Europe's first farmers may have been their first carpenters: study
According to a study the first European farmers may have been carving wood to build wells before they even had metal tools.
"The first Central European farmers, who likely immigrated from the Balkan Peninsula and the Carpathian Basin about 7 500 years ago, left a uniform archaeological record of settlement structures with longhouses, pottery and stone tools, called the Linear Pottery Culture," the researchers wrote.
According to the researchers these farmers quickly spread across the continent, seeking fertile soil, until during "the 6th millennium BC, sedentariness became the dominant lifestyle of the Central European population, which began to cultivate plants, raise livestock, produce ceramics, and exploit the woodlands as a timber resource. This transformation marked the onset of the Neolithic period, and for the first time, human societies began to transform their natural environment into a cultural landscape."
This cultural landscape meant that the people of the time needed to be able to do things like store food and build structures to live in.
After excavating four wells and dating the wood in them, researchers found that the wells dated back to around this period, dating to around 5100 BC. Taking a closer look at the wood, revealed that stone adzes were used to carve them.
"This study demonstrates that the first farmers were also the first carpenters, contradicting the common belief that the invention of metal woodworking tools more than a thousand years later was imperative for complex timber constructions," The researchers concluded.
You can read the full paper in the online journal PloS One.