By Natural Philosopher Mike Prestwood
Timeline Story

Hand Axes 1.7 Million Years Ago

Hand Axes 1.7 Million Years Ago

Post Date: 01/01/1960

“By 1.76 million years ago, early humans began to create hand axes.”

This seemingly simple statement about hand axes is mind-opening and philosophically significant for a few reasons. It highlights the ingenuity of early humans. Crafting tools from stone requires planning, foresight, and understanding of cause and effect. It also represents a critical leap in technological development. These tools allowed early humans to interact with their environment in entirely new ways, signifying a turning point in their evolution. Finally, it prompts us to consider the vast timeframe involved. Hand axes are a tangible reminder of our distant past and the remarkable cognitive development that laid the groundwork for our current existence.

Analysis: Around 1960, paleoanthropology started uncovering early human cognitive abilities due to Leakeys’ discovery and promotion of Homo habilis. Homo habilis was associated with the Oldowan tools found in Olduvai Gorge, demonstrating early human tool use and cognitive abilities starting around 2.6 million years ago. This discovery was foundational in reshaping our understanding of early human intelligence and technological skill.

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