Mảnh gỗ cổ xưa là ví dụ sớm nhất về chế tác gỗ của con người
được phát hiện ở thác Kalambo, vùng biên giới giữa Zambia và Rukwa, Tanzania năm 2006,
có niên đại nửa triệu năm,
Nearly half a million years ago, humans in Africa were assembling wood into large structures (lắp ráp gỗ thành những công trình lớn), according to a study published Wednesday that describes notched and tapered logs buried under sand in Zambia.
The discovery drastically () pushes back the historical record (ghi chép lịch sử) of structural woodworking (gia công kết cấu gỗ). Before, the oldest known examples of this craft were 9,000-year-old platforms on the edge of a British lake.
Ancient wood products are extremely rare (cực kỳ hiếm) because the organic material typically degrades () over thousands of years, said Annemieke Milks, an archaeologist at the University of Reading who was not involved in the new study, which appeared in the journal Nature. “It almost never preserves,” she said.
It’s not clear what early humans were building in Africa. Dr. Milks said that the new discovery suggested that they used wood not just for spears or digging sticks, but also for far more ambitious creations (sáng tạo đầy tham vọng) such as platforms (nền, bục, bệ) or walkways.
...On their trip to the Kalambo Falls in 2006, the scientists found more stone tools. Geoff Duller, a geophysicist (nhà địa vật lý) at Aberystwyth University in Wales, collected sand from the riverbanks, and spent the next few years measuring its trapped energy. . He determined that the oldest layers of sediment (trầm tích) that contained stone tools were 300,000 to 500,000 years old.
That meant the tools were made well before the evolution of modern humans. The scientists suspect they might have been made by an earlier species (loài) present in Zambia, known as Homo heidelbergensis.