This site is not maintained. Click here for the new website of Richard Dawkins.

← Malaysian scientists find stone tools 'oldest in Southeast Asia'

Malaysian scientists find stone tools 'oldest in Southeast Asia' - Comments

BryanEvans's Avatar Comment 1 by BryanEvans

1.83 million years. These damn fossils keep turning up, even though they supposed to be so rare! And I thought the world was only 10,000 years old. Next they'll be claiming that they've found fossils hundred's of millions of years old!

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 17:22:00 UTC | #317552

leviticus's Avatar Comment 2 by leviticus

The earth really is 10,000 years old, radio carbon dating is totally bunk. But back to a serious note finds like these are really fascinating. There is still much to be learned about the diversity and distribution of early hominids.

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 18:10:00 UTC | #317560

Caudimordax's Avatar Comment 3 by Caudimordax

It's obvious the tools were "put" there to test the faith of believers.

(Just as someone - I think it was here - suggested that the tooth fairy planted the teeth in mom's dresser drawer...)

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 18:22:00 UTC | #317564

Goldy's Avatar Comment 4 by Goldy

The stone hand-axes were discovered last year in the historical site of Lenggong in northern Perak state, embedded in a type of rock formed by meteorites which was sent to a Japanese lab to be dated.

Well, there you are...obviously an artefact. They were not stone axes but formations resulting from teh meteorite impact.... ;-)

Seriously, this is rather interesting. Wonder what the sea levels were like in those days - how much more could we find out about the spread of hominids if we had access to the old shoreline.

Wonder if H. sapiens, when coming out of Africa, encountered H. erectus or their descendants. I mean, we read about how they encountered H. neanderthalis in Europe and the Levant, but I haven't read of anything suggesting there were regional hominid descendants in Asia (equivalent to neanderthal) that died out with the coming of modern man...

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 18:45:00 UTC | #317570

-TheCodeCrack-'s Avatar Comment 5 by -TheCodeCrack-

Oh wow.

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 21:30:00 UTC | #317664

Dr. Strangegod's Avatar Comment 6 by Dr. Strangegod

Modern man may have come from the shadows of Tirich Mir. Seriously, I've just been cracking out on the pre-history of central Asia a bit, and there's a spot covering mostly northern Afghanistan that's freaking fascinating. Check it out.

I want to know more about what happened between 1.8 and 2200 BC. Or at least in those last few millennia, when things were surely organized enough to be pretty damn interesting.

Mon, 02 Feb 2009 23:04:00 UTC | #317685

mmurray's Avatar Comment 7 by mmurray

Modern man may have come from the shadows of Tirich Mir

Interesting link thanks. I don't see why modern man would come from there though. Modern man was in Australia by 30,000 BCE and North America by 10,000 BCE this settlement is around 2000 BCE.


Tue, 03 Feb 2009 00:15:00 UTC | #317719

androcentric's Avatar Comment 8 by androcentric

Hi this is my first post, great that it's a topic I am interested in.

I would like to point out that these tools were unlikely to be created by the direct ancestors of Homo sapiens (I know this is a question of semantics, but) our species came into being on the African Continent and spread out from there no more that 75,000 years ago. Had these tools been created by our ancestors this would require the species that made these tools to return to Africa during an Ice age and their offspring eventually evolving into Homo sapiens. Ok, these tools could have been created by Homo habilis or Homo erectus our species' forebears, but we can in no way be direct descendants for them.

There is a good video on which looks at family of humanity, and the migrations of Homo sapiens which started around 60,000 - 70,000 years ago, here: - Spencer Wells - Building a family tree for all humanity.

If there are stone tools found that pre-date Homo sapiens arrival in the area that I would suppose that our spiecies did encounter descendants of the species which made these tools. The arrival of the larger brained Homo sapiens must have had a detrimental effect on the population of these people, as with Homo neanderthalensis.

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 02:52:00 UTC | #317834

cjnkns's Avatar Comment 9 by cjnkns

Don't believe it god is testing you! ;)

Just kidding- very cool news indeed.

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 04:15:00 UTC | #317891

tohca4's Avatar Comment 10 by tohca4

1.83 million year. My that's a very long time ago. Our Perak Man, as you mentioned is only about 11,000 years old. Wonder how true that is?

Visit Malaysia Facts
for quick facts and interesting information about Malaysia.

Visit About

ME Page
for quick facts and interesting information about The

Malaysian Explorer.

Visit Penang

for quick facts and interesting information about Penang.

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 06:27:00 UTC | #317943

Quetzalcoatl's Avatar Comment 11 by Quetzalcoatl

Marked as spam.

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 06:29:00 UTC | #317945

NewEnglandBob's Avatar Comment 12 by NewEnglandBob

Damn. Ever time they find stuff like this, one gap becomes two gaps! How will we ever fill all the gaps?

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 09:06:00 UTC | #318062

Sargeist's Avatar Comment 13 by Sargeist

I wonder how the "religious leaders" who recently banned yoga and declared that women were not allowed to wear trousers feel about this evidence of the world's being so old?

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 11:44:00 UTC | #318126

Szymanowski's Avatar Comment 14 by Szymanowski

Modern man may have come from the shadows of Tirich Mir.
Isn't that where the Kings of Gondor lived?

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 12:06:00 UTC | #318135

alabasterocean's Avatar Comment 15 by alabasterocean

Oh yeah, in the world of The Fellowship of the Ring I strongly suggest that Boromir son of Denethor II is the best character to base morality on. All those arrows in the chest and still makes time for remorse. That's just an universal truth (or at least Lisa Randall truth) to me.

Flush the world of science!

-Legolas, Gimli, let's go! (Here be trumpets)

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 13:27:00 UTC | #318180

bluebird's Avatar Comment 16 by bluebird

stone hand-axes were discovered...embedded in rock formed by meteorites

That is soooo neat!!

'Like Water for Chocolate'
Cacao/cocoa discovery in N.M. caught my eye today:
I love the cylinder jars; don't think I'd like their drink concoction, tho!

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 13:40:00 UTC | #318193

Goldy's Avatar Comment 17 by Goldy

Comment #333456 by tohca4
Penang, eh? My parents live there. Great place!

Further to comment #333219 by mmurray and staying in Malaysia, one has the Orang Asli

Tue, 03 Feb 2009 14:05:00 UTC | #318208

scottishgeologist's Avatar Comment 18 by scottishgeologist

Looks like a huge snake has been identified as well:

"Largest snake 'as long as a bus"

LOL when I saw that - maybe we could put a poster on its side....

Or maybe it's that badass serpent in the Garden of Eden

(Is it just me being an old hippy, but when I hear the expression "In the Garden of Eden" I want to listen to Iron Butterfly):


Wed, 04 Feb 2009 11:21:00 UTC | #318779

mmurray's Avatar Comment 19 by mmurray

Comment #333733 by Goldy

Thanks Goldy. I hadn't heard about the Orang Asli. Do they have any idea when they arrived or how long settlements go back to ?


EDIT: OK a random google points out there are various groups but they all seem to have arrived maybe 8000 years ago

Wed, 04 Feb 2009 15:36:00 UTC | #319034

Pete H's Avatar Comment 20 by Pete H

6. Comment #333185 by Lucas on February 2, 2009 at 11:04 pm

I want to know more about what happened between 1.8 and 2200 BC.

Just something for your amusement that I just picked up from reading Will Durant's 'The Story of Civilisation' from the 1930s.

Archeologists have evidence of ancient archeology in very ancient cities. So at least one of the things that was happening was that some people spent their time digging up previous civilisations to try and find out what their own predecessors spent their time doing.

Sat, 07 Feb 2009 19:44:00 UTC | #321079

Perak_Man's Avatar Comment 21 by Perak_Man

I thought Malaysia is a relatively newly formed land not like that of Africa. And Perak man was only 11,000 years old. Even "Lucy Australopithecus afarensis" was only 3 million years old.

Fri, 20 Feb 2009 01:45:00 UTC | #327900