May 20, 2015

New old tools

Filed under: Paleoanth — acagle @ 7:21 pm

Really old: Archaeologists Find Earliest Stone Tools in Kenya

Archaeologists working in the desert badlands of Kenya have uncovered dozens of stone tools crafted 3.3 million years ago, the earliest evidence of technology on Earth.

For a long time, many scholars believed the first stone tools were devised by the genus Homo—a line that leads directly to modern humans—and it was the mental leap of smashing stones together to form rudimentary cutting tools that proved crucial for our evolutionary success. A species armed with such tools, for example, would find it easier to acquire food by cutting meat from animal carcasses.

In recent years, other clues have suggested that another group of proto-humans that lived much earlier figured out stone-tool technology first. The new study, published on Wednesday in the journal Nature, bolsters that view.

Maker unknown, though possibly Kenyanthropus platytops.

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