Archaeologists have uncovered sophisticated stone tools in India that date back around 385,000 years.
The discovery suggests that early humans moved out of Africa earlier than what scientists previously thought.
Discovery Of Stone Tools In India
A team of archaeologists unearthed the stone tools at a site in Attrambakkam, which is a village located near the city of Chennai in South India. The 7,200 stone tools are believed to be created through a sophisticated tool-making technique known as Levallois, which was developed during the Palaeolithic period.
They were created from pieces of quartz and were much easier to produce in large quantities. The tool-making technique has also been associated with Neanderthals and other species.
According to a new research published in the journal Nature, the recent finding is the earliest evidence of Levallois technology in India.
When Did Early Humans Migrate Out Of Africa?
These stone tools are believed to be created around 385,000 years to 172,000 years ago. This timeframe suggests that early modern humans or Homo sapiens migrated out of Africa thousands of years earlier than what scientists previously thought.
Archaeologists thought that Homo sapiens came into being in the African continent about 300,000 years ago and later migrated to other continents around the world about 90,000 to 120,000 years ago.
The largest group among them moved out in one big exodus about 50,000 to 60,000 years ago. However, a recent discovery of a jawbone in Palestine suggested that human migration out of Africa took place between 177,000 to 194,000 years ago.
With these recent discoveries, the date has been pushed back further and further again.
Who Created These Tools?
The ancient stone tools were found without human fossils so it is unclear whether they were developed in the same location or were brought along with a migrating population, according to archaeologists.
In the study, the archaeologists said that it was too soon to conclude whether Homo sapiens, Neanderthals, or other species were the ones who created these tools. One theory suggests that the tools arrived in the Indian subcontinent along with a migrating population of Homo sapiens when they began leaving Africa about 125,000 years ago.
Michael Petraglia of the Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History in Germany was among those who were skeptical about the theory and suggests that other hominins, not Homo sapiens, were the ones who created the tools.
"I simply don't buy it," said Petraglia who was not involved in this work.
He added that the tool-making style merely represented a shift from an older style of tool-making into a new one and that it had been developed independently of external influence.