SCIENTISTS have found the earliest evidence of humans outside of Africa after discovering ancient tools that are 2.2 MILLION years old.
The stone relics recovered from an excavation in China suggest that our evolutionary forerunners trekked out of Africa earlier than we thought.
PROF ZHAOYU ZHU Stone tools recovered from an excavation in China suggest that our evolutionary forerunners trekked out of Africa earlier than we thought
Until now, the oldest evidence of human-like creatures outside Africa came from 1.8 million-year-old artifacts and skulls found in Dmanisi, Georgia.
But the new find pushes that back by at least 250,000 years.
Archaeologist Michael Petraglia said: “It’s absolutely a new story.
“It means that early humans were getting out of Africa way earlier than we ever realised.”
That exit came long before our own species, Homo sapiens, even appeared.
sourced Locations around the world where early evidence of human presence has been found
The researchers believe the tools were made by another member of the Homo evolutionary group.
The items included several chipped rocks, fragments and hammer stones.
The 96 artifacts were dug up in an area known as the Loess Plateau, north of the Qinling mountains, which divide the north and south of China.
Some of them were as old as 2.1 million years, according to the study in Nature.
Professor Zhaoyu Zhu, who led the field work at the Guangzhou Institute of Geochemistry said: “We were very excited.
“One of my colleagues suddenly noticed a stone embedded in a steep outcrop. After a short while, more artifacts were found one after another.”
But some experts not involved in the research think that the findings need to be taken with caution.
Geoffrey Pope, an anthropologist from William Paterson University in New Jersey, said: “I am skeptical. I suspect this discovery will change very little.”