Wednesday, December 7, 2011

History in Objects: Object #2.

In the BBC series of the History of the World in Objects, Olduvai Stone Chopping Tool is the second one under discussion.

The existence of this object raises the question:
Can we be human without objects?

The invention of the first tools is one of the most important moments in human history. Making, using and sharing things played a key role in developing human behaviour. The ability to make tools allowed humans to adapt to new environments and out-compete other animals. Gradually it would lead to humans becoming the most successful animal in the world. All modern technology began with these first chopping tools.
As Neil MacGregor, Director of the British Museum, suggests:
The chopping tool is the beginning of the relationship between humans and the things they create, which is both a love affair and a dependency. From this point on, we can't survive without the things we make, and in this sense, it's making things that makes us human....[These discoveries] in the warm earth of the Rift valley...made it clear that all of us descend from those African ancestors. That everyone one of us is part of a huge African diaspora. We all have Africa in our DNA, and all our culture began in the same place.

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