Ancient Stone Artifacts Could Tell the Story of When Early Humans Spread Out of Africa

Ancient Origins | 12/29/2017 | Staff
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A team of archaeologists has announced the discovery of over a thousand stone artifacts, with some of them being up to 1.76 million years old. The discovery took place at Wadi Dabsa, in southwest Saudi Arabia near the Red Sea.

According to the researchers, the stone artifacts were found in a dry terrain, even though experts suggest that the climate there used to be way wetter thousands of years ago. Archaeologists now hope that the new discovery will provide previously unknown information as to how and when different hominins left Africa.

Stone - Remains - Hand - Axes - Cleavers

The stone artifacts contain the remains of hand axes, cleavers (a type of knife), scrapers that were used to scrape the flesh off of animal hides, projectile points that would have been attached to the ends of spears, piercers (stone tools that can cut small holes through hide or flesh) and hammer stones as Live Science reports .

As archaeologists quickly noticed, one of the hand axes is particularly heavy, weighing over 3.5 kilograms (almost 8 lbs). Judging from the tool’s design, archaeologists concluded that several of the artifacts are "Acheulian." The term Acheulian (also known Acheulean and Mode II), describes an archaeological industry of stone tool manufacture characterized by oval and pear-shaped "hand-axes" tightly linked with early humans. Acheulian tools were created during the Lower Palaeolithic era across Africa and much of West Asia, South Asia, and Europe, and are usually found with Homo erectus remains. It is thought that Acheulian technologies first developed in Africa out of the more primitive Oldowan technology as long as 1.76 million years ago, by Homo habilis. Acheulian tools were the dominant technology for the vast majority of human history.

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