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SCIENCE FILE | Science in Brief

Researchers Amazed to Find Tools More Than 2 Million Years Old

May 06, 1999

A 2.3-million-year-old "tool factory" discovered in Kenya is proof that our pre-human ancestors had more sophisticated technical skills than previously thought, French researchers report in today's Nature. Archeologist Helene Roche and colleagues unearthed more than 2,000 pieces of early tools and refitted them to the stones they were made from.

The motor skills and expertise it would have taken to make the instruments were thought to have been beyond the capabilities of the hominids who lived then. The crude stone tools would have been capable of cutting vegetation and carving up animals for food.

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Compiled by Times medical writer Thomas H. Maugh II

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