Stone tools discovered in Ethiopia seem to prove an ancient human species was running a workshop more than 1.2 million years ago, according to a recent study.
A planned human civilization existed in a region in what is now Ethiopia more than 1.2 million years ago, according to a study published Jan. 19 in Nature. Researchers discovered obsidian axes at the Melka Kunture archeological site in the upper Awash valley. Obsidian is a material previously thought to have been used almost exclusively in the later stages of the Stone Age, according to IFLScience.
Obsidian is a form of black volcanic glass that is incredibly delicate and dangerous to manipulate, according to the outlet. Within a layer of sediment roughly 1.2 million years old, the team unearthed a handaxe workshop, reportedly the first to be dated to the Early Pleistocene era.
“[Archaeological] sites described as ‘knapping workshops’ are only recorded in the second half of the Middle Pleistocene and only in Europe so far,” the researchers wrote, according to IFLScience. Most previous discoveries of such Stone Age workshops were previously made in France and Great Britain, and all were associated with flint blades, the outlet reported.
“Generally speaking, obsidian is extensively used only from the Middle Stone Age onwards,” the researchers continued, according to IFLScience.
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Some 578 stone tools were unearthed during the research, all but three of which were made from obsidian. “We show through statistical analysis that this was a focused activity, that very standardized handaxes were produced and that this was a stone-tool workshop,” the researchers continued.
It’s unclear what early species of human created the tools, but whoever it was reportedly added “secondary retouches” to the work. The consistency observed across all the tools can only be achieved through extensive skill development and significant dexterity, according to the outlet. Modern humans who work with obsidian wear protective gloves to avoid shredding their hands to ribbons while working with the material, IFLScience reported.
“The standardized obsidian handaxes provide ample evidence of the repetitive use of fully mastered skills,” the study authors confirmed, according to IFLScience. (RELATED: Netflix Documentary Could Rewrite All Of Human History)
The revelation is the latest in many that suggest establishment-held doctrines of early human history are way outdated. These discoveries are best articulated by writer-researchers such as Graham Hancock and Randall Carlson, who’ve both chronicled evidence of repeated global catastrophes that could knock any intelligent civilization back to the Stone Age in a matter of days or years.