When Europeans discovered Tasmania in the 17th century, it had technologically the simplest, most "primitive" human society of any society in the modern world. Native Tasmanians could not light a fire from scratch, they did not have bone tools, they did not have multi-piece stone tools, they did not have axes with handles, they did not have spear-throwers, they did not have boomerangs, and they did not even know how to fish. What accounts for this extreme simplicity of Tasmania society? Part of the explanation is that during the 10,000 years of isolation, the Aboriginal Australians, who numbered about 250,000, were inventing things that the isolated 4,000 Tasmanians were not inventing, such as boomerangs. Incredibly, though, archeological investigations have shown one other thing: during those 10,000 years of isolation, the Tasmanians actually lost some technologies that they had carried from the Australian mainland to Tasmania. Notably, the Tasmanians arrived in Tasmania with bone tools, and bone tools disappear from archeological record about 3,000 years ago. That's incredible, because with bone tools you can have needles, and with needles you can have warm clothing. Tasmania is at the latitude of Vladivostok and Chicago: it's snowy in the winter, and yet the Tasmanians went about either naked or just with a cape thrown over the shoulder.
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