3.3m Year Old Stone Tools Found In Kenya

stone tools

An ancient stone tool that shows evidence of it being sharpened to increase performance

Archaeologists have unearthed evidence of human stone tools dating back 3.3m years to a time that predates previous findings by 700,000 years.

The Location

The team have found more than 100 stone implements that will inform our thinking about the origins of Homo sapiens. The team’s discovery consisted of stone hammers and anvils all found in the Rift Valley in Kenya and rewrites the thinking that has existed to date.

Prior to this find, we believed that there was a direct link with tools of this kind to the emergence of Homo Sapiens due to the mix of both mental and physical agility required to use such items. Scientists believe that new tools found, pre-date other findings by 500,000 years and indicate a different type of hominin may have lineage to today’s human race.

Possible New Ancestors

Scientists aren’t able to answer this question yet but early thoughts are the tools could be linked to a flat faced ape named Kenyanthropus, but could well relate to an undiscovered type of hominin.

Commentators which included Professor Bernard Wood of George Washington University, are confident that these tools were all created intentionally. The reason these stone tool findings are so significant is because they give a massive indication towards the time when we started to have group cooperation and understanding during our evolution.


We see the use of stone tools by chimpanzees today for the opening of hard shells etc, and we also see this behaviour learned by their offspring, but we don’t see the intentional sharpening of stones by these animals because it required much higher levels of mental and physical control.

The scientist made the discovery when on their way to another site near Lake Turkana in Kenya, when they took a wrong turning and stumbled across this spot in 2011. Research of the area, suggests that it was forested 3.3m years ago and that the tools would have helped in sourcing nuts and ants from the vegetation.