Possible Million-Year-Old Tools Unearthed in Sudan Could Change Human History
Ancient tools have been discovered in eastern Africa that are possibly a million years old. What can this discovery teach us about our ancient history?
A recent gold rush in eastern Africa has led to open-pit mines where gold hunters have stumbled upon a different kind of fortune: hundreds of stone tools, including Acheulean hand axes, cleavers, and other tools. The head of the study, Professor Mirosław Masojć from the Institue of Archaeology at the University of Wraclaw, Poland said, “[t]he layers of soil around the tools were at least seven-hundred-thousand years old.”
But some have speculated that the tools could be up to one million years old. This discovery puts our ancient ancestor Homo erectus in this area twice as far back as previously thought.
Amateur Historian Finds Ancient City & Discovery Changes Human Timeline
The timeline of history changes again, as new evidence pushes the oldest known Homo sapiens in Africa back thousands of years.
In southwestern Ethiopia, a mystery nearly a quarter of a million years in the making has been solved. Homo sapien remains found near the Omo river, dubbed “Omo 1,” were originally found in the 1960s. Scientists struggled for years to establish a date for these remains, but in 2005 they determined Omo was approximately 195,000 years old.
Now, a new study by volcanologist Dr. Celine Vidal of Cambridge University pushes that date much farther back by more than 30,000 years, which places modern humans in eastern Africa more than 230,000 years ago.
Vidal was able to determine this by comparing the thick layers of ash left by an ancient volcano from the top of the remains of Omo 1 with ash known to be from a volcano that erupted about 230,000 years ago. Now that the minimum date for Homo sapiens in eastern Africa has been established, researchers are searching for the maximum.
As, Christine Lane, a co-author of the study stated, “[I]t’s possible that new finds and new studies may extend the age of our species even further back in time.”