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Tools                  8 Million + BC
Africa
Southwest Asia
Egypt
Indus Valley
China
Europe
South America
Mesoamerica
North America
Other

Africa

 

Over the past several decades, South African miners have found hundreds of metallic spheres, at least one of which has three parallel grooves running around its equator (left). According to an article by J. Jimison, the spheres are of two types--"one of solid bluish metal with white flecks, and another which is a hollow ball filled with a white spongy center." We wrote to Roelf Marx for further information about the spheres. He replied in a letter dated September 12, 1984: "There is nothing scientific published about the globes, but the facts are: They are found in pyrophyllite, which is mined near the little town of Ottosdal in the Western Transvaal. This pyrophyllite is a quite soft secondary mineral with a count of only 3 on the Mohs' scale and was formed by sedimentation about 2.8 billion years ago. On the other hand the globes, which have a fibrous structure on the inside with a shell around it, are very hard and cannot be scratched, even by steel. (138)

Southwest Asia

  In 1874, Frank Calvert found in a Miocene formation in Turkey (along the Dardanelles) a Deinotherium bone with carved figures of animals upon it. Calvert noted: "I have found in different parts of the same cliff, not far from the site of the engraved bone, a flint flake and some bones of animals, fractured longitudinally, obviously by the hand of man for the purpose of extracting the marrow, according to the practice of all primitive races." The elephantlike Deinotherium is said by modern authorities to have existed from the Late Pliocene to the Early Miocene in Europe. It is thus quite possible that Calvert's dating of the Dardanelles site as Miocene was correct. (138)

Egypt

 

Indus Valley

 

China

 

Europe

 On April 13, 1868, A. Laussedat informed the French Academy of Sciences that P. Bertrand had sent him two fragments of a lower jaw of a rhinoceros. They were from a pit near Billy, France. One of the fragments had four very deep grooves on it. These short grooves, situated on the lower part of the bone, were approximately parallel. According to Laussedat, the cut marks appeared in cross section like those made by a hatchet on a piece of hard wood. And so he thought the marks had been made in the same way, that is, with a handheld stone chopping instrument, when the bone was fresh. That indicated to Laussedat that humans had been contemporary with the fossil rhino in a geologically remote time. Just how remote is shown by the fact that the jawbone was found in a Middle Miocene formation, about 15 million years old. (138)

After studying modern geological reports, we have arrived at an age of at least 2.0-2.5 million years for the red Crag. The Coralline Crag would thus be older. Below the Red Crags of East Anglia there detritus beds, sometimes called bone beds. These are composed of a mixture of materials--sands, gravels, shells and bones derived from a variety of older formations, including the Eocene London Clay. J. Reid Moir found in the sub­Crag detritus beds stone tools, showing varying degrees of intentional work (left). Having concluded that the cruder tools were from as far back as the Eocene, Moir said "it becomes necessary to recognize a much higher antiquity for the human race than has hitherto been supposed." (138)

An important set of discoveries by Moir occurred at Foxhall, where he found stone tools (above) in the middle of the Late Pliocene Red Crag formation. The Foxhall implements would thus be over 2.0 million years old. Moir wrote in 1927: "The finds consisted of the debris of a flint workshop, and included hammer-stones, cores from which flakes had been struck, finished implements, numerous flakes, and several calcined stones showing that fires had been lighted at this spot. The commission, formed at the request of the International Institute of Anthropology, was composed of eight prominent European and American anthropologists, geologists, and archeologists. This group supported Moir's conclusions. They concluded that the flints from the base of the Red Crag near Ipswich were in undisturbed strata, at least Pliocene in age. Furthermore, the flaking on the flints was undoubtedly of human origin. Members of the commission also carried out four excavations into the detritus bed below the Red Crag and themselves found five typical specimens. These tools would be at least 2.5 million years old. And because the detritus bed contains materials from ancient Eocene land surfaces, the tools might be up to 55 million years old. (138)

At the Paris Exposition of 1878, Ribeiro displayed 95 specimens of Tertiary flint too1s. Gabriel de Mortillet, the influential French anthropologist, visited Ribeiro's exhibit and declared that 22 specimens had undoubted signs of human work. Along with his friend and colleague Emile Cartailhac, de Mortillet brought other scientists to see Ribeiro's specimens, and they were all of the same opinion--a good many of the flints were definitely made by humans. (138)

The able investigator of Umbria [Italy], Mr. Bellucci, discovered in situ a flint bearing incontestable signs of intentional work. Before detaching it, he showed it to a number of his colleagues. The flint was strongly encased in the rock. He had to use a hammer to extract it. It is definitely of the same age as the deposit. Some modern authorities consider the Otta conglomerates to be Early Miocene, about 15-20 million years old. (138)

On August 19, 1867, in Paris, L. Bourgeois presented to the International Congress for Prehistoric Anthropology and Archeology a report on flint implements he bad found in Early Miocene beds (15-20 million years old) at Thenay, in north central France. Bourgeois said they resembled the types of Quaternary implements (scrapers, borers, blades, etc.) he had found on the surface in the same region. He found on almost all of the Miocene specimens the standard indications of human work: fine retouching, symmetrical chipping, and traces of use. (138)

Max Verworn, of the University of Gottingen in Germany, was initially doubtful of reports of stone tools from the Pliocene and earlier. So in 1905 he went to Aurillac to conduct his own investigations of the stone tools found there. Verworn remained at Aurillac for six days, making excavations at a site called Puy de Boudieu, not far from Puy Courny. Describing the results of his first day's work, he wrote: "I had the luck to come upon a place where I found a great number of flint objects, whose indisputable implemental nature immediately staggered me. I had not expected this. Only slowly could I accustom myself to the thought that I had in my hand the tools of a human being that had lived in Tertiary times. I raised all the objections of which I could think. I questioned the geological age of the site, I questioned the implemental nature of the specimens, until I reluctantly admitted that all possible objections were not sufficient to explain away the facts." (138)

The sharp-edged, chipped flint objects, apparently tools, were found in small groups, among stones that were very much rolled and worn. This meant that the flint objects had not been subjected to much movement since their deposition and that the flaking upon them was therefore of human rather than geological origin. The fact that the sharp-edged implemental flints were found in groups also suggested the presence of workshop sites. Verwom also uncovered several tools adapted for hammering, hacking, and digging. Describing one such tool, Verworn wrote: "A large pointed tool for chopping or digging. It is formed from a natural slab of flint by the working of a point. One sees on the surfaces of the piece the cortex of the flint and at the top a point made from numerous flakes, mostly removed in the same direction." About another pointed tool, Verwom stated: "This tool has on the side directly below the point a handgrip made by removing the sharp, cutting edges. It might have been a primitive handaxe used for hammering or chopping." Verwom also found tools he thought were adapted for stabbing, boring, and engraving. (138)

Verworn concluded: "At the end of the Miocene there was here a culture, which was, as we can see from its flint tools, not in the very beginning phases but had already proceeded through a long period of development. ...this Miocene population of Cantal knew how to flake and work flint." Verwom went on to say: "The size of the implements points toward a being with a hand of the same size and shape as our own, and therefore a similar body. The existence of large scrapers and choppers that fill our own hands, and above all the perfect adaptation to the hand found in almost all the tools, seems to verify this conclusion in the highest degree. Tools of the most different sizes, which show with perfect clarity useful edges, use marks, and handgrips, lie for the most part so naturally and comfortably in our hands, with the original sharp points and edges intentionally removed from the places where a hand would grasp, that one would think the tools were made directly for our hands." Verwom then said about the makers of the tools: "While it is possible that this Tertiary form might possibly have stood closer to the animal ancestors of modern humans than do modern humans themselves, who can say to us that they were not already of the same basic physical character as modern humans, that the development of specifically human features did not extend back into the Late Miocene?" (138)

...in 1907, Rutot's ongoing research resulted in more startling finds in sandpits near Boncelles, in the Ardennes region of Belgium. The tool-bearing layers were Oligocene, which means they were from 25 to 38 million years old. Describing the tools, Georg Schweinfurth wrote in the Zeitschriftfur Ethnologie: "Among them were choppers, anvil stones, knives, scrapers, borers, and throwing stones, all displaying clear signs of intentional work that produced forms exquisitely adapted for use by the human hand...the fortunate discoverer had the pleasure to show the sites to 34 Belgian geologists and students of prehistory. They all agreed that there could be no doubt about the position of the finds." "Now it appears," wrote Rutot, "that the notion of the existence of humanity in the Oligocene...has been affirmed with such force and precision that one cannot detect the slightest fault." "The exact spot where the flints were found...is situated on the steep eastern slope of a ravine, high above its bottom, but below the edge in such a position that it is inconceivable how the flints should have been brought there by any foreign agency. There is no room for any dwelling place in this narrow gorge, nor was there ever any; it is further impossible from the way in which the flints were found that they could have been brought to that place by a flood. If I weigh all the evidence, quite apart from the fact that I actually dug them out of the bed, it is my strong belief that they were in situ when found." (138)

Sling stones and bola stones represent a level of technological sophistication universally associated with modern Homo sapiens. It may be recalled that the detritus bed below the Red Crag contains fossils and sediments from habitable land surfaces ranging from Pliocene to Eocene in age. Therefore the Bramford sling stone could be anywhere from 2 to 55 million years old. A drawing (left) showing marks of intentional shaping on the sling stone from the beneath the Red Crag at Bramford, England. (138)

South America

 

Mesoamerica

 

North America

 Many shafts were sunk at Table Mountain in Tuolumne County, going under thick layers of a basaltic volcanic material called latite before reaching the gold­bearing gravels. In some cases, the shafts extended horizontally for hundreds of feet beneath the latite cap. Discoveries from the gravels just above the bedrock could be from 33.2 to 55 million years old, but discoveries from other gravels may be anywhere from 9 to 55 million years old. Walton found a stone mortar, 15 inches in diameter, in gold-bearing gravels 180 feet below the surface and also beneath the latite cap. Another find at Tuolumne Table Mountain was reported by James Carvin in 1871: "This is to certify that I, the undersigned, did about the year 1858, dig out of some mining claims known as the Stanislaus Company, situated in Table Mountain, Tuolumne County, opposite O'Byrn's Ferry, on the Stanislaus River, a stone hatchet. ...The above relic was found from sixty to seventy-five feet from the surface in gravel, under the basalt, and about 300 feet from the mouth of the tunnel. There were also some mortars found, at about the same time and place." (138)

... At a distance of between 1400 and 1500 feet from the mouth of the tunnel, or of between 200 and 300 feet beyond the edge of the solid lava, Mr. Neale saw several spear-heads, of some dark rock and nearly one foot in length. On exploring further, he himself found a small mortar three or four inches in diameter and of irregular shape. This was discovered within a foot or two of the spear-heads. He then found a large well-formed pestle, now the property of Dr. R. I. Bromley, and near by a large and very regular mortar, also at present the property of Dr. Bromley." This last mortar and pestle are shown at left. Mr. Neale declares that it is utterly impossible that these relics can have reached the position in which they were found excepting at the time the gravel was deposited, and before the lava cap formed. There was not the slightest trace of any disturbance of the mass or of any natural fissure into it by which access could have been obtained either there or in the neighborhood." The position of the artifacts in gravel close to the bedrock at Tuolumne Table Mountain indicates they were 33-55 million years old....geologist Clarence King, director of the Survey of the Fortieth Parallel, was conducting research at Tuolumne Table Mountain. At that time, he found a stone pestle firmly embedded in a deposit of gold-bearing gravel lying beneath the cap of basalt, or latite. The gravel deposit had only recently been exposed by erosion. Becker stated: "Mr. King is perfectly sure this implement was in place and that it formed an original part of the gravels in which he found it. It is difficult to imagine a more satisfactory evidence than this of the occurrence of implements in the auriferous, pre-glacial, sub-basaltic gravels." From this description and the modern geological dating of the Table Mountain strata, it is apparent that the object was over 9 million years old. (138)

The April 2, 1897 edition of the Daily News of Omaha, Nebraska, carried an article titled "Carved Stone Buried in a Mine," which described an object from a mine near Webster City, Iowa. The article stated: "While mining coal today in the Lehigh coal mine, at a depth of 130 feet, one of the miners came upon a piece of rock which puzzles him and he was unable to account for its presence at the bottom of the coal mine. The stone is of a dark grey color and about two feet long, one foot wide and four inches in thickness. Over the surface of the stone, which is very hard, lines are drawn at angles forming perfect diamonds. The center of each diamond is a fairly good face of an old man having a peculiar indentation in the forehead that appears in each of the pictures, all of them being remarkably alike. Of the faces, all but two are looking to the right. How the stone reached its position under the strata of sandstone at a depth of 130 feet is a question the miners are not attempting to answer. Where the stone was found the miners are sure the earth had never before been disturbed." Inquiries to the Iowa State Historical Preservation and Office of State Archaeology at the University of Iowa revealed nothing new. The Lehigh coal is probably from the Carboniferous. (138)

At the private museum, the iron cup had been displayed along with the following affidavit, made by Frank J. Kenwood in Sulphur Springs, Arkansas, on November 27, 1948: "While I was working in the Municipal Electric Plant in Thomas, Okla. in 1912, I came upon a solid chunk of coal which was too large to use. I broke it with a sledge hammer. This iron pot fell from the center, leaving the impression or mould of the pot in the piece of coal. Jim Stall (an employee of the company) witnessed the breaking of the coal, and saw the pot fallout. I traced the source of the coal, and found that it came from the Wilburton, Oklahoma, Mines." According to Robert O. Fay of the Oklahoma Geological Survey, the Wilburton mine coal is about 312 million years old. (138)

W. W. McCormick of Abilene, Texas, reported his grandfather'S account of a stone block wall that was found deep within a coal mine: "In the year 1928, I, Atlas Almon Mathis, was working in coal mine No.5., located two miles north of Heavener, Oklahoma. This was a shaft mine, and they told us it was two miles deep. The mine was so deep that they let us down into it on an elevator....They pumped air down to us, it was so deep." This report was reprinted in a book by Brad Steiger. One evening, Mathis was blasting coal loose by explosives in "room 24" of this mine. "The next morning," said Mathis, "there were several concrete blocks laying in the room. These blocks were 12-inch cubes and were so smooth and polished on the outside that all six sides could serve as mirrors. Yet they were full of gravel, because I chipped one of them open with my pick, and it was plain concrete inside." Mathis added: "As I started to timber the room up, it caved in; and I barely escaped. When I came back after the cave-in, a solid wall of these polished blocks was left exposed. About 100 to 150 yards farther down our air core, another miner struck this same wall, or one very similar." The coal in the mine was probably Carboniferous, which would mean the wall was at least 286 million years old. (138)

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