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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  • 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

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