Stone Tools in India Reveal Change in Human History (Study)

Neolithic stone tools from Budapest

It’s probably no longer a mystery that all the people living today (and the people who once lived) are the product of millions of years of evolutionary history. Everyone shares the same ancestors. However, as a species, we only emerged between 400,000 and 300,000 years ago in east Africa. Now, it seems like the next bug question experts are trying to answer is when exactly did ancient humans leave the continent. Did they all left on one occasion? Or there were multiple dispersals? A recently-discovered jawbone fossil from Israel suggested that there might have been a migration about 180,000 years ago.

However, according to a new study which the journal Nature recently published, it seems that early humans probably left Africa a lot earlier. The research draws its conclusions from the discovery of some stone tools in Tamil Nadu, India. They reportedly date back to 385,000 years ago. This is around the same time experts believe archaic or even modern humans developed this technology in Africa. This means that the commonly-shared view that humans brought the technologies with them to India 140,000 years ago might not be entirely true.

A change in the evolutionary history of humans

After a team of Indian researchers excavated the Attirampakkam site in Tamil Nadu, they found layers upon layers of stone tools. Using a technique called infrared-stimulated luminescence, the experts managed to date the tools. They reportedly date between 385,000 and 172,000 years ago. This discovery means that the tools actually push back the date for the origins of Middle Paleolithic technology in India.

It’s interesting that these new discoveries could suggest that early humans actually developed these technologies in India, on their own. At the same time, it could mean that humans left the continent much earlier than previously thought. It’s possible that they left Africa immediately after they evolved.

Image source: wikimedia

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