Native American stone tool technology found in Oman

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Muscat: Ancient tools dating back to 8,000 years have been reportedly unearthed in Oman and Yemen by a group of archaeologists.

The stone tools, discovered in Ad Dahariz in Oman and Manayzah in Yemen, have familiar flute-like grooves textured on the sides of the stone points, reveals a study published by PLOS One journal.

The new study states that until the early 2000s, these fluted points were unknown elsewhere on the planet, with the first isolated examples of these objects now being found in Yemen and, more recently, Oman.

“We recognised this technique, most probably as the most famous of the prehistoric techniques used in the American continent,” said lead researcher Remy Crassard, head of archaeology at the French Centre for Archaeology and Social Sciences, which conducted the study in coordination with Ohio State University and Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.

PLOS One is a peer-reviewed open access scientific journal published by the Public Library of Science.

Fluted tools are an advanced form of projectile points, typically spear heads and arrowheads.

The manufacturing technique involves chipping an elongated flake along the length of the projectile point, leaving a distinctive groove at the base of the tool.

“This work involves excavations from 2004 and 2005 in Yemen and from surveys in Oman in the early 2010s. We really wanted to make new discoveries from a place of the world that is barely explored,” Rémy was quoted as saying by ZME Science.

Nevertheless, the journal notes that the most remarkable thing about this study is that two distinct cultures separated by thousands of kilometres somehow arrived at the same complex manufacturing technique. And although rare, cultural convergence is known to happen.

One of the paper’s authors, Professor McCorriston, explained that, “Fluting in Arabia was used as a display of skill, rather than serving a purely functional purpose such as hafting, as is more widely accepted in the Americas.”

The study concludes that there is too considerable a gap of time and space for the technology to have been a result of cultural exchange. Instead, it is believed that the discovery is an example of cultural convergence.

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