A hand axe found in Perak, peninsular Malaysia has been dated to 1.83 million years, making it the oldest stone tool discovered in the part of the world. More significantly, this find also raises some serious questions about the out-of-Africa hypothesis of human origin. The oldest modern man in Southeast Asia is dated to around 50-60,000 years ago, and the oldest hominid fossil, Java Man (homo erectus) is placed betweenÂ 1 and 1.7Â million years ago. It’s been all over the news this weekend, and I’m sorry for not posting this up sooner especially seeing how I am at the said Centre for Archaeological Research in Universiti Sains Malaysia (I’ve been away to celebrate the Chinese Lunar New Year).
The soil in which the tools were discovered in were dated by fission-track dating, but they do have a wide margin of error of about 600,000 years. At this stage, the results haven’t been independently verified.
Lenggong had early humans 1.8m years ago
The Star, 29 January 2009
Rewriting ‘Out of Africa’ theory
New Straits Times, 30 January 2009
Early axes found in Perak
The Star, 30 January 2009
Malaysian scientists find stone tools ‘oldest in Southeast Asia’
AFP, 31 January 2009
Malaysia Says 1.8 Million-year-old Axes Unearthed
Sin Chew Jit Poh, 31 Jan 2009
Evidence of human existence dating back 1.83 million years was uncovered at Bukit Bunuh in Lenggong, Perak recently.
Universiti Sains Malaysia Centre for Archaeological Research Malaysia director Assoc Prof Dr Mokhtar Saidin said hand-axes which were unearthed showed evidence of the early existence of Homo erectus in the South-East Asia region.
He said the previous pre-historic hand-axes found in Africa dated back 1.6 million years.
â€œWe found one of the hand-axes, made of quartzite rock, embedded in layers of suevite caused by meteorite impact.