|Credit: Zhaoyu Zhu|
A recent article on the website ‘Live Science’ reported that researchers in China had excavated stone tools that were likely made by our human ancestors some 2.12 million years ago. This is the earliest evidence found so far of our human ancestors outside of Africa.
Archaeologists from China and the United Kingdom discovered dozens of quartz and quartzite stones at Shangchen, China, on what is known as the Loess Plateau. The site contains several layers of loess, which is fine, windblown sediment dating from 1.26 million to 2.12 million years ago.
Hominins, which may have originated in Africa up to 6 million years ago, include all the species that emerged after the Homo genus, split from that of chimpanzees. Until now, the earliest evidence of hominins outside of Africa came from a Humans and chimpanzees are very closely related and separated about 7.4 million years ago. There is only a 1% difference between the chimpanzee genome and our own suggesting that we have a common ancestor.linked to Homo erectus and dating to 1.85 million years ago found in the Republic of Georgia, in 2000.
Among the artefacts excavated was a stone, from which three flakes were removed, found in a layer that is 2.1 million years old. Paleoanthropologists are excited about the finds because you don't often find artefacts in their original context. Researchers noticed how thewas repeated to create lines in various directions.
Robin Dennell, a paleoanthropologist at the University of Exeter, pointing out that the Loess Plateau is a stone-free landscape, states:
"There are no natural processes that could have flaked these items, so you know that any flaked object could only have been flaked by an early human."
The presence of these but they could have been made by an even earlier ancestor.suggests that human ancestors left Arica roughly 10,000 generations earlier than previously thought. However, experts don’t know for sure what species of hominin made the tools. It is possible that these ancient stone tools were made by Homo erectus,
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