A groundbreaking discovery has left archaeologists stunned as they uncover the oldest known stone tools to date.
In a twist that challenges our current understanding, these tools may not have been crafted by our close homo ancestors. This revelation opens up a new chapter in the history of human evolution and tool-making.
Earliest Type of Stone Tools Discovered
The discovery made in Kenya has challenged the long-standing belief that only our ancestors from the homo genus were capable of creating complex tools. T
he ancient stone implements, which were discovered in 2016 along the banks of Lake Victoria at Nyayanga, have been identified as belonging to the Oldowan toolkit, the earliest known type of stone tools created by human-like hands.
A recent dating study reveals the tools that have been newly discovered are believed to have been crafted between 2.6 and three million years ago.
The discovery of fossils of 2.9-million-year-old butchered hippopotamus surrounded by crafted stone tools in Kenya suggests early humans may not have been the first species to use tools. https://t.co/yLTWzBc3Yf (via @ABCscience)
— ABC Australia (@ABCaustralia) February 10, 2023
After being utilized, they were buried in the earth’s depths, hidden beneath layers of sand and silt.
Out of the 1,776 fossils of butchered animal bones that were found, a total of 330 artifacts were uncovered. This marks a significant discovery, as the previous record-holder for the oldest Oldowan tools was believed to be 2.6 million years old.
The tools discovered also challenge our understanding of the evolution of mankind, revealing that homo sapiens may have existed alongside other early human species much earlier than previously thought.
Rick Potts, a paleoanthropologist at the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of Natural History and part of the study team, asserted that humans possess tools powerful enough to best even an elephant or lion when it comes to crushing and cutting strength.
Our ancient ancestors used Oldowan technology to take their diet up a notch on the African Savannah. This groundbreaking innovation was like growing an extra set of teeth – it enabled them to access more food sources and revolutionized how they ate.
Stone Tools Buried With Animal Remains
On the recent archaeological dig, pristinely preserved hammerstones and sharp-edged flakes were unearthed alongside bones from ancient bovids like antelope, as well as hippopotamids.
An analysis of the remains is already giving archaeologists valuable insights into how these creatures lived thousands of years ago.
The remains bear evidence that primitive humans used advanced butchering techniques to extract maximum nutritional value from their prey, using tools to slice flesh and even crush hard bones for marrow.
This groundbreaking discovery reveals just how resourceful early hominids were in times long past.
3 million-year-old Oldowan toolkit with presence of teeth from extinct hominin Paranthropus challenges view that only members of Homo genus used complex tools — Either hominins made them, or the teeth belonged to a hominin victim eaten by the human huntershttps://t.co/3RDtq4hDgv
— Alfons López Tena 🦇 (@alfonslopeztena) February 9, 2023
Researchers from Griffith University’s Australian Research Centre for Human Evolution and the City University of New York also discovered one of history’s earliest sites bearing evidence of butchery, tools, and two human-like teeth at a remote site in Australia.
The team identified the teeth as Paranthropus – an early distant cousin to our own species, homo sapiens. This marks a significant find that could shed new light on how ancient peoples interacted with megafauna thousands or even tens of thousands of years ago.