Dating stone tools

Posted by / 05-Dec-2017 19:31

Shown here, scientists Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis examining stone tools found in Kenya.Credit: MPK-WTAP Lucky find Sammy Lokorodi, a resident of Kenya's northwestern desert who works as a fossil and artifact hunter, led the way to a trove of 3.3 million-year-old tools.

[Read the full story on the oldest stone tool discovery] Old tools The researchers used a couple of techniques to date the sediments where the tools were found.Here, examples of hand axes found in Kenya, indicating early humans were using these stone tools some 1.8 million years ago.Credit: Pierre-Jean Texier, National Center of Scientific Research, France.They also may challenge the notion that our own most direct ancestors were the first to bang two rocks together to create a new technology.The discovery is the first evidence that an even earlier group of proto-humans may have had the thinking abilities needed to figure out how to make sharp-edged tools.

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Lepre said a layer of volcanic ash below the tool site set a “floor” on the site’s age: It matched ash elsewhere that had been dated to about 3.3 million years ago, based on the ratio of argon isotopes in the material.