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TAU Archaeologists Discover "Oldest School in the World"
Tuesday, January 09, 2018 9:00:00 AM

Ancestors of modern humans taught their children how to make flint tools at prehistoric school, researchers say

Tel Aviv University archaeologists have uncovered what they believe was a prehistoric school, where ancestors of modern humans taught their children manufacture flint instruments and dismember animals some 400,000 years ago, according to a report in The Times of London.

The hominini, ancestors of today's homo sapiens, had a brain size similar to today's humans and, according to the findings in the Kessem Cave in central Israel, had developed relatively advanced manufacturing techniques.

The dig, led by Prof. Avi Gopher and Prof. Ran Barkai of TAU's Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures, has been dubbed "the oldest school in the world," because it suggested hominini had used the space to impart flint skills to their children, the oldest such documented find.

Thousands of flint instruments were found in the cave, including hand-axes, blades and scrapers. Relatively advanced tools were found, but there were also many half-made, faulty or flints of inferior material, that would not have been used to make regular tools. Their presence in specific parts of the cave, especially around a large fireplace, indicated that experienced flint-masons were among the hominini in the cave, imparting their expertise to the younger members of the tribe.

Among the many hominini teeth found in the cave were children's baby teeth.

For more, read the story in The Times of London.




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