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Homo Erectus Had an Axe to Grind

Homo Erectus Had an Axe to Grind

08/31/11

WEDNESDAY, Aug. 31 (HealthDay News) -- Hand axes, picks and other stone tools that are 1.8 million years old suggest that ancient humans were using advanced tool-making methods at least 300,000 years earlier than previously thought, a new study says.

The tools found in East Africa are believed to have been made by Homo erectus, tall and slender early humans who appeared about 2 million years ago and disappeared about 70,000 years ago.

The tools are called Acheulian tools and "represent a great technological leap," study co-author and geologist Dennis Kent said in a news release from the Earth Institute at Columbia University.

He and his colleagues analyzed the sediments at the site in West Turkana, Kenya, where the tools were previously excavated, and dated the site to 1.76 million years ago.

The oldest Acheulian tools previously identified were found in Konso, Ethiopia (1.4 million years old) and India (1.5 to 1 million years old).

The study appears in the Sept. 1 issue of the journal Nature.

More information

The World Museum of Man has more about prehistoric humans and their tools and weapons.

Copyright © 2011 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.

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