Pedra Furada Pre-Clovis Claims Debunked

January 14, 2023

Some researchers have been claiming that they found stone tools made by humans that were in use 50,000 years ago at the Pedra Furada site in Brazil. But new research shows that Capuchin monkeys widely made and used stone tools in this area at that time. The assemblage found at Pedra Furada does not show anything beyond crude stone tools that were probably made by the Capuchin monkeys. 

The monkeys have their own rock quarries, where they selec rocks to use as hammers to crack nuts against a larger, flattened anvil rock. Rocks also come in handy for eating seeds and fruits—and the monkeys even lick the dust created from driving two rocks together, possibly as a way of adding minerals to their diets.

Stone tools assist capuchins with other tasks as well, such as digging. And the females throw rocks at potential mates as a way of demonstrating sexual interest.

All of these processes can lead to the stones breaking into smaller flaked pieces—which, the new study found, are indistinguishable from some ancient stone tools carved by early humans.
The research is published in Sage Journals’ The Holocene haș the report here:

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