(NewsReady.com) – Over the last five years, an international team of experts engaged in a five-year project in the Megalopolis area of Greece. Recently they made an extraordinary discovery. Reports indicated it was a historical find that could explain why the country played such a big role in the development of human civilization.
According to reports, researchers have found the oldest archeological site in Greece, which dates back 700,000 years. It also pushed the discovery of Greek civilization back nearly 250,000 years. Megalopolis is in the southern Pelopennese peninsula, where Olympia and Mycenae are located.
Researchers on the international team found stone tools from the Lower Palaeolithic era. Estimates put them at 300,000 to 3.3 million years old. Those tools, including sharp stone flakes, are thought to have been used to butcher animals and to process other materials. Panagiotis Karkanas from the American School of Classical Studies, Katerina Harvati, a paleoanthropology professor from Germany’s University of Tübingen, and Eleni Panagopoulou, who works at the Greek Culture Ministry, directed the five-year project.
The directors emailed a statement to The Associated Press, saying the tools found might have been produced by the extinct human species, the Homo antecessor. These were the last common ancestors of Neanderthals and modern humans. Archaeologist Nikos Efstratiou, who didn’t work on the project, called the discovery “very important” and said the tools found are part of the “age of the first tools in Greece.”
The co-directors said they were “very excited” to report the new findings. They said the new information shows how important the area is to “understanding hominin migrations to Europe and for human evolution in general.”
A macaque monkey, hippopotamus, elephants, giant deer, and other long-extinct species were also found at the site. These animals lived in ancient Greece during the Paleolithic era.
The Greece Culture Ministry released a statement saying the five sites in Megalopolis officers a “unique opportunity to investigate human behavior” during that time.
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