1.2 Million-Year-Old Stone Tool Found in Turkey

Posted on December 29, 2014

Scientists have discovered an ancient flake that is the oldest recorded stone tool ever to be found in Turkey. The 1.2 million-year-old tool (pictured above) indicates that humans passed through a gateway from Asia to Europe much earlier than previously thought.

The quartzite flake tool was discovered by researchers from Royal Holloway University of London, Turkey and the Netherlands. It is about 5.6 centimeters by 4.4 centimeters (2.2 inches by 1.7 inches) according to a story in Hareetz. The flake was dated using high-precision radioisotopic dating.

Professor Danielle Schreve, from the Department of Geography at Royal Holloway, says in a statement, "The flake was an incredibly exciting find. I had been studying the sediments in the meander bend and my eye was drawn to a pinkish stone on the surface. When I turned it over for a better look, the features of a humanly-struck artefact were immediately apparent."

Schreve also says the flake is the "earliest securely-dated artefact from Turkey ever recorded." He says it was dropped on the floodplain by an early hominin over 1 million years ago.

A research paper on the ancient hominin tool can be found here in Quarternary Science Reviews.

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