Humans First Started Wearing Clothes At Least 300,000 Years Ago, New Research Finds

Images cour­tesy of Uni­ver­si­ty of Tue­bin­gen

That peo­ple wore clothes back in the Stone Age will hard­ly come as a sur­prise to any­one who grew up watch­ing The Flint­stones. That show, nev­er whol­ly reliant on estab­lished archae­o­log­i­cal fact, did­n’t get too spe­cif­ic about its time peri­od. But it turns out, based on recent­ly pub­lished dis­cov­er­ies by a team of researchers from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tübin­gen, the Senck­en­berg Cen­tre for Human Evo­lu­tion and Palaeoen­vi­ron­ment, and Lei­den Uni­ver­si­ty, that Stone Agers were dress­ing them­selves as ear­ly as 300,000 years ago — over one hun­dred mil­len­nia ear­li­er than pre­vi­ous­ly thought.

“This is sug­gest­ed by cut marks on the metatarsal and pha­lanx of a cave bear dis­cov­ered at the Low­er Pale­olith­ic site of Schönin­gen in Low­er Sax­ony, Ger­many,” says the Uni­ver­si­ty of Tübin­gen’s site. The loca­tion of such marks indi­cate that the bear was not sim­ply butchered but care­ful­ly skinned.

A cave bear’s win­ter coat “con­sists of both long out­er hairs that form an airy pro­tec­tive lay­er and short, dense hairs that pro­vide par­tic­u­lar­ly good insu­la­tion” — mak­ing it a fine win­ter coat for a pre­his­toric human being as well. Such a use of bear skins “is like­ly a key adap­ta­tion of ear­ly humans to the cli­mate in the north,” where win­ters would be dif­fi­cult indeed with­out warm cloth­ing.

Though some res­i­dents of Bedrock did wear furs (made from the prized pelts of the minkasaurus), they seemed not to be essen­tial to sur­vival in that Stone Age equiv­a­lent of Cal­i­for­nia. Jean M. Auel’s The Clan of the Cave Bear proved much more real­is­tic about this sort of thing, though its char­ac­ters live and die between 28,000 and 25,000 BC, the rel­a­tive­ly recent past com­pared to the Low­er Pale­olith­ic from which this par­tic­u­lar cave bear dates. It was also in Schönin­gen that “the world’s old­est spears were dis­cov­ered,” mak­ing it a prime loca­tion from which to under­stand more clear­ly the ways of humans from that dis­tant peri­od. If a foot-pow­ered Stone Age car were one day to be unearthed, it would sure­ly be unearthed there.

via Boing Boing

Relat­ed con­tent:

Archae­ol­o­gists Find the Ear­li­est Work of “Abstract Art,” Dat­ing Back 73,000 Years

Hear the World’s Old­est Instru­ment, the “Nean­derthal Flute,” Dat­ing Back Over 43,000 Years

The Ancient Egyp­tians Wore Fash­ion­able Striped Socks, New Pio­neer­ing Imag­ing Tech­nol­o­gy Imag­ing Reveals

How to Wear a Toga the Offi­cial Ancient Roman Way

The Ancient Romans First Com­mit­ted the Sar­to­r­i­al Crime of Wear­ing Socks with San­dals, Archae­o­log­i­cal Evi­dence Sug­gests

Get­ting Dressed Over the Cen­turies: 35 Videos Show How Women & Men Put on Clothes Dur­ing Ancient, Medieval & Mod­ern Times

Based in Seoul, Col­in Marshall writes and broad­casts on cities, lan­guage, and cul­ture. His projects include the Sub­stack newslet­ter Books on Cities, the book The State­less City: a Walk through 21st-Cen­tu­ry Los Ange­les and the video series The City in Cin­e­ma. Fol­low him on Twit­ter at @colinmarshall or on Face­book.

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Comments (6)
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  • kelley says:

    this is bs. there is no actu­al proof any man or women exist­ed 70,000 years ago. keep pay­ing these so called arche­ol­o­gists their lets make up sh!t so called job.

  • kelley says:

    this is b$. there is no actu­al proof any man or women exist­ed 70,000 years ago. keep pay­ing these so called arche­ol­o­gists their lets make up sh!t so called job.

  • JAMES E SPARKS says:

    ..That’s some fun­ny stuff to actu­al­ly think that a non-intel­li­gence caus­ing explo­sion hap­pened and from it an intel­li­gence machine that can eat grass ani­mals and make ener­gy out of it.. and then pro­duce some­thing that is nat­ur­al that goes back into the Earth to do it all over again. It’s insan­i­ty to think non-intel­li­gence was behind it but that intel­li­gence has dis­cov­ered bare­ly A com­bustible engine. If you tru­ly think there’s no way you can come to a con­clu­sion that any resem­blance of evo­lu­tion would be true because even in the stage of evolve­ment adapt­abil­i­ty would imply an intel­li­gence to doing that the next process should have this sur­vival skill or adap­ta­tion…

  • Ibrahim says:

    Human start­ed wear­ing clothes since from the very first cre­ation of Human not 300,000 years ago,and I hope if you wan­na find out the actu­al time then try head­er and find when was the very first cre­ation of Human.

  • micheal says:

    1st of all you got­ta fig­ure it prob­a­bly took him a good 25–50,000 years to fig­ure they could cov­er them­selves up with some­thing and then anoth­er 110 or 20,000 years to fig­ure out how to do it

  • Charles says:

    ..and who are you to call it BS? Are you an expert in Anthro­pol­o­gy? Do you have proof that we did­n’t exist 70,000 years ago? It’s peo­ple like you who, unfor­tu­nate­ly give inac­cu­rate his­to­ry les­son with­out know­ing what you are talk­ing about. Sad that there are peo­ple like you who don’t have an open mind to real­ly study our evo­lu­tion and learn from his­to­ry.

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