Ancient Humans Used Fine-Crafted Tools Earlier Than Thought
Our human ancestors may have fashion hand-axes and cleavers much earlier than we believe, as new research suggests ancient humans didn’t take the stone tools along with them when they left Africa.
A team from the United States and France has found newly discovered hand axes from about 1.76 million year ago. The team made the discovery after traveling to an archaeological site located along the northwest shoreline of Kenya’s Lake Turkana.
“I was taken aback when I realized that the geological data indicated it was the oldest Acheulean site in the world,” Lepre told The New York Times.
The stone tools are known collectively as Acheulian tools. They are said to be the achievements of human ancestor Homo erectus.
New York University anthropologist Christian Tryon told The Associated Press that the teardrop-shaped axes were “like a stone-age Leatherman or Swiss Army knife.”
The axes are believed to have been appropriate for slaughtering animals or chopping wood. The thicker picks were used for digging holes.
What still remains a mystery to researchers is how the tools ended up leaving Africa.