Kenya: Prehistoric Stone Tools Predate Others

Scientists doing research in Kenya have discovered prehistoric stone tools that are estimated to be more than three million years old, which is at least 700,000 years older than any tools previously found that were used by ancient humanoid species. They were dated using magnetic mineral deposits and volcanic ash in the area they were found in.
The prehistoric stone tools were accidentally discovered by archeologist Sonia Harmand from Stony Brook University and Jason Lewis a paleoanthropologist, also from Stony Brook University and Rutgers University, and the Turkana Basin Institute back in 2011 at a site called Lomekwi. The tools have been undergoing study and they findings were recently released. During their travel they discovered nearly 150 prehistoric stone tools such as those used by ancient humanoids to make things like anvils and hammers.

Prehistoric Stone Tools Will Help Learn About Ancient Humans

The newly found prehistoric stone tools are expected to help scientists learn about humanoid behavior and mental development of ancient humans. In fact, it was previously believed that the first of the ancient tool-making species were the first Homo sapiens, or more modern-age related humans. Now, with the discovery of prehistoric stone tools like this latest find, it could change that opinion.

The reason is that these prehistoric stone tools found during the scientists’ travel predate the earliest known Homo sapiens. The scientists believe that the makers of these prehistoric stone tools could possibly be a humanoid species called Kenyanthropus platyops or Australopithecus afarensis. According to scientists at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of Natural History helping with the research, this fabulous discovery could help to solve some of the mysteries of earlier historical times for humanoids. In the past, the scientists thought there must be a method of stone tool making that predated the other tools that have been found prior to these examples of prehistoric stone tools, and this find helps to confirm that belief.


Prehistoric Stone Tools Used For Several Things

The prehistoric stone tools showed evidence of sharp-edged flakes scientists believe might have served to do things like cut meat. Scientists have believed that humans developed tools in order to cut meat, however many of the tools found would have been used for other reasons such as to pound open nuts, dig up and mash tubers and cut foliage as the ancient humans made their travel around in their environment.

In the course of their investigations, the scientists also found that the area was once lush with plants, not like the dryer savanna it is today. These tools are hoped to help discover how the ancient humans made the transition from using natural, organic tools like those used today by chimps, to consciously making stone tools, which would show advanced brain function. This leap in cognitive ability is what marks humans from animals, so the making of prehistoric stone tools is an exciting time in the evolution of humanoids that lead to the modern day humans we are today.