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Fourth echelon

oldest known stone tools found in kenya, makers not known

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By MALCOLM RITTER

 

 
 

 

 

NEW YORK (AP) — By taking a wrong turn in a dry riverbed in Kenya, scientists discovered a trove of stone tools far older than any ever found before. Nobody knows who made them — or why.

At 3.3 million years old, they push back the record of stone tools by about 700,000 years. More significantly, they are half-a-million years older than any known trace of our own branch of the evolutionary tree.

Scientists have long thought that sharp-edged stone tools were made only by members of our branch, whose members are designated "Homo," like our own species, Homo sapiens. That idea has been questioned, and the new finding is a big boost to the argument that tool-making may have begun with smaller-brained forerunners instead.

The discovery was reported by Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis of Stony Brook University in New York and co-authors in a paper released Wednesday by the journal Nature. The find drew rave reviews from experts unconnected to the work.

 

"It really absolutely moves the beginnings of human technology back into a much more distant past, and a much different kind of ancestor than we've been thinking of," said anthropology professor Alison Brooks of George Washington University, who has examined some of the tools.

 

The authors have "opened a new window onto the human past, illuminating the work of the first tool-makers and raising as many questions as they have answered," said Eric Delson of Lehman College in New York.

http://apnews.myway.com/article/20150520/us-sci--ancient_tools-167c9fac7f.html

 
 
 
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cheers. i used to go on archeology tours when i was younger..and took up rock hounding. miss those times

 
 
 
 
 
 

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Compared to the next-oldest-known tool artifacts, "these things are enormous," which adds to the mystery of what they were used for, said David Braun, a tool expert at George Washington.

Generally, ancient human relatives are thought to have used stone tools for hammering, such as for cracking nuts, and for their sharp edges, useful for butchering and skinning animal carcasses as well as cutting up tough plant material.

Experts said they were stumped about the purpose of the Kenyan tools. Harmand said she thinks the overall purpose was to make sharp-edged flakes for cutting, but exactly how they were used is not known. Researchers are examining them with a microscope to look for clues.

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Compared to the next-oldest-known tool artifacts, "these things are enormous," which adds to the mystery of what they were used for, said David Braun, a tool expert at George Washington.

Generally, ancient human relatives are thought to have used stone tools for hammering, such as for cracking nuts, and for their sharp edges, useful for butchering and skinning animal carcasses as well as cutting up tough plant material.

Experts said they were stumped about the purpose of the Kenyan tools. Harmand said she thinks the overall purpose was to make sharp-edged flakes for cutting, but exactly how they were used is not known. Researchers are examining them with a microscope to look for clues.

​The ancient giants of old?
I truly believe there was an advanced past race of people we somehow forgot about.
Evidence of this is all over but it gets buried or dismissed.

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