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Bone knife from Morocco: oldest specialized bone tool associated with Aterian culture

New find indicates the appearance of a unique technological complex in North Africa around 90,000 years ago

A single bone artefact found in a Moroccan cave is the oldest well-dated specialized bone tool associated with the Aterian culture of the Middle Stone Age, according to a study led by Abdeljalil Bouzouggar of the Institut National des Sciences de l’Archéologie et du Patrimoine in Rabat, Morocco, and associated researcher at the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, Germany. The make and manufacture of the tool are distinct from similarly-aged sub-Saharan artefacts, suggesting a unique technological industry in North Africa.

© INSAP/Oxford University