Researchers have discovered the oldest stone age hand axe manufacturing base in North Africa, with a history dating back 1.3 million years.
An international team reported on Wednesday that archaeologists in Morocco announced the discovery of the oldest stone age hand axe manufacturing site in North Africa, which dates back 1.3 million years.
The team’s researchers told reporters in Rabat that the discovery delayed the start of the Asherite industry in North Africa, which is related to the key human ancestor Homo erectus, by hundreds of thousands of years.
It was made while excavating in a quarry on the outskirts of Casablanca, the country’s economic capital.
Abdurahim Mohib, co-director of the Casablanca Fa Moroccan Prehistory Project, said that this “significant discovery…helped to enrich the debate about the emergence of the Asherites in Africa”.
Prior to its discovery, the Acheulian stone tool industry in Morocco was thought to date back 700,000 years.
The new discovery at the Thomas Quarry I site was first known in 1969, when a human half-mandible was found in a cave, which means there are almost twice as many Acheulian there.
The 17-person team behind this discovery is composed of researchers from Morocco, France, and Italy. Their discovery is based on the study of stone tools extracted from the site.
Moroccan archaeologist Abdelouahed Ben Ncer called the news “a chronological rebound.”
He said that the start of Asherlian in Morocco is now close to the start dates of 1.6 million and 1.8 million years ago in South Africa and East Africa respectively.
Early humans used more primitive cobblestone tools, which were called Oldowan after their East African-type sites.
‘The richest Asheli combination’
Mohib said that the Casablanca site has been researched for decades and “provides one of the richest Asherite groups in Africa.”
“This is very important because we are talking about the prehistoric period, which is a complex period with little data.”
Mohib said that this study can also prove that “the oldest human existence in Morocco” is a “variant of Homo erectus.”
In 2017, five fossils found in Jebel Irhoud, Morocco, are estimated to be 300,000 years old, overturning evolutionary science, when they were designated as Homo sapiens.
These Moroccan fossils are much older than some fossils with similar facial features unearthed in Omo Kibish, Ethiopia, dating back about 195,000 years.