Uncovering the “Chimpanzee Stone Age”
An adult chimpanzee in Bossou, Guinea uses hammer and anvil stones to crack nuts as younger individuals look on. From Haslam et al., 2009.
Before 1859 the idea that humans lived alongside the mammoths, ground sloths, and saber-toothed cats of the not-too-distant past was almost heretical. Not only was there no irrefutable evidence that our species stretched so far back in time, but the very notion that we could have survived alongside such imposing Pleistocene mammals strained credulity. Contrary to what might be immediately expected, however, it was not Darwin’s famous abstract On the Origin of Species that changed appraisals of human prehistory. Instead it was a collection of stone tools found mingled among