World's oldest stone tools are older than modern humans

in hardware on (#7H94)
story imageThe oldest known stone tools in the world were made some 3.3 million years ago, which would make these newly discovered implements older than modern humans. Archaeologists working in the Kenyan Rift Valley that discovered the tools said the set of 20 stone flakes and anvils are some 700,000 years older than stone tools from Ethiopia that previously held this record. These tools predate the earliest fossils representing our genus, Homo, by 500,000 years. What these tools suggest is that stone tool manufacture didn't begin with Homo as previously held but with a more primitive member of the human family.

Scientists working at the site of Dikika, Ethiopia in 2010 where fossils belonging to Lucy's species had previously turned up said they had recovered 3.4 million year-old animal bones bearing distinctive marks. They argued hominins had made the marks in the course of slicing meat off the bones with stone tools. The claim caused heated debate with some scientists saying the alleged cut marks were instead the result of the bones having been trampled by passing animals. Others suggested they were bite marks from crocodiles.

Re: The alternative explanation... (Score: 2, Insightful)

by on 2015-04-22 21:02 (#7M1Z)

Or that the lines delineating human and proto-human species are blurrier than traditional taxonomy is adequate to describe. We don’t have DNA samples from specimens that ancient, AFAIK.
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