An international group of researchers from Japan, Hong Kong and Ethiopia found an artifact that was made the direct ancestor of modern humans — the Homo erectus Homo erectus. It is a hand axe made of bone, not of stone, like all the other similar finds. About the opening, which proves the existence of a developed intelligence of the ancient people, according to a paper published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

The axe was discovered during excavations in Ethiopia on an archeological Park Konso-Gardola. The previous group of scientists found stone tools that ancient people produced by breaking off pieces of stone until the edge became sharp. The location of the bone artifact in the strata indicates its age of 1.4 million years.

The tool was made from the thigh of Hippo at length reached 13 inches, and one of the edges of the ball is pointed with stone. According to scientists, the axe was used for butchering animals. The findings prove that Homo erectus was smart enough to produce the relatively complex tools. However, scientists can not yet explain why the quality of the material used was bone, rather than the more durable stone,