Evidence of pre-historic structural wood use from central Africa

Scientists uncover the remains of what might have been a wooden structure built by hominins roughly half a million years ago in Africa.Credit: Professor Larry Barham, University of Liverpool

At the southern tip of Lake Tanganyika lies Kalambo Falls, an archaeological site where an international team of Belgian, British, Portuguese and Zambian researchers recently unearthed evidence for structural use of wood by hominins dating to at least 476,000 years ago.

This is remarkable because wood artefacts from the Early Stone Age rarely survive, since they require exceptional conditions for preservation. Furthermore, these structures were most likely crafted by hominins pre-dating Homo sapiens by more than 100 000 years. The pre-historic carpenters were possibly individuals of the species Homo heidelbergensis, a common ancestor of the Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens


Kim Jacobsen
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