5-speed listening (Civilization - Level 2)

Algeria is the new 'cradle of civilization'






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Scientists used to believe humans originated in East Africa. This has changed because of many 2.4-million-year-old stone tools found in Algeria. Scientists now believe that Algeria is the cradle of civilization - where humankind began. Archaeologists found 250 tools and 296 animal bones. The animal bones show that early humans were cutting up meat. Dr Mohamed Sahnouni, leader of the project, said: "The evidence from Algeria changes the earlier view that East Africa was the cradle of humankind." He also said: "Actually, the whole of Africa was the cradle of humankind."

Archaeologists have been digging at sites on this project for 25 years. The tools and bones were discovered near a city about 200 miles east of Algeria's capital, Algiers. The animal bones have excited the scientists. Dr Sahnouni said it is clear that humans were killing animals for meat 600,000 years earlier than we thought. Another archaeologist said: "The effective use of...tools...suggests that our ancestors were not mere scavengers." She said it wasn't clear whether or not they hunted. Dr Sahnouni now hopes to find the tool-makers and even older stone tools.

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