The oldest known abrading tool was used around 350,000 years ago

round stone, the oldest known abrading tool

A round stone excavated at Israel’s Tabun Cave in the 1960s represents the oldest known grinding or rubbing tool, say researchers who scrutinized the 350,000-year-old find. The specimen marks a technological turn to manipulating objects with wide, flat stone surfaces, say Ron Shimelmitz, an archaeologist at the University of Haifa in Israel, and his colleagues. […]

Oldest city in the Americas under threat from squatters

Having survived for 5,000 years, the oldest archeological site in the Americas is under threat from squatters claiming the coronavirus pandemic has left them with no other option but to occupy the sacred city. The situation has become so bad that archeologist Ruth Shady, who discovered the Caral site in Peru, has been threatened with […]

Warty pig is oldest animal cave art on record

The oldest-known animal drawing in the world is a 45,500-year-old depiction of a hairy, warty pig on a cave wall in Indonesia, a new study finds. The mulberry colored painting, drawn with the red mineral ochre, shows the profile of what is likely a Sulawesi warty pig (Sus celebensis), a wild stubby-legged beast with facial […]

One of the oldest known cave paintings has been found in Indonesia

Indonesian cave

Inside a cave on the Indonesian island of Sulawesi, scientists have found one of the oldest known artistic depictions of a real-world object or organism. It’s a painting of a warty pig, an animal still found on Sulawesi, that was rendered on the cave’s back wall at least 45,500 years ago, researchers report January 13 […]

Zookeepers mourn death of world’s oldest orangutan

 The world’s oldest known orangutan, a 61-year-old Sumatran female called Inji, has died at her home at the Oregon Zoo.  Although her exact birth date is unknown, Inji had been at the zoo since 1961 and was suspected to be a 1-year-old at the time, according to a statement from the zoo. She was brought […]

Oldest hominins of Olduvai Gorge persisted across changing environments

IMAGE: Olduvai (now Oldupai) Gorge, known as the Cradle of Humankind, is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Tanzania. New interdisciplinary field work has led to the discovery of the oldest… view more  Credit: Michael Petraglia Olduvai (now Oldupai) Gorge, known as the Cradle of Humankind, is a UNESCO World Heritage site in Tanzania, made famous […]

2020 science superlatives: The oldest, highest, grossest discoveries

From the biggest merger of black holes to the world’s oldest string — fashioned by Neandertals, no less — discoveries in 2020 set new records that amazed and inspired. Highest-temperature superconductor After more than a century’s wait, scientists have found the first superconductor that works near room temperature. Superconducting up to about 15° Celsius (59° […]

World’s oldest python fossil unearthed

Scientists have discovered fossils of the oldest python on record, a slithery beast that lived 48 million years ago in what is now Germany.  Found near an ancient lake, the snake remains are helping researchers learn where pythons originated. Previously, it wasn’t clear whether pythons came from continents in the Southern Hemisphere, where they live […]

World’s oldest animal fossil actually came from rotting algae

Hundreds of millions of years ago, one of the very first animals on Earth died at the bottom of an ancient ocean. In life, it was a humble sea sponge; in death, it had no bones, nor teeth, nor shell to leave behind as evidence of its brief, bottom-dwelling existence. But it did have fat […]