A tragic event took place about 709,000 years ago. On the Philippines island of Luzon, someone killed a rhinoceros using tools made out of stone. Bad? Yes. Remarkable? Not really. Well, this event might become remarkable if you consider the fact that humans were not even supposed to exist in that area so long ago. Until this incredible discovery, the only indicator of early humans, or hominins, was a foot bone from 67,000 years ago, also in Luzon. According to a recently published study in the journal Nature, this new discovery pushes back the date for humans living in that area by hundreds of thousands of years.
This new evidence was revealed thanks to some excavations in the Kalinga province of northern Luzon. The researchers discovered 57 stone tools and over 400 animal bones. However, the biggest find was a 75% skeleton of a rhinoceros that early humans clearly butchered. According to study author Thomas Ingicco, this discovery is of extreme importance. The fact that early humans lived in the Philippines so long ago is extraordinary. Then, the evidence of such an early colonization of this isolated island by another species than the Homo Sapiens.
Hominins inhabited the Philippines long before we thought
However, even if there are no bones to prove that these early humans actually created these stone tools, the discovery of the tools alone is extraordinary. These butchery marks on the rhinoceros’ skeleton, as bad as it may sound, were a very good surprise. Apart from this, the bone that was from 67,000 years ago suggested that the individual had a form of dwarfism. This is actually similar to other discoveries on the Indonesian island of Flores that seemed to indicate some sort of “hobbits” living in that area.
The new discovery sheds some light on how early humans lived in that area in that specific time. This is very important, mostly because experts didn’t know almost anything about this topic before these discoveries.
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