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Early women worked, men stayed home PDF Print E-mail
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Written by PTI-TimesofIndia   

PTI | Jun 3, 2011, 06.55am IST

LONDON: Early species of cavemen who roamed the earth two million years ago did not go to work but stayed at home and looked after the kids, while their females earned bread for the family, says a new research.

Scientists at the University of Oxford arrived at the conclusion by using new techniques to extract information from the fossilised teeth of our ancient human ancestors.

The researchers tested the tooth enamel of 19 hominids found in cave sites in South Africa for the study.

The international research team tested the fossilised teeth dated from 2.4 to 1.7 million years ago from two australopith species. The researchers found only 10% of the male hominid teeth were from outside the range of their local area, compared with half the female teeth indicating that the males stayed close to home.

The teeth were from the Sterkfontein and Swartkans cave sites in South Africa. Testing was done using strontium isotope analysis of tooth enamel, a technique which provides evidence of where an individual lived when the tooth formed.

Why the males preferred to stay close to cave sites is unclear. The study suggests that the males preferred the vegetation or a landscape dominated by dolomite rock where there would have been an abundance of caves. PTI

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