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Earliest flaked-stone tools found in Ethiopia

6/11/2019

A'ndrea Elyse Messer
June 03, 2019

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — The origin of flaked-stone tool production is older than 2.58 million years ago, according to an international team of scientists working at the Bokol Dora 1 archaeological site in the Afar region of Ethiopia. Previously the oldest evidence of flaked-stone tools was younger than 2.58 million years ago.

"At first we found several artifacts lying on the surface, but we didn't know what sediments they were coming from," said Christopher Campisano, associate professor, School of Human Evolution and Social Change, Arizona State University. "But when I peered over the edge of a small cliff, I saw rocks sticking out from the mudstone face. I scaled up from the bottom using my rock hammer and found two nice stone tools starting to weather out."

Bokol Dora 1 is near Lee Adoyta, where in 2013 archaeologists found the fossil jaw bone of a human ancestor dating to about 2.78 million years ago.  more 

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