Woman the Toolmaker

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Pages: 8
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Because modern big-game hunters are male, it has long been assumed that the earliest hunters were also male--an assumption examined in an earlier chapter. A similar assumption has the creativity of early hominid males resulting in toolmaking, such as the sharpening of stones for their spears. But, as more time has been spent in studying primates in their natural habitats, many examples of invention and tool use have been observed. And the females usually play …

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…the evolutionary origins of toolmaking are still thin, but the shoe is now on the other foot as regards which sex was the more innovative. The Boesches conclude their discussion of the flaked stones: "these chimpanzee-made artifacts suggest that such tools could have been produced by early hominids when they used stones as hammers during a gathering activity.... The skill of female chimpanzees at Tai suggests the possibility that the first human tool-makers were women."