Researchers from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem have uncovered evidence that early humans possessed a remarkable appreciation for geometry and symmetry, intentionally crafting spherical stone shapes approximately 1.4 million years ago. Their findings challenge the conventional belief that these stone spheres were mere by-products of other activities.
Investigating Ancient Stone Spheres
- The experts analyzed 150 limestone balls, known as spheroids, excavated in ‘Ubeidiya, an archaeological site in the Jordan Rift Valley, Israel.
- Through meticulous reconstruction, they determined that the markings on these artifacts were intentionally created with the specific goal of crafting spheres.
Significance of the Discovery
The Institute of Archaeology at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem researcher Antoine Muller explains, “The important takeaway from the findings is that these spheroids from ‘Ubeidiya seem to have been created on purpose, with the intention of producing a sphere. This shows that 1.4 million years ago, hominins understood geometry and symmetry.”
Unraveling the Mystery
- Although ancient stone spheres have been part of early human history for nearly two million years, their exact purpose has remained elusive.
- To gain further insights, the researchers employed cutting-edge 3D analysis methods and other advanced technologies to retrace the process of their creation based on markings and geometry.
- The team believes that these objects were intentionally shaped using a technique known as “knapping,” involving the precise striking of stone to achieve the desired form.
- Crafting these spheres with such precision required exceptional skills and a clear preconceived objective.
The Ongoing Enigma
- While the intentional creation of these stone spheres is now evident, their ultimate function remains a mystery.
- Mr. Muller remarks, “What they were utilized for is still something in which we lack confidence. To focus their functionality, a lot of work must be done.”
This discovery sheds new light on the cognitive capabilities of early humans and raises intriguing questions about the purpose behind these ancient stone spheres.