Chi­nese find sug­gests hu­man rel­a­tives left Africa ear­lier

Daily Times (Primos, PA) - - NATION+WORLD -

NEW YORK » 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 the Ge­or­gian town of Dman­isi. But the new find pushes that back by at least 250,000 years.

“It’s ab­so­lutely a new story,” said ar­chae­ol­o­gist Michael Pe­traglia of the Max Planck In­sti­tute for the Science of Hu­man His­tory in Jena, Ger­many, who did not par­tic­i­pate in the study. “It means that early hu­mans were get­ting out of Africa way ear­lier than we ever re­al­ized.”

That exit came long be­fore our own species, Homo sapi­ens, even ap­peared. The re­searchers be­lieve the tools were made by an­other mem­ber of the Homo evo­lu­tion­ary group.

The items in­cluded chipped rocks, frag­ments and ham­mer stones.

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