Today, we are so reliant on technology that it seems to be a part of all of us.
Often times, technology does literally become a part of us, such as when a pacemaker or some other prosthetic is needed to help someone survive.
However, much of this technology would not even exist today if our ancient and even prehistoric ancestors did not lay the foundations upon which modern technology has been built. When we think of these ancient inventions, we immediately think of fire or the wheel.
However, our ancient ancestors are actually responsible for so much more. Below is an outline of prehistoric technology invented by the ancients.
Amazing Prehistoric Technology
Shelter (500,000 BCE). When you think of prehistory or the Stone Age, it often drums up images of the “caveman.” This was the stage in human evolution where humans were often confined to what the natural landscape provided.
Therefore, we only ever think about our earliest ancestors as cave dwellers. However, an archaeological site near Tokyo may change that stereotype.
At the Japanese site, researchers found evidence that prehistoric man was possibly building his own shelter when the natural landscape did not provide one. A series of post holes were discovered that led researches to believe that it is the site of two prehistoric huts.
Fashion Accessories (Circa 132,000 BCE – 98,000 BCE). Several Nassa Mud Snail shells were discovered in Es Skhūl, Israel.(1) All of the shells found contain what appeared to be manmade holes in them, suggesting that the shells were being used for human adornment instead of human consumption of the snail itself.
It is believed that Es Skhul people used the shells as beads. Another interesting fact about the shells found in Es Skhūl is that the Nassa Mud Snail was not indigenous to that area, lending to the idea that an early system of trade had already formed.
Flute (Circa 50,000 BCE). The oldest known instruments are flutes. (2) These ancient flutes have appeared across the globe in a variety of cultures. The oldest known flute is estimated to have been carved in 50,000 BCE out of mammoth bone. It seems that bone was a popular material for flutes throughout the prehistoric world.
Across the globe, two-holed to eight-holed flutes were discovered that were carved from bear bone and even swan bone. When we think of prehistory, we often look at it as a time when man was only focused on the most basic needs that were essential for survival (food, water, shelter). However, it is obvious that music played an important part of many cultures throughout prehistory.
Dentistry (7000-3200 BC). In 2006, a group of Italian scientists were researching a Neolithic cemetery near Baluchistan, Pakistan and discovered eleven individuals that had obvious drill marks in their molars. Though the teeth had holes in them, the scientists found no evidence of any sort of filling material.
However, what they did find was evidence that the individuals lived on after the holes were drilled. Researchers ruled out the holes as a form of decorative display since the holes were only found on molars located in the back of the mouth. On the other hand, only few of the teeth actually showed decay at the time of drilling. Many of the teeth appeared to be healthy when they were drilled.
This short list is nowhere near a comprehensive list of prehistoric inventions or discoveries that are beyond belief for most modern humans. However, what this list provides is proof that our ancient ancestors were often more resourceful than we think. As archaeology digs on, it is almost certain that more discoveries will be made that will provide even more insight into just how complex Prehistoric man actually was, and may even change what we consider to be the source of modern invention.