CAIRO – 23 June 2022: A new study revealed that some of the first humans in Britain lived in Kent 620,000 years ago.
Scientists have dated ancient flint tools found 100 years ago in Fordwitch, a market town northeast of Old Canterbury. The artifacts that include hand clamps, scraping and boring tools date back between 560,000 and 620,000 years ago.
These tools were used by Homo heidelbergensis, an ancestor of Neanderthals, who lived at the time in southern Britain when it was still connected to Europe, according to the British Daily Mail.
In addition, recent excavations at Fordwich have also revealed new artifacts of flint including the first "scrapers" that were discovered there.
Scrapers are hand-held tools with sharp edges that are likely to be used for preparing animal skins or scraping bark from wood.
"The diversity of tools is remarkable," said Alistair Key, from the University of Cambridge, who directed the recent excavation.He added, "Now, for the first time, we have found rare evidence of abrasives and borers at this very early age."
Located in an ancient riverbed, the Fordwich site was originally discovered in the 1920s among industrial quarries. At that time, local workers discovered hundreds of ancient tools, most of which are now in the British Museum in London.
During the 1920s, archaeologists excavated from the site some of the oldest handcrafts discovered in Britain.