Bags introduced the idea of ​​using a tool in the future, which inspired our ancestors to perfect them

Bags introduced the idea of ​​using a tool in the future, which inspired our ancestors to perfect them

Bags introduced the idea of ​​using a tool in the future , further inspiring our ancestors to protect and perfect those tools .

Before the end of the last ice age (around 12,000 years ago), when we took root by introducing agriculture, leaving behind our hunter-gatherer life, we had to take all our belongings with us. The bag made it possible .

Ötzi, the Iceman

For our ancestors, a bag was a transport device to store flint or stone instruments first and metal later. Thus, bags made with tree leaves or animal skins that tied or attached to a stick were used.

With transport devices, our ancestors could carry many tools which, in parallel, encouraged the manufacture of tools in advance, even those that were only used occasionally , because they could be stored.

A paradigmatic example is Ötzi, found in September 1991 by two German hikers, on a high glacier in the South Tyrolean Alps, near the Austrian-Italian border. The dating of the body revealed that Ötzi had died about 5,000 years ago. Ötzi carried dozens of tools in his quiver and birch bark and rope baskets , including an ax, bow and arrow, dagger, medicinal mushrooms, and fire-making equipment.

The containers consisting of baskets, nets, and pots date back about 30,000 years, with containers made of wood and stalagmites manufactured about 50,000 years ago. Natural containers, such as shells, are over 100,000 years old. And the origins of these containers are likely even more distant because most of the materials used to make them, such as hides, barks and fibers, decompose quickly and leave no traces that we can find .

The emergence of humans using mobile containers at least 100,000 years ago indicates that people were increasingly thinking ahead and recognizing the future usefulness of their tools. This ability may be at the core of what it means to innovate .

In this way, the appearance of mobile containers in the archaeological record may indicate a key cognitive shift for our ancestors : foresight began to drive innovation in tools (including additional containers) and the evolution of increasingly sophisticated material cultures. We may even be willing to invest time and effort in further refining those tools, perhaps sharing them with our friends and family.