Study: Man May Have Developed Hand Skills as Early as 3.3 Million Years Ago as Evidenced by the Tools Discovered in Africa

At the yearly conference of the Paleoanthropology Society in the US this week, it was revealed that researchers found a set of stone tools in Kenya that are considered to be the oldest tools ever found. They have been dated back up to 3.3 million years ago, which cause them to be 700,000 years older than any others found.

Paleontologists hypothesized that they existed before the coming of the homogeneous – believed to be 2.8 million years old – which assume that ancient australopithecines such as “Lucy” could be making and using tools before our specie even existed.

In 2003, a universal team of paleontologists unearthed what was the oldest stone tools to be found. Taken from the Gona site, at the triangle by the Great Rift Valley in Ethiopia.

In 2003, an international team of paleontologists uncovered, what is considered as the oldest stone tools ever to be found. Dug out from the excavation site of Gona, in the Afar triangle of Ethiopia’s Great Rift Valley, they were dated to be 2.6 million years ago, and credited as the earliest stone tool technology in the recorded archaeology,  the Oldowan.

Around 2.6 and 1.7 million years ago, this technology was widespread throughout eastern Africa down to southern Africa.  1.8 million years ago, the early Homo inhabitants  brought it to Europe with them, as supported by some fossil remains and the Oldowan tools which were discovered last 2002,  in Dmanisi, Georgia.

Sonia Harmand from Stony Brook University in New York, together with her colleagues, has made it possible for us to obtain tools that are way much older than the Ethiopian hoard.

In describing the find, which was discovered west of LakeTurkana, Kenya at Science Mag, Michael Balter has has summarized it:

The find links into a controversial study which came out in 2010 after the discovery of a 3.4 million year old australopithecine child in the Ethiopian site of Dikika, accompanied with animal bones showing a series of cut marks along them. These linear grades looked to be measured, and not accidental scratches, the team behind the discovery argued, suggesting that these ancient human predecessors were, in fact, users of tools. And now the findings of these stone tools from around the same period of time adds weight to this theory.


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