is the project director and an excavation permit co-holder; S.
The technology provides strong evidence for advanced projectile weapons such as spearthrowers, or even bows and arrows.
The technology is dominated by heat-treated stone 'bladelets' that are thought to have been components of composite tools.
Previously observed signs of such activity have been less definitive, seeming to appear and disappear — perhaps because of poor sampling — but the current work indicates that these tools persisted for some 11,000 years.
Scientists rely on symbolically specific proxies, such as artistic expression, to document the origins of complex cognition.
Advanced technologies with elaborate chains of production are also proxies, as these often demand high-fidelity transmission and thus language.
Some argue that advanced technologies in Africa appear and disappear and thus do not indicate complex cognition exclusive to early modern humans in Africa.
The origins of composite tools and advanced projectile weapons figure prominently in modern human evolution research, and the latter have been argued to have been in the exclusive possession of modern humans.
Here we describe a previously unrecognized advanced stone tool technology from Pinnacle Point Site 5–6 on the south coast of South Africa, originating approximately 71,000 years ago.
This technology is dominated by the production of small bladelets (microliths) primarily from heat-treated stone.