Re: Earliest tools

J. Moore (
Thu, 5 Oct 95 16:26:00 -0500

Vi> JamShreeve ( sez:
Vi> `I think the oldest tools right now are around 2.5 million years. I
Vi> think
Vi> `they are from the Omo in Ethiopia or possibly Lake Turkana in Kenya,
Vi> but
Vi> `I'm not sure.

Vi> Are they associated with any hominid remains? Are they believed to be h.
Vi> habilis tools? ...I wonder how well the hominids would have managed in
Vi> consuming meat from large animal carcasses before that development...
Vi> <== faster % Pete Vincent

There are early stone tools at Hadar at about 2.5 mya and at Omo
at about 2.25 mya. Although it's common to assume that habilis
was the first to use stone tools, some of these pre-date habilis,
and australopithecines are found in association with stone tools.
Signs of butchery of large animals don't appear until around 2 mya.
While they may have gotten meat from large carcasses, we see no
sign of it. Also, even later stone tools, subjected to microwear
analysis, show use on plants. While this latter evidence is
subject to limitations (most of the stone tools tested didn't show
identificable microwear, and microwear analysis itself is not a
cut and dried definitive test of all use), this reminds us that we
shouldn't automatically equate tool use, even stone tool use, with

Those chimps at Tai should be a reminder of that too.

Jim Moore (

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