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Palaeontology

Ancient tools discovery could rewrite history

By T.K. Randall
December 1, 2018 · Comment icon 9 comments

Was east Africa truly the cradle of humankind ? Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Peter Dowley
The discovery of stone tools in Algeria has cast doubt on the notion that east Africa was the 'cradle of humankind'.
Found during excavations at the Ain Boucherit site in north-eastern Algeria, the tools, which date back 2.4 million years, are 600,000 years older than anything previously found in the country.

Archaeologists now believe that either the first humans spread very rapidly from east Africa or they emerged simultaneously across several different regions of the African continent.

"The evidence from Algeria shows that the cradle of humankind was not restricted to only east Africa," said research leader Professor Mohamed Sahnouni.
"Rather the entire African continent was the cradle of humankind."

While there is still much work to be done in confirming these conclusions, if it is true that mankind did not emerge exclusively in east Africa then it means that the history books of our evolutionary history may very well have to be rewritten.



Source: Independent | Comments (9)




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Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by Carlos Allende 6 years ago
At last, the Chemical Brothers can add more specific lyrics to 'It Began in Africa'.
Comment icon #2 Posted by fred_mc 6 years ago
Interesting that northern Africa is getting a more prominent role in the history of humankind. It used to be believed that also our own species, homo sapiens, originated in eastern Africa, about 200.000 years ago, until pretty recently, about 300.000 year old skulls of homo sapiens were found in northern Africa.
Comment icon #3 Posted by qxcontinuum 6 years ago
There was a separate evolution that happened in Africa and euro asia.Since 2010, there has been growing evidence for admixture between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans . This admixture is reflected in the genomes of modern European and Asian populations, but not in the genomes of most sub-Saharan Africans. This suggests that interbreeding between Neanderthals and anatomically modern humans took place after the recent migration.
Comment icon #4 Posted by Jenn8779 6 years ago
Not sure I'm buying into that one.... @Piney.... your take on this one?
Comment icon #5 Posted by Razumov 6 years ago
http://science.sciencemag.org/content/early/2018/11/28/science.aau0008 East Africa has provided the earliest known evidence for Oldowan stone artifacts and hominin induced stone tool cutmarks dated to ~2.6 million years ago (Ma). The ~1.8 Ma stone artifacts from Ain Hanech (Algeria) were considered to represent the oldest archaeological materials in North Africa. Here we report older stone artifacts and cutmarked bones excavated from two nearby deposits at Ain Boucherit estimated to ~ 1.9 Ma, and the older to ~2.4 Ma. Hence, the Ain Boucherit evidence shows that ancestral hominins inhabited th... [More]
Comment icon #6 Posted by Piney 6 years ago
Yup, you have Neanderthal genes. I have Neanderthal, Denisovan, and quite possibly Asian Homo Erectus genes. 
Comment icon #7 Posted by Jon the frog 6 years ago
Yep, Lots of Homo species were probably the same species... talked to an anthropologist and he said that some classified homo species had lesser skull differences than between Asian, Caucasian and African skulls....so some were probably the same species taken in different period or just phenotype differences. 
Comment icon #8 Posted by Piney 6 years ago
They never determined which homonid gave us our layer of  yellow oily fat not found among Europeans. My opinion is that it came from Asian Homo-erectus , like our shovel incisors, which are also missing among Europeans.  @third_eye  is so old he use to eat fermented berries with Java Man so he would know. 
Comment icon #9 Posted by third_eye 6 years ago
Actually ... I have no idea, I tend to leave that sort of thing to the women folk and very few I know tends to kiss and tell ... ~


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