gif:flint

Mousterian point - different views of the same specimen. Mousterian is the name given by archaeologists to the tool industry associated primarily with the Neanderthals.

Flint, dates to between 300,000 - 30,000 years before present (Middle Palaeolithic - Mousterian). This tool was discovered at Le Placard cave, Vilhonneur Charente, France.

Courtesy & currently located at the Muséum de Toulouse, France. Photo taken by Didier Descouens.

Half a million years ago, proto-men recycled, say Israeli scientists

If you thought recycling was just a modern phenomenon championed by environmentalists— think again. There is mounting evidence that hundreds of thousands of years ago, our prehistoric ancestors recycled objects they used in their daily lives, say researchers gathered at an international conference in Israel.

“For the first time we are revealing the extent of this phenomenon, both in terms of the amount of recycling that went on and the different methods used,” said Ran Barkai, an archaeologist and one of the organizers of the four-day gathering at Tel Aviv University that ended Thursday.

Just as today we recycle materials such as paper and plastic to manufacture new items, early hominids would collect discarded or broken tools made of flint and bone to create new utensils, Barkai said. Read more.