Ancient tools found in China ‘could rewrite history of human race’

Rob Waugh
Scientists believe stone tools like this could have belonged to our evolutionary forerunners that lived 2.1 million years ago. (Zhaoyu Zhu via AP)

Chipped flakes of stone formed into primitive blades from more than two million years ago have been unearthed in China – and could rewrite the early story of our species.

The ancient stone tools were found alongside animal bones, and suggest that our ancestors journeyed into Asia hundreds of thousands of years earlier than thought.

Dr Zhaoyu Zhu at the Chinese Academy of Sciences found nearly 100 stone tools in the country of Shangchen, thought to have been made by primitive ‘hominins’ living between 1.3 and 2.1 million years ago.

Some of the tools have serrated edges, suggesting that they were smashed against other rocks multiple times.

This Friday, Jun. 11, 2010 photo provided by Zhaoyu Zhu shows the landscape near an archaeological site in the Loess Plateau in China, where researchers found 2.1-million-year-old stone tools. This find released on Wednesday, July 11, 2018 pushes back the date human relatives trekked out of Africa. (Zhaoyu Zhu via AP)

Others show evidence of having been sharpened by their owners.

Professor Robin Dennell of Exeter University said, ‘Our discovery means it is necessary now to reconsider the timing of when early humans left Africa.


The objects were found in layers of earth spanning nearly one million years, suggesting that early humans lived for a long time in the area.