to-get-into-long-line-going-around-the-block-but-take-no-reservations eatery at the upper west side, then I’d think that tool-fashioning hominims would think “boat” and risk a float for some rhinoburger. And hominims probably went around hungrier that current foodies.



Just don’t imply they were stupid. We’ve had enough ad hominin arguments.


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