Humans ‘arrived in Britain 250,000 years earlier than thought’

July 8th, 2010 - 12:09 pm ICT by ANI  

London, July 8 (ANI): Archaeologists have uncovered stone tools that indicate that first humans arrived in Britain much earlier than previously thought.

A discovery of 78 pieces of razor-sharp primitive cutting and piercing tools, from a beach in Norfolk, shows that humans occupied Britain 250,000 years earlier than thought.

“These tools from Happisburgh are absolutely mint-fresh. They are exceptionally sharp, which suggests they have not moved far from where they were dropped,” The Guardian quoted Chris Stringer, head of human origins at the Natural History Museum in London, as saying.

More sophisticated stone, antler and bone tools were found in the 1990s in Boxgrove, Sussex, which are believed to be half a million years old.

“The flint tools from Happisburgh are relatively crude compared with those from Boxgrove, but they are still effective,” said Stringer.

The discovery disproves the fact that early humans were reluctant to live in the less hospitable climate of northern Europe, which frequently fell into the grip of severe ice ages.

“Britain was getting cooler and going into an ice age, but these early humans were hanging in there. They may have been the remnants of an ancient population that either died out or migrated back across the land bridge to a warmer climate,” said Stringer.

The discovery is reported in the journal Nature. (ANI)

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