Ethiopia discovers 2.6m-year old stone tools

APA-Addis Ababa (Ethiopia)

The oldest stone tools dated back to 2.6 million years were discovered in the north eastern Ethiopia at a place called Ledi-Geraru.

The newly discovered artifacts are very distinct from tools made by Chimpanzees, monkeys and earlier human ancestors.

The  new site discovered in the Afar region by team of international and  local scientists dates back some 100,000 years before the then oldest  flaked stone tools. The oldest evidence for systematic stone tool  production and use was 2.58 to 2.55 million years ago.

Research  Associate at Ledi-Geraru Project, Archaeologist David R. Braun told  journalists on Tuesday that they have discovered “the oldest stone  artifacts in Ethiopia and possibly the second oldest stone artifacts in  the world.”

“The  pieces of chipped stones were made into tools by early humans 2.6  million years ago, which are 100 thousand years older than the materials  discovered also in Ethiopia from Gona locality.” Braun stated.

He  added that “even though the materials that we found are the second  oldest stone artifacts found anywhere in the world, they have very  little association with anything found at 3.3 million years ago.”

Braun  further explained that “we had expected a defined and linear  relationship going from 3.3 to 2.6, but in actual fact, what we found  was a gap in a very different type of technology at 2.6, suggesting that  early humans first initially made stone artifacts at 3.3 and may never  made them again for another 500 thousand years ago until 2.6.”

According to him, there is no connection between the stone tools made at 2.6 and 3.3 million years in terms of technology.

The  tools are the oldest artifacts ascribed to the “Oldowan” – a technology  originally named after findings from Olduvai Goerge in Tanzania.   

Mulugeta  Fisseha Director-General of Authority for Research and Conservation of  Cultural Heritage told journalists that Ethiopia is contributing a lot  to science and studies on human evolution, referring to current and  previous discovery .

Ethiopian  archaeologist were integrated and students participated in the project,  which he said  the unique part of this five years archaeological  discoveries.

“With  caution, the area can serve as an attraction for the international  community, including scientists in the field and could be used as an  open air field school” he said.

The  3.3 million years old stone artifacts found in Kenya are the first  direct evidence that early human ancestors used stone tools, while the  2.6 million years flaked stones shows that human ancestors became more  accurate and skilled at  striking the age of stones to make tools.


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