‘OLDEST WOODEN STRUCTURE’ DISCOVERED ON BORDER OF ZAMBIA & TANZANIA
Researchers have discovered remnants of what is thought to be the world’s oldest known wooden structure, an arrangement of logs on the bank of a river bordering Zambia and Tanzania that predates the rise of modern humans.
The simple structure, made by shaping two logs with sharp stone tools, may have formed part of a walkway or platform for human ancestors who lived along the Kalambo River nearly 500,000 years ago.
Marks on the logs show they were cut, chopped and scraped with an array of stone tools found at the site. One log, a type of bushwillow, overlies the other and is held in place by a large inverted U-shaped notch in its underside.
“When I first saw it, I thought this can’t be real. The wood and the stone suggest a high level of ingenuity, technological skill and planning,” said Prof Larry Barham, an archaeologist at the University of Liverpool who led the work. [The Guardian]