Stone tools put early hominids in China 2.1 million years ago | Science News

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Stone tools put early hominids in China 2.1 million years ago

The discovery suggests hominids left Africa 250,000 years earlier than thought

By
1:33pm, July 11, 2018
stone tool at Shangchen

EARLY ARRIVAL  Researchers excavate a stone tool from 2.1 million-year-old sediment at Shangchen, China. Newly reported discoveries at Shangchen indicate that it’s the oldest known hominid site outside Africa.

Members of the human genus, Homo, left Africa far earlier than thought, reaching what’s now central China by around 2.12 million years ago, a new study finds.

Some stone tools unearthed at China’s Shangchen site date to roughly 250,000 years before what was previously the oldest Eurasian evidence of Homo, say geologist Zhaoyu Zhu of the Chinese Academy of Sciences in Guangzhou and his colleagues. Toolmakers visited the Chinese spot on and off until as late as 1.26 million years ago, the scientists report online July 12 in Nature. No hominid fossils have been found at Shangchen.

Until now, the Dmanisi site, in the western Asia nation of Georgia, had yielded the oldest hominid remains outside Africa. Homo erectus fossils unearthed at Dmanisi date to between 1.85

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