Blades of Destiny: The Ancient Tools And Weapons That Crafted History

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Attirampakkam stone tools  (Ophelia S/ CC BY-SA 4.0)

Blades of Destiny: The Ancient Tools And Weapons That Crafted History

It is widely accepted that Homo sapiens were the first species to develop effective tools, but humans were not the first primate to make or use stone tools. That achievement belongs to an unidentified species that hunted and fished along the shores of Lake Turkana in Kenya around 3.3 million years ago, some 700,000 years before the earliest members of the Homo genus emerged.

Replica crania of various Homo species showing the differences in cranial structures. (Chris Stringer/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Replica crania of various Homo species showing the differences in cranial structures. (Chris Stringer/CC BY-SA 4.0)

Developed by ancient hominins across Africa during the Lower Paleolithic period, between 2.6 million years ago up to at least 1.7 million years ago, the Oldowan was the first stone tool ever used. Examples of so-called Oldowan and Acheulean tools were discovered at a hunter’s camp in Gona in the Afar Region of Ethiopia dating from 1.5 and 1.26 million years ago and while it remains unknown which species created and used the first Oldowan tools most scientists agree that it was Australopithecus garhi, and that the technology was developed by H. habilis and H. ergaster, with early Homo erectus inheriting Oldowan technology around 1.7 million years ago.


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