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Someone made advanced stone tools in India 172,000 years ago

Excavated trenches at the site ofAttirampakkam, Tamil Nadu, India

Excavated trenches at the site ofAttirampakkam, Tamil Nadu, India

Sharma Centre for Heritage Education, India

A mysterious cache of stone tools may end up revising our species’ prehistory. It seems people in Africa, Europe and Asia all invented the same kind of tools around 280,000 years ago. The find implies that, even this long ago, ideas could spread over thousands of miles.

Shanti Pappu of the Sharma Centre for Heritage Education in Chennai, India and her colleagues have spent years excavating a site called Attirampakkam in south India. They have discovered 7,261 stone tools buried in layers of sediment.

Some are relatively primitive “Lower Palaeolithic” tools, which were used by various hominins that preceded our species until about 200,000 years ago.

But some are more advanced Middle Palaeolithic tools, which are smaller and more finely crafted. Such tools have previously been attributed to our own species and

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