The evidence for potential human civilisation will persist in 70 million years in the shape of our fossilised skulls. From which, in the eyes of anyone/thing advanced enough to ponder the possibility, will demonstrate an EQ sufficiently large to posit the idea.

You can't rule out the possibility of a smarter dinosaur having been around and there being nothing left at all to show it.

You'd imagine that intelligence would give them some sort of competitive advantage, leading to their increasing in numbers and range, which would seemingly make discovery of their fossils more likely. But nothing has been found which even comes close to an 'intelligent' dinosaur. Troodon for example, had a functional intelligence probably equal to a Virginia opossum (I think that was Darren Naish).

Some birds do make and use tools however, so simple tool use doesn't seem to be out even if it wasn't civilization.

Tool use has been proposed in other archosaurs as well.

https://blogs.scientificamerican.co...rs-use-sticks-as-lures-to-attract-waterbirds/

(I'm not some Darren Naish fan boy by the way, I just like his stuff and it tends to be the only place I come across dinosaur references)
 
... The evidence for ancient human civilisation is pretty scant - a few million years for knapped flints, the earliest intentional carvings (on a sea shell) around 500,000 years ago, cave art maybe 40,000 years and stone-built settlements (Göbekli Tepe) around 12,000 years.
I wonder if substantial human constructions like the pyramids or Stonehenge would last a million years?

The subject of surviving indirect evidence (e.g., geological rather than strictly archaeological remains) is treated more directly in the Silurian Hypothesis thread:

forums.forteana.org/index.php?threads/the-silurian-hypothesis-a-civilisation-before-man.63717/
Link is obsolete. The current link is:

Silurian Hypothesis: How To Detect Any Pre-Human Civilisation?
https://forums.forteana.org/index.p...w-to-detect-any-pre-human-civilisation.63717/


... which is not specifically focused on possible dinosaur civilizations.
 
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How do we know for sure that really old stone tools were made by man?

We can only surmise deliberate human manufacturing based on the site context.

In the best case, tools are discovered within a site context of human remains and / or human habitation.

The inference becomes more tenuous as the context provides less and less direct evidence of human presence alongside the tools. In this middle ground, stratigraphic and other analyses can help support an association with humans.

The worst case would be discovery of the possible tool(s) in isolation.

There's an even more fundamental issue - i.e., deciding whether a given artifact (e.g., a chipped stone) represents a tool in the first place.
 
The worst case would be discovery of the possible tool(s) in isolation.
Quite so. Kind of my point, that in such cases, we can only infer the tool was made by (proto) human hands, as opposed to (say) simian talons.
There's an even more fundamental issue - i.e., deciding whether a given artifact (e.g., a chipped stone) represents a tool in the first place.
True. I've a decent eye for a hand worked flint, even in the absence of a recognisable form (e.g. arrowhead, awl), but I often pick up flint that I can't call one way or the other.
 
Quite so. Kind of my point, that in such cases, we can only infer the tool was made by (proto) human hands, as opposed to (say) simian talons. ...

In some cases one might well rely on indirection / inference. A flaked stone chopper sized to fit the human hand is suggestive; a similarly edged 1-ton boulder isn't.

It depends on the particular specimen. I've seen 'accepted' stone tools that I didn't think were undoubtedly the result of deliberate manufacture - i.e., they were no more convincing that some of the naturally formed objects Forteanically(?) treated as evidence of some unknown party's artifice.
 
In some cases one might well rely on indirection / inference. A flaked stone chopper sized to fit the human hand is suggestive; a similarly edged 1-ton boulder isn't.

This assumes such simians were large. But I shall look at large rocks more carefully from now on. ;)

It depends on the particular specimen. I've seen 'accepted' stone tools that I didn't think were undoubtedly the result of deliberate manufacture - i.e., they were no more convincing that some of the naturally formed objects Forteanically(?) treated as evidence of some unknown party's artifice.

I agree. I've got a core which I had confirmed as worked by the county archaeologist, although I needed little confirmation. My own field finds break down into "definitely yes", "definitely no" and "er....". The last get flicked into the hedge (so I don't pick them up next week). I've seem microliths in museums that I can only assume context has validated, as to my practical eyes, they are little different to plough-struck flakes.
 
Back in Jan 2015, I went to the fossil beach at Lyme Regis and found a flint. It doesn't look much but it fits perfectly and comfortably in the palm of my hand and thumb and I've grown fond of it. Got it back from the Keeper of Archaeology at the County Museum who confirmed it is not a man-made stone tool - just a piece of flint shaped by frost fracturing and the Atlantic waves. Not even slightly disappointed.

flint2344.jpg
 
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