Friday, September 04, 2009

Ancient axes found in Europe

Nature News has an article on an interesting discovery: Europe's oldest axes discovered

Hand axes from southern Spain have been dated to nearly a million years old, suggesting that advanced Stone Age tools were present in Europe far earlier than was previously believed.

Acheulian axes, which date to at least 1.5 million years ago, have been found in Africa, and similar tools at least 700,000 years old have been found in Israel and China. But in Europe, sophisticated tool-making was thought to stretch back only around 500,000 years.

As the article goes on to explain, the axes found in two sites in Europe have been dated to be between at least 760,000 and 900,000 years old. Quite a bit older than previous dated axes in Europe.

This is obviously very interesting news, since it demonstrates that the history of hominid migration is a lot more complicated than was assumed just a few years ago.

The Nature News article is based upon on a Nature article which is unfortunately behind a paywall here

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