How Tribesmen Of North Africa Developed Their Own Clothing From Animal Hide 120,000 Years Ago

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 antelope and wild cattle rib bones with thin openings that have been smoothened into a flat, spatula-like shape. The bone tools’ regular use in scraping animal hides has left tinny patches of holes and a shiny texture on them.

According to Science News, these tools were among 62 bone implements discovered in Morocco’s Contrebandiers cave. In addition to the animal hide scrapers discovered in the cave, the archaeologists discovered skinned animal bones. Emily Hallett, an archaeologist at the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Jena, Germany, and her colleagues discovered that the animal’s hide was extracted by scraping it from the animal’s head in one piece.

This was typical of the stone tool marks discovered on the limbs and jaw bones of golden jackals, wildcats, and sand foxes. Scientific analysis of the burned stones and animal teeth recovered from the cave revealed that they ranged in age from 120,000 to 90,000 years. According to the report, which was published in iScience, early men in North Africa adapted to tools that allowed them to make their own clothing from animal skins. This provides an unusual glimpse into how Africa’s prehistoric man’s desire for warmth led them to investigate the use of animal skins for clothing after they had killed it.

According to Hallett, this technological advancement could have been made possible by early men inventing a variety of stone tools for various purposes. Many journals contain references to the various types of bone tools discovered in Morocco and other parts of Africa. After human expansions into Eurasia 44,000 years ago, there was enormous interest in the archaeological space to understand the many bone tools from Africa and their various shapes and uses.

Other research works tracing the origins of human clothing wear place it between one million and 40,000 years ago. This was linked to evidence of lice found in human heads and on the body around 190,000 years ago. There is also the theory that prehistoric men living in cold parts of Europe started making clothes around 190,000 years ago. The researchers who made these discoveries linked Stone Age men making clothing to the scraping of hide from animals 200,000 years ago.

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