After reading about the top ten discoveries in 2015, I was surprised to see how many things archaeologists are still finding today. Many of the discoveries were dubbed with being the oldest of its kind ever found. Will scientists continue to find artifacts that are even older than the ones being found today or will they at some point hit a wall where it things beyond a certain point have all decayed. It is just amazing to me that all of these things can still be found even today. It makes me realize how young the Earth’s development really is.
I thought that the “A Human Relative” find was the best one out of the ten. I am very interested in the evolution of humans. If this discovery is actually authentic and not another elaborate hoax, it really could be the missing link in the human evolutionary chain. The species had characteristics of an upright walking hominid along with the characteristics of a tree climbing ape. The brain was smaller but that does not always indicate much about the intelligence of a species. It seems like this find might really fit right in-between the hominid and ape.
At what point did hominids turn from being just another animal to the conscience conquers that we are today? It is something that is hard to tell. Related to this topic is discovery number nine: “Earliest Stone Tools”. Archaeologists have found stone tools that were likely used by a species of hominid that predates the earliest known species of the genus Homo. I really liked the line by the finding archaeologist, “Why not think that our ancestors from the beginning were using many, many tools?” Maybe most of the species in the human ancestor chain have always been this way. Maybe we do not give them enough credit. As we have learned in this class, people often believe that humans are the most advanced now and that anything earlier is inferior. It might be possible that scientists are still making this mistake when it comes to some of genus Homo’s ancient ancestors.
It is becoming more clear that modern science is continuing to improve as more advanced dating techniques are still being developed. It seems as though archaeologists will be able to continue to improve their techniques and continue to gain a clearer picture of the ancient historical record. Maybe one day a tool will be developed that will be able to instantly give an exact date and the DNA of an artifact. Something that would change the way archaeologists understand the past.