Actually, hundreds of thousands. This month, Israeli archeologists convened a conference called “The Origins of Recycling” to share their knowledge about the history of clever re-use. Dozens of scholars discussed findings that even before we were homo sapiens, we were reusing materials in Spain, North Africa, Italy, and Israel. A cave near Tel Aviv that was used by pre-humans two hundred thousand years ago (and more) yielded flint chips that had been turned into small blades.
Reporter Ariel David writes, “A dry pond in Castel di Guido, near Rome, has yielded bone tools used some 300,000 years ago by Neanderthals who hunted or scavenged elephant carcasses there, said Giovanni Boschian, a geologist from the University of Pisa. ‘We find several levels of reuse and recycling,’ he said. ‘The bones were shattered to extract the marrow, then the fragments were shaped into tools, abandoned, and finally reworked to be used again.’”
This confirms findings reported a year ago. Middens (trash dumps) have been archeologists’ gold mines for decades, as they sort through the remains of past civilizations to discover how people lived. Meanwhile, Americans are throwing away not only food but also tons of other stuff. Don’t you wonder what future explorers will think about our landfills?
Forget the Paleo diet (It’s nonsense, anyway). Embrace your inner Paleo recycler!