New evidence from stone tools in southern Africa shows these social connections were stronger and wider than we had thought among our ancestors who lived around 65,000 years ago, shortly before the large “out of Africa” migration in which they began to spread across the world.
The early humans weren’t always so connected. The first humans to leave Africa died out without this migratory success and without leaving any genetic trace among us today.
But for the ancestors of today’s people living outside of Africa, it was a different story. Within a few thousand years they had migrated into and adapted to every type of environmental zone across the planet.
Archaeologists think the development of social networks and the ability to share knowledge between different groups was the key to this success. But how do we observe these social networks in the deep past?