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"It's like if you come across a crime scene and you find a murder and there are 300 people in the building. Leakey and his wife later found bones there from a species they named Homo habilis or the "handy man." That convinced most anthropologists that our lineage alone took the cognitive leap to create tools - a theory that was directly linked to climate change and the spread of the savannah grasslands.

But in 2010, Shannon Mc Pherron and his team announced they had found evidence - dents in small animal bones from Dikika, Ethiopia - that stone tools were used by hunters at least 3.39 million years ago.

Scientists working in a remote region of Kenya have found stone tools dating back 3.3 million years, making them the oldest ever used by our human ancestors.

The collection of razor-edged and round rocks the size of softballs and even bowling balls pushes the known date of such tools back by 700,000 years and would suggest that our ancestors were converting them into pounding or cutting tools long before our genus homo appeared.

They are much simpler than the more modern stone tools, which had a much broader range of uses.

The tools "shed light on an unexpected and previously unknown period of hominin behavior and can tell us a lot about cognitive development in our ancestors that we can't understand from fossils alone," said lead author Sonia Harmand, of the Turkana Basin Institute at Stony Brook University and the Université Paris Ouest Nanterre.

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Most important is that stone tools provide evidence about the technologies, dexterity, particular kinds of mental skills, and innovations that were within the grasp of early human toolmakers.Don't worry about it.) Both cores and flakes were used all through the stone age, but there was increasing emphasis on flake tools as time passed and techniques for controlled flaking improved.Earliest stone tools, and those in which the stone knapper had least control over how the stone would break, were made by percussion flaking, that is, whacking a stone with something, usually another stone, appropriately called a "hammer stone." Whacking with something slightly softer than stone —such as antler— allowed somewhat greater control in some cases.A stone tool is, in the most general sense, any tool made either partially or entirely out of stone.Although stone tool-dependent societies and cultures still exist today, most stone tools are associated with prehistoric, particularly Stone Age cultures that have become extinct.