The discovery was made in Kenya and according to the researchers, the tools are approximately 3.3 million years old.
The prehistoric tools stone tools were unearthed off the shores of Lake Turkana and prove that that the earliest human ancestors crafted and used tools long before the modern Homo lineage started appearing about 2.8 million years ago.
Lake Turkana is a region where several fossils of both early human ancestors and their stone tools were discovered.
The newest discovery was made by researcher Sonia Harmand from the Stony Brook University in New York.
Before this, the oldest known stone tools were found in Ethiopia and are approximately 2.6 million years old.
Also, in Ethiopia the researchers discovered animal bones that were 3.4 million years old and had marks on them, meaning that early human ancestors inflicted these marks using stone tools.
Harmand talked about her recent discovery at the annual meeting of the Paleoanthropology Society held in San Francisco. She said that the flakes of stone are clearly the results of a procedure known as “knapping” where someone chips smaller stone flakes out of a bigger rock. The resulting stone flakes are sharp enough to be used for cutting meat, plants and nuts.
According to Harmand, her team was digging for the remains of an ancient human ancestor called Kenyanthripos platyops, which led them to a different archaeological site known as Lomekwi 3. The site is located west of Lake Turkana.
The archaeologists initially found a couple of stone tools located on the surface. This made them dig deeper, which led them to the discovery of 20 well-preserved stone flakes, anvils and source stones.
The stone tools were then analyzed by experts who concluded that while some of the tools were crudely created, others are more sophisticated.
John Hawks, an anthropology expert from the University of Wisconsin, explained that the stone tools were invented and utilized by many lineages belonging to the early species of hominins. Each of them had their own style of crafting these tools, Hawks added.
Image Source: cosmosmagazine