Israel discovers 350,000-year-old grinding tool

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Israeli archaeologists have discovered a 350,000-year-old tool that was used for grinding food and other materials, University of Haifa (UH) in northern Israel said on Sunday.

The tool, a rounded dolomite pebble, was found by UH researchers in a prehistoric cave on Mount Carmel near the city of Haifa.

In their study, published in the Journal of Human Evolution, the researchers found microscopic abrasion marks on the smooth stone.

The archaeologists found many similarities between the marks on the tool and those on animal skins and thus concluded that the ancient stone was used for grinding of soft materials.

They noted that this is the earliest evidence for the use of stone tools for grinding by early hominins, even before the early modern man (Homo sapiens) appeared. 

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