berangere: (yajiri)
[personal profile] berangere posting in [community profile] archaeology
Hello Community !
  I would like to point you at this (in my opinion) quite interesting article about the processing of bamboo tools : review at the Southern Methodist University website.

The title of the article is
Bar-Yosef, O., M.I. Eren, J. Yuan, D. Cohen, and Y. Li. 2011 (In Press)
Were bamboo tools made in prehistoric Southeast Asia? An experimental view from South China. Quaternary International.

  It seems there is a "lack" of stone implements in the prehistoric cultures of Southeast Asia. One theory to explain this lack is that instead of stone tools, prehistoric humans used bamboo tools.
  This study explores if it is possible to create bamboo tools with the resources available in prehistoric times (a.k.a. ... stone tools). And... well, it is possible.

  Here is a film of the process for the ones who would not want to read the article : youtube (I can't embed the video)

  I would like to insist on the fact this study shows that it is possible to make bamboo tools with stone tools, but does not at all prove that the use of bamboo tools is the reason why we do not find a lot of stone tools in Southeast Asia. It even showed that the bamboo tools are less efficient than stone tools in cutting hide. So, if the prehistoric cultures there had the technology to produce stone tools (that are necessary to process bamboo tools) why would they use less efficient bamboo tools instead of the stone tools they had ?
(And I want to make clear that I consider "because bamboo tools are cool" as a perfectly acceptable answer to this question. It would not be the first time humanity chose to use something less efficient just "because it's cool").
  Well, as always, as archaeologists, it seems that once again we may one day find "how". But we will never be able to know "why".

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