A new study was recently published by principal researchers from Canada and Tanzania working with partners in Africa, North America and Europe. The entire team is working together to describe a wide range of stone tools, fossil bones, and chemical agents obtained from dental and plant materials. Researchers in the study also examined tiny microscopic bits of silica left over from plants, ancient pollen, and airborne charcoal from natural fires recovered from an ancient river bed and lake outcrops in the Serengeti plains.
Scientists say The data collected provides the first evidence of human activity in the Olduvai Gorge, dating back about two million years. The researchers say their study is an important step in bridging the gap between fossils, the environmental context, and cultural elements left by extinct humans. The data used in the study were obtained through a survey of the undiscovered western part of the ancient basin in an area called Ewass Oldupa.
Stone tools have been uncovered at the site that belonged to a culture that archaeologists have identified as Oldowan. The discovery shows that ancient humans were using tools millions of years ago. The concentrations of both stone tools and animal fossils showed that humans and animals congregate around water sources. The study found that early humans carried rocks with them that they used as tools obtained from distant sources across the basin at a distance of 12 kilometers east.
These ancient humans also had the flexibility to survive in changing environments. Research has shown that humans have continued to come to Ewass Oldupa to use local resources for more than 200,000 years despite large and rapid changes in the landscape. Artifacts unearthed at the site date back to the early Pleistocene, about 2 million years ago. The researchers note that it is not clear which species made the tools, and human ancestor fossils were not discovered in the study. However, newer sediments from a site 350 meters away contained fossils of human beings.