Oldest human creation found in Polish cave

(ORDO NEWS) — In Poland, archaeologists have completed a large-scale and long-term study of flint tools discovered more than 50 years ago in the Tunel Wielki cave. The analysis showed that the age of the oldest of these tools is about half a million years.

As Nauka w Polsce writes, for a long time it was assumed that the age of the tools found in the cave is a maximum of several tens of thousands of years.

However, advanced technologies helped to clarify it, which archaeologists did not possess half a century ago. New analysis has shown that some of the tools are about half a million years old.

This means that they are among the oldest creations of human hands found on the territory of modern Poland.

Tunel Wielki Cave is located on the Krakow-Czestochowa Upland, near the town of Ojcuwa. Half a century ago, most of the finds were packed in cardboard boxes, which then lay in a warehouse for decades.

Only in recent years have researchers remembered them and begun their thorough analysis.

For this, a group of experts was assembled, which included scientists from the University of Warsaw, the Polish Academy of Sciences and the University of Wroclaw – archaeologists, paleontologists, paleobotanists and geologists.

They refuted the assertion that human footprints in the Tunel-Velki cave are no more than 40 thousand years old.

The fact is that in one of the most ancient cultural layers, animal remains were found next to the tools. Scientists have studied this organic matter with the help of modern technologies.

The remains were found to belong to some of the ancestors of modern rodents, as well as long-extinct animal species.

Among them was the so-called Mosbach wolf of the species Canis mosbachensis, a lycaon from the canine family (Lycaon lycaonoides), as well as the ancestor of the cave bear.

The remains of two felines were also found – a cave lion and a jaguar. The age of all these remains is 450-550 thousand years.

Since there were 40 flint tools in the same layer, the scientists concluded that the age of the tools corresponds to the age of the animal remains.

Among the ancient relics found, there were mainly scrapers, but scientists also found several small flint knives.

To verify the validity of their assumption, the archaeologists once again examined the cave and confirmed the existence of the layer system described by their predecessors half a century ago.

An interesting fact is that no traces of tooling were found on the animal bones. This means that people did not hunt these animals. Probably, the cave was alternately inhabited by wild animals and humans.

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