Recycling may seem like a relatively recent phenomenon in today’s world, but archeologists are discovering that our prehistoric ancestors lived a green lifestyle. According to growing evidence, they recycled the objects they used in their daily lives, creating new utensils from broken tools made of flint or bone.
A conference called “The Origins of Recycling” this week in Tel Aviv, Israel brought together nearly 50 scholars from 10 countries to discuss the ancient recycling phenomenon. Archeologists at the meeting shared their discoveries of recycled tools at sites in Spain, North Africa, Italy and Israel dating as far back as 1.3 million years ago.
Not only humans but also their predecessors, like Homo erectus and Neanderthals, recycled tools as a survival strategy. “Why do we recycle plastic? To conserve energy and raw materials. In the same way, if you recycled flint you didn’t have to go all the way to the quarry to get more so you conserved your energy and saved on the material,” Avi Gopher, a Tel Aviv University archeologist, told the Associated Press.