July 22, 2009

TECHNOLOGY MARCHES ON: Stone-age innovation explains ancient population boom. “Thirty-five thousand years before nanotechnology became a buzzword, a different kind of diminutive innovation transformed India. The advent of stone microblades set the stage for the subcontinent’s explosive population growth, new research suggests. The easy-to-manufacture tools – also known as microliths – were a vast improvement over larger stone flake tools used previously, says Michael Petraglia, an archaeologist at the University of Oxford, UK, who led the study. Because microblades could be cut from stone more quickly and in higher volumes than flakes, hunting probably became a vastly more efficient endeavour.”

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