It wasn’t made by “our ancestors.” What?
Archaeologists have revealed what could be the oldest stone tools ever found, and they think someone other than our closest Homo ancestors may have made them.
Unearthed in 2016 at Nyayanga, Kenya, on the banks of Lake Victoria, the ancient implements fit with the design of the Oldowan toolkit, the name given to the earliest kinds of stone tools made by human-like hands.
According to dating estimates, the newly discovered tools were made between 2.6 and 3 million years ago, before being buried for eons in silt and sand. In total, 330 artifacts were found among 1,776 fossilized animal bones that showed signs of butchery.
Before this, the oldest known Oldowan tools dated to 2.6 million years ago.
While the age of the newfound tools may be further refined, their creation coincides with a time when ancestors of Homo sapiens roamed alongside other early humans, signaling a huge technological milestone for their creators – whomever they might have been. – Clare Watson, February 10, 2023, ScienceAlert
One suspect is Paranthropus:
Along with the bones and tools, the team, led by anthropologist Thomas Plummer at City University of New York, found two teeth – an upper and lower left molar, one fractured in half, the other nearly complete – which the researchers identified as Paranthropus, a distant cousin of humans. – Clare Watson, February 10, 2023, ScienceAlert
Note: “distant cousin” Paranthropus. The idea seems to be that sophisticated human tool use is nothing special. It’s like saying that if your great uncle won the Nobel Prize, that has nothing to do with your family. He isn’t a “selfish gene” direct ancestor…
Of course, the true makers of these tools will never be known, with any claims on their creators’ identity likely to come under much scrutiny by other scientists or with new finds.
“The assumption among researchers has long been that only the genus Homo, to which humans belong, was capable of making stone tools,” says Potts. “But finding Paranthropus alongside these stone tools opens up a fascinating whodunnit.” – Clare Watson, February 10, 2023, ScienceAlert
Some of us suspect that it is long past time someone shone a light on how these classifications of early humans are really created. How much is evidence and how much is underlying assumption?
You may also wish to read: At Smithsonian Magazine: Who made the first stone tool kits? The basic difference between any type of human and other animal life forms seems to have been evident three million years ago.
2 Replies to “What science media make of the 3 million year old tool assembly, recently found”
Shouldn’t it be “signs of butchering,” not “butchery?”
Please see https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/butchery for a formal definition.
However, for some unexplained reason, humans historically excel at homicide and genocide. What other animal purposely kills its own kind in such great numbers and with astonishing efficiency and satisfaction?