Discovering 2.4 million years old stonework and bones built on a site in Algeria suggests that our remote hominin relatives spread to the northern regions of Africa well sooner than archaeologists are presumed. The discovery adds credit to the new suggestion that ancient homininians were living – and evolving – outside Eden Garden of East Africa.
This extraordinary discovery can be traced back to 2006 when Mohamed Sahnouni, lead author of the new study and archaeologist at the Spanish National Research Center for Evolution Human, discovered some wonderful artefacts on a site called Ain Boucherit in eastern Algeria near El-Eulma city. These items were incorporated into a sedimentary layer highlighted by deep beans.
Two years later, Sahnouni found another layer on the site, one even older. From 2009 to 2016, her team worked in detail at Ain Boucherit, revealing a stone stone and covering animal remains.
Using multiple dating techniques, Sahnouni and colleagues date the two stratigraphic layers, known as AB-Up and AB-Lw, respectively, 1.9 million and 2.4 million years. The items within these two layers are known oldest artefacts in North Africa, the oldest oldest equipment being 1.8 million stones found in the late 1990's on a nearby site of Ain Hanech.
The equipment found within the AB-Lw layer, 2.4 million years old, is 600,000 years older than those found in Ain Hanech, and 200,000 years younger than # 39. ; The oldest equipment found in East Africa (and the world, about that matter) – Oldowan Gona equipment, Ethiopia, dates to 2.6 million years ago. Scientists believed that early diners evolved in this area of Africa, spreading to the north about a million years later. But this perception now suggests an earlier dispersal date to the continent.
To put these dates into perspective, our species, Homo sapiens, it came 300,000 years ago. So the unknown homininians who built these tools rushed around eastern Africa and northern Africa about 2.3 million years before modern people reached the scene. The new discoveries at Ain Boucherit, whose details have been published today in Science, suggest that North Africa was not a place where human beings lived and developed equipment – it was instead of where they were evolve.
Indeed, this new research feeds into a emerging narrative, where men have evolved across the continent of Africa in general, and not only in East Africa in after conventional thinking. More than that, it should trigger more archaeological interest in north Africa.
So far and the layers, Sahnouni used three different techniques: magnetostratigraphy, date Spin Electron Resonance (ESR), and biocronological analysis of the animal bones found with the equipment.
Eleanor Scerri, an Oxford University archaeologist who was not involved in the new study, said the researchers had done a great job with the date, saying it was "incredibly difficult" to correctly identify ancient dynasty sites .
"The authors have combined multiple dating methods to generate age estimation for early occupancy [AB-Lw layer] for around 2.4 million years ago, "Scerri told Gizmodo." They did this by reconstructing the series of geomagnetic reverses held in the first, well-dated and global area. The researchers then found the chronological space of … occupancy layers within this sequence through a combination of Electrospin (ESR) resonance mineral date in sediments and fossil identification [animals]. "
Scerri said that these methods constrain the dates well, but they contain some uncertainties and assumptions.
Jean-Jacques Hublin, a researcher from the Max Planck Foundation for Evolutionary Anthropology – who was not associated with the new study – was not proud of the dating techniques employed by Sahnouni and his colleagues.
"Amazing claims require incredible evidence and one can have some doubts about the proposed ages for Ain Boucherit and Ain Hanech sites," said Hublin at Gizmodo. "Palaeomagnetism is not a dating method. It helps to restrict dates obtained by other means and it is the subject of different interpretations."
Fair enough. In fact, these are incredible claims, so, as yet, independent effort these layers and artefacts would support the collections of the study.
"If it was confirmed, the perceptions suggest that homininians occupy North Africa nearly a million years earlier than what they thought of that," said Scerri. "These dates would also make Oldowan in North Africa just a bit lower than it is in East Africa."
By Oldowan, Scerri refers to the world's oldest stone instrument industry. This technology changed the sunlight according to the evolutionary history of hominin, placing the platform for even more sophisticated stone tools, such as the Acheulean culture that followed.
Incredibly, the stone tools found at Ain Boucherit were very similar to Oldowan East Africa equipment. Oldowan lithics include stone ponds with flashes drawn from the surface, leading to sharp edges. As well as these tools, the researchers found a flash-shaped ball shape and a lot of purpose, and its purpose is not completely clear.
"The archeology of Ain Boucherit, a technique similar to Gona Oldowan, shows that our ancestors are campaigning to all corners of Africa, not just East Africa," said Sahnouni in a statement. "The evidence of Algeria has changed [our] Earlier from East Africa [as] namely human creation. In fact, the whole of Africa was human cruelty. "
In order to explain the presence of Oldowan technology in North Africa, researchers set two scenarios: Either humanities developed by hominins in East Africa about 2.6 million years ago, which accelerate themselves and # 39 ; New technology to the north, or homemakers living in North Africa. Oldowan technology depicted African independently from other groups.
In terms of the animal bones found, the archeologists found mastodon traces, elephants, horses, rhinos, hippos, wild antelopes, pigs, hyenas and crocodile – oh me! Obviously, these ancient hominins were not fish-eaters. Very importantly, many of these animals are linked to open savanna environments and easy-to-reach permanent freshwater bodies. This is likely to describe the landscape that lived by these Oldowan hominins at the time.
Analysis of fossil bones revealed typical butchers' signs, such as V-shaped guides that are related to teaching and arguing, and impact stimulants suggesting the removal of a marrow. Ain Boucherit is now the oldest site in North Africa with the archaeological evidence of the use of meat in combination with the use of stone tools.
"The effective use of knife-cutting cutting tools at Ain Boucherit suggests that our ancestors were not just players," said Isabel Caceres, archaeologist at Rovira University to Virgili in Spain and co-author of the study, statement. "Not clear at the moment [is] if they were, or not, but the evidence clearly showed that they were successful in competing with carcinifiers for meat and enjoying first access to animal carcasses. "
Unfortunately, no hominin bones were found on site, so researchers can only make educational devices about the precise species that are responsible for the equipment. It could have been Homo habilis, an early human species around at the time, or even late Australopithecines, The genius of hominin associated with the famous Lucy fossil.
Scerri said that this paper highlights the importance of North Africa, and also the Sahara, for archaeologists who try to learn more about human roots. The paper, he says, also raises new questions about the earlier evolution of hominin, such as the origin and spread of Oldowan technology.
"The paper can not answer these questions, but they change the narrative by raising them, stating clearly that there may be alternatives to the leading model of the origin of East Africa," he said at Gizmodo.
"As authors say, fossils are 3.3 million years old Australopithecus bahrelghazali already found in the Sahara region in Chad. Therefore, the perceptions reported by Sahnouni and colleagues add to an increasing body of evidence that North Africa and the Sahara could produce the results of changing a game well. "
Men did not develop from Uncestral Individual Population
In the 1980's, scientists learned that every man who lives today falls from a woman, known as "Mitochondrial Eve", who lived in Africa between 150,000 and 200,000 years ago.
These findings are extremely consistent with Scerry's own research. In a Trends paper in Ecology and Evolution, published last July, Scerri and his colleagues claimed Homo sapiens There was a pan-African origin, and our species did not evolve from an ancient population.
"In our model, human ancestors have already spread across Africa," she explained. "Different populations came into contact with each other at different times and in different places, with these dynamic patterns of mixing and separation eventually leading to the appearance of behavioral and biological features of contemporary human populations. Sahnouni and colleagues adhere to this look, although it is quite clear as they increase the earliest drawings of species discrimination about 1.8 million years. "
In progressing, Scerri hopes that scientists will make a more coherent effort to explore the "less important" alleged regions of Africa to get more accurate – and real – a picture of hominin evolution over time.
"Sahara exploration and other areas that are in the slighter pillars of the human origin map are likely to produce important forms, which do not really reduce the extremely important and valuable discoveries of eastern and southern Africa."[Science]