Matsue (Japan): A team of Japanese
archaeologists claim to have unearthed the oldest stone tools
in Japan -- 20 artefacts dating back some 120,000 years -- in
Izumo, Shimane Prefecture.
The discovery has suggested humans existed here long
before 40,000 years ago as currently thought by researchers.
The excavation team, led by Doshisha University professor
Kazuto Matsufuji, found the stone tools measuring between 1.5
cm and 5.2 cm about 2 meters below ground. They were found in
a soil layer sandwiched between layers from around 127,000
years ago and 110,000 years ago.
One of the stone implements from the Sunabara remains has
a sharp edge that Matsufuji said is an artefact that could
have been used in a thrusting object.
The findings may pave the way for a review of the history
of ancient mankind in Japan and give an impetus to research on
the Paleolithic Period.
The basic assumption among researchers has been that the
first human ancestors landed in Japan about 40,000 years ago.
In August, Toshiro Naruse, a professor emeritus at Hyogo
University of Teacher Education, discovered the first of the
20 stone tools in a slope and Matsufuji and other researchers
joined Naruse the following month and uncovered the other
objects around the area. (Kyodo)