Scientists have found stone tools in India dating back 385,000 years ago, challenging the belief that humans got there later than that.
A huge find in India may have tremendous implications as far as our understanding of mankind’s migration out of Africa, and it certainly challenges prevailing theories in the scientific community. Scientists found stone tools that were dated to about 385,000 years ago in the Tamil Nadu region of India.
That is a big deal because current scientific consensus holds that modern humans brought these tools to India less than 140,000 years ago. The tools were found at Attirampakkam, a site near a stream of the Kortallaiyar River where scientists were able to find lots of stone tools from various settlements, perhaps stretching back to colonies of apes that lived there 1.7 million years ago.
If confirmed, it would mean either that humans in India developed stone tools on their own without the help of a more advanced group of hominins migrating out of Africa, or that those early humans migrated out of Africa far earlier than we realized.
“Luminescence dating at the stratified prehistoric site of Attirampakkam, India, has shown that processes signifying the end of the Acheulian culture and the emergence of a Middle Palaeolithic culture occurred at 385 ± 64 thousand years ago (ka), much earlier than conventionally presumed for South Asia,” reads the abstract from the paper, published in the journal Nature.
“The Middle Palaeolithic continued at Attirampakkam until 172 ± 41 ka. Chronologies of Middle Palaeolithic technologies in regions distant from Africa and Europe are crucial for testing theories about the origins and early evolution of these cultures, and for understanding their association with modern humans or archaic hominins, their links with preceding Acheulian cultures and the spread of Levallois lithic technologies.”