According to the experts, the tools date back more than 3 million years ago and are believed to have been crafted by the earliest human ancestors.
The artifacts are considered the oldest of their kind ever discovered and were made long before the modern humans started to emerge.
The researchers say the recent findings prove that the stone tools were created by a group of proto-humans who had the intelligence needed for crafting the sharp-edged instruments.
The oldest stone tools were discovered in northwestern Kenya.
Sonia Harmand, an archaeologist at the Turkana Basin Institute at Stony Brook University in New York and one of the researchers involved in the discovery, explained that the stone tools help the experts better understand the behavior of the earliest hominins.
Harmand added that the 3.3-million-year-old artifacts shed light on the way cognitive function developed in some of the earliest human ancestors, information that cannot be deduced from fossils alone.
According to the experts in human evolution, hominins belong to a group of ancient species that includes the modern humans known as Homo sapiens, which are the closest evolutionary ancestors of our species.
For a long time many anthropologists believed that our relatives from the genus Home, which is the line that leads directly to Homo sapiens, were the first who had the mental capacity of crafting such stone tools.
But recent discoveries have revealed important and unexpected clues that some other species of hominins, which could be considered our very distant cousins, might have created the tools.
Experts believe that the area where the oldest stone tools were found was back then an environment covered partially in woods and shrubs.
Some theorize that the ancient hominins might have used the primitive tools to break open nuts, crack dead logs in order to catch the insects inside and eat them, or they may have used them for some other unknown purposes.
According to the archaeologists who discovered them, the tools include several hammers, flints, anvils and sharp flakes of stones.
They were all unearthed at an excavation site called Lomekwi 3, west of Lake Turkana.
The objects reveal a change in mental capacity and manual dexterity in our earliest ancestors, said Erella Hovers from the Hebrew University in Israel. Hovers calls it “the beginning of technology”.
The findings were detailed in a study published in the journal Nature.
Image Source: bbc