Scientists Unearth 3.3M-Year-Old Tools

Scientists Unearth 3.3M-Year-Old Tools

Found in Etihiopia, these 2.6 million year old Oldowan stone "choppers," used to hack through meat, wood, and dirt, were previously considered among the earliest human tools. (Didier Descouens/CC BY-SA 4.0)
Found in Ethiopia, these 2.6 million year old Oldowan stone “choppers,” used to hack through meat, wood, and dirt, were previously considered among the earliest human tools. (Didier Descouens/CC BY-SA 4.0)

 

 

NAIROBI, Kenya (The International News) — Scientists working in Kenya have unearthed the oldest known stone tools, simple cutting and pounding implements crafted by ancient members of the human lineage 3.3 million years ago.

At about 700,000 years older than the other stone tools excavated to date, the discovery hints that anthropologists may have had the wrong idea about the evolution of humans and technology, said Stony Brook University archeologist Jason Lewis, coauthor of a study describing the find published Wednesday in the journal Nature.

Traditionally, Lewis said, scientists believed that stone toolmaking emerged with the first members of our own large-brained genus, Homo, as they fanned out into savannah grassland environments about 2.5 million years ago.

Until now, the earliest-known stone tools dated back 2.6 million years, bolstering that hypothesis.

 

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