Smithsonian Magazine has named the “Decade’s Biggest Discoveries in Human Evolution.” Fourth on the list is the discovery in 2011 of the world’s oldest stone tools, made by a team of archeologists led by Sonia Harmand and Jason Lewis of Stony Brook University:

“When you think of technology today, you might picture computers, smartphones, and gaming consoles. But for our ancestors millions of years ago, it would have been stone tools.

We long thought our ancestors began making these tools about 2.6 million years ago. But a discovery announced in 2015 pushed that date back. The research team found pieces of altered stone in Lomekwi, Kenya, that date to 3.3 million years ago. These stones are larger and simpler than those that were previously thought to be the oldest stone tools.

The new discovery suggests that the ability to flake stone tools arose at least 700,000 years before it became a regular habit in the lives of our ancestors.”

Read the full article here.