New article published by Emily Y. Hallett, Curtis W. Marean, Teresa E.Steele, Esteban Álvarez-Fernández, Zenobia Jacobs, Jacopo Niccolò Cerasoni, Vera Aldeias, Eleanor M.L.Scerri, Deborah I.Olszewski, Mohamed Abdeljalil El Hajraoui, Harold L. Dibble in iScience.
The emergence of Homo sapiens in Pleistocene Africa is associated with a profound reconfiguration of technology. Symbolic expression and personal ornamentation, new tool forms, and regional technological traditions are widely recognized as the earliest indicators of complex culture and cognition in humans. Here we describe a bone tool tradition from Contrebandiers Cave on the Atlantic coast of Morocco, dated between 120,000–90,000 years ago. The bone tools were produced for different activities, including likely leather and fur working, and were found in association with carnivore remains that were possibly skinned for fur. A cetacean tooth tip bears what is likely a combination of anthropogenic and non-anthropogenic modification and shows the use of a marine mammal tooth by early humans. The evidence from Contrebandiers Cave demonstrates that the pan-African emergence of complex culture included the use of multiple and diverse materials for specialized tool manufacture.