Scientists found 3.3 million year old stone tools in Kenya, a remarkable discovery which pushes back the earliest known date of stone tools by 700,000 years and demonstrates conclusively that such tools existed before modern humans had yet evolved.
The artefacts were clearly fashioned deliberately, and were likely used to pound objects or to produce small, sharp flakes for cutting. Hammers and anvils were also found, some of which were as large as 15 kg.
Remarkably, these tools predate the evolution of the Homo genus, indicating that other hominids such asAustralopithecus afarensis or Kenyanthropus platyops were more cognitively advanced than paleoanthropologists previously thought.
Human evolution continues to be a slippery, fascinating topic!
The oldest stone tools on record — dating back 3.3 million years — have been discovered in Kenya, scientists announced Wednesday. "(This) marks a new beginning to the known archaeological record," according to the study, which appeared in the British journal Nature. The discovery of the tools, some 149 of them near Lake Turkana in northern Kenya, pushes the known date of such implements back by 700,000 years. They were created by "proto-humans," long before the advent of modern humans, and are by far the oldest such artifacts yet discovered anywhere on Earth, according to the study.