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Oldest stone tools in the world have been unveiled in Nairobi

June 4, 2015 This seems to be the season of findings as a Kenyan man named Mr. Lokorodi, has led a team of experts to the discovery of the oldest stone tools in the world at a site called Lomekwi 3, on the northern shores of Lake Turkana. The announcement came on the 29th of May at the National Museums of Kenya in Nairobi. A team of researchers had lost their way while on a trip to investigate the area, which they believed could hold historical artifacts. Mr. Lokorodi gave them some directions  and in the process, found the tools.

The tools are 3.3 million years old, this means they are way older than the next oldest tools in the world. Those ones were found at Gona, Ethiopia, dating 2.6 million years old. Dr Sonia Harmand, leader of the West Turkana Archaeological Project in charge of the research, said the discovery had changed the archaeological record.

According to her “Our finding finally disproves the long-standing assumption that Homo habilis was the first tool-maker, because Homo habilis lived 700,000 years after the stone tools were made, the latest discovery points to another earlier ancestor who could make tools.

“The cores and flakes are clearly knapped and not the result of accidental fracture”, she went to say.

Knapping is intentionally removing unwanted pieces of rocks or flakes from a bigger rock in order to make a tool from it. Before this method, rocks would have been hit together in the hope that a usable tool would result.

A member of the research team, Dr Jason Lewis described tests that show the Lomekwi area was woodland when the tools were made, and not open savannah.

Dr Prat Sandrine, another team member thinks there were two possibilities regarding the identity of the makers that could be investigated, namely Kenyanthropus platyops, which interestingly was discovered only one kilometer from where the stone tools were found, and Australopithecus afarensis.

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