The artifacts show that our early ancestors colonized East Asia more than two million years ago.
Ancient tools and bones that were discovered in China, suggest that early humans left Africa and arrived in Asia earlier than previously thought.
Artifacts have been found by a team of scientists, led by Professor Joy Zhu from the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and which included Professor Robin Dennell from the University of Exeter.
The artifacts show that our early ancestors colonized East Asia more than two million years ago. The tools were discovered in the area called Shangcheng in the southern Chinese loess plateau. The oldest is about 2.12 million years or 270,000 years older than bones and stone tools from Dmanisi, Georgia, which was previously the earliest evidence of mankind outside Africa.
The artifacts include not only simple axes and scrapers, but also relatively complex tools – arrowheads, hammers, chisels and other items. All the stones show signs of use. Most tools were made of quartzite and quartz, which probably came from the foothills of the Qinling mountains. Also found fragments of animal bones by the age of 2.12 million years.
A large part of the tools were made about 1.5 million years ago, after the supposed Exodus of humanity. At the same time, six scrapers and chopping, according to Dennell and his colleagues were much older – their age exceeded 2.12 million years.
“Our discovery suggests that now we have to revise the time when the first representatives of our species left Africa and began to settle on the Ground,” said Robin Dennell from the University of Exeter.
80 stone artefacts were discovered primarily in 11 different layers of fossil soils. The layers containing these stone tools have been dated to the binding of the magnetic properties of the layers with a known and dated by changes in the magnetic field of the Earth.