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'Carpet of tools' discovered in the Sahara

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Author Topic: 'Carpet of tools' discovered in the Sahara  (Read 191 times)
Misty Allen
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« on: June 07, 2015, 11:51:03 pm »

'Carpet of tools' discovered in the Sahara
Posted on Sunday, 15 March, 2015

The 'carpet' covers an area of several kilometers. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.5 Luca Galuzzi (
The desert's Messak Settafet escarpment contains up to 75 prehistoric tools per square meter.
Finding a discarded tool that was once used by one of our ancient ancestors is usually a rare and exciting event, but in an extensive outcrop of sandstone in the Sahara desert there are so many such artefacts that the area has been dubbed the "carpet of tools".

Thought to have built up over several hundred thousand years, the tools are so plentiful that there are millions of them within a single square kilometer. The region is thought to be the earliest known landscape to have been modified by hominim activity.

"The Messak sandstone, now in the middle of the vast sand seas of Libya, would have been a high quality rock for hominins to fracture," said Dr Robert Foley. "The landscape is in effect a carpet of stone tools, most probably made in the Middle and Upper Pleistocene."

It is believed that the earliest stone tools in the region date back over two million years.
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