Every tool ever designed has been believed to have been created by the genus Homo for decades, but now a recent discovery has pushed the development of tools back over a million years and even suggests that the lineage of apelike creatures to have built and used tools to cut through and eat the meat of big game may have also included Australopethicus Afarensis as well. The find has several evolutionary scientists interested.
The tools discovered are an estimated 3.4 million years old, predating the previously thought oldest tools thought to have existed only 2.5 million years ago in Ethiopia. And according to Zaray Alemseged of California’s Academy of Sciences, this changes everything about how we view australopethicus and perhaps even its predecessors. Unfortunately, the archaeologists making the find fear the discovery could be archeologically “invisible” to excavations due to its sporadic and sometimes random fashion.
The ‘evolution’ of our modern image of mankind and its predecessors using stone tools has undergone several changes since the notion of evolution first came about. In 2006 a major discovery by Berhane Asfaw saw one of the major shifts in evolution as a major gap between modern humans and its ancestors was filled with the discovery of teeth and bones. A small area, easily a days walk from end to end contained several “snapshots” of human evolution over the course of several million years. And in this space several discoveries have been made. With the constantly updating nature of evolutionary science, it seems only a matter of time before the concepts are updated yet again. And yet even with these new discoveries there is evidence that the evolutionary timeline may be still incomplete. We still have yet to discover two or three major “missing links” in the evolutionary chain. When will these missing links be added to the chain to give us a clear picture of how humans came to be? And will we be happy with what we find?
Life was certainly different to say the least some three million years ago. According to the study, humans often ate nuts and berries for the most part until a shift in evolution saw them depending more and more on the meat from deceased animals. At first humans were scavengers, primarily using large groups to scare off predators from their kills. But eventually with the loss of body hair humans no longer had to pant in order to cool down and were able to form voice boxes allowing them to use verbal communication. This was instrumental in creating the large group cohesion required in order to hunt down and kill animals on their own and ultimately enjoy the increased energy these additional calories provided. As a result, humans were able to venture further than they normally would into the grasslands to hunt more prey. From here evolution was still a slow process involving much hardship and natural selection from the elements. And yet humans through generation upon generation of struggle eventually came to where they are today.