Washington: The remains of the world`s oldest known stone-tipped throwing spears are so ancient that they actually predate the earliest known fossils for our species by 85,000 years, it has been revealed.
There are a few possible implications, and both are mind-blowing. The first is that our species could be much older than previously thought, which would forever change the existing human family tree.
The second, and more likely at this point, is that a predecessor species to ours was extremely crafty and clever, making sophisticated tools long before Homo sapiens emerged.
Homo heidelbergensis, aka Heidelberg Man, lived in Africa, Europe and western Asia from at least 600,000 years ago.
He clearly got around, and many think this species was the direct ancestor of Homo sapiens in Africa and Neanderthals in Europe and Asia.
The new paper focuses on the newly identified stone-tipped spears, which date to 280,000 years ago.
They were found at an Ethiopian Stone Age site known as Gademotta.
He findings are published in the journal PLoS ONE.