Kenyan researchers have discovered primitive tools made of stone dating back 3.3 million years. The oldest discovered stone tools on record are only 700,000 years old. This recent stone tool discovery not only confirms the theory of early humans being somewhat advanced, it suggests that primitive technology existed before genus Homo; possibly belonging to primates.
The genus Homo gave rise to the modern human. Until now scientists have believed it was only this lineage that was ever capable of creating tools and other technologies. These studies bring in to question whether they are another example of the craftiness humans share with chimpanzees. This further provides evidence that humans indeed come from an ancestor very similar to chimpanzees. These skills, like tool making, were originally thought to be exclusive to human lineage and they are proving not to be.
Scientists are also questioning whether these Kenyan tools were an isolated happening of a species in the area or if it was the result of a long progressing technology from even more primitive beings. This study proving that stone tools may date back to primates, or even earlier, is opening up a whole new set of questions regarding evolution and the ancestor of the modern human.
Written by Audrey Madden
The Star: Stone tool discovery confirms theory of early humans
Flickr Photo by – Don McCullough – Creative Commons License