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For many decades, scientists believed earliest humans originated in East Africa. This belief has changed because of collection of 2.4-million-year-old stone tools found in Algeria. Scientists now believe that Algeria and not East Africa is cradle of civilization - where humankind began. new find consists of 250 tools. There were also 296 animal bones. scientists say animal bones show that early humans were butchering meat. Dr Mohamed Sahnouni, leader of project, said: " evidence from Algeria changes earlier view that East Africa was cradle of humankind." He added: "Actually, whole of Africa was the cradle of humankind."

Archaeologists have been digging at various sites on this project for 25 years. sharp-edged tools and bones were discovered near city of Setif, about 200 miles east of Algeria's capital, Algiers. In particular, animal bones excited scientists. Dr Sahnouni said it is now clear that humans were butchering animals for meat 600,000 years earlier than previously thought. Spanish archaeologist said: " effective use of sharp-edged tools ...suggests that our ancestors were not mere scavengers." She said it wasn't clear whether or not they hunted, but they did compete with other animals to get access to meat. Dr Sahnouni now hopes to find tool-makers and even older stone tools

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