Fascinating ways tribesmen of North Africa developed their own clothing from animal hide 120,000 yrs ago

Stephen Nartey November 17, 2022
Bone tools. Photo: Wikimedia Commons/Naomi L. Martisius, Frido Welker, Tamara Dogandžić, Mark N. Grote, William Rendu, Virginie Sinet-Mathiot, Arndt Wilcke, Shannon J. P. McPherron, Marie Soressi & Teresa E. Steele

Their tools are bones with attachments of antelope and wild cattle ribs that have thin openings and are smoothened into a flat, spatula-like shape. The regular use of the bone tools from scraping animal hides has left tinny patches of holes and shiny texture on the bone tools. 

These tools, according to Science News, were part of 62 bone implements excavated from Morocco’s Contrebandiers cave. The archaeologists found skinned animals’ bones in addition to the animal hide scrapers they discovered in the cave. An archaeologist with the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, Emily Hallett, and her team, determined that the hide of the animal was extracted by using the tool to scrap it from the animal’s head in one piece. 

This was typical with the marks of stone tools found on the limbs and jaw bones of golden jackals, wildcats and sand foxes’ remains discovered. Scientific analysis of the burned stones and animal teeth dug from the cave showed that they were as old as 120,000 to 90,000 years old. The report which was published in iScience suggested that early men in North Africa adapted to tools that enabled them to make their own clothing from animal skins. This offers a quite uncommon peak into how Africa’s prehistoric man’s desire for warmth got them to explore the use of animal skins for clothing after they had killed it. 

Hallett said this innovation in technology could have been possible through the invention of several stone tools for different purposes by early men. Evidence in many journals alludes to the many types of bone tools that were excavated from Morocco and other parts of Africa. There has been immense interest in the archaeological space to understand the many bone tools from Africa and their various shapes and their uses some 44,000 years ago, after human expansions into Eurasia.

Other research works tracing the emergence of the wearing of clothing by humans points to it happening one million to 40,000 years ago. This was linked to the evidence of lice which were found in human heads and on the body somewhere 190,000 years ago. There is also the theory that prehistoric men who were living in cold parts of Europe began the manufacturing of clothes some 190,000 years ago. The researchers who made these findings linked the manufacturing of clothing by these Stone Age men to the scraping of hide from animals some 200,000 years ago.

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