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Stone tools date early humans in North Africa to 2.4 million years ago

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posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 05:00 PM
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When did early humans first arrive in the Mediterranean area? New archaeological evidence published today online by the journal Science (as a First Release) indicates their presence in North Africa at least 2.4 million years ago.

This is about 600,000 years earlier than previously thought.

The results, from the Ain Boucherit site in north eastern Algeria, provide new information on a time window involving the earliest representative of the Homo genus.

These discoveries are the result of excavations and intensive investigations performed under the umbrella of the Ain Hanech project since 1992.

Stone tools date early humans in North Africa to 2.4 million years ago


This means that our ancestors were in north Africa at least 600,000 years earlier than we thought and were using tools. This makes Ain Lahnech the second oldest site. Gona in Ethiopia is the oldest know site, which dates back 2.6 million years.

It seems strange no human bones were found. Scientists are unsure what hominids were using these tools. It is thought they were a distant cousin of homo sapiens, but they really do not know.

This is a good example of how science works. It makes a good guess based on the facts at hand. Then looks to prove itself wrong. That's how it should work anyway, sometimes science is not allowed to prove itself wrong.




posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 05:06 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

They just look like rocks to me.



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: notsure1


edit on 30-11-2018 by LookingAtMars because: LOL



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 05:47 PM
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I saw lots of those tools in the Mars Rover pics.



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 05:56 PM
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originally posted by: notsure1
a reply to: LookingAtMars

They just look like rocks to me.
You've gotta know what attributes to look for. And we're talking more hominim than Homo.



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 06:16 PM
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a reply to: JohnnyCanuck

Since 2.4 MA predates our entire genus with the earliest known evidence of H. Habilis being 2.1 MA, it’s either an Australopithecine or an as yet unknown hominim. Not that you don’t already know that but most people don’t really know the timeline and just assume that tools equates with a member of the genus Homo and ignores new finds like Lee Nergers discovery of Australopithecus Sediba. Though South Africa is a long way from Algeria, A. Sediba has as many modern morphological characteristics as it does Archaic ones. It would definitely open up new avenues of research if the creators of the above lithics were able to be accurately attributed to the tools.



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 06:35 PM
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a reply to: LookingAtMars

They do look like rocks.

I've always suspected there was a lot of early civilization in the Sahara desert. If they could clear that sand what would they find?



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 06:42 PM
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originally posted by: notsure1
a reply to: LookingAtMars

They just look like rocks to me.


Pictures do not show much with stone tools and artifacts. each piece would need about five pictures and even then it is not like holding it in your hand and looking at the alterations. I had lots of pictures of my artifacts out there and people could not tell what they were till they felt and held them, spinning them around to look at the alterations. Someone who is used to seeing these, having held them in their hands, can usually see and identify them with three or few views. I sent , e-mailed, pictures to about six archeologists, two responded and said they were similar to what I had been thinking and almost exactly what the Native Americans said they were. Some Native Americans that are educated cannot see them though, but ones that grew up looking at this kind of work easily identified them just like the elders did.

I actually have quite a few flaked things in the ground here, but there is no way to know the age of them. They could be three hundred years old to five thousand years old, rock does not actually change sometimes. The diabase tools were covered with mineralization, those one archeology guy told me were about two thousand years old. I ground most of the corrosion off to get a better view of wht they had carved out of the rock. I suppose if there was a bear peeing on the rocks they might only be five hundred years old, there really is not a good way to judge age sometimes.
edit on 30-11-2018 by rickymouse because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 07:05 PM
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But 6000 years!
The bible says so....haha

The sound of settled science being proven wrong never gets old...
Humanish beings have been here for a long time..



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 09:56 PM
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originally posted by: rickymouse

originally posted by: notsure1
a reply to: LookingAtMars

They just look like rocks to me.

I actually have quite a few flaked things in the ground here, but there is no way to know the age of them.
Stylistic elements can tell you a lot...but you probably know that.



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 09:58 PM
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Those seem like really really huge reaches to me......

Those stones look more like weathered stones , or accidents more than tools.........we know that primates will bang rocks together sometimes causing flaking........that doesnt mean they were tools......
edit on 11/30/2018 by ManBehindTheMask because: (no reason given)



posted on Nov, 30 2018 @ 11:30 PM
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originally posted by: JohnnyCanuck

originally posted by: rickymouse

originally posted by: notsure1
a reply to: LookingAtMars

They just look like rocks to me.

I actually have quite a few flaked things in the ground here, but there is no way to know the age of them.
Stylistic elements can tell you a lot...but you probably know that.


The Native American elder I knowe said that these did not appear to be of the tribes that are here now, so they may be algonquin. The thing is that every area and community had different styles and because this was probably a ceremonial site, there could be artifacts here that the Indians brought from far away. I have inherited someone's rock collection, kind of weird, a foot under the ground there are rocks in rows. Not that uncommon but the topsoil on top of them means they are pretty old. Also I do not know if the rocks were originally on top or were buried so the face just showed. The depth varies, some places the top is eight inches down, some places it is fifteen inches down.

Oh well, it is kind of cool, maybe one of my kids or grandkids will investigate farther some day. There are some weird things here, Whomever was here knew how to work Iron, but maybe that was within the last three hundred years, I had done some filling in that area to level it and also scraped down other areas. The rectangular rock I found with burn like features in one spot had flint where the melted like area was. I broke that apart with an axe trying to find out what those little pieces of bendable metal were. I laughed in the basement when I figured it was flint when sparks were flying everywhere when I was hitting it. It broke. Flint is common in Lower Michigan but rare here. I also found a bunch of rocks in a pile buried and they were mostly chert and quartzite, rub two rocks together with a little fuzz in them and the dull sparks easily start the stuff smoking. I tried some dried moss, and am not sure what the old people did to start a fire with them.

Just interesting, nothing here has much value unless certified and I am not about to spend two or three grand to get the site and artifacts certified. The Indians told me it is alright to dig them up but they should stay on the land where they were offered. It is bad luck to sell them. I'm not going to start wasting a couple of grand and on top of that the government will probably say that I cannot dig here or disturb the land anymore because it is a ceremonial site.



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 03:59 AM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask



Those stones look more like weathered stones , or accidents more than tools........


You're describing 'geofacts' over artefacts. Rocks get tumbled in a stream bed, for example, and some can resemble stone hand tools due to chipping. A lot of research has been carried out over the decades to tell the two apart and controversies bubble up at times. Disputes arise when it comes to pushing population dates back in the Americas. Incidentally, archeo students are often trained to create edge tools using the same process and there are some archeos who became well-skilled at it. It helps them to recognise cores/flakes and appreciate the time and calories used to do it.

In this case, they have numerous rocks with signs of artificial wear on them and numerous animal bones with cut marks on them. All of which have been found over 10 metres beneath other layers of stone tools and bones from thousands of years later. The cut marks are usually like you'd imagine seeing from an edge being drawn back and forth on a bone (image in OP link).



The one on the left is called a 'core' and those concave curves are from where the flakes were taken. Over on the right is a cutting edge taken from a core; they'd repeatedly strike it to get the right shape and size of flake. There are locations across Africa, Europe and the Americas that were like factories for edge tools; they are littered with centuries of debris.

With this site being so old the tools won't have the levels of style and sophistication seen 100s of thousands of years later in other locations.

If I can be a little bit figurative? These artefacts can be compared to an old engine spluttering to a start on a cold morning. Groups of these early hominids would have a *spark* of creativity and make a step of progress in technology. The *spark* would fire across diverse and isolated groups across Africa, Asia and Europe over millennia. Almost all of them died out and took their sparks of creativity and innovations with them. Cough and splutter through over two million years when early modern humans somehow avoided stalling and began revving the engine.



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 04:53 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I'm still skeptical. When I see these rocks in museums, I think "could" have been man made. Or they could have been formed in a landslide, or by freezing or however rocks can be flaked. I've hiked through terrain where I could find hundreds of rocks like that in a few hours. Doesn't mean it was a factory.

Some arrowheads, spearheads are clearly man made. Those stones pictured, well, go to where they are building a road. Half the stones there look like that.



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 05:04 AM
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a reply to: ManBehindTheMask

I suppose the tool marks found on the animal bones found at the same site were “accidents” too huh?



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 05:24 AM
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a reply to: toms54

Hey man, it's up to you what you believe and who you trust.



Some arrowheads, spearheads are clearly man made.


OK that's a start. They were made using percussion against a core which would produce the flakes and they'd 'knapp' away until it suited their purpose.

An arrowhead or spearhead would be hafted to a shaped piece of wood. Would you agree? If yes, you might also agree that the shafts would require the work of a sharp edge tool. They'd want a straight, smooth shaft without bark or old branch joints on it and they might have processed cordage from animal skin to fix the points.

Tool-wise this would be something like a scraper.

Arrowheads showed signs of design evolution so, if you look, earlier examples from Africa are less sophisticated than those found in the Americas a few hundred thousand years later. If you can agree to that you might also consider something that came earlier than wooden shafts and stone points - the sharp-edged rock. So before they were able to fashion sharp scrapers and arrowheads, they had to learn how to put an edge on a suitable stone.

You might find this idea interesting...the edge-tool rocks they used would have been inspired by the 'geofacts' you and ManintheMask think are in the OP. Individuals will have noticed how a natural rock edge made a task easier and it followed that replicating it would also inspire improvements. If you think about it, the people making sharp arrows would have already used edge technology for other needs.



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 05:42 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I'm not saying they never tried to improve their stone tools. More like not every sharp rock is man made.



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 05:49 AM
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a reply to: toms54

Nobody's saying every sharp rock is man made. The archeos have dug down through some 20 metres of dirt and rocks before finding those in the OP. This should suggest to you that they aren't picking out average rocks and labelling them as artificial.



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 06:09 AM
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a reply to: Kandinsky

I'm sorry, that makes no sense. They dug a 60 foot hole so that proves what? I think after they spend a boatload of time and money, they must somehow justify it. I think the archeology game is driven by publish or perish same as all science.

I've been skeptical of many finds in recent years. Maybe they will prove out. Maybe not.



posted on Dec, 1 2018 @ 06:13 AM
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a reply to: toms54

You missed the tool marks on animal bones huh?

It’s a pretty big clue that these stones aren’t just random rocks.



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